Sara Shaaban
Sara Shaaban paints one of her High Priestess CBD bath bombs. (Photo by Sam Stroozas)

Sara Shaaban has been a “witchy woman,” with a love of dark and haunted things, for as long as she can remember. Years ago, when she joined Instagram, the username she picked was @witchywomanworld and a decade later, it became her business.

Shaaban just celebrated one year in her new workspace on Elmwood Avenue for Witchy Woman World Apothecary, producing small-batch bath and body care products all designed and created by Shaaban herself.

Ginger Snapped Body Scrub, part of the winter collection. (Photo by Sam Stroozas)

Like many others, when COVID-19 began Shaaban lost her job. She suddenly had a lot more time on her hands, which she spent with her children and on a path of self-discovery, she says.

For a friend’s birthday she decided to create a body scrub as a gift – they had met when she worked at Lush Fresh Handmade Cosmetics – and suddenly she had orders coming in. Everyone, she said, wanted to know where they could get her scrub.

She made a big batch of the scrub and told her Instagram followers, then sold out of three different scrubs within 24 hours of posting. Shaaban bought the rights to her name – Witchy Woman World Apothecary – and began experimenting and researching more products she could brew.

Witchy Woman World Apothecary is not yet open for browsing; the business is online, offers pickup and appears at markets and pop-up events, but Shaaban is hoping to host an open house in the new year to welcome supporters to her space.

High Priestess Body Butter. (Photo by Sara Shaaban)

“You feel this inner power and I want it to resonate and come through with the things I do,” she said. “I work very intentionally. When I create things, I make sure I cleanse my space first. I make sure this space feels good before I make things because I feel a difference – I have had bad days in here and the things don’t turn out. I realized what I bring to the table here brings a difference in how it shows up.”

Shaaban hand presses and paints each of her items, often starting her mornings at the witching hour of 3 a.m. Her products are inspired by the current astrological alignment and her spirituality, she says, adding that she creates products she wants to use herself.

Business cards at Witchy Woman World Apothecary. (Photo by Sam Stroozas)

Shaaban works with customers to provide wholesale products, recently designing bath bombs for Christmas gifts and wedding favors. In partnership with Stella’s Boutique, she designed the “goddess collection” and is hoping to work with other local businesses in the future, including The Yoga Post.

“I am always learning, and I will work until I get it right,” she said. “I genuinely care about the people I work with and the experiences I have with them.”

Shaaban’s hope is to make bathing and self-care a religious and sensual experience for her customers.

Balsam Baby Bath Bombs, part of the winter collection. (Photo by Sara Shaaban)

Shaaban’s Witchy Woman Winter Collection includes items like Coal for Christmas shower skull, Manzana de la Muerte bath bomb, Ginger Snapped bath and body oil and Deep Sleep Magick body spray.

From her bath bombs to shower fizzes, body spray, butter and oil – Witchy Women World Apothecary has a potion in store for any potential customer. For those who feel indulgent, she offers a monthly box of tried-and-true products.

“I love what I do now,” Shaaban said. “I want people to find some sense of empowerment and feel comfortable in their own skin.”

Sam Stroozas

Sam Stroozas is a reporter and the social media manager at the Evanston RoundTable. She covers small businesses, social justice and human interest stories. Contact her at and...

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