Fighting for Your business rights an interview with Lila ElWood of Wild Witchery

Many pagans think about running their own business.  They often dream about providing products and services for their faith community.  These products and services run from workshops and teaching to creating ritual tools and items for the religious practices.  Many of them don’t ever believe that someone would want to cause them stress or ill will.  When that trouble does come how does a small business protect themselves and manage to stay afloat?

I interviewed Lila Elwood one of the owners of Wild Witchery to find out more about her battle and how this has impacted them going further.

Loona Wynd: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your Business?

Lila Elwood: I have been a practicing Pagan for about 25 years now. On my mothers side of the family we are Iroquois and I was raised in native tradition. By the time I was 12 European Paganism/Witchcraft piqued my interest and I started down that path with no regrets.

I attended American University where I received my BA in Religious Studies-concentration on Ancient Mediterranean Religions with a minor in Ancient History of the same region. I am married and have 2 children and currently live in Yorktown VA- where our Business Wild Witchery is based out of.

We are primarily an e-commerce business specializing in creating Ritual Oil Perfumes, Candles, Bath & Body, Skincare, Hand Wrapped Amulets & Crystals. I have been making these items inside and out of Business for about 10 years now.

Loona Wynd: What inspired you to start Wild Witchery?

 

 

Lila Elwood: I had a business prior to this called Lady Leigh’s Apotheca, which was primarily an apothecary & didn’t focus too much on the metaphysical side, but offered similar items: bath and body, aromatherapy perfumes, plus teas and healing items. But I wanted to focus on the metaphysical. I wanted to offer really great products that were infused with Magick because i believe every aspect of your life has the ability to be infused with magick and sacredness- right down to the soap you use, lotion or perfume you apply or the jewelry you wear.

My friend now business partner and I had been talking about/dreaming about having a metaphysical shop together as our skills complimented each other, she focuses on crystals and jewelry and i on the herbal/bath body aspects. So this time last year we just went for it and started laying the foundations of what Wild Witchery now is.

Loona Wynd: You claim that you and your partner received a Cease and Desist letter. What was it for and about?

Lila Elwood:Yes, My business partner & I received a letter via email claiming  copyright and trademark infringement on 2 of our products, Amatus & Yule Ritual Perfume Oils. The letter demanded that we stop selling these items, remove them from all social media & pay the complainant $5,000 + their legal fees potentiallyThe letter also claimed issues with “Trade Dress”

Loona Wynd: Can you explain what they meant by “Trade Dress”?

Lila Elwood: I wasn’t sure what this was either until talking with our lawyer, it is the look and feel of the product.

Loona Wynd: Did they give you a further explanation about what it could entail? Feel and look of a product could cover a lot of things.

Lila Elwood: The complainant feels that our products look the same as hers – we DID at one point, use the same cap style on our bottles as theirs, and we also tie ribbons around our bottles to fill in void space. However, the bottles and caps we buy are available through multiple suppliers that sell to the public, and there are MANY other business’ who also use this same bottle/cap style for their ritual oils and perfumes as well.  in recent months however, the complainant has changed their cap style and discontinued use of the ribbon so really, there should be no conflict with this.

Loona Wynd: What actions have you taken to defend yourself and your craft?  It seems something named after a holiday such as your Yule Perfume Oil couldn’t be trademarked as holidays are open to anyone who follows those traditions, and there are many religious traditions which celebrate Yule.

Lila Elwood: We did a lot of research as to what constitutes trademark/copyright infringement. While the complainant holds NO federally registered trademarks/copyrights, they are alleging these charges based on seniority. They came out with these products first – which the law allows – sort of.

Common Names do not count in the eyes of the law – and as we all know, Yule is a common word/name/a holiday in our spiritual tradition. Many Pagans also make use of other languages when naming their products, i have half a dozen products named in various languages, which is how Amatus, which means Beloved in Latin, was named. Yet, it is uncommon enough to be misconstrued as trademark infringement.

After consulting with our Lawyer we agreed it was probably best to discontinue the use of the name Amatus, so we have removed our Amatus line from our Website and Etsy.

Yet there is another well known business who is selling a ritual oil using the same latin name as one of the complainants products of the same nature! But we want to keep the peace.

However we will NOT be doing the same with Yule. Yule is a sabbat and it belongs to everyone. No one person can trademark our holidays and the products we create inspired by those holidays.

We gathered examples of other Yule Ritual Oils from other Pagan businesses as evidence that we, nor the complainant are the only ones marketing a Yule Oil Blend

Loona Wynd: Is the Amatus line going to be discontinued completely or are you thinking about renaming it?

Lila Elwood:  We will simply rename it and re-release it.

Loona Wynd: What is the next step for you in this fight?

Lila Elwood:  Our Lawyer will be offering the complainant a settlement we discontinue the use of Amatus. But that’s it. Examples of other Yule oil products will be included in defense of out product & other business’ right to create sabbat oil blend, and we will not be paying them any money. We just released our Ostara oil so we’re honestly waiting on the other shoe to drop to speak!

Hopefully, that is the end of it. We do not want a huge dispute. We’re a micro business, small fish in the pond compared to the complainant who compared to other business’ in our niche, is a large corporation.

Loona Wynd: Given the small size of your business it must have been a shock to receive the letter. What went through your minds?

Lila Elwood: I was SHOCKED. I panicked, they were demanding $5,000 from us, we’ve made just under that amount in sales- not being that familiar with the law, I thought this was a formal lawsuit. i was envisioning us having to close up shop, being bullied out of business by the larger corporation

My business partner was not as shocked as i was. In hindsight we should have seen this coming, we had noticed in recent weeks personal friends of the complainant liking some of our social media statues and asking to join our Facebook groups.

Loona Wynd: So they had spies?  Friends checking you out and seeing what you were about?  Are any of those people still in your groups etc?

Lila Elwood: It kind of seems that way to us.   we never admitted these people to our groups and they have been blocked on social media

Loona Wynd: Are you taking any actions to protect yourself in the future?

Lila Elwood: Protection- YES! Our lawyer has implored us to trademark the names of our products – at least at the state level. In VA it costs $30 to trademark a product within state lines. My partner was apprehensive to go this route with trademarking the names of our holidays, and i agree with her, they belong to the community. However, the lawyer has assured us we do not have to enforce these trademarks, but they are there for if/when another situation like this comes about.

Loona Wynd: What advise would you give other small businesses should they receive a Cease and Desist letter or any actions along those lines?
Lila Elwood:  If you receive such a letter, research and consult with a lawyer, absolutely. Don’t Panic! It is not the end of your business, and don’t give in. Consulting with a Lawyer or having a lawyer draw up paperwork is not as expensive as you’d think. It cost us $250 to employ the help of a lawyer. But also, i do suggest researching the name you’re considering. We did not do that because we figured “we’re small & no threat to anyone” & also because we were naive thinking that no one would take issue with our business.how wrong we were! So research unique names, if a business is offering a similar product named the same thing, move on to the next name, no matter how perfect it was. And definitely look into getting state trademarks on the names of your products, if only for your protection.Loona Wynd: Is there anything else you would like to say about this situation or add?

