History of Bestowed Essentials & Hippie Haven
It all began in September 2016 when Christianna, better known by her nickname Callee, visited New Orleans during leave from the US Navy and purchased a bar of natural + handmade soap from a small gift shop.
That simple bar of soap was the first thing that ever actually helped soothe her acne-riddle skin, which prompted her to do more research into the ingredients and production of the skincare products she had been using for years.
Callee was dismayed to learn of the toxic chemicals and animal testing that’s so common in the cosmetic & skincare industry. Disheartened by the lack of natural + affordable alternatives available, she began making her own!
What started as a few bars of vegan soap made in her apartment kitchen and given away to friends, then turned into the Bestowed Essentials Etsy shop (now closed) with a few more products in January 2017, a booth at the local farmer's market when she wasn't working at her job in the US Navy, and then this retail website in July of 2017.
At the end of her military contract in December 2017, Callee set off to follow her dream of traveling the country in a campervan, bringing her tiny but growing production business on the road with her. She lucked into her first retail stockist for Bestowed Essentials while passing through Oklahoma City just a few weeks later, which gave her the confidence to began expanding her wholesale line and eventually seeing her products available in dozens of stores around the country.
2018 brought adventures all over the USA, though by that August, the making of Bestowed Essentials had vastly outgrown the space available in the campervan, so Callee temporarily worked out of a storage unit in Georgia while she was volunteering on a political campaign, and then moved up to South Dakota in late November 2018 to open a production studio.
Also in 2018, Callee started the Hippie Haven Podcast, a free weekly resource on how to live harmoniously with ourselves, others & the planet. New episodes are released every Wednesday on all major podcasting apps. Past guests include Polly Barks, Kathryn Kellogg of GoingZeroWaste.com, Ashlee Piper - author of Give A Sh*t, Sharon Rowe - CEO of EcoBags, & many other leaders in the sustainability industry.
2019 saw a rapid increase in the size of our team, going from just Callee & a virtual assistant, to the addition of Chesca, Alex, Hannah, Kelly & Krissy. Learn more about each team member & what they do on our About page!
In December 2019, we moved into downtown Rapid City and opened Hippie Haven - the first & only zero waste store in South Dakota. This new downtown location is now the home of both Hippie Haven (our retail store) & Bestowed Essentials (our production company).
Our goal for Bestowed Essentials is to continue expanding our bulk / refillable product line & partnering with more stockists around the US & Canada. We plan to have a dedicated manufacturing warehouse in Rapid City by summer 2021.
Our goal for Hippie Haven is to open a second location in Salem, Oregon by Feb 2021, and the ultimate dream is having multiple Hippie Haven locations throughout the country, in mid-size cities that don't yet have many sustainable resources, because we believe that everyone should be able to live a lifestyle in alignment with their values. Thank you for supporting the work we do + the dreams we have!