Women empowering women. This is one of Joy Wiggins', Ph.D. speaker, writer, scholar, and facilitator, primary pursuits and passions in life. Our team of women here at Sea Witch Botanicals was able to learn from Joy during her enlightening presentation on how women can support one another in the workplace back in May of this year. She guided the workshop attendees through the history of feminism, how to practice cultural humility, when to recognize how influences around us perpetuate oppression, and the importance of taking up space among many more foundational themes in feminist solidarity. That afternoon, not only did we leave the workshop with tactful tools to improve the respect we have for ourselves and one another, but we also left with a renewed sense of our role in always standing up for what is right when we see it firsthand.
Photo courtesy of Joy Wiggins
To have Joy Wiggins, an incredibly inspiring individual, and teacher, in our community to teach us these important lessons that every woman deserves to learn, is a serious honor. Fortunately, she and Kami J Anderson co-authored “From Sabotage to Support” a book on “a new vision for feminist solidarity in the workplace,” to make the history of feminism along with modern ways to promote inclusivity, accessible to everyone.
Photo Courtesy of Sea Witch Botanicals
So when Joy was able to take time out of her schedule to learn more about why we do what we do here at Sea Witch Botanicals, we were delighted. The women behind starting Sea Witch Botanicals, Alesia Hall and Cat Carnell, seek to provide safe home and body care that has an alternative, non-binary feel to the branding and products. In a sense, the goal is to take the sexism out of the personal care industry, because it in and of itself is extremely guilty of oppressing men and women. In Joy’s article, Alesia explains how it was a pointed decision to draw upon the mythological Sea Witch in the company name, stating,
“Historically, and in modern times, the term ‘witch’ has been used to oppress women specifically. We feel the fragrance industry also oppresses women by polluting their bodies and the environment with known toxins.”
Cat Carnell (left) & Alesia Hall (right).
Photo Courtesy of Joy Wiggins
This foundation is the reason for creating home and body care that is committed to benefiting human health and lessening the impact on the environment. Because the mission is so pivotal to every decision made at SWB, it became clear that third-party certifications from the Vegan Awareness Foundation, 1% for the Planet, Toward Zero Waste, and B Corp were tools to uphold these values as we grow. Joy captured this full-circle, sustainable essence and drive, describing,
“Both Carnell and Hall agree that their greater mission of environmentalism will never work if they don’t work on how happy and productive their employees are, and this includes them. To punctuate their success, in the last five years their business has flourished beyond their expectations and made its way into 200+ stores.”
We thank Joy Wiggins for her inspiring conversation with us and thoughtful article that shines a spotlight on our women-owned business. We feel empowered, Joy. Thank you.
Read the entire Whatcom Talk article by Joy Wiggins here.