Review of HokumWares
This past Samhain I went on a day outing with my Family Coven to an annual Witches Market in Philly called “Witches Night Out.” We had an excellent time, however we did not get much. We found a lot of the prices to be exorbitant. Also, most of the items were not necessary for us. Jewelry made from bones (human & animal), regular jewelry out of our price range, patches, clothing, candles & some kits of sorts with funny names. However, there was one booth that really caught our attention and kept it.
It was a nice sized table, whose smell lifted you by the nose and floated you over. It was filled with colorful soaps, unusual lotions mixtures, bath bombs that look like potions, beautiful handcrafted crocheted altar cloths and more. We found ourselves in front of the lovely face of Anna Maria, the owner of the amazing shop HokumWares.
Anna Maria’s infectious smile and wonderful products immediately brightens your day as you are being tossed around like a sack in the jumble of crowd. Anna Maria is funny and cheery and just great to talk to. She takes the time to explain to you what is in her products, why she makes her own products, why she chooses her ingredients and doesn’t rush you along, even though there is a throng of people surrounding us.
Right away we were drawn to the lotions. There were three scents, each unique. I chose to purchase the scent Pikake Flower & Gardenia. I love the smell of Gardenia, but this smells more than just gardenia, well obviously it smells like Pikake, too. I had no idea what a Pikake Flower was until I looked it up. It is the flower used in Hawaii to make leis! It has a wonderful fragrance. Both pikake and gardenia compliment each other well.
I purchased an 8oz pump plastic bottle for only $10. I found that to be a very fair price for handcrafted lotion. The bottle is completely filled. Professional labeling. Ingredients written on label.
Now what I love about this lotion (besides the scent)…
Let me start with the bottle it comes in. The pump twists open and shut. LOVE this idea! I have not seen this before. This means I can carry it in my bag with me at all times and not have to buy something to put it in and spend more money. You just simply turn the top left and right and it locks. I amaze easily!!!
The lotion is not thin or runny. It is not watery, or oily. If you turn over the bottle you do not see it running or moving down the sides. It is a thick lotion without being a unblendable paste. It blends right into your skin easily without leaving that excess lotion you have no clue what to do with because it is too thick or watery.
After you put it on your hands they feel totally moisturized, not greasy. You can pick up objects without dropping them. Without leaving a mess on them. Yet your hands feel like they are moister.
I am diabetic so I have VERY dry hands. My hands can be known to drink In lotion and then feel like I have not put any on. Sometimes I can put on lotion and 2 minutes later it’s like I didn’t put any on. With HokumWares lotion I use a normal amount, a squirt, rub it into my hands and they stay lotioned for over an hour. I stopped timing it after an hour. It got rid of my chapped skin on my hands for that long, too.
I’m touchy when it comes to lotions. I don’t like to feel greasy. This lotion was very comfortable to me. Next, I want to try it on my face. Usually lotions make me break out on my face. I don’t think this one will. I think it will get rid of the flaking I have been getting in my T Zone. Update: I have used it on my face and no pimples or break out!!!
I almost forgot to mention, I also have psoriasis and eczema. The lotion does not make them flare at all. I get psoriasis flares on my elbows that burn because they chafe now that it is colder outside. The lotion soothed those without causing the burn some lotions cause due to over scent or whatever is in them.
For purchasing the lotion I was given a free sample of HokumWares Cold Process Soap. The samples name was Herkimer Diamond Soap. You want to smell something refreshing and clean??? Get a wiff of this bar!! Lathers nicely. Cleans well. Leaves you smelling wonderful. I love the impression of the logo in the bar.
As a free gift for going to the Witches Market, the first 50 to arrive received a Goody Bag with products from some of the vendors. HokumWares was one of the vendors who contributed to the Goody Bag by giving those a free Lip Balm. We are lip balm nuts, and found that we wished that it kept our lips moist a bit longer. If you are the type of person who doesn’t lick your lips or rub them together too much, you should be fine.
We had a chance to speak with Anna Maria about herself and her products.
Jennifer Wright (JW): Hello Anna Maria! Thank you so much for taking the time to answer some questions and letting us & our readers get to know you!
Is it true you try not to rely on store bought items?
Anna Maria (AM): I will use some store-bought items within reason, but I lean heavily towards products that are cruelty-free. If I cannot find something that I enjoy, or something that I’ve enjoyed heavily, I try to replicate the positive points of the products while still making it my own recipe.
