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Business Happenings - November 2004

Victoria White Eagle
Beads, Bath & Fabric Store is the Real Thing!

By Carrie Switzer

Victoria White Eagle
135 North Main Street
Moab UT 84532

Sometimes I interview people. Sometimes it’s the environment that moves me. Such was the case when I visited Victoria White Eagle’s Beads, Bath and Fabric Store.

Victoria didn’t need to tell me she has a “knack” for blending local herbs and essences to make lotions, body oils, candles and soaps, though she did. Very clearly, her shop on the 200 North block of Main Street is at once sophisticated, hip, practical, and 100 percent natural. Very clearly Victoria White Eagle knows what she’s doing.

“I’m not going to tell you that nothing I have comes from China, because most beads come from China,” Victoria said. “But we have local crafts here made by local people. And everything I make is natural. I understand how it works because I have severe allergies. I know what works for the skin.”

The Victoria’s White Eagle line of body and bath products look, smell and feel sumptuous. Pricier than some of lotions available at the grocery store, perhaps, but not much, and well below the cost of beauty products from high-end salons. Where no one can compete, however, is that this born-and-raised Moabite is gifted in putting elements together from the desert and mountains surrounding us to create a superior product, packaged simply and beautifully.

“I do my own graphics, “Victoria said. “I guess I have an artistic flair. I chose the green bottles because they keep out light and keep moisture in. I like my products to look good.”

Victoria’s craft began as a home-based operation where she experimented with body care products for herself. She had allergic reactions to most soaps, make-ups and creams, and when she found some of her grandmother’s recipes for soaps, she “went on a campaign of preventive medicine.”

“My mother was a beauty queen and always wore a lot of make-up,” Victoria said. “And I couldn’t use anything without breaking out in hives. I realized it wasn’t just the perfumes and fragrances. If you buy soap, you don’t know what’s being put in it.”

Victoria is riding the wave of body care product popularity, and she notes that people like to buy these products from someone they can trust.

“A lot of people just want to get back to basics,” she says. “I pick sage locally, dry it and grind it into a fine paste. This is what I use to blend with my products. I like using traditional fragrances because that’s what I like. I began adding lavender to bring it to others.”

Victoria’s grandmother was Lakota Indian, and she has South American native blood as well. Her recipes come from the Lakota tradition, but use the pinon, sage and juniper berries of the southwest.

“In the Native American tradition we address spirit, mind and body, and to hold them all in place is wellness. I also practice Reiki, which is a Japanese, hands-on healing, and many of my products are made with prayer and healing from these practices.”

Victoria likens her prayer-blessed products to kosher foods.

Victoria’s lotions and bath gels are made with oils that retain a body’s own moisture, and draw moisture from the air in.

“Lotions don’t really penetrate and moisturize,” Victoria said. “You have to keep moisture in.”

Her inventory of beads and beading supplies is extensive, from locally collected polished agate and dinosaur bone to colorful crystals and polished gems. The beads come in all sizes, and many shapes and likenesses. String, tools, and wire for jewelry making, fabrics of unusual print and fine texture, and hand-spun skeins of yarn. There are beading books and finished jewelry. There are sage sticks in various sizes and sweet grass from Canada. Kids will enjoy a collection of toys and stickers.

Victoria also has her own line of soy candles, scented, colorful and also beautifully artistic. Priced very reasonably, these are among the items available Victoria hopes shoppers will use to put together and “home-made Christmas.”

“People can come here for supplies to make their own gifts, or buy our hand-made products for others,” she said. “We’re going for a Homemade Christmas this year.”

Victoria will have a booth at the upcoming Moab Holiday Fair on Saturday, December 4 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Her store is located at 135 North Main Street, and is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday. Victoria said she will have the store open all winter long, will be coming out with a brochure next month and will host a jewelry exposition on the 18th of December – plenty of time for last minute gift buying.

“The store will be open two years in February,” Victoria said. “when people don’t come to us, we bring the product to them That’s why I do shows. We will also help people with craft projects when they come in.”

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