30 September 2022

When the bond of friendship is, simply, pure magic

| Sally Hopman
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Two women and dog

Creative souls Sonja Sagar and Emma Hockey, with Emma’s dog Franki (Frankincense), discuss projects in Sonja’s home studio. Photo: Sally Hopman.

Sonja Sagar knew she had the right partner when, during the COVID-19 lockdown, she discussed with her husband Steve about what project they should do during their downtime.

“I said we really should get round to fixing the bathroom,” she said. “He turned around to me and said, ‘No, I think it’s about time we built you a studio’.”

Sonja is the most creative of souls. She collects bits and pieces knowing that one day she will make them into a one-off item of jewellery, decorative piece, or work of art. Nothing will look the same, the only similarity in her creativity is that the item will more than likely be tactile.

As is often the case with kindred spirits, creative attracts creative, so it wasn’t surprising that about four years ago, when Sonja and her family moved to Latham, in Canberra, that she met neighbour Emma Hockey. The friendship blossomed but it was more than that.

Emma, also with a creative – and spiritual – bent, had been learning about essential oils: how they can help living life, from sleeping better to staying calm in emergencies.

Display of potions and jewellery

Some of the potions Emma has made which she takes to markets and fairs. They are complemented by Sonja’s unique creations, from tiny cauldrons to hold bath bombs to diffusers and one-off pieces of jewellery. Photo: Emma Hockey.

“I was experimenting,” Emma said. “It was a way to learn about people. I started making unique blends for people and then more and more would ask me to do one for them. That was it. I started to research more about the ingredients, work out what was best for people, and I started making these potions.

“I’d had some bad experiences with oils that weren’t pure, so I looked at the best available, and started working with them.”

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Not long after her family moved to Latham, Sonja said her son was experiencing nightmares. She took him to meet Emma -“I think he was convinced she was a witch,” Sonja joked. Emma made him a potion which helped start him on a new, more peaceful sleep routine and their special bond was set in stone.

The two women realised there was a strong connection between them – Emma’s connection with natural remedies to help people feel better and Sonja’s creative spirit, where she could make something that would raise another’s spirits.


From an old collection of Australian coins, Sonja made these quirky little spoons. Photo: Sally Hopman.

Sonja said one of the first pieces she made was a necklace with a tiny bottle of a potion Emma had made on the end of it.

“I could wear it on me,” she said. “She’d made a blend that really worked for me, it was an amazing feeling to be able to have that with you all the time.”

Not only has the friendship blossomed over these past four years, but the two women, both public servants in their other life, now work together at weekends or whatever free time is available, selling their wares at markets and fairs.

They make their creations individually, often without discussion beforehand, but then work together like hand and glove to make it happen.

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Like the diffuser for essential oils, a tiny spoon made from an old Australian coin that can be used with the potions, or baby cauldrons to hold bath bombs.

It’s all about what works for you, the women say. For Emma, it’s creating potions that suit – and help – the wearer. She has mixed oils that help with everything from sleeplessness to restoring calm, working towards inner peace to finding good fortune or simply finding balance and grounding in your life.

For Sonja, it is making things from the most natural of fibres, metals or substances – most of which work with the potions.

“Moving here, meeting Emma, was meant to be,” Sonja said. “I really feel blessed.”

“So do I,” her friend said.

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charmedmagpie12:54 pm 01 Oct 22

Thank you so much for such a lovely story!
You can follow our creative adventures on Instagram @freyjastudio and @essentialhappinesspotions

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