In an effort to create and offer more sustainable options for everyday items to the world, Callee Ackland started Bestowed Essentials.
“Our Bestowed Essentials products are in over 200 stores in the U.S. and in Canada,” said Ackland.
After noticing a need for an eco-friendly business in the Black Hills, the manufacturing business moved to Rapid City in 2018.
“As our business grew and we were able to, we decided we wanted to open a store right in the heart of downtown and be able to expand what we offer to the community,” explained Ackland.
Hippie Haven opened its doors about a year ago, offering eco-friendly products for all parts of life including shampoo, biodegradable kitchen products, toothbrushes, crayons, and baby powder.
Check out some sustainable swaps for everyday products.
Solid Dish Soap
Reusable Silicone Bags
Face + Body
Turmeric Acne Treatment
Reusable Cotton Rounds
Natural Arnica Muscle Relief Salve
Whipped Body Butter
Coconut + Lavender Shampoo Bar
Liquid Natural Conditioner
Baby + Kids
Herbal Baby Teething Rub
Currently, Ackland has five hired staff members, one of which is a dog named Mowgli. He’s the store greeter.
Ackland says Hippie Haven is passionate about the zero waste movement and works hard to make as little waste as possible.
The store disposes of less than 10 pounds of waste every month.
“It’s not possible to create no trash,” she said. “We live in a linear economy rather than a circular economy, but it’s important to do the best you can.”
Each order made online is shipped in the most sustainable way available and without any plastic packaging.
Some ways that Ackland says people can start on the journey of being more sustainable include reducing single-use items, reusing current items, reconsidering purchases, and doing research.
Ackland also offers the weekly Hippie Haven Podcast in which she speaks with various eco-friendly, sustainable leaders to learn more about how she and others can live harmoniously with the rest of the planet.
“We don’t just have products, we’re also a community space,” she said.
Within the community space, Hippie Haven hosts small business pop-up events, DIY workshops, community swaps, and more.
“What I see for the future is just becoming more of a community space, a space that really lives up to our name of Hippie Haven.” – Callee Ackland
The store is a recycling drop off for items that general city recycling won’t typically process, such as oral care waste, razors, contact lenses, tennis balls, glasses, and printer cartridges.
For anyone wanting to read a new book, the store has a reading nook that doubles as a free library where anyone is welcome to borrow any books or magazines.
In the future, Ackland hopes that Hippie Haven will live up to its name to become “a safe, welcome space for like-minded people to find each other and gather together.”
Bestowed Essentials is moving out of the back room of Hippie Haven and into its own manufacturing warehouse, and with the extra space she hopes to host more events to help get the word out.
“We’re really proud of the work we do,” said Ackland. “People think we’re just a store, but we’re so much more than that.”
Ackland stressed, “Every single one of us is capable of making a difference, and we just have to decide what kind of difference we want to make, what’s important to us, and go live by our core values.”