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Check Out Shontel Anestasia’s Story

Today we’d like to introduce you to Shontel Anestasia.

Hi Shontel, we’re thrilled to have a chance to learn your story today. So, before we get into specifics, maybe you can briefly walk us through how you got to where you are today?
Raised by a spicy Caribbean Grandmother, my spirituality has always been at the forefront of my life. My grandma came to this country in the 1970s from Essequibo, Guyana, bringing her indigenous spiritual traditions. Some of our regular spiritual practices included smoke cleansing, ancestor veneration, candle work, and ocean cleansings. By the time I was ten, I had a spiritual routine & assisted my grandmother in blessing & cleansing homes. Grandma Clarke was a magician in the kitchen, and her herb collection was exquisite. I remember standing behind her shoulder, watching her stirring the pot, always clockwise, while dancing to calypso music. She never measured anything; everything was based on her intuition. These were my fondest childhood memories, and little did I know that these experiences, like breadcrumbs, would lead me to my calling.

2016, a couple of months before my 25th Birthday, my grandmother transitioned into the Spiritual Realm. I transformed my grief into a passion and started an Instagram account to teach Caribbean Spirituality. As time passed, my following grew, and product requests came through my DM’s from friends and my neighborhood. I hand-delivered products to the five boroughs in New York until 2017 when I decided to open an Etsy Shop. I infused every teaching from my grandmother into my shop, invested in spiritual mentors and a few certifications. Using the wisdom I gained from my own adversities as a young woman, I created a spiritual shop to provide the Divine Feminine spiritual tools to overcome their own adversities. Every product and service in my shop are tools I used and currently use on my spiritual journey.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
In 2017, the metaphysical world was taboo, unlike how it’s now because of Tiktok. It was hard to find women who were into Astrology, eastern medicine, and other aspects of the metaphysical world because many fear the unknown. I received mixed reactions when I came out of the spiritual closet as a witch and publicized my spiritual Instagram page. I lost a lot of friends; however, I gained a strong community of women who were interested in learning how they could use nature to better their life; that’s all that witchcraft is, the utilization of the five elements of nature paired with intention.

Instead of cracking under pressure, I continued to post and teach topics such as numerology, the metaphysical uses of herbs, roots & plants, and a POV of how I made my Metaphysical Products. My goal was to destigmatize the esoteric world by showing how I use my spiritual practices to help myself and others. When my clients saw the results and the reviews poured in, my work began to speak for itself.

Entrepreneurship can be romanticized in the media; however, the hard work you put in during the first few years will eventually begin to bear fruit with consistency and structure. One of the most challenging hurdles was overcoming that loneliness that creeps in when you’ve been home for days figuring out recipes, studying, and crunching numbers. I had to learn to love my company and become my own  cheerleader. My first four years were complex and inconsistent. Everything was trial and error, and there were many learning curves. I quit Corporate America twice, then found balance in working multiple side hustles that allowed me to have a flexible schedule, fund my business and be home more so I could study, teach and become the alchemist I am now. By 2020, I was running my shop full-time and could entirely focus on my growth as a Spiritualist & healer while building a concrete business plan as a businesswoman.

Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
The Urban Gurvi Mama Shop is an Afro-Caribbean Spiritual Shop & Apothecary for women. I curate handcrafted Spiritual Goods for the home, bath, and body. Since I’m very connected to nature, specifically the ocean, it was profound that I leave the smallest carbon footprint possible, our shop is 95% plastic-free, and our packaging is either recyclable or compostable. Most of our products are presented in reusable glass bottles, which our clients love upcycling.

I’ve battled with atopic eczema since I was a child, so I stay clear from using synthetic fragrances and harsh chemicals in our products. Using my certifications in Ayurveda medicine, I ensure products give maximum metaphysical results, all while nourishing and healing the skin.

I’m most proud of my ability to fuse Caribbean spirituality and Vedic Sciences into our products and services, creating a unique experience that is both spiritual and medicinal. I’m known as a Teacher and Healer for women in the spiritual community. In addition to my products, I heal women who have endured trauma to their wombs and provide home & business cleanses to my local Los Angeles community.

I strive to create a holistic experience for the Divine Feminine and help women on their spiritual journey regardless of cultural background, ethnicity, or belief system.

Can you tell us more about what you were like growing up?
I grew up in Brooklyn, NY in the ’90s, surrounded by different Caribbean cultures. I was relatively quiet and shy; however, I absorbed the world through my senses and imagination. I loved trips to Coney Island & Jones Beach with my grandmother. I took an interest in being an entrepreneur at a young age because my grandmother was an Avon Representative and street vendor. She would spend hours putting together giftsets, and it’s when I first discovered arts and crafts.

I loved watching shows like Charmed, Tales of the Crypt, and Twilight Zone on the weekends. For fun, I would create mini-food menus and cook a chosen meal off the menu. As I cooked, I would pretend I had an audience and would share every seasoning I was adding to my meals, imagining I was a world-renowned chef.

On top of it all, I started sports at a young age and ran track for Colgate Women’s Games. I became very passionate about Track & Field and continued running all through middle and High-school which led to me later getting a full scholarship to a 4-year University.

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Image Credits
Kiefer Dixon

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