Lila Elwood:  It is my opinion that the complainant is trying to corner the market on the type of items that we offer and is trying to scare the small business’ who offer similar items out of business. We all have a right to be here, we all have a right to create magickal products and market them – which certainly includes sabbat products named after the sabbats. To think you are the only person who has rights to these names and holidays makes you arrogant. Live and let live.

It seems like no matter what we do in this world there is always someone who will try to rain on your parade.  This author firmly believes that if you want to run a business you should try and go for it.  Live for your dreams and follow your path.  Don’t let yourself get discouraged.  Learn from articles like this and take their advice.  There is room for us all as we all have something different to offer.

If you would like to support and see the products and services provided by Wild Witchery: Wild Witchery

An innovative approach to group advertising, the Pagan Shops Online venture makes its debut

There is a new game in town and it is shaping up to be something that will give value for Pagan vendors looking for cost effective advertising that is under their control. The Pagan Shops Online site is a collective of Pagan businesses and entrepreneurs partnered together to put out advertisements on-line in theme-common blasts. The campaigns are set at effective intervals wherein groups of businesses share a common ad space with an equally disbursed cost.

At this time, they are starting with Facebook social media advertising, with their sites on Google presence next. Communal cost sharing will allow them to reach more eyes than individual spots. It also ensures that sharing among the businesses is equally beneficial to all involved. Their page on Facebook will be a source for information and opportunities for membership in each month’s campaign.

One member described it best by saying:

The best Pagan shopping comes together for you in one place. Occult, Wicca, Witch, Conjure and Druid, products, services, and classes online serving thousands worldwide.

More information can be found at their site, www.paganshopsonline.com.

PBN Blues Series: – “Tramp” by Otis Redding & Carla Thomas

Respect is a fickle emotion, it rivals its cousin, Reputation, insofar that it is enduring or fleeting based on the subjective opinion of others. Social mores are tricky at times, especially when doing business in a neighborhood that has a socioeconomic demographic that is more affluent than the business owner’s beginnings. It is not uncommon to find oneself navigating the derision and contempt of the more affluent clientage and peer when moving to a new place.

The way that we handle the discourses in which we engage with those who may find us lesser is a crucial skill to develop. As a client, when we encounter poor treatment, we can easily take our custom elsewhere. However, as a business, the ever-present need for business can sometimes lead to decisions choices about how much is really acceptable to tolerate from a client. From peers, this has the potential to become exceedingly unpleasant, and damaging to our brand.

Image: Abigail Keenan
Image: Abigail Keenan

 

Anneliese V. has been a practitioner for over 15 years in various parts of the state in which she lives. First, as an independent reader, then later as a staff person in an obscure metaphysical business. She has painstakingly made small steps toward becoming an independent business brand of her own, and now opens a business in a middle class part of town. It is a step up from the lower end stores in which she cut her teeth. A gleaming window sign, a clingfilm sticker from the Pagan Business Network, new fixtures, and a well stocked shelf are physical manifestations of her pouring a lifetime of savings, hopes, and dreams into her shop.

Within a month, Anneliese V. develops a respectable base of clientage.  Her Romany inspired broom straw skirts and her passion for streaming Sacred Grove Radio instead of local contemporary music has given her clients a taste of her own unique style. Return customers bring referrals and all is well. However, shortly after the midpoint of the second month, her clients have begun to drop. The cheery little shop has begun to feel a down, and she does not understand what is going on.

That is, she doesn’t until the local blogger grapevine bearer drops into her ear the local news. It seems that a long-established store nearby has begun to disparage her name and business. A whisper campaign seeking to discredit her experience and product quality, by this competitor, has led to a loss of public confidence. She confronts the owner, and to her shock, he doesn’t deny her accusations. In fact he actually gives her a tongue lashing publicly at the local metaphysical fair and tells her that she is fit for nothing better than “garbage candle store magick, and everyone knows it”. He then attacks her style of dress as a costume fit for only a tramp from the poor side of the tracks.

Bending and bowing without a fight

Taken by complete surprise, Annaliese V. walks out of the fair. The local gossips feast upon the rumors and whispers that follow, adding to them. Emboldened, the shop owner publicly shreds her reputation at every gathering. Each time, she walks away. Finally, dejected, she comes to you to get a reading, as she has lost faith in her own abilities to read clearly.

You throw the coins and employ complementary techniques. All indications are that it will be difficult to undo the damage, as the juggernaut of misrule in the local metaphysical community seems to be falling in step behind the rival shop owner. You advise her to take a spiritual bath in hyssop and lavender, and tell her she has no hope of prevailing. You tell her that she should accept defeat and return to the neighborhood she started in before, and to not attempt to rise above her social and professional station. Success lies in being small and keeping quiet.

She leaves, intent on shutting down her business. Annaliese V. resigns herself to giving up her dream and you never see her again. A month later, her shop is shuttered.

Some things are worth fighting for

Taken by complete surprise, Annaliese V. walks out of the fair. The local gossips feast upon the rumors and whispers that follow, adding to them. Emboldened, the shop owner publicly shreds her reputation at every gathering. Each time, she walks away. Finally, dejected, she comes to you to get a reading, as she has lost faith in her own abilities to read clearly.

You throw the coins and employ complementary techniques. All indications are that it will be difficult to undo the damage, as the juggernaut of misrule in the local metaphysical community seems to be falling in step behind the rival shop owner. Still, people are not programs on software, and the future is not cemented.

As a professional practitioner, you know that spiritual counseling is a major component in your field. To counsel Annalise V. properly, you give her all sides of what is facing her. This involves you doing a more in-depth continuation of the reading so that she can get a balanced view of her choices. The fight will be long, but it is winnable. The decision is hers.

Annaliese V. sits quietly for a few minutes, the rascette lines on her wrists barely touching the cloth on your table. She seems to gather herself and rises. She decides to fight for her shop, and to combat this attempt at the destruction of her reputation by this rival. She purchases a small set of ceramic baking molds from you in order to begin a campaign of poppet workings.

Image: Alice Achterhof
Image: Alice Achterhof

As she is completing her purchase, you exchange mutual respect and banter casually about how good in this world always faces negativity with courage. You decide to gift her with a bottle of Confidence Nature’s Essence to help her along. She decides to set a return appointment date to check her progress in case she needs to change course. In a whishing of paisley glory she walks out of your parlor with a renewed sense of optimism, and you have just formed a professional association of mutual respect with her.

