With January’s arrival, it’s only natural to spend some time reflecting on the past 12 months, contemplating the many lessons and milestones that marked the last year. 2018 was a pretty big year for us – one of major growth and a sense of having started to finally get our footing.
Certainly it was our busiest year so far, which is a pretty amazing thing to reflect on – that there were times we had to work extra hard to meet the demand, thanks to the incredible support we received (and continue to receive!) from our customers and stockists (we cannot say it enough: you truly the best!). This gaining momentum also meant it was a year of major learning - exploring how to be more efficient and better organized so we can grow at a pace that continues to afford us the ability to focus on what we love (being creative, brewing up goodness and sharing the magic that is botanical self-care!).
Many following along on this wild and crazy journey aren’t aware that the two of us also juggle full-time day jobs and demands in addition to Two Drunk Witches, which means we are constantly learning about the significance of balancing the needs of the business with those of our daily work, alongside the importance of making time for ourselves and our loved ones.
It can be a challenge sometimes, probably moreso for myself, as someone who relies pretty heavily on alone-time to replenish my reserves. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – if it weren’t for Brenda and her exceptional flexibility and willingness to surmount even the most difficult-seeming of challenges, I’d have probably tapped out ages ago. We’ve also said times a’plenty that having the ability to rely on each other for practical and moral support has honestly been the key to our success so far. We realized from the very start of this endeavour just how ridiculously well we complement one another, but what’s even cooler as we embark on this fresh new year is the realization of just how much we learn from each other (that, and how much we learn together!).
Two Drunk Witches began as a kind of whim – the idea was borne rather suddenly, and the two of us dove in without any expectation of what it would become. I like to think, more than two years later, that we’ve been able to maintain that playful, spirited essence that originally inspired us along this journey. Our aim has never been to come off as overly-curated because we embrace the freedom to be creative, to celebrate our cheekiness and to be honest and transparent about the many facets that make up who we are as Two Drunk Witches, and who we are as individuals.
Having embarked on this journey with no expectations, we are constantly humbled by the positive feedback we receive from those who try and love our products, and by the wonderful connections we’ve made in the relatively short time we’ve been doing what we do. We genuinely cannot say it enough: thank you, friends, for the kindness and support you offer us. You never cease to inspire and amaze us, and we are genuinely so ridiculously grateful to you.
Mushiness aside, let’s have a closer look at some of the things that made 2018 a year to remember!
January started off relatively quiet, giving us the chance to map out some of our goals for the months ahead and reflect on what it means to reclaim self-care. We also shared some information that month on what, exactly, a facial serum is after we realized during the preceding holiday season that our Love Drunk, Naked Solstice and Sacred serums were already gaining traction as customer favourites!
February’s arrival marked a big change for us – Two Drunk Witches moved into a dedicated work space, the serendipitous outcome of Brenda’s tenant giving his notice. Up to then we’d been taking over Brenda’s kitchen each week in a frenzy of magic and mayhem, but we couldn’t deny we needed room to expand (and Brenda needed to relinquish her dining room, which had filled to the brim with ingredients and supplies!).
Not only did the studio give us room to grow our inventory, we realized what a joy it was to be able to shut the door on our work and pick up where we left off!
What else of February? Well, we reformulated what had previously been our “Sentir Les Roses” solid perfume into a much more potent, rosier scent with a combination of Rose Absolute, Rose De Mai and Rose Geranium pure essential oils, as well as released our Cocoa Goddess Chocolate Orange Crème - which, by the way, was meant to be a seasonal product timed around Valentine’s Day, buuuuuuut you all have fallen so madly in love with it, we were expressly told it had to become part of the range (expect it to hit the online shop sometime in the new year)!
Then arrived March, during which we were thrilled to welcome Campbell River’s Healthyway Natural Foods as a new stockist, as well as Parksville’s Shades of Green! March also marked our very first time formally vending, making our debut at Cobble Hill’s Inspired Crafted Market’s Spring Modern Handmade Market. The two of us spent hours at the kitchen counter the night before meticulously cutting and dating labels, slowly working our way through a bottle and a half of shiraz (oops). The market itself flew past in the blink of an eye, and we finished the day overwhelmed with gratitude for the support we received, exhausted but giddy (that may also have been due in part to the double-shot espressos Brenda grabbed from the nearby coffee shop!).
