We had the good fortune of connecting with Heather Basile and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Heather, is there a quote or affirmation that’s meaningful to you?
“A little time alone in your own room will prove more valuable than anything else that could ever be given to you.” – Rumi
To me, this quote speaks to perseverance, self-reliance, and authenticity.
Despite the heartbreaking tragedy and loss that COVID has brought to so many, it has also served as a reset button and a time for self reflection that many of us desperately needed, shining a light on social injustices and bringing up some of life’s biggest questions. Who am I? What is my purpose? What do I value? How do I live in harmony with my true nature and those around me? How do I live without those around me?
In Self-Reliance, Emerson warns against “foolish consistency”. I think of that all the time in everything I do. Am I doing things the way they’ve always been done because that is what works best or because that is what is expected?
I started working when I was 13 years old and have been on my own since I was 17. Since then, I have spent a lot of time alone in my room, thinking about these questions and trying to implement the lessons I’ve learned into my personal and professional life.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Founded somewhere between the sprawling landscapes of Los Angeles and the windswept panoramas of Twentynine Palms, I like to say that Mojave Moon Apothecary is my love letter to the sights and smells of Southern California. I launched this business in October of 2020 to initially showcase my own collection of handmade bath, body, and home products, but I quickly began to add products from other small businesses to my shop only a month or two after launching.
I love searching for off-beat products, discovering brands no one has ever heard of, and curating a shop to set a mood. It’s been awesome to be able to support other small-batch, maker-focused brands who share my values: unique, handmade, beautifully designed products for thoughtful living.
All of our products are vegan and cruelty-free; that means no beeswax in our candles, no animal fats in our soaps, and absolutely no animal testing. Whether in my own brand or others, I try to focus on organic, sustainably-sourced materials and recyclable, reusable packaging wherever possible.
We donate 10% of our sales of White Sage and Palo Santo to The Native American Rights Fund (NARF). Founded in 1970, the Native American Rights Fund is the oldest and largest nonprofit legal organization asserting and defending the rights of Native tribes, organizations, and individuals nationwide.
Many people don’t know that it was illegal and punishable by prison sentence for Native people in the United States to practice their religious ceremonies until less than 50 years ago. It wasn’t until the American Indian Religious Freedom Act (AIRFA) was passed in 1978 that Native people were guaranteed the freedom and protection to “believe, express, and exercise [their] traditional religions” which included the use of sage.
I hope as the business continues to grow that I will be able to continue to create awareness around social issues and promote the ethical sourcing and use of sacred materials. Having gone through the process of starting my own business from scratch, I hope to be able to provide a greater level of mentorship and inspire entrepreneurship in others, particularly younger people and women.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Since I split my time between Los Angeles and Twentynine Palms, I would definitely want to hit up both spots. Starting with a few days in Los Angeles, I always take people to the Fashion District. I love wandering through the alleys to look for bargains, plus it’s a fantastic spot for people watching. While in the downtown area, The Last Bookstore (where I worked as a graphic designer for many years) is a must-see along with a stroll down Olvera Street, another great spot to find unique items. Brunch at Home in Los Feliz or mason jar mimosas at The Waffle in Hollywood. Whale watching from San Pedro then a bit of beach combing in Rancho Palos Verdes and tide pooling at Abalone Cove. Dinner at Jones in West Hollywood.
Two hour road trip to explore the otherworldly landscape of Joshua Tree National Park with dinner at the Joshua Tree Saloon. Hit up The Station for some fun souvenirs then over to Twentynine Palms for record hunting at White Label Vinyl and the new Hi-Desert Daydream shop where you can find my full Mojave Moon Apothecary line plus some cool extras. Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I have been a Retail Manager (specifically managing art supply stores) since 1998. I transitioned this role to Collegiate Retail in 2008 and have since worked in some of the best art schools in the country. I would like to dedicate my shoutout to all the students I have had the pleasure of knowing or working with over the years. Every artist who has struggled with their identity or felt misunderstood. It’s been such an honor to share your creative journey and has very much inspired my own.
Other: Visit us in 29 Palms at Hi-Desert Daydream 73515 Twentynine Palms Highway Twentynine Palms, CA 92277 https://hidesertdaydream.link/mojavemoonapothecary
All images are my own.