 

How to build a strong Brand for Events

Establishing a strong brand for your event helps you differentiate your event and build loyalty with attendees. While branding encompasses everything from your logo to the way you write your social media posts , your on-site experience is critical to building a memorable brand.

After all, having a captive live audience gives you the rare opportunity to fully immerse people in your brand. But how do you create a brand experience that goes beyond slapping your logo all over walls of your venue?

1. First impressions are everything.

From the moment a guest arrives at your event, they should have a sense of your brand. Consider key moments of entry where the most people will interact with your brand: the front door, the entryway of your venue, or even your registration table. These areas are worth investing in because they’ll get the most eyes.

Especially if you’re working with a limited budget, prioritize your high-impact points of entry — and don’t worry about placing costly signage at every turn.

2. Quality over quantity.

Don’t just throw your logo everywhere. Sure, you want your logo prominently placed throughout your venue, but think about the big picture. It’s about creating a clean, consistent look throughout your venue. You want to come off as polished — not pushy. Think about subtle ways to weave in your brand look and feel at key touchpoints like:

  • Building exterior or front gate signage
  • Registration or check-in area
  • Directional  signage within the venue

3. Creativity counts.

Beyond traditional signage like banners, think about how can you surprise and delight your guests with your brand experience. Instead of traditional foam core signs placed on easels, why not create floor decals? In place of printed posters, how about on screen motion graphics that catch your attendee’s eye?

Here are a few other ideas to get you started:

  • Coffee sleeves: Include your event tagline!
  • Projected lights: Project your logo or brand color(s)
  • Window or column clings: Put them in unexpected places
  • Swag guns: Shoot swag from a “swag gun” onstage to engage the crowd
  • Photo booth: Create a fun branded backdrop or frame to give attendees a photo op (An added bonus? You’ll improve your chances of attendees sharing your event

4. Engage your audiences before and after the event

why not create an application for your event- Eventbrite and Doubledutch are just two services that offer low cost  social app for your event branded with your own logo.

  • Event lasts longer and people have the ability to connect with friends long after the event
  • being able to network, network, network
  • better audience to advertise next years event
  • Sponsor have better presence, and intern stronger buying power!

 

Courtesy of Doubledutch.me

 

Bryan Peters ,  Meetings Expert  Consultant with American Express Meetings and Events, Questions/ comments? Bryan.peters@aexp.com  or call me at 330-274-7353

MEETINGS EXPERT Consultant, a freelance independent contractor, duly appointed by and working in association with American Express Meetings & Events.  “American Express Meetings & Events” is a service provided by American Express Global Business Travel (“GBT”). 

PBN Blues Series: Willie Dixon – If The Sea Was Whiskey

Today we are going to talk about the addiction of loved ones. As practitioners, we will often be approached in our business life with the requests of a person who has friend, or family member who has a substance abuse problem. The most common situation is alcoholism in this region because of the legality and ease of purchase of liquor and beer.

Because this is a life issue, it is a matter of a controlling magick. For some this might be outside of their regular scope of practical wares. But in this case we are going to be in a setting where controlling work is allowable to the worker’s moral matrix.

The ability to discern the correct products and methodologies regarding each client’s situation is important. It is equally important to address the fact that the issue may be a symptom of something greater going on, or may not be. That is where consultation and divination comes into play.

Yourmanstan
Yourmanstan

A little too quick to call it

Johnny W. has come to you regarding his wife Edith W., the love of his life. They have been married over 20 years. Recently they traveled to Georgia, and once they returned Edith W. began to drink. Not really alarmed at first, Johnny W. began to notice that instead of going out occasionally to drink with friends, she started purchasing liquor.

Johnny W. explains that in the last month Edith W. has purchased liquor by the gallon twice. She drinks on a daily basis, where before now she only would imbibe once every few months. Their relationship is now strained. She is belligerent and hateful in her intoxicated state and seeks out reasons to argue. He is at a loss of what to do.

You decide that what he needs is to sweeten her up with a honey jar to make her listen to him. You have always wanted to try this kind of thing, so you want to experiment.  You add to this a bit of domination oil, and a bit of poppy seeds. You do not pursue the cause of the issue, only focus on his immediate goal of trying to stop the fighting. He purchases your creation and leaves.

A couple of weeks later Johnny W. returns to you. He is heartbroken and angry. His wife’s behavior has gotten worse, and often she is confused about simple things. Though they do not fight as much, the drinking is getting worse. You stand now wondering what to do.

A little closer look

Johnny W. has come to you regarding his wife Edith W., the love of his life. They have been married over 20 years. Recently they traveled to Georgia, and once they returned Edith W. began to drink. Not really alarmed at first, Johnny W. began to notice that instead of going out occasionally to drink with friends, she started purchasing liquor.

Johnny W. explains that in the last month Edith W. has purchased liquor by the gallon twice. She drinks on a daily basis, where before now she only would imbibe once every few months. Their relationship is now strained. She is belligerent and hateful in her intoxicated state and seeks out reasons to argue. He is at a loss of what to do.

You are an experienced worker, so immediately something in this story struck you as significant. This behavior change began after the trip to Georgia. You know that there had to be a catalyst.

Voodoo_doll_Louvre_E27145b
Nude female voodoo doll in kneeling position, bound and pierced with thirteen pins. Found in a terracotta vase with a lead tablet bearing a binding spell (katadesmos). – Marie-Lan Nguyen

You ask Johnny W. why they were in Georgia. He tells you it was a high school reunion. You ask him if he met anyone there that did anything he would find unusual. He tells you that his old sweetheart was there and that she took he and his wife home for a nightcap that evening to catch up on old times. They were offered the hospitality to spend the evening before driving back to their hotel.

You ask if Edith W. is missing any items. He finds this strange, but as a matter of fact she was missing her makeup bag and hairbrush. His old sweetheart had even called him recently to reassure him that it was not at her home. She calls a lot lately. It was at this moment the realization comes across Johnny W. that this is more than carelessness.

You recommend a divination. This allows you and Johnny W. to confirm the suspicion of enemy work. The fact that Edith W.‘s personal concerns are missing is a red flag.

Your reader is able to determine the working and the solutions needed. You assemble the necessary components and consult with Johnny W. about what can realistically happen at this point to reverse the condition.

Because this is a serious situation, you give him a multilevel approach. First cut the work. Then bind the worker next. Simultaneously, he will work to heal his wife and their relationship. Because you feel it is necessary, you give Johnny W. some acacia oil and recommend the “To Quit Drinking” ancestor working found here at mojomoon.net.

Magick without works is hamstrung. You advise him to seek counseling for his wife and himself in order to repair some of the damage.

