Witchy Woman World Apothecary promotes healing through bath and body products


Photo courtesy of Sara Shaaban

Sara Shaaban handmakes all of her bath and body products.

Talia Winiarsky, Reporter

Sara Shaaban spent the summer of 2020 with her children after being laid off from her restaurant job due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

That September, she made a body scrub for a friend and posted a picture to her Instagram story. To her surprise, she received a flood of messages. She couldn’t say no to requests for her homemade products, and began creating them for more people. 

That post was the beginning of Witchy Woman World Apothecary, Shaaban’s business, which sells homemade bath bombs, body scrubs, lotions and other products. About a month after her business took off, she moved into a storefront on Elmwood Avenue and Main Street, where she has remained since. 

Shaaban wants her products to be both internally and externally healing, she said. She believes in the idea of “self-cherishing,” which she said is a richer experience than self care. 

“(My products) can be just nice-feeling lotion or beautiful bath bombs, if that’s all that someone wants to see from it,” Shaaban said. “If you’re open to it, there’s like a whole other world of great intention and an element of spirituality, and elements of self empowerment.”

The idea of healing naturally has been deeply rooted in Shaaban’s identity, growing up in Singapore and Brunei. 

When she was 4 years old, Singaporean doctors warned Shabaan’s mother that she would die of a grave case of mononucleosis. Her mother, however, refused to accept this outcome. Leaving the hospital, they instead went to a doctor who practiced natural Chinese medicine, and Shabaan healed. 

Customer and friend Chelsea Yarborough met Shaaban at a Christmas market last winter, and the two quickly became friends, she said. In addition to the high-quality ingredients, she said Shaaban’s mission of healing sets her products apart, taking on a spiritual quality. 

“I experienced Spirit and God through her products because they helped me be more whole and more centered in myself,” Yarborough said.

Meeting the community is one of Shaaban’s favorite parts of owning her business, she said. 

Shaaban and her one employee, Terra Kliegle, usually make conversation with customers as they shop. Dana Phelan, a customer shopping on Tuesday, said the friendly environment Shaaban creates adds to the healing effect her products bring. 

“The way (Shaaban) speaks to people though is that they are worthy of something like this, which just adds to the inclusion and love aspect of everything,” she said. “People believe that it’s okay and safe to say, ‘I actually do deserve a special experience.’”

Shabaan attempts to create a special experience with the store’s environment. The scent of essential oils envelops customers when they walk inside the store. Paintings and gold mirrors adorn the walls, and second-hand furniture fills the floor. The decorations have some distinctly personal touches, too — the wedding photo of Shaaban’s grandparents sits atop an old desk. 

Shaaban’s business has been steadily growing since she started; she hired Kliegle in July to help her with tasks like packing and putting products on the floor. 

Kliegle said Shaaban’s products are successful because her customers feel the love Shaaban puts into her work. 

“Every little tiny detail you would not even think of is like so thought out,” Kliegle said. “More people want to give to that because they see how powerful it can be.”

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