During the pandemic, Sarah Branch started making natural products to fulfill needs of her family and friends. They suggested that she start to offer her products to the public.
Taking their advice, Branch started selling products at markets and vending through connections with the Ujamaa Business Network. Branch said her connections with the network helped her become more confident in vending and eventually as a business owner.
By September 2022, Earthly Temptation opened the doors of its own brick and mortar store at 1812 S. Park St. The store is currently open Wednesday through Sunday from 1:00-6:00 pm.
Branch wanted her store to be a safe space for community members and provide them with resources to help become their best selves.
“I wanted to be more connected back to the Earth, so I needed to learn how to craft things,” she said. “Eventually, I decided I wanted it to be a place where people can come and get tools that they can use for healing and their spiritual journeys.”
She understands the importance of her role as a Black business owner in Madison. She wanted to open her storefront to make sure Black and brown people in the community have a place where they can get natural products, and feel welcomed.
“A reason for the store opening is because I’ve heard or read things online where we were walking into spaces that weren’t necessarily for us,” she added. “That left us feeling uncomfortable. Sometimes I’ll walk into a crystal shop and the vibe just didn’t feel right …or when I walked in, no one greeted me or asked me if I needed help or anything. It just made me always feel like I wasn’t supposed to be there. And that’s not right. If I’m coming to a place of healing and spirituality, I should always feel welcomed. That’s my main reason for opening the store. Because we needed a space for us, where somebody gets us.”
Branch started off creating soaps, then moved to creating her signature body butters. The creation of body butters started with her personal needs for a new moisturizer.
“I would buy lotion, and have to mix the lotion with baby oil,” she said. “The lotion in the stores wasn’t necessarily working for my skin. I found that I was still dry and ashy because it wasn’t just a great moisturizer. So, I really honed in and made sure that body butter was excellent.”
Her body butters and other products have mantras on the labels to help users feel more confident in themselves and their bodies. She wanted to create lotions and oils that would help her customers and herself.
“I didn’t want to use products that I couldn’t pronounce the names of,” Branch said. “I didn’t want to use things that I didn’t exactly know what was in it. It was my mission to make products that have more of a natural base so that it can be healthier for our skin.”
Earthly Temptations offers a plethora of products including crystals, incense, room sprays, mugs, and jewelry. Branch also created her signature self care box, which includes a goat’s milk soap bar, body butter, and a bracelet with healing crystals.
Branch is excited to be offering more services in the near future.
“I am getting trained on Reiki and we’re looking to start offering training for it in the late fall,” she said. “But before that, we’re going to move more into sound healing with the sound bowls. People can be on the lookout for a sound healing workshop coming pretty soon from me.”
For more information about products at Earthly Temptation, visit their Facebook page.