There was a time when Juli Everett was hesitant to call herself a witch, or use the word in relation to her work.
Lately, she has shed that inhibition.
The 32-year-old licensed massage therapist was always called to help others through her lifelong interest in herbology, astrology and other techniques that foster spiritual and emotional wellness. She recalled being a middle school student in Sag Harbor and, after school, walking to Metaphysical Books and Tools, the now defunct Main Street store, to satisfy that innate curiosity at a time when alternative approaches to medicine, healing and self-care were not the trendy cultural fascination is today.
Throughout the years, she has come to reclaim the definition of what it means to be witch.
“I believe the definition of a witch is a ‘Woman In Total Control of Herself,’” she said, before adding, with emphasis, “Period.”
“Personally, my belief is that every woman who walks the earth is a witch. The things that you’re the absolute best at, and the things you can create, that’s what you’re a witch of.”
Everett founded Knead and Seed two years ago, and it grew faster, and in different ways than she anticipated, becoming so much more than a massage business. The shop is located in a two-story house on a picturesque piece of property in a secluded and wooded area off Merchant’s Path, on the border of Sag Harbor and East Hampton.
The space where Everett operates her multi-faceted business is an extension of her personality. A large shelf covers one wall, stacked with books on astrology, massage and other forms she practices. The mantle over a large fireplace features, among other things, photos of both her great-grandmother and aunt, who she cites as big influences in her life. A chalkboard in the small working kitchen has a new message everyday; a deck of oracle cards are fanned out, face down, on a nearby counter.
Everett uses many methods to work with her clients, but usually starts by asking them to pull an oracle card. The simple action is usually enough to get “the tears flowing” or bring out emotions. Then she takes a look at their chart. Even people who start off as skeptics usually come back for more, she says. It’s human nature.
“People want to be told about themselves,” she said. “That’s why we’re here. We have to help ourselves so that whatever we decide to push out into the universe is successful. Otherwise it’s BS.”
Though she never intended to portray herself as a “jack of all trades,” she sees a synergy in everything provided at the shop. Among the most popular offerings are the full moon and new moon goddess circle gatherings, where women are invited to come and share what they’ve been experiencing and carrying with them in their lives in a judgment-free zone. In less than two years, more than 130 different women have attended the circles, which initially began as a one-time gathering of a few of her closest friends in the first week she was open.
“Juli makes you feel accepted, and encourages you to show your truth in a safe environment surrounded by women who are supportive,” said client Melissa Lynch. “It’s very hard to put into words. You just have to try it to understand it. It’s something everyone should experience at least once.
“She has magic hands,” Lynch added. “When you walk into Knead and Seed, you immediately feel welcomed.”
Creating that feeling of acceptance is exactly what Everett intended. And though Knead and Seeds caters to all, there is no denying its devoted female clientele. Helping women harness their power is at the core of what Everett does, and she hopes to expand that mission with Knead and Seed as time goes by.
“I wanted to start a place that’s a safe space for women to land and feel validated,” she said. “I think they come with a sense of wanting to be spiritually connected to themselves with a group of women where everyone can feel validated.”
She plans to expand her teaching abilities in the future, and wants to host more retreats, which is a service she’s offered more recently. For now, she says she is simply grateful for the people who have walked through her doors, and is proud not only of what she has done for them, but what they have done for themselves.
“I’m just so thankful to all of the women that have stepped in and have been such a support to this place,” she said. “But mostly, that they keep showing up for themselves. I’m just really thankful that people are becoming more open.”
Knead and Seed is located at 146 Merchants Path, Sag Harbor