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Samara Macchia of Shackpalace Rituals

The conscious curator on living for the betterment of ourselves and the world around us, the allure of Byron Bay and why Australia is a hotbed for healthy living.

Having spent so much time in Australia lately, we’ve been exposed to numerous companies and independent labels that are doing the good work in spreading the message that a conscious lifestyle is the new normal. One such business is Shackpalace Rituals, a retail and e-commerce enterprise that prides itself on “turning routine into ritual” with carefully sourced, mindfully made products. Think herbal hair and skin solutions, brass objets d’art and crystals.

Curated by Samara Macchia, the eldest daughter of Frank Macchia, who started the Shackpalace entity — there’s also a design studio and a vacation rental home — Samara is also the manager of the Byron Bay store.

Elevating the everyday into exquisite enrichment, Shackpalace Rituals encourages people to pare back the clutter in their homes and be selective about the things they buy and bring in through their doors. At the same time, the company emboldens consumers to pause, take a breath and reflect on our daily routines — be it getting up and ready for the day, to cooking, eating or bathing — to allow ourselves to think on our actions and be more self-aware. In doing so, we get to transform our habits and ways into rituals that serve us well.  

Thus, in this current climate where putting the power of choice and intent back into our hands is everything, Shackpalace Rituals’ is a true embodiment of a brand that is doing just that.  

“You may pay more initially — although not always — for high quality, organic ingredients and products that are handcrafted with love, but looking after yourself and our planet is always a worthwhile investment in the long-run.”

Tell us about Shackpalace Rituals.

We are a small family business aimed at inspiring ourselves and others to slow down and turn daily routine into mindful ritual. We believe in surrounding ourselves with beautiful, artisan, sustainable items that we connect with and which empower us.

We retail our products locally and internationally through our online store, and also have a small concept store in Byron Bay, Australia.

Shackpalace Rituals is also linked with Shackpalace Building Design Studio headed by my dad, Frank Macchia, which aims to encourage us to rethink the way we live in our homes by creating consciously designed client homes and guest houses.

Shackpalace Rituals has a very diverse range of products. How do you choose what to bring in and what inspires your sourcing?

I source most of our products myself but I usually get approval from the rest of the family so that ensures that each item that we bring into the store undergoes a very strict selection process. We figure that if something meets all of our high standards then it must be pretty special!

I am inspired by things that tell a story, particularly handmade and artisan products made by craftspeople who are experts in what they make.

We also make sure that everything we present in our store meets our values of ethics and sustainability. In addition, we select products which we believe are beautiful and we largely focus on handcrafted pieces. I believe that when something is handmade, we can relate to the imperfections in it, which allows us to connect with them as we use them in our daily lives and rituals.

Which product are you loving right now?

What a difficult choice! I have just returned from a trip to Japan and have collected a few new pieces from a variety of Japanese artisans. One of my favourites is the beautiful Susumu teapot. Each teapot is handcrafted from rare black Tokoname soil, and the intricate attention to detail is a perfect example of true Japanese craftsmanship. I also love that they are unglazed so the flavour of each tea stays in the pot just a little as you continue to use it.

Shackpalace Rituals_Après Avant

Australia has a very mature, developed wellness market compared to other countries. Why do you think this is so, and do you think other markets like Singapore will ever catch up?

We are very lucky in Australia to have a high standard of lifestyle and living conditions, which gives us the luxury to be able to pause and focus on self-improvement.  We are also blessed with a country that offers a plethora of fresh produce, including botanicals that are available for use in natural health products. I believe that the rest of the world is heading in the same direction, each country at its own rate, as the collective consciousness of the planet seems to be developing rapidly.

We’ve heard so much about Byron Bay and how it’s a hotbed for healthy living and wellness. But the rest of it is an enigma. Can you tell us why the town is so appealing to likeminded individuals like us?

Ah, the magic of Byron! There is a powerful creative and healing energy in this area. I moved to Byron a couple of years ago after six years of living in the city and I immediately felt deeply connected with the area. Ultimately, I think it’s the community here who make it so special. There are so many likeminded people on their own personal and spiritual growth journeys connecting and helping one another along the way. It is also a hotbed for creative thinking, so that blend of spiritual growth and creativity provides an awesome foundation for some of our countries best wellness and lifestyle products.

How should one go about designing their personal beauty ritual?

Be intuitive, self-experiment, stay flexible and have fun!

“The collective consciousness of the planet seems to be developing rapidly.”

What is your daily beauty routine, and do you practice any self-care rituals?

My daily beauty ritual changes quite frequently as I continue to experiment with different products and my own blends.

At the moment, I rinse my face in the morning and then use a small amount of either our Clarify Face Serum or The Healer Face Serum depending on how my skin is feeling that day. I don’t usually wear any makeup during the day as I like to allow my skin to breathe and heal naturally.

At night, I wash my face again and dab either tea tree essential oil or dragon’s blood on any pimples (my skin is fairly prone to breakouts at the moment).

I also make my own facial scrub using our Deep Cleanse Exfoliant blended with some organic castor oil and I use it daily. And I blend my face mask using our Face Mask Kit and apply it as a beautiful weekly ritual. I use the Detox Clay, Cleanse Sol and Rough Exfoliate.

I believe one of the most important parts of my beauty ritual is what I consume. I drink matcha every morning (I highly recommend our Haruna Premium Organic Ceremonial Grade Matcha!) and our Beauty Potion tea most afternoons. Both are great for promoting healthy skin, hair and nails amongst countless other health benefits! Drinking lots of water is also essential for inner and outer beauty!

Lepaar is one of the beauty brands sold at Shackpalace Rituals

What are your favourite sunscreen, lip balm, eye cream and cuticle care products?

Sunscreen: Lepaar Elemental Day Silk — they just launched this last month, and I’m in love!

Lip balm: Lepaar Velvet Face + Lip Balm.

Eye cream: Lepaar Transforming Eye Balm.

Cuticle care: I usually just rub some pure organic essential oils blended with a little grapeseed oil into my nails. Lavender, frankincense and chamomile essential oils are excellent for cuticle care.

Do you think there is any downside to consciously made products?

No. You may pay more initially — although not always — for high quality, organic ingredients and products that are handcrafted with love, but looking after yourself and our planet is always a worthwhile investment in the long-run.

What does conscious living mean to you?

It means living in harmony with our own bodies and our environment — with awareness!

Images courtesy of Shackpalace Rituals