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Saltwater Cottage partners with Magdalene’s to fight against human trafficking

Saltwater Cottage has joined a local gift shop called Magdalene’s in its efforts to love and serve all women in their journey toward healing and restoration.

Saltwater Cottage expanded its candle line to include a specific Magdalene candle that smells like the fresh floral air that Mary Magdalene might have smelt outside of Jesus’s empty tomb.

All the profits made from these profits will be donated directly to the mission of Magdalene’s to end human trafficking.

Saltwater Cottage manager Bridget House says it gives her chills to think about the redemption story of the Magdalene’s building in Gulf Breeze.

“The beautiful thing about it… they are in the old massage place that actually got busted for sex trafficking,” House said.

In November 2019, a Pensacola man and massage parlor operator pled guilty to charges of using interstate facilities for transporting females for prostitution. During his guilty plea, he admitted operating massage parlors that offered sexual acts in return for money. One of those parlors is located at 3268 Fordham Parkway in Gulf Breeze, the new home of Magdalene’s Gifts and Gatherings.

“The building has come full circle and has overcome that cycle of abuse,” House said. “We’re now at restoration, which I think is an amazing testament to God and all that He does if we just stay the course and listen.”

The purpose of Magdalene’s, a not-for-profit corporation, is to help woman survivors of trafficking, prostitution, abuse and addiction through Christian-based therapeutic, rehabilitative and vocational programming.

All profits from Magdalene’s Gifts and Gatherings will go straight towards helping survivors find healing.

Magdalene’s plans to open a safe house for adult women survivors of sex trafficking where they will focus on a three-phase program – recovery from addiction and abuse, restoration through trauma-informed care and renewal where survivors are empowered to live independently.

Magdalene’s get its name from Mary Magdalene in the Bible, a woman known for experiencing healing through Jesus Christ and her devotion and love for Him.

The gift shop will sell artisan-designed products and will serve as a gathering place for the community for anything from cooking classes and tea parties to bible studies and bridal showers.

Deb Atchison, a Co-Chair of Magdalene’s, said the community from Navarre to Pensacola has come together to restore the building, from donating paint, flooring, labor and an air-conditioning unit.

“God had brought us all together for this purpose,” Atchison said. “…Every time there’s been a need, it’s been met.”

The gift shop will hold its grand opening Oct. 1. Check the Magdalene’s Facebook for details.

Saltwater Cottage continues to thrive in Navarre with its unique finds from inspirational books, handcrafted jewelry, Turkish towels, baby toys to cute dog collars and fun chew toys.

Candles are a best-seller at Saltwater Cottage and are hand poured by owner Julie Condon. She crafts each fragrance, and each candle has a story and is individually prayed over.

The Saltwater staff wants to thank all their customers – tourists and locals.

“The influx of locals has been awesome because now we’re starting to really build that community and true Saltwater family,” House said.

Tribe Tuesday is a day that Saltwater Cottage created to help support other local small shops.

“It’s kind of like Taco Tuesday, it’s a great excuse to eat tacos. Well, this is a great excuse to shop local,” she said.

If one shop doesn’t have what a customer is looking for, shops suggest other locations they think might.
“We believe we rise by lifting others,” House said.

Saltwater Cottage
8470 Navarre Parkway, Navarre, FL
Open Monday – Friday 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Saturday 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Magdalene’s Gifts and Gatherings
3268 Fordham Parkway, Gulf Breeze, FL
Grand Opening – Oct. 1
Open Tuesday – Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.