 

Resources:

Alcohol Abuse and Crisis Intervention: 800-234-0246

Alcohol and Drug Abuse Helpline and Treatment: 800-234-0420

Alcohol Hotline Support & Information: 800-331-2900

PBN Blues Series: “Shut Down Turn Off ” – Little River Band

Clients come and go, but some of them stay with us.  The ones that are the hardest are the ones that follow us home.  Not literally a client accompanying us to our domiciles, no.  I am referring to a case that just won’t let us go on with our days without thinking back to it.  Some part of it just seems to worry at us and we cannot let it go.

Self care and the ability to shut the book on the day is a big part of what it is to be a balanced person, and a successful magickal vendor/worker.  You come into contact with hundreds of people throughout the year.  Taking home spiritual contamination, and the worries of the world, will not allow you to be healthy and whole and effective.  You must draw the line, or be drawn down into an abyss of your own making.

1024px-Langjökull_Abyss
A crevasse (moulin) in the Langjökull glacier, Iceland. – Ville Miettinen, Helsinki, Finland
As we do in this series, let us look at a scenario that speaks to this point.

The less healthy way to process this case

Ajanay W. has come to you with a serious problem.  She began a working over a month ago, under the advice of a friend with a book.  She did not do a divination, so was completely surprised that her life has now imploded.  Not only has she lost the objective she sought to keep, but she has suffered a huge personal set back.  Your heart bleeds for her and you begin to work together on her options, and select some appropriate tools and plans.

In this particular case, she decided to go for a the job position of a coworker.  She felt she was better qualified for the position.  Ajanay W.  did a petition spell and accompanied it with lamp magick.  Unfortunately for her, she did not word it correctly.  She also did not put in a way to undo what she had done.  She has now lost her job, been offered a job for half the pay at another company, and is seen as a troublemaker at her old one.

Ajanay W.  has come to you to try to fix her situation.  Not only did she not follow her friend’s advice, you strongly suspect that she will not follow yours.  You try to make sure you explain clearly what she needs to correct and wish her well.

For the next week, you find yourself thinking about Ajanay W..  You wonder if she is using the tools she purchased correctly.  You ask yourself if you could have added anything.  You replay your conversations in your mind and second guess yourself.  Even after knowing you were correct in what you did, you still keep worrying about her and her progress.  You even think of her at home.  You cannot let it go, and decide to just let it work its way out of your thoughts naturally.

A way that may be a better for your well-being

 Ajanay W. has come to you with a serious problem.  She began a working over a month ago, under the advice of a friend with a book.  She did not do a divination, so was completely surprised that her life has now imploded.  Not only has she lost the objective she sought to keep, but she has suffered a huge personal set back.  Your heart bleeds for her and you begin to work together on her options, and select some appropriate tools and plans.

In this particular case, she decided to go for a the job position of a coworker.  She felt she was better qualified for the position.  Ajanay W.  did a petition spell and accompanied it with lamp magick.  Unfortunately for her, she did not word it correctly.  She also did not put in a way to undo what she had done.  She has now lost her job, been offered a job for half the pay at another company, and is seen as a troublemaker at her old one.

Ajanay W.  has come to you to try to fix her situation.  Not only did she not follow her friend’s advice, you strongly suspect that she will not follow yours.  You try to make sure you explain clearly what she needs to correct.

Before she does anything else, you put together a clearing bath mix for her. You advise her to reconstruct her petition, and then deconstruct it according to a standard technique.  You then advise her to switch from the lamp to a candle so that she can use small incremental changes to her course.  Because they burn for a shorter time, it will be easier to spot issues with her workings more swiftly and make appropriate adjustments.

That night, you find yourself thinking a lot about Ajanay W.  You find yourself bothered by recurrent thoughts of her welfare.  You recognize this is not the way you can maintain your separation from your business life.   You decide to create an affirmation that you repeat several times that ends the day for you.

Example:   And now it comes, the end of the day.  The cares of work are put away.  – Kenya Coviak/Mistress Belladonna

Short and sweet, but it is still effective.  Yours may be a lot longer.   For people who do ongoing work for clients, it will have to be customized to suit your situation.  But the idea is the same.  You also take the added steps of using a cleansing bath and an earth jar spell to shut down the unnecessary connections between you and Ajanay W.

You cannot pour energy from an empty cup, and in order to not leak, you must hold yours upright.  This means not letting others concerns tip you off-balance.  Work time is work time.  Let the laborer rest when the work day is complete.

PBN Blues Series: “Who do You Love” – George Thorogood

There are times when power plays are important, in life and in the magickal/spiritual world.  There really are enemies out there who come after people.  Yes, sometimes it really is you against the world.

Clients, and even other practitioners, may come to you when they cannot lift the workings cast against them.  They may feel hexed, cursed, crossed, or any number of other colorful terms for feeling that they are being attacked magically and/or spiritually.  Witchcraft of the Mouth is the most common form.  So is candle working.  Once the choice has been made on how to counter these things, and this is of course after ascertaining if they even exist, there should always be a follow-up working.

The follow-up is like tying up loose ends.  It sweeps away the debris, and clears the road for progress.  It also facilitates and environment for healing of the client.  After battle, the medics always come in to patch, but long-term care is important for a proper recovery.

When working with your client, you may be tempted to do success work right away.  While this is not necessarily wrong, it can be incomplete.  If they are still emotionally and mentally compromised from the attacks against them they will be hindered.  Experience advises you to suggest clearing work, path opening work, and the critical task of building up their defenses and confidence.  Why help them fight if you do not provide the tools needed to mount a good strong level of protection and defense?  When a person neutralizes malevolent spells and workings, without sending a strong message, it sometimes becomes more dangerous and emboldens the adversaries to up the stakes.  In these cases, it is important to advise the client of ALL options.

Let’s look at a case where this comes into play.

Mattsson_Interrogation_of_the_sorceress.jpg
Mattsson_Interrogation_of_the_sorceress.jpg

Timone V. has been beaten down for a long time.  She has always managed to make things work, no matter how unhappy she may have been with her current project by constantly bending and doing the work that other don’t do.  She even has not made an issue when others came in at the last-minute to do a minor touch on the finished project in order to take credit for the work.

But recently, she hit the wall and reached her limit and spoke up.  Within record time, forces and working were cast against her in an attempt to compel her into submission.  Quietly,  detractors organized and set about a whisper chain to destroy her.  Being a practitioner herself, she was hesitant about acting rashly, so decided to seek an objective opinion.

Timone V. came to your shop and gave you a breakdown of her situation.   You joined together in deciding the best course of action.  You consulted with her in choosing work to stop gossip, to break any compulsions, and to clear her roads.  She did not wish to attack anyone, just to defend.  This was successful, however the attacks resumed and she found herself right back in the same dire straits of being assailed from all sides.  In fact, it became worse, as her enemies doubled down and increased their workings against her.  Now you find yourself in a quandary of what the correct action will be.

