Ritual Spotlight - Sea Witch Botanicals

This week our vendor spotlight is on Sea Witch Botanicals, a Bellingham - based company that produces vegan and organic soaps, beauty products, incense, candles, and more. In addition to singular, beautiful scents and eco-conscious materials, many of their creations boast strange, cheeky prints and packaging (like the seasonal Krampus soap, shown.) They just achieved the very laborious and coveted B-Corp certification, meaning they are legally required to consider the impact of their decisions on their workers, customers, suppliers, community, and the environment. (Even the wrapping on their soap is compostable!) Here at Ritual we endeavor to promote and celebrate local artists and makers, and we have had wonderful experiences with Sea Witch people and products. We spoke with Alesia, the original sea witch, about her company, her creations, and her inspiration.

When and why did Sea Witch begin?

We began in 2014, I had been managing a store that sold synthetic fragrance oils, and it did not take long for me to realize I was horribly allergic to these petroleum-derived compounds. After much research into the corrupt world of toxic chemicals in our home and body cleaners, I decided I needed to leave my job working for fragrance and instead present a natural and healthy alternative. Surely there are other people who suffer from exposure to fragrance?

How do you think being based in the PNW has shaped the way you run your business? Does that influence any of the decision making when it came to being vegan and organic?

We *are* the great PNW--I was born and raised in Bellingham, my family has been here for many generations. Everything here gives me inspiration: the bay that sparked our mission, the mountains that give us our ancient forests, the fantastic "crunchy" locals-- all these elements define us. From the pine sap I forage on Mt Baker, to the lip colors influenced by the ladies of our historic red light district. We are Bellingham, and that is why we take sustainability very seriously.

Tell us a bit about the aesthetic choices with Sea Witch - what does the process look like from conceptualization to execution of your product?

In truth, it is my style to the core. My home looks like a mash-up of an oddity shop, ye old apothecary and the lair of a hedge witch. My husband Jhustin designs all the packaging and website; he finds his inspiration in Lovecraft, H.R Giger, old world advertisements and -- most importantly -- naturalist illustrations, such as Audubon, and Ernst Haeckel.

What led you to go for the B-CORP certification?

It was the goal from the very beginning, in a way. I wanted to turn our company into a non-profit, after some research I saw we could do more good by becoming a leader in ethics as a B Corp. The process is very difficult, it takes a lot of time and documentation, as well as transparency, yet I see it as our greatest achievement yet. If little companies like ours can make a difference imagine what huge corporations could do if they were driven by ethics, and the idea that we should leave everything better than when we found it!

What sort of products do you see in the future for Sea Witch - anything new coming on the horizon?

Absolutely! We have wax truffles coming out shortly, new incense scents, some facial care treatments such as masks, and we even have more home cleaning products on the horizon. :)

We love the Green Fairy and White Lodge fragrance profiles - we’re really hoping that the story behind their creation involves sitting around drinking absinthe and watching Twin Peaks...did it?

OF COURSE! I love Absinthe, the first time I had it was at The Temple Bar in Bellingham. My mind was blown. I love to use things that bring me joy as inspiration for our scent profiles, that way the research is more fun! When we were unveiling the White Lodge line we binge-watched Twin Peaks, and when Green Fairy was concocted, I certainly had been enjoying licorice flavored libations.

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You, too, can transport yourself to the world of Twin Peaks and absinthe (without the Lynchian dread or pounding hangover) with Green Fairy and White Lodge scents in the form of soap, incense, spray, and more at Ritual on Capitol Hill.