April was when we first started noticing folks sharing our products on social media, which began to make things feel really real - to know that the recipes we mix, the bottles we fill and the labels we painstakingly apply by hand wind up as part of someone’s self-care routine! We were also excited in April to announce downtown Victoria’s Lifestyle Market and Self Heal Herbal Centre as brand new stockists, making our products more widely available to the local community!
Still with us? In May we celebrated reaching 400 likes on Facebook (WHAT!), introduced a selection of 100% pure essential to our range, and spent an afternoon vending at the whirlwind craziness that was the Village Block Party. We were also proud to announce two exciting new stockists, Salt Spring Island’s Country Grocer, and Courtenay’s Cause and Effect Wellness!
May was also when we highlighted the benefits of our Flower Power Natural Deodorant, and seriously: we can hardly keep this baby in stock in spite of our deliberations about introducing a deodorant to the range (we even had someone buy the tester at a discounted price at a market last month because she was so determined to get her hands on it, which, we have to admit, was a pretty cool endorsement!).
June – we’re halfway there! The more markets we started to take part in, the more questions we began to receive about the products themselves – and that’s what inspired us to share some details on the ingredients we rely on, from the various oils and fats we use, to some of the other components, like aloe and rosehip! We also introduced our new Colony of Hippies 100% Pure Essential Oil Blend to the line in June (you asked, we listened!), as well as our Fountain of Youth Nourishing Under Eye Cream!
July was a relatively quiet month - we shared some more information on the lesser-known ingredients that make up our formulas, as well as some tips for keeping summer skin well-hydrated, but perhaps the most notable event was the deadbolt on the studio’s back door spontaneously breaking while Brenda was away on summer holiday, amid a flurry of orders from our stockists and customers, no less! (Thankfully, she was able to mail her front door key from far-away Savary Island, after which I got a whole slew of spare keys cut to prevent any more instances of worst case scenario).
August, like July, remained low-key as well, although we did announce the UVic Bookstore as our newest stockist! Otherwise, the quietness of the month gave us the chance to enjoy the peak of summer with our family and friends, warranting another acknowledgment of what makes partnerships so damn amazing – that each of us had the opportunity to take some much-needed time off during the summer months without fretting about the well-being of the business (hell yeah)!
With September’s arrival we slowly eased back into our regular routine, starting the month off vending at the amazing Metchosin Day (it rained torrentially for the larger part of the afternoon, but that didn’t stop the community from coming out and enjoying what was one of our favourite events of the year!).
We also participated in our very first workshop, Self-Care Made Simple, hosted by Pause: Gatherings for Women. Whooooo boy, talk about nervous – I literally had to take a moment during our presentation to catch my breath, but alas! The lovely energy cultivated by the event’s organizer, Kathy, and the positive support from the attendees, quickly cancelled out any more reason to be anxious! (The workshop was such a success, in fact, we’re looking forward to participating in another one this spring!)
We laid low in October, working mostly behind the scenes to prepare for the upcoming market season.
And then it was November, the month of vending every weekend – which was exhausting, yes, but also rewarding in that it gave us the precious opportunity to connect directly with people using and purchasing our creations!
We also did something pretty crazy in November: we took part in the BC Children’s Hospital’s Festival of Trees! Many weeks were spent creating the ornaments for the tree, and we wound up absolutely tickled by how it all came together. Most of all, it was a joy to be able to contribute to such a great cause, and to know that the donations we received as votes for our tree went to supporting B.C. kids! (And, to our amazement, our tree ranked in the Top 10 twice in a row!)
And then, as if November weren’t crazy enough, we also had the privilege to spend some time with Santa Claus himself, a pretty special experience, especially considering he took time out of his busy schedule to ham it up with a couple drunk witches!
Before we knew it, it was December and the arrival of – unbelievably! - our Third Annual Two Drunk Witches Gathering at Brenda's house - a total trip when we reflected on how much has changed since our original gathering in 2016!
We ended the busy-ness of the season at Nanaimo’s Vancouver Island Market, an extremely well-organized three-day market event during which we were literally bought of out nearly all our inventory (like seriously, Nanaimo: you blew us away!). It was one heck of a holiday season, and by the end of it, we were ready to cozy up in the company of our family and friends and savour the final days of the year.
As for the year ahead, we've been slowly shaping our vision - looking forward to cultivating more creativity, more connection, more community.
And we cannot wait to share it with you.
Happy new, year, witches.