When Sarah Midnight was planning to launch her business, she knew she didn’t want to host a traditional launch party.
Midnight owns Midnight Raven Studios, a handmade metaphysical shop that creates high-quality witchery products. As she values witchery and wellness, she named the event “Witch and Wellness”.
Since then, the event has grown into a local phenomenon, taking place four times a year.
On Oct. 28, 2022, Witch and Wellness hosted the Spells and Stardust market at 44 Gaukel St. Despite the grim weather, the market was well attended and received by the community.
The event included 39 vendors from the region and other nearby cities, like London and Toronto.
“People came out in droves for the event. And it was one of my most successful markets as a vendor ever and the most successful event I’ve ever [run] by far,” she said.
The first Witch and Wellness event was small—Midnight said there were roughly four people involved, including a couple of vendors and tarot readers. But the response from the Kitchener-Waterloo community was incredible. She started to realize the event was resonating with KW residents.
Then, as COVID-19 restrictions started to lift and things started opening up again last fall, the city reached out to Midnight and asked if she would like to host an event.
“I thought that was kind of the perfect time to expand the idea of Witch and Wellness and bring it to a broader audience. And it kind of created the perfect Halloween festival for the city. And so we decided to do it,” Midnight said.
Midnight brought her friend Kayden Mya Holmes on board to help coordinate more programming, food trucks and live entertainment.
“This was originally [Sarah’s] baby. She wanted to bring someone on the team and asked me and I was really thrilled to be able to connect in community spaces,” Holmes said.
Although they’ve known each other since high school, the two reconnected at a local market.
Holmes owns the health and wellness business My Life In Green, which was born out of zero-waste projects.
My Life In Green started with skincare that Holmes referred to as ritualized and intentional. Holmes has now moved into service spaces and is learning practices like sound healing, reiki and crystal healing.
Since then, the market has continued to grow, taking place in DTK four times annually.
Holmes said bringing the community together is an important aspect of Witch and Wellness, citing LGBTQ+ and BIPOC communities as well as those with a basic curiosity for witchery as some of the folks who make the market so special.
“Creating safety and spaces for them to show up and be their authentic selves…That’s kind of our goal, is to just offer spaces for people to explore and to learn,” Holmes said.
Midnight said the queer community specifically has been instrumental to the success Witch and Wellness.
“When we did this event, for the first time last, last Halloween, we did a survey and found out that 46 per cent of the audience that comes is LGBTQ+, which is a huge number. And that’s why we expanded to do events like pride fest as well to have a space for witchy queer folk in KW,” Midnight said.
The latest Witch and Wellness market hosted an all-ages ticketed event called Tarot & Drag. The event included a drag performance with Xtacy Love and live tarot from A Medium Named Bri. There was also an opening discussion about pronouns where attendants received a free pronoun pin.
Many of the makers say they started or expanded their businesses during the COVID-19 lockdowns, often out of necessity. Witch and Wellness was a place to reach a new customer base and connect with other supportive makers.
“The Witch and Wellness market that I did in the summer was like one of [the] best events I’ve done so far. It was really good. I went home at the end of the day feeling amazing. And I’ve met so many cool people,” Bee Fawn, owner of The Night Forest, said.
Elise Pipia, owner of Sweet Reverie still remembers what it felt like to sell her first piece of jewelry and said the feedback she receives from cust,omers at Witch and Wellness has been amazing.
“It’s like someone appreciates your art. And so much that they want to wear it. I feel like that’s the biggest compliment,” she said. “At the end of the night, I’m exhausted. But my heart is so big, just [meeting] a ton of new friends. Honestly, that’s my favorite thing.”
Elise Pipia is a former contributor of The Community Edition.