Beach Witch Beginnings...
Beach Witch Bars was born one afternoon in the spring of 2020- as bartenders in the middle of Covid shutdown, my now-husband Justin and I were for the first time faced with plenty of down time to enjoy life- cooking, reading, binging Tiger King. Like a lot of others, we had also downloaded tiktok to pass the time and I had started to watch some soap makers- it was really interesting to see the cold process soap method- oils, lye, all the colors swirling together and a month later, your own soap! I thought I would order some things online and get started making some bars at home.
Covid lockdown continued and we were staying plenty busy and loving it- although Justin had started having some really strange headaches. Wild migraines, vision splits, black spots and dizzy spells. We had time to call some doctors, but no one was going in for appointments so like so many, we just kind of let it slide. That is, until one nurse called and put all of his symptoms together on her own. She said he needed to come into the hospital right away for an MRI. We still don't know who she was, but we know she saved his life- our lives.
The brain tumor was the biggest the neurosurgeon had ever seen. It was benign, an acoustic neuroma- but it was so large it was pressing against the parts of Justin’s brain that controlled his vision, and it had completely crushed his left ear- he would be deaf in one ear forever. He went in for surgery right away- I was not allowed to be there- it was the longest 18 hours of my life.
He was in the hospital for ten days post surgery and he came home a different person. The tumor and surgery had damaged his vocal cords, he couldn’t swallow properly, and his balance nerve was damaged so he would have to practice walking. Still, with us being out of work that meant we had the time- I had the time- to care for him from home. As scary as this was, I considered it a blessing.
A month into his recovery, Justin proposed. In sickness and in health had taken on new meaning- and all the while, I was still making soap. People liked it and they wanted to buy it! My recipes improved and so did my style; I started using full moon water, paying attention to each moon, tide and used my witchy love of herbs to make infusions that made each bar unique as well as beneficial.
When it came time for me to return to my full time General Manager position at a very busy Boston bar, I knew things would never be the same. My wild life of all work and no play, the 4am nights into early mornings was no longer an option- family had to come first. Life is too short, our time together is too valuable. I made the choice to put in my two weeks and focus on bringing Beach Witch Bars to life from home.
Soap making had become more than just a hobby, it was a turning point in my life in which I realized I could no longer be governed by all consuming work for someone else. Beach Witch is mine- my mistakes are mine, my successes are mine, the love this project has brought into my life, our lives- is monumental. I will continue to grow and learn, and I hope you’ll come along with me.