The founder of Austin Witches Circle opens a storefront to provide magical handcrafted items to the Austin community.
By Shelby Woods, Photo courtesy of Yarrow & Sage
If you’re looking to keep the spookiness of Halloween going after the holiday, visit Yarrow & Sage on 53rd Street. This business is unique not only for its handmade crafts, but also because it is managed by three of Austin’s witches.
Yarrow & Sage is an apothecary and arts co-op arranged inside a renovated house shared with two other businesses. The interior is decorated with handmade crafts—all possessing a magical theme. Vendors at Yarrow & Sage include everything from silversmiths to herbalists. The working members pay $80 to work one eight-hour shift per month, allowing them to keep 100 percent of their profits.
Jessica Beauvoir is one of the curators of Yarrow & Sage and the founder of Austin Witches Circle. She’s been organizing weekly markets for the circle in Austin for the past three years and said she has always had an idea for some sort of community storefront.
“I knew a co-op was going to be the most functional business model with our community-oriented values,” Beauvoir says. “But combined with the apothecary stuff, it has a little bit of a broader variety than just an arts co-op.”
Beauvoir and the other two curators, Kristi Lewis and Kayla Garland, plan to hold workshops at Yarrow & Sage to teach patrons various elements related to their store, such as how to identify plants. Lewis, a silversmith, wants to teach prospective students how to make a basic silver ring. The three also have an idea for a community gardening project, for which they’d get the help of one of the group’s most popular members, Cedar Stevens, who used to have her own business where Yarrow & Sage is today.
Stevens says the land on which Yarrow & Sage sits is as magical as its owners. Before the curators of the co-op worked on it, Stevens, who, as the group claims, is the most famous witch in Austin, used to have a natural magic shop there. Stevens’ business was on the grounds for exactly seven years, seven months and seven days, and in that time, she says she blessed and concentrated the land thousands of times.
“The whole area has a magical dwelling,” Stevens says.
She now sells her ritually crafted potions and tools at Yarrow & Sage, and has gained popularity in the community throughout the years.
Although the witch community is close, not all members practice the same sort of magic. Beauvoir says she enjoys the combination of magic and medicine, similar to alchemy. Lewis is a self-described “home witch,” meaning she practices magic at home. She pulls from different kinds of ideology, so she doesn’t identify with one specific practice. Outside of magic, she is interested how being a witch has given her a place in society.
“We are women who are owning our own power and doing things outside what society expects from us. Back in the day, that would get you labeled as a witch,” Lewis says. “Now we get to have a storefront where we talk about the things that we love and hopefully empower other women to do the same.”
What all three witches have in common is their passion for nature.
“I pull my power from the earth,” Garland says. “We’re all super respectful of nature and appreciative of it.”
Yarrow & Sage is open Wednesday through Sunday, and offers a variety of witchy crafts. Visiting the store enables guests to support local artists and participate in a community that is just one of Austin’s many subcultures.