JW: You even make your own cat food?
AM: I do! Although they do also eat a high quality canned food, they enjoy all kinds of meat I can source. They love chicken wings!
JW: Is this is why you started making your own line of soaps and lotions and so on?
AM: I have always been fascinated by soap makers for years. My past lab director at an old job would pay me in soap for small side jobs I would do for her and they were lovely. Soap is the perfect marriage of two things I am fond of: science and alchemy intermingled with art and design with a sprinkling of my own unorthodox offerings.
JW: How long has HokumWares been open?
AM: HokumWares has only been open to the public for about 1.5 years, although I have been making soap for about 5 years. I wanted all my recipes to be exactly what I wanted out of them before releasing to the public. Many, many loaves of soap have been made before they were ever for sale to hone technique and understand oil qualities and product safety.
JW: What all do you create?
AM: I have branched out from soap to offer other bath and beauty products including bath bombs, lotion bars, lip balm, sugar scrubs, whipped body butter, and more recently hand and body lotion and hair oils.
JW: You use all natural products?
AM: I try to keep my ingredients as “clean” as possible. Since the term is not regulated, everyone’s interpretation of natural is unique. So for me, that means using essential oils and natural colorants or none at all for products. By that definition, some of my products are natural and some are not. I do use Phthalate and Paraben free fragrance oils in the bulk of my products and some may consider those natural. It’s all up for interpretation.
JW: How do you come up with your ideas?
AM: Some ideas are cultivated, meaning I need to put a little thought into product specifics. For example, my hand and body lotion was a necessity for me to create, but I chose my 3 initial scents off of what my offerings “should” be: a healthy mix of floral, fruit, and spice. Other ideas come to me organically and I basically have free range to do whatever I want while incorporating the things I love and feelings I want to impart onto a product. A huge example of that would be my Felinas bars of soap: a marriage of soap and hand-cast cat bones I’ve collected. A conscious joining of scientific alchemy and a somber yet beautiful memorial to a life that I will not let be remembered in tragedy.
JW: I bought your Pikake Flower and Gardenia Lotion. I fell in love with the unique smell and blend. I love Gardenia. You make two other kinds of lotions that are just as unique, what are those scents?
AM: They are Black Pepper & Oud and Grapefruit & Bamboo. The black pepper fragrance is a spicy smoked scent that pleases my dark while the grapefruit is a very cleansing, uplifting scent. I wanted a small yet wide-spanning range of scent for my first run that would appeal to myself as well as potential customers. I will be carefully expanding this range as time goes on, but I feel that these are a great start to a pleasing product.
JW: I agree. I have smelled your other lotions at the market, and was totally surprised, especially by the black pepper fragrance. It was beautiful. It was hard to decide which to buy. I think I have more shopping to do!
Do you do a lot of testing? Do you ever find things that are just a no go?
AM: Everything that I make is meticulously tested and retested; HokumWares has been in the making for quite some time and only when I found I had a great product to share did I start offering it to the world. I do it for safety reasons as well as just being a somewhat perfectionist at heart. I do have products that I’m currently working on that are still in developmental stages; an example would be my tattoo balm. It’s been in the making for about 8 months and although I have tested the prototype on myself and 1 other person’s fresh tattoos and have had wonderful results, the consistency is not where I want it to be. Back to the formulation rework on that, as well as lining up tattoo appointments to test a new prototype!
JW: What is your favorite product that you sell? Is it your hair serum? Is that the secret to why your hair is so gorgeous???
AM: Thank you for the compliment! They all have their places in my heart, but I would have to say the hair oil has had me smitten for the past year. A close second would be any of my cold-process soap; I am a sucker for the tried and true.
JW: Do you magickally charge the items you make?
AM: I try to plan productions of certain things on specific dates as well as going into it with a clear, open, happy heart. I hope my customers can feel that love come through.
JW: I feel it!
Where can our readers find you?
Business inquiries: [email protected]
Thank you, Anna Maria, for the wonderful conversation! It’s been such a pleasure talking with you. I highly recommend our readers check our all of your wares.
About the Author:
Jennifer Wright is a witch on a path of change that is always winding. She founded PaganPagesOrg in the hopes of giving those a platform to share and learn without judgment. There are too many important things to her and not enough room to mention them. You are one of them.