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 there.
That simple 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 are so common in the beauty industry. Disheartened by the lack of affordable & eco-friendly alternatives available, she began making her own!
What started as a few soap bars made in her kitchen and given away to friends, then turned into the Bestowed Essentials Etsy shop (now closed) with more products in January 2017, a booth at the farmer's market when she wasn't busy with her Navy duties, and then this online zero waste shop.
At the end of her military contract in December 2017, Callee decided to try full-time entrepreneurship for one year to see if she could create a successful career doing what she was passionate about. She also embarked on a journey of traveling the country in a campervan, bringing her tiny but growing production business on the road with her. She lucked into her first stockist for Bestowed Essentials products while passing through Oklahoma City just a few weeks later, which gave her the confidence to began expanding her wholesale line.
2018 was full of adventures all over the USA, though by August the making of Bestowed Essentials had vastly outgrown the limited space available in her campervan, so Callee temporarily made products in a 100 sq ft storage unit in Georgia while she was volunteering on the Stacey Abrams for Governor campaign, and then after the midterms, she moved up to South Dakota where she rented a 500 sq ft room in a commercial complex to use as a production studio and mini storefront.
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, Brenden Fitzgerald, Ashlee Piper, Sharon Rowe, Brendan Synnott, Lindsey McCoy, Sabrina Katz, & many other leaders in the sustainability industry.
2019 brought over 100 new wholesale stockists, a 1325% increase in revenue, and the rapid growth of our team, going from just Callee & a virtual assistant, to the addition of Chesca, Alexzandria, Hannah & Krissy. Learn more about each team member & what they do on our About page!
In December 2019, we moved to downtown Rapid City and opened Hippie Haven - the first & only zero waste store in South Dakota. Our new 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 in 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!