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March 28, 2018

WITCH, PLEASE

Five minutes with Cobin Chamberlin, the fashion-writer-slash-modern-day-witch behind Sage & Salt

We’re obsessed with Smokeless Smudge. When it first arrived at Forty Five Ten, it sold out in a matter of days.
It’s our hero product, for sure. I originally made it for myself when I was working as a full-time fashion journalist. There can be a lot of negativity and vanity in that industry; living as a witch I would get so grossed out by all the funky, bad energy. I would have a meeting in my office and immediately after would want to clean the whole place with sage smoke. So, I made a spray with white sage and palo santo that I could use in the office, cabs, hotels… That was seven years ago.

When did you decide to start Sage & Salt?
It really began with Smokeless Smudge. I was making it for myself, but friends and everyone at Condé Nast, wanted it, too. Two years ago, I started selling it and it’s been non-stop since then.

Now you’re making dusts charged by the full moon, intention oil, manifestation candles…
I wanted to create products for people who are energetically aware themselves—things to help nudge their manifestation and wishes. Everyone on my team is a witch, so everything is made with fantastic intention. And you don’t have to worry about cutting your own lavender or making sure your amethyst is ethically sourced.

What does it mean to be a witch in 2018?
People have a lot of negative conceptions about witches and misguided beliefs that we eat babies or worship satan. For me, in a modern sense, being a witch is being connected to the energy in nature, in crystals, and in the stars—and seeking magic everywhere.

So, no broomsticks?
Oh, I have broomsticks. Besoms are bundles of small twigs on a stick—good for clearing the house of bad energy. And I have cauldrons, too. About five or six. And a grimoire, or book of shadows, that I keep my spells in.

Are those essential parts of being a witch?
There’s no formal route to being a witch and no two witches are the same. It’s all about fostering a strong magical connection and psychic gifts.

When did you realize you had those gifts?
My sense of mystery and magic came from my mom. She didn’t consider herself a witch, but there was a lot of mysticism and magical ways in our household in Arizona. It also goes back to my grandma, who’d take sage baths to cleanse herself of unwanted energy.

When did you decide to become a witch?
I remember my grandma telling me stories about her mom growing up in New Mexico and how ranchers would hire a woman to help find water. She could just sense the energy of water underground. I’ve always known that I was special and magical. Around the age of five is when I started getting into some really witchy stuff.

Five!?
I think you’re born a witch. Kids have a very strong attraction to nature; I was just able to acknowledge my witchy existence early on.

The Details: Chamberlin, in “full witchy garb,” along with a load of crystals, spell dusts, and bottles of Smokeless Smudge, will be at Forty Five Ten on April 5 from 2–4 p.m. Come say hello and pick up some of his good energy. 1615 Main Street. Complimentary valet.