Quick and easy, and a little cheesy

You decide to use the honey jar method, as that is the new “go-to” panacea in folk magick popularity.  Using what you have prepackaged on the shelf, you quickly assure her that this is all she needs to fix her situation.   You see no need to explain the principles behind what you are doing, and assure her that her situation will be fixed with this easy remedy.  You see no need for subsequent work.  After all, if she is a practitioner, she should know all the forms of spells anyway.  She leaves your shop, unsure as to why this will work.

Tombstone hand time, or empowering the unsure practitioner/client

Timone V. has been beaten down for a long time.  She has always managed to make things work, no matter how unhappy she may have been with her current project by constantly bending and doing the work that other don’t do.  She even has not made an issue when others came in at the last-minute to do a minor touch on the finished project in order to take credit for the work.

But recently, she hit the wall and reached her limit and spoke up.  Within record time, forces and working were cast against her in an attempt to compel her into submission.  Quietly,  detractors organized and set about a whisper chain to destroy her.  Being a practitioner herself, she was hesitant about acting rashly, so decided to seek an objective opinion.

Antonio de Pereda [Public domain]
Antonio de Pereda [Public domain]
Timone V. came to your shop and gave you a breakdown of her situation.   You joined together in deciding the best course of action.  You consulted with her in choosing herbs to make a powder to stop gossip, to break any compulsions, and to clear her roads.  She did not wish to attack anyone, just to defend.  This was successful, however the attacks resumed and she found herself right back in the same dire straits of being assailed from all sides.  In fact, it became worse, as her enemies doubled down and increased their workings against her.  Now you find yourself in a quandary of what the correct action will be.

You explain that it is like going into a boxing ring and just holding up the gloves to trying to block punches.  Eventually, that person will get worn down, be slow to move,  and be pummeled.  This makes no sense.  The fact that the person does not want to fight does not matter, the opponent will keep swinging until they take them down.  In order to survive the fight, the proper course of action is to block AND strike.  This way, you defend, counter, and have a chance to make it to the end without being on your back and at your opponent’s mercy. If you knock them out, all the better.

Self preservation must be the first law.

Timone V. sees the wisdom of this and decides that it is time to end this cycle of conflict.  She decides to defend herself and also send a clear message of strong defense.  She designs a working that allows her to control the measure of retaliation and attack so that it stays within what she deems the limits of fairness according to her belief system.

In this case, ritual tools are incorporated into the sale.  These include a huge bag of Devil’s Shoe String that will be added to the anointing oil for cord working – turns out she is a textile worker, and some Witch’s Grass.  Items she usually had no call to utilize are now a part of her stratagems.  You have a variety of wares and this enables you to meet her needs.  You also supply her the chance to order additional items from your catalogs.  This extra mile will assure repeated visits and an opportunity to build her magickal toolbox.

You assemble the components and she makes sure she has the tools she needs to empower her working before she leaves.  You client is satisfied and confident, her faith in her own right to defend herself restored.  She also has a new level of faith in her Pagan business owner as well.  You watch her leave, and hear the Thunder in her steps.

 

Laura Jay and the making of Mordred

The making of a movie is magical in itself.  Stories, myths, legends, and tales brought to life through the miracle of film add moving art to our lives.  Art is a blessing, and vision a gift.  The Powers That Be gift some of us more than others, and one of those who they have deemed worthy is Laura Jay.  She is making a story of the legendary Mordred come alive.   Take a look at this project through her eyes as she shares the manifestation of dream.

For those of our readers not familiar with you, can you do a brief introduction of who Laura Jay is and what you are doing?

Laura Jay - used with permission
Laura Jay – used with permission

I am a 36 year old female (I cant really call myself a girl, and “woman” sounds far too “grown up”) from Brixham, a fishing town in the Southwest of England. I have been acting now for 20 years since the age of 16, and directing theatre and film since the age of 20.

How did you begin your career in this field?

Directing really came about through going to film school, and then from the need to set up dramatic projects from scratch. So while acting is my first love, I probably direct more, these days, in order to get local projects off the ground. It stresses me out sometimes, because I miss out on an awful lot of acting, I am trying to redress that balance this year.

Acting is something I always wanted to do. I lived in a small village before moving to Brixham, and had no chance of doing anything, and I literally used to become physically ill over wanting to be involved in performance and theatre/ film. Once I was allowed to head out by myself (when I was 16) I used to walk twice a week to another town where I could get a ferry and a bus, to go to another town in turn where there was a youth theatre group.

When I turned 18, my mother and I moved to Brixham so that I could go to a local college to study drama. I learned a lot of good things and was also one of the few to take the optional film-making class, but I ended up leaving. I couldn’t fit in, where most of my fellow students were there to do drama as an “easy option”, so there was a lot of messing about. I was really disillusioned, and when I went on to university/ film school for my undergraduate degree, with the hope that at degree-level students would take their work more seriously, ( I had, for a while, given up acting.)

However, working on fellow students films, and then living in the city, so that I was able to get involved with community theatre, I soon got my acting mojo back. Over four years, I worked myself into the ground, and completely destroyed my health.  Less than a month after I finished my Bachelor’s degree, at the same time as playing a major part in a production of Les Miserables, and getting my foot in the door at the local BBC radio studios, I had a nervous breakdown and had to move back to Brixham.

There, as health improved, I started looking at local theatre groups, but found them un-adventurous, and for people who only wanted to do amateur theatre as a hobby. I met up with some other local people, who felt as frustrated as I did.  And one evening, while more than a little drunk, I suggested we start our own organisation. And that’s how the South Devon Players was born 10 years ago.

 You have previous works, can you tell us about them?

Previous works in this field have always specialised in historical and mythological subject matter. My student films were always strange mash-ups of history and fantasy – like a pair of lovers who first met in a lifetime in the French Revolution, and then in the 21st century, he couldn’t understand his obsessive feelings for the girl, and ended up as her stalker.   I did a small Arthurian film over two days for my final degree piece, and all sorts of odd things.

Filming Day 2- Mordred and the bandits
Filming day 2- Mordred and the bandits credit Tim Cartwritght – used with permission

When years later we started the South Devon Players, we found we all shared a love of historical subject matter so that became our theme. Often (not always) we have explored local history – a local highwayman most notorious for robbing the local “hanging judge”, a Puritan vicar embroiled in a quite comical but true scandal in the 17th century.

Local folklore links between a nearby town and Troy, we have also looked at the story of a huge storm that destroyed most of our towns fishing fleet in 1866, and the impact that has had on the town to this day (extended breakwater, lifeboat station, etc) … We have also done Shakespearean shows, medieval shows, 1920s cabaret,…

The film itself, Mordred, is a home grown and financed venture.  What was it like to work on them that is different that working on this film?

