Dannica Coyote of Santa Rosa Beach identifies as a basic witch.
What started out as a play on words for her online business, Basic Witch Boutique, quickly grew to a more pronounced mission of reclaiming the word “witch.”
“If you look up historically what a witch is, it was a woman who is in tune with nature,” Coyote said. “Women are so powerful. Our bodies are a portal that ushers spirits into this realm, and the way our bodies are created, we are completely guided by the earth. So, if you consider a witch to be that, then every woman is a witch because we are completely cycled by the moon and earth and nature. It doesn’t have to be a negative connotation.”
Basic Witch Boutique offers handmade, natural skin-care products and curated clothing items. Coyote said the business grew out of a need she had for organic skin-care products.
“It started out as a botanical business with handmade, natural and organic balms, salves, creams and skin care,” she said. “It started because I have chemical allergies and can’t use most products sold in stores without breaking out in a rash.”
Coyote went to Everglades University to study natural medicine, fueled by the inspiration of her heritage and strong female ancestors. Last year, she said, her husband prompted her to start using her knowledge to launch her own skin-care line, and Basic Witch Botanicals was born.
“I was drawn to natural medicine because I want to specialize in Native (American) medicine,” she said. “My great-grandmother, ‘Big Mama,’ was a midwife, and she would always come up with natural remedies to take care of things. There is a better and more natural way to do things, and I want to strive to be more like her.”
Coyote even has an unofficial mascot for her business — her black cat, Jinx.
“Jinx was a stray cat that showed up after our family cat, Mowgli, passed away, and it’s funny because he looks just like him,” she said. “We started feeding him and he never left.”
Jinx has his own stake in the company as he often brings items from the wild in, and Coyote finds ways to incorporate them into her products.
“What’s really special about him is that he kills things and brings things to me, and I will use their feathers and bones in my dreamcatchers and jewelry so it won’t go to waste,” Coyote said. “He’s a really cool cat.”
As for the fashion side of the store, Coyote said her products are things she has found that she likes and that fall into “modern witchy” styles.
“It’s like Halloween things for life,” she said, laughing. “I have just always loved Halloween and more of the style that happens that time of year. My husband and I actually started dating on Halloween, so it’s always been dear to my heart.”
Find Basic Witch Boutique online at http://basicwitchboutique.com or follow it on Facebook and Instagram by searching Basic Witch Boutique.