Meet Rachel Howe

Rachel Howe Passerbuys
Born in New Jersey, Rachel moved to NYC to go to art school at Parsons. Since then she’s moved through working in the art world to having her own business making functional ceramics under the name Small Spells. After spending two and a half years with ceramics as her full-time job, she is now moving on to working on many other projects, mainly design projects and healing services. She gives tarot