Chatonia Underwood knows a thing or two about magic! She is the founder and head witch for Box of Shadows, a spiritually eclectic subscription box company based out of Saltbox Atlanta. Chatonia describes herself as a sherpa with the desire to give others the tools to create their own spiritual journeys. Raised by her grandmother in South Carolina in a strict religious home, Chatonia didn’t have much freedom to pursue different avenues of spirituality, but she was always drawn to the occult, magic, and anything supernatural. So when she finally had room to explore, this is precisely what called to her.
Box of Shadows was conceived while Chatonia was in college studying marketing. A friend of hers was getting into paganism at the time and mused, “You know what, it would be crazy if we had a pagan subscription box,” to which Chatonia eagerly replied, “You know what, let’s do it!” Fast forward several years (and divine encounters) later and Box of Shadows is an award-winning multi-option subscription box service and apothecary.
Grab your broom and enjoy the ride as we hear more of Chatonia’s story!
How did you come up with the name Box of Shadows?
It was supposed to be a play on Book of Shadows. When you come to witchcraft everyone has heard of Book of Shadows. Your grimoire is where you write down everything - your journey, all the spell work you do, anything that’s important to you in your spiritual journey. And that’s what I wanted Box of Shadows to be; items that would be integral to our subscribers' journey. So it became Box of Shadows.
What has been your biggest challenge?
Fulfillment and staying motivated. Staying fresh, not getting in a rut. I sent an email out to our subscribers at the end of the year and was like “guys, I know you love what I do, but I feel like I am in a rut with the boxes every month. I feel like I need to switch it up a bit.” And I opened it up to hear feedback from my subscribers; what they want to see in the boxes, etc. And that feedback has helped! They are integral to the success of Box of Shadows and I love that it’s a safe enough environment to do that. I think in some cases as business owners we are so scared of our customer base, making them mad or messing up in any way. But my subscribers from day 1 have been very understanding. They are so patient with me.
One thing I love about Saltbox is it is perfectly suited for transient energy - the perfect in and out. My apartment was not that space - I energetically became so antsy because it was boxes in and boxes out. And I couldn’t enjoy my living space anymore because as soon as we finished fulfilling, the boxes came rolling back in again and I had to tear my apartment up again. That was one of the biggest struggles; having a work-life balance when you are doing fulfillment from home. Working from home is cool, but fulfillment - it’s a whole other ball game!
On a more personal level, what do you think the biggest misconception about paganism or witchcraft is?
Devil worship. I think people look at paganism or witchcraft as someone who is trying to exercise their will over someone else, and that’s not necessarily what witchcraft is when you come to it. It’s “how can I change myself and open myself up to these possibilities, how can I better my reality in order to attract the reality I want.” Most people think that I am, or pagans in general, are summoning demons. Or doing black magic. Black magic doesn't really exist. That's not a thing. Light and dark are a reality we live in whether we like it or not. There’s day and there's night. There’s good, there's bad. And there are grey areas. But magic in itself is not benevolent. It is a journey of self-discovery and self-betterment. You are constantly working on yourself and that is what paganism teaches you. Because how can you attract something you do not embody or don’t believe you’re worth.
With the holiday approaching, tell us about your favorite way to spend Halloween.
Since I didn't celebrate Halloween as a kid, I never miss an opportunity to dress up. My top three costume choices are a witch (big surprise there!), vampire, and the DC Comic character, Poison Ivy. For witches & pagans, Halloween is considered our New Year and a time to honor those who have passed on. I usually spend the night of All Hallows’ Eve lighting candles and saying prayers for those beyond the veil. I also set intentions (or resolutions) for the coming year, just as many do on January 1st, and ask my spirit guides to assist with them in any way they are able.
How did you hear about Saltbox?
When I started my business the universe gave me, “Everything you need for it to happen is going to happen.” Even Saltbox! I was in my apartment saying if I have to pack my boxes in this apartment for another year, I can’t do it. I can’t handle the stress. And then Saltbox signs started popping up in my neighborhood. Little yard signs. Like voter signs. I started asking for something, anything, and there was a literal sign on my street corner that said Saltbox. And that is how I heard of you guys. And I was like, “Oh I asked for this and it came! It really appeared!”
It was meant to be! Last question - what’s a quote you live by?
Leap and the net will appear.
Chatonia’s hope for 2022 is that she will be able to spend more time working on her business and not in it. To stay up to date on the latest from Chatonia and Box of Shadows, follow her on IG: @myboxofshadows and check out the boxes on her website.
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