Starting a witchy shop is so exciting! Bath and body products are hot, hot, hot and sell really well. Overall, the difficulty of starting a business like this is about a 3 on a 1-10 scale. The products can be easy, simple, and inexpensive to create. Shipping isn’t too bad, and it’s free to start on Etsy. You can use my link to get 40 free listings to get you started.
I’m passionate about helping others start and grow their businesses. I’ve owned dozens of shops over the year, both online and in-person, and I have absolutely loved every adventure they’ve taken me on! Except that one time I sold LuLaRoe, but we won’t talk about that…
Before you jump into designing products and setting up an Etsy shop, set aside some time for self-reflection. Why do you want to start a shop? Who are you going to help? Who is your ideal customer? Just like any business, you’re going to have to do some research. Fortunately for you, I’ve done a lot of research already so you don’t have to do as much! I’ve condensed it all into this blog post. Feel free to email me ([email protected]) if you have any questions at all!
How can you stand out?
The main question you need to ask yourself is “how can I be different?”. There are sooooo many witchy shops out there! What makes yours special? What are you passionate about? What can you incorporate into your business that others may not have? What have you seen others fail at, that you can do better? What are they doing well at, that you can also add to your own business?
How to research other Etsy shops
Whether you’ll have a stand-alone shop, a Shopify store, an Etsy shop, or a combination, you need to assess the competition. What are they selling? Check Etsy for “best seller” badges. If you find a shop you really love, check out their sales. While some shops hide the sales they’ve made, the majority of shops do not. Visit the Etsy shop, and to the left (towards the bottom), you’ll see a number of sales and reviews.
Take a few moments to browse what’s sold for each shop, and also take a few minutes to browse reviews. You can learn so much from reviews! If a customer mentions that the product arrived broken, that’s your sign to make sure you have packaging down really well before shipping anything out. If a customer complains about a scent being too strong or not strong enough, that’s a reminder to include details in your listing about how strong the scent is. Of course each person will have a different opinion, and reviews are to be taken with a grain of salt, but the information you find can be invaluable to your business.
I write hand-written notes with every order. Even as my shop grew, I made sure I kept up with those. Half of my reviews mention the hand-written note, or when someone shares my products online, many times they talk about the hand-written note. It takes a little extra time, but it truly is worth it. It’s an investment you’re making in your customers, and that’s important.
Don’t get caught up in comparing yourself to other businesses, and don’t spend too much time doing research. Yes, your business should be well-researched, but if you fall down the rabbit hole of Etsy shops, you may never come back out! The goal here is to look around, glance at a few shops, take some notes, and move on to taking ACTION… making your products.
Where to buy supplies
When I’m shopping for supplies for my business, my requirements are simple:
– least negative impact on the environment as possible (glass vs plastic, recycled boxes and fillers, etc)
– affordable, so I can pass that savings onto my customers
I shop locally when I can (like for honey, herbs, and other botanicals), and I grow my own supplies when I can (like sage, roses, etc). Be sure to compare prices, INCLUDING shipping! Shipping almost always costs a fortune, but some suppliers offer free shipping on orders over a certain amount, so I use them as often as I possibly can.
I use a spreadsheet to track price per ounce, which makes price comparison easy across all suppliers. Sometimes I’ll pay a little more for one supply so I can order everything from one place, especially if they offer free shipping.
Decide on the look or aesthetic you’re going for when you are first coming up with branding concepts for your new witchy business. Look at other businesses for inspiration, and use their ideas as a jumping off point for your own. Steer clear of copying other artists, no matter HOW much you love their look. You want to stand out! If someone sees your photos, you want them to know it’s your shop. Branding needs to carry across your packaging, photographs, and social media.
I order most of my jars from Amazon, because they’re cheap and they ship fast. The suppliers I’ve found for jars seem to be more expensive, and you have to place a large order of 100 or more. While ordering 100 jars at once sounds nice, I have several products and need different sizes of jars so it’s just not realistic for me to order 100 of 6 different jars. As your business grows, you may find yourself fortunate enough to play huge orders with suppliers. It’s a blessing, take it and run with it! Until then, don’t feel bad if you need to order from Amazon to get the best deal.
nuts.com – My #1 supplier! I use nuts.com for most of my organic herbs, salts, and teas. MOST of the time, nuts.com is going to be your cheapest and highest-quality option for herbs, salts, and teas. With that being said, be sure you still check prices across the board. A few of their items, you can get elsewhere for less. The free shipping aspect sometimes makes it worth it to buy from nuts.com, but it’s still something I want you to be consciously aware of. Supplies add up fast and they eat into profits if you aren’t careful.
starwest-botanicals – I’ve ordered some teas and other herbs from starwest, as their prices are fair.