Mordred, is our first major film as a group. We have done a couple of shorts, and dramatised trailers for theatre shows, but we are combining this as a film and stage show for the first time. It is a lot harder logistically to do as a film than as a stage show, but it also has its benefits.

As a group who exists to showcase skills (most of us are trying to build careers in theatre and film), film reaches a much wider audience with the internet and film festivals. We have also found that the calibre of people applying to be involved changed. Whereas locally a lot of people see theatre as something to do as a hobby or “drop in social ” club and sometimes balk at rehearsing, line learning etc, with film being involved we have a lot of new people who are a lot more interested in career development.  So  our core membership has massively expanded. The atmosphere now is one of the most productive we have ever had, and that is saying a lot as the core theatre people have always been absolutely amazing.

Arthurian lore seems to be the sparkle in the back of your mind then. That heart’ s wish.

The idea for Mordred came from something I have always noticed in dramatic adaptations of Arthurian legends. Depending on the version, Mordred is King Arthur’s illegitimate son or nephew; he usually appears as a fairly one-dimensional “bad guy” in the latter half or third of the adaptation, but doing in-depth reading, especially of some of the really early stories about him, you realise that there is going to be a much more interesting, complex person.

Some early legends, for example, speak of him being charming, compassionate, trustworthy and likable. How then does this tie in with the young man who rebelled against, and ultimately kills King Arthur? It was these questions, leading to more research, then a lot of writing, and yes, some imagination to fill in the gaps, which led to the idea for this story.

Here in the Southwest of England, there are a lot of Arthurian legends, and reputed links to Arthurian sites, so it seemed like an ideal project. It is a dark story, and a tragic one, but it was important to portray both Mordred and Arthur as good men, who became pitted against one another for ideological reasons while both genuinely wanting the very best for their people.

How heavily does the connection to the history of Devon and Cornwall play when casting and writing this film?

Mordred first day of filming - credit Tim Cartwright, used with permission
Mordred first day of filming – credit Tim Cartwright, used with permission

The connection to the history and legends of Devon and Cornwall is strong. Both for logistical reasons and financial reasons, we have had to sometimes skirt around 100%.

We have used the historical landscape strongly in the story.

 The film is set in the early 6th Century, which from our reading of legends, is as close to when it could have happened, is as known, using date timelines from the Annales Cambriae. At that time, the Romans had quite recently left Britain so there was still a strong Roman influence. Devon and Cornwall had reverted to its form as the Celtic kingdom of Dumnonia, and the coasts were under attack from invading Germanic tribes (the Saxons).

We have as far as possible worked with known locations that existed then and original place names from as close to the period as possible. Then we have overlaid the drama across that landscape.

Costuming must have been quite the task, then, with the fusion of cultures. And the sheer fluidity of the time seemed to lend a darkness they would have just shaken off. Was location coordinated to show this mood as well? Or am I completely off my chain in my question?

That saved us actually. We have been linked with some re-enactment groups and have been able to meld in some late Roman stuff that legitimately could have been left behind. We have some great re-enactment teams involved, Morvleydh, The Warriors of Tintagel, being two, who have helped.

We have had to compromise a few things, for sheer availability of things, fabrics, props, etc,.  But we are trying to keep a strong historical feel to it. Locations are sorted out to look the period – yes, which is fun – even in remote places you have hikers, or planes flying over, of background roads, so it is real hard work to find the ideal places for that.

You have had some challenges in this project, from weather, to funding, to location issues. As a Pagan filmmaker, do you find that focus of magickal will has made a significant impact on your perseverance?

As for focused will, I think if we didn’t have that, it would not even get off the ground, and I think that awareness of magickal links to what we are doing, has kept us going in the tough times. A few of us feel that there is a strong element of “meant to be“, with how this project is unfolding.

Many of your cast and crew are Pagan and Pagan friendly. Does this add an extra flavor to the feel of the production?

I keep the answer deliberately vague, as there are people of several different pagan traditions within, or linked to, the project, and all are deserving of equal respect (smiles). I do think that having several Pagan cast (and the rest are certainly not concerned by this), does add a level of knowledge, and characterization, to the production. There is frequent depiction of Druids, but while nothing involves evangelising, and it is taken “as read” as “the characters are Pagan” I think it means that people depict their characters and interact, in a more realistic manner for the period, than someone treating it as “weird and exotic” which all too easily can happen with Arthurian legends.

Did costuming also present a significant financial challenge for you?

Costuming is in some ways a massive challenge, we wanted to keep it as accurate as possible, but have had to compromise on some fabrics, and colours (for example, black as a colour didn’t exist the, but we do make some use of it). We have worked as much as possible with recycled materials, from charity shops and Freecycle, and places like that which have actually been the best source of the fabrics we needed.

Any personal dye alterations with plant dye? I only ask  because some shades are hard to reproduce artificially.

Tea-staining, things like that. Unfortunately we haven’t had the possibility for setting up plant dyes, because of the massive amounts of work involved. As well as rehearsing, costume/prop making, huge amounts of time have been invested in fundraising for the film, crowdfunds, Ebay, a burlesque show, a talent show, yard sales, you name it. Then there are rehearsals, publicity, location scouting, and it takes more hours than exist in the day.

The martial training had to be intense. Would you like to touch on the financial and human costs associated with learning period combat and weaponry?

The physical training is quite hard, there are three fight scenes; two Saxon raids, and then of course the Battle of Camlann between Mordred and Arthur at the end. We have been lucky to have a team of historical reenactors training our actors on Sundays, and several of our actors have also been undergoing fitness training as well in their own time.

Weapons -Credit Tim Cartwright
Weapons -Credit Tim Cartwright

They have had to learn to fight with short swords, seaxes, short-swords and round shields, and spears, – as general techniques, and then specific choreography for planned character fights. What is really good about when it is set, is that we can have female warriors as well, so the girls get a really good look-in as well. 

Everything is real (though blunted blades) other than a couple of “training yard” scenes, where wooden swords are being used.

How hard was it to Foley?

Not too bad so far. We are aiming very much for on-site sound, and with the weapons will be building up a small sound library. But it is too easy for that to sound fake, so we are going for the on-site sound (which is why we have to be so careful of locations where we don’t have modern sounds in the background).

The South Devon Players Theatre & Film Company has established chops, as we call it here, so how much did that help when the call was put out to help finance your project?

We had some professional grant writers working on grant applications, but with current policies towards arts, in the UK, eg, removing drama as a secondary school subject etc, funding for the arts is highly “unfashionable” – the grant writers were helping other creative organisations, as well as us, they have said that there is little trouble getting grants for most things, but it is next to impossible for creative organisations so we have had to raise everything ourselves.

So on the funding, yes, the film is finances in a lot of weird and wonderful ways. We applied for the usual grants of course, but got turned down for being an arts project, a heritage project, and apparently not giving new people opportunities in the performing arts (even though that is our raison d’etre) . Talking to other organisations, there is no funding for the arts or sports, so we have had to concoct other ways to fund raise.

This has been with whatever we can pull together from our group – yard sales, a talent competition at the Pirate Festival, a burlesque show, ebay sales, crowdfunding, school and museum and social club talks, a scifi convention, so its been totally manic, and honestly, exhausting. Members have also contributed from wages, or from their unemployment money even in some cases, we are so determined to make this project happen.

You have quite the cast. What kind of pre-production  comradery stories can you share? Any fun silliness?

The camradery is great in the group. There is a lot of humour, people meet up sometimes for social events in free time. Though now production is underway, that happens a lot less.

New, and existing people, seemed to “click” very well. people are really loyal to the project – they have put a huge amount of time and effort in, and I think we are all fully determined to see it through.

a damp director and two cast, on set, during a passing downpour — with Rich Sandford, Hayley Tink Rushton and Laura Jay - Tim Cartwright
Credit – Tim Cartwright

It is really nice that people are super-supportive of one another.

For a shoot a couple of weeks ago, one chaps motorbike broke down, on his way to filming, and immediately others of the crew went to pick him up, get his bike to safety, he was put up overnight until his bike could be collected for repair. And that’s the kind of support that exists in the team. People really do look after each other

Does having a younger actor, Reece Whitehouse, pose any special challenges?

Doing a project like this, with an age range of literally 10 – 70, is a challenge, especially as this script contains string language, strong violence, and implied sexual violence, as well.  So for the younger people involved, like Reece, it was really important to make sure that both they, and the parents, understood what the project involves.  Because with a small community centre to rehearse in, and when it goes to stage, even though they are not involved in those scenes they will still see or hear them being rehearsed. We also have a designated safeguarding officer on the crew as well. It’s a grey area, which we have covered by being upfront about content, and boundaries, as possible.

Was there any push back against your production locally?

Actually, there has been no local push back against the project, in any noticeable way. Sometimes when things are tough, you do feel that everyone is against you, and you do get the odd bits of small town gossip – like some people thinking that it would be a children’s fairy tale production, and things like that. But overall, there has been no major negative reaction.

You also are all united in raising funds in a wide variety of ways. What are some of the ones that folks here in the United States can use to pitch in their support?

We are in the process of setting up a Patreon account, so if anyone wants to contribute from over the pond, the link is found there as “The South Devon Players Theatre & Film Co is creating Historical themed film & theatre productions, training”. Its still new, so we hope that it will come to be useful, as time goes on.

Finally, if you would have chosen a patron deity for this production, which would you have selected?

The patron deity, well that would be hard. Several people have had interesting encounters and co-incidences with crows in the preparation for this production. This has resulted in a few interesting discussions, depending on peoples interpretation of the crow.

Interestingly, in Cornwall, where we are doing a lot of filming there is a legend that King Arthur became a raven.  And while the crows are of different species that have been encountered, it is an interesting connection. In the woods next to the castle where we are filming Camelot, there are lots of crows nesting (reference King Arthur/ Raven legend: John Rhys book “Celtic Folklore).

We feel that there is a powerful link to past spirits in this project, and other cast members have felt this too. But whatever tradition or interpretation, crows are most definitely linked to this project.

Thank you for sharing this with us. I am honored, once again, to have had a chance to bring some of your work to this side of the pond. May the light of the Lady and Lord give you strength to cross every fyord.

The cast of this project:

The Pendragon family
Mordred – Rich Sandford
King Arthur – Guillaume Rivaud
Morgan Le Fay – Hayley Tink Rushton
Anna – Lizzie Jordan Moulds
Guinevere – Megan Tarrant
Duran – Reece Whitehouse
Gawaine – James Scott
Agravaine – Darius Frost
Young Mordred – Joe Evans (Tagging Mum Amanda Graham)

Other Warriors of the Inner Circle
Galahad – Edward Stewart
Lancelot – Ritchie Crane
Bors – Tim Cartwright
Bevedere – Mark Harris
Percival – Andrew Horigan

Other Dumnonnian / Merryn- based characters
Gitta – Julie Tetley
Lynette – To be cast
Eslyd – Laura Williams
Owain (was Oswald!) – Lino Carlino
Melwyn – Poppy Louise
Merlin – Anthony Webster
Taliesin – Jon Ian Dredge
Derwyn – Laura Jay
Kelwyn – Jo Burgess
Andras – Clare Parker
Kensa – Jodie Marsh
Naythen – to be cast
Iddawg – Paul Potham
Callum – Tor Hudswell

Saxons etc
Cynric – Chris Barnicoat
Eadwulf – Dave Trowt
The saxon interrogated at Isca – Kevin Pengelly
Bandit 2 – John Harding: Wrestler & Actor
Creature – Steven Andrew Stapleton
Saxon raider from start of film – John Harding: Wrestler & Actor

You can follow the project by visiting their

Website:
http://www.southdevonplayers.com

Twitter:
https://twitter.com/sdevonplayers/

Facebook page:
https://www.facebook.com/sdevonplayers

Instagram:
https://www.instagram.com/sdevonplayers1

Youtube:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCtmOdhXgmhWX2tzzP…

If you would like more information on this film, please contact them at  southdevonplayers@gmail.com or telephone them at 07855 090589 (leave a message for a call-back).

The most important detail overlooked by pagan online businesses when building a brand

Building your brand is the most important thing to any business. Your brand is your opportunity to show transparency and offer a welcome mat. It is the hospitality of your business. Consumers want to feel like you know exactly what they’re looking for; they want to trust you. The most overlooked detail when building a brand is that the brand is commonly focused on the owner or operator’s vision. When you only focus on the vision of the owner or operator there is little room to grow your target audience and increase sales.

See most of us were taught that we need to focus on The 4P’s of Marketing which are:

Product or Service: What does the customer want from the product or service? What needs does it satisfy?

Place: Where do customers look for your product or service? If they look in a store, what kind? A specialist boutique or in a supermarket, or both? Or online?

Price: What is the value of the product or service to the customer?

Promotion: Where and when can you get across your marketing messages to your target market? How will you reach your audience will it be by advertising online, in the press, or on TV, or radio ads, or on billboards?

"Drink Coca-Cola 5¢", an 1890s advertising poster showing a woman in fancy clothes
“Drink Coca-Cola 5¢”, an 1890s advertising poster showing a woman in fancy clothes

It’s different now! now we must implement The 4 C’s of Marketing which are:

Customer: Product or service worth, competitive advantage and market positioning.

In order to use the 4Cs marketing concept, you must clearly identify your target audience/customer and keep in mind that you may be targeting more than one group.

Cost: Affordability, satisfaction and value using the 4 C’s you must look at cost from the consumer’s point of view, they are looking for a deal.

Communication: Customer Engagement “What’s in it for them? Social Media Engagement.

Convenience: Purchasing barriers and online sales. In the world of technology, convenience is valuable.

Now that we have a clear understanding of the 4 P’s and the 4 C’s of Marketing.

Now we can see that when selling our products and services we must keep the consumer in mind. In this day in age we have more competitors than ever and our brand must be universal. By Universal I mean expanding your target audience with emotional marketing. Emotional Marketing is when the consumer feels empowered by the message that you are sending through your Advertisements, Logo, Website and ALL of your Social Media Channels.

Let’s take Nike for instance. They truly do have a universal feel and it’s because the focus on the evolution of one’s personal growth and development. Now ask yourself how can you make your product or service have that same effect? It’s quite simply actually…..Implement emotional marketing in the core of your branding.

Image of marketing for Charissa's Cauldron
Image of marketing for Charissa’s Cauldron

You must paint the picture of what it could look or feel like to the consumer. The consumer must have a mental or visual experience that triggers emotions that prompts them to buy and encourage others to have this fabulous experience or product. Your brand must create a moment of magic for each potential customer.

Now that we have all of that out of the way, here comes the fun part. I want you to take time to re-evaluate your brand and make sure your core values still show. Then I want you to ask yourself what will it take to prompt your targeted customer purchase? Really think about it, what would be the best way to experience for you to experience your own product or service? And build from there.

Short Bio

Shalena is hands on with her Family, Friends and her Community, because they are what’s most important to her. She believes in helping other reach their full potential. Raised in the Christian faith as a child she always felt like something was missing, that there was more to life. As life went on she realized that she has a deep connection with nature and began to research religions that were nature based. It was then she found Wicca and now she has Pagan/Christian Roots and Beliefs.

She is the founder of SWINC Corporation, SWINC Marketing and The People’s Tax Company. She created SWINC Marketing in 2014 because she has a passion for help small businesses, entrepreneurs, and nonprofit organizations. She has been a freelance Marketer over the past 7 years. She has helped local schools, small businesses and entrepreneurs on paid and unpaid projects. She understands the need for affordable marketing solutions and genuinely wants to help the small business community.

 

Shalena Ward

Marketing Expert

Multi Business Owner

Pagan/Christian Roots and Beliefs

Wife and Mother

Nature Witch

Luna Dragonfly

www.swincmarketing.com

sward@swincmarketing.com

(248) 733-3792

UnWrapped VOL 1, Issue 1

Some Nights

 

Beads, Beads everywhere, and not one idea to string…”

5946812284_e83bd3a039_b
Hanged Beads by 11×16 Design Studio

As I sit here with a hard cider and an amalgamation of beads, wire, and various other findings, I really wonder if customers appreciate the pieces of us that go into handmade jewelry.

I mean think about it: when you are wearing a handmade piece, you are literally wearing Ashe, or Divinely gifted personal creative energy.

More than that, there is literally someone’s blood (do you know the havoc wire working wrecks upon one’s hands?!?) , sweat, and yes, tears (especially if creativity does not come easy) in a nice shiny and one of a kind package.

And people have the gall to scoff at $25 for a price.

Custom piece
Custom piece

See, while you are looking at that ring that  has been meticulously forged from silver or steel and a dream, what you don’t see is the countless sketches that are trying to capture a beauty that was expressed in a dream. You don’t see the long nights spent trying to steal a quiet moment to create because the babies still need time and love, the dog still needs a bath and a walk, and the bill-paying job’s boss still needs that report and those 8 hours at a desk doing soulless tasks.

You don’t see the 5 or 6 other conflagrations of stone, bead , wire and whatever else that were failed attempts at manifesting this vision. You don’t see the cramped hands and cut fingertips from filing, and weaving and cutting; no what you get to see is this uniquely weaved dream that catches the light like you’ve never seen!

But, hey! Our personal issues aren’t your problem! Nay, why should you pay for the nuances of our personal lives?

Well, you , my dear potential customer, aren’t being asked to pay for these issues. That would be unfair.

However, what you must realize is time is a commodity you really can’t value, and yet can never really recoup. And since we’re Capitalists, the next highest commodity is money. So what you are paying for is the hours ( yes, hours) spent roaming our supply stores for inspiration or that unique cut of quartz you haven’t seen before.

You are paying for the high quality steel, silver, gold, brass, copper, pewter, or silver that is American made.  It is verified not to turn that pretty finger of yours green and blistered. You are paying for that hour spent winding, grinding, and wrapping to make sure everything is the perfect size and shape for your needs and vanity. You are paying for that special box and bag, and you are helping to pay for the opportunity to walk by this table and be able to even see these works of magick up close and personal; because most shows don’t have free tables.

So, out of the maybe $150 dollars it took to deliver, you get to take a piece of me home for $25; simply because I refuse (read: don’t know how) to charge for love.

So yes, you could “have your friend make it cheaper” , but will it be this exact piece? Will it have the passion and energy? Will the care be taken in the selection of materials and methods?

Are you sure?

See, you could put a group of us jewelry makers in a room.Then give us all one project to duplicate with the same tools and supplies.  You will still end up with a different piece from each of us. No two artist are exactly the same.

And while one may be faster, a testament to experience,  that would only affect the labor cost associated. (We artists, as a community, NOTORIOUSLY undercharge for this.)  It still doesn’t take into account the cost of those skills.

 

Want something truly unique for less? Order the supplies (buyer beware on that outrageous deal on metals you say on Ebay) and queue up YouTube. Make sure you get some extras for inevitable trial and error. Then devote about an hour or two…Wait, you don’t have time to devote to all of that?!? Well, you have the same hours in a day as us!

 

However, you have other More Valuable things to do, I bet. That is plausible, for value is in the eye of the beholder. But just like you wouldn’t be able to recoup the time spent learning to make your own piece of jewelry, We’re not able to recoup the time we took to create either.

That $25 suddenly seems like a bargain, huh?

So, next time you run across a handmade item you love, appreciate what it took to create it and present it to you. Respect and appreciation is the one thing that makes nights like this worth it to us sometimes.

 

10365438_864739156921132_1818379449913310550_oOnyoja(Onya) a.k.a Phoenix Nightshade is a Mother, amateur blogger, Science enthusiast, and IT minion who turned a love for jewelry and accessories into an entrepreneurial journey. When she’s not sleeping, working or mothering, She enjoys West African and Afro-Cuban Folkloric dance,African Traditional Spirituality,  Water Aerobics, Personal assistant/Concierge work, Desktop Publishing, and creating and seeking out little pieces of magick for The Butterfly & The Phoenix and Aisiki Collective .

Blog: https://thebuildingofagoddess.wordpress.com/

Website: http://thebutterflyandthephoenix.com (She built it!)

Facebook: Onya Jennings