I also found this list helpful: Guide to Starting a Handmade Soap Business
Packaging and shipping
For some reason, packaging and shipping is the hardest part of any business for me. No matter what I’m creating, it’s just a pain in the ass for me to think about shrink wrap, bubble wrap, tissue paper, stickers, boxes, etc. One thing I hate is when I create a product and it’s a different size than my other items, so I have to order a whole new box size! Keep these things in mind while crafting your products. Having products that fit into 2-3 different boxes or bubble mailers is ideal, so you don’t have 293,231 boxes sitting around your home or office. 🙂
I use Supply Hut for about 90% of my boxes. I love U-line but their shipping is outrageous, which makes the boxes too expensive for my pricing structure.
I use Pirateship.com for shipping. It has tracking, integration with USPS, works with my label printer, and saves me money. It’s also extremely easy to use.
7 simple bath & body projects to start with
Know nothing about making soap and bath and body products?? THAT’S OKAY! It’s going to take some trial and error, and it’s up to YOU to come up with your unique perspective, but making these products is a fairly simple, affordable process once you get all of your supplies gathered. Initially, there’s an upfront investment for jars, materials, branding, etc. But as time goes on, you’ll be able to buy supplies in bulk and you can use profits from your business to reinvest and grow.
You can start an entire business based on tutorials from Brambleberry and SoapQueenTV. The tutorials are quick, easy to follow, and they have all ingredients linked on their website. Brambleberry doesn’t have the cheapest prices for most supplies, so be sure to compare ounce for ounce pricing before making a purchase. The projects listed here are all suited for beginners, and are fairly unique – meaning I haven’t seen them all over Etsy yet.
Crystal Bath Bombs
Crescent Moon Bath Bombs
Crescent Moon Soap
Heart Lotion Bars
Rose Hips Bath Salts
Seaweed Clay Face Mask
Like with the bath salts, you could build an entire product line around clay face masks!
You can make these similarly to how I make my spell oils, with clear intentions for each.
How to make any product “witchy”
If you’re browsing YouTube and find a DIY project but it doesn’t seem like it would fit in your shop, don’t fret! Anything can be made into a witchy product. The most important part about making witchy items is your intention. Infuse your intentions, and use essential oils and herbs that correspond to what you’re trying to accomplish, and you’ll have no worries!
For example, I sell a Rich Witch spell oil. The oil is simple; it contains almond oil, citrine chips, gold flakes, and essential oils that work well for manifesting money. The goal of this oil is to help the recipient manifest money. To do this, I infuse my intentions into each bottle as I create it. I think about who will be receiving it, and how I want to help them manifest wealth and abundance.
While designing your products, decide what your intention is first. Next, collect your ingredients that correspond with your intentions. Then, infuse your intentions during the creation process.
So, now what?
Think about the possibilities with each project I listed above. You can create an entire business based on one product, get REALLY good at that one product, and then expand. Looking to start a witchy bath and body business in the cheapest way possible? I suggest starting with bath salts. You can create a different spell or intention for each salt, creating an entire line dedicated to Zodiac signs, deities, and even phases of the moon! Full Moon Bath Scrub… yes, please! Love Spell Bath Salts… yes, please! Don’t allow yourself to get distracted by all the pretty things you can make. Pick one and focus your intention 110% on just that. Then, as your business grows, you can expand.
Alternatively, if you have a little extra money and time to invest, go ahead and start with 2-3 different products: bath salts, body wash, and bath bombs, for example. Whatever you can make that is inexpensive, and doesn’t take too much energy, I say go for it. I try to be mindful of how much time each item will take to craft, because that affects my pricing. I’m working on a pricing guide that will be up within the next few weeks, so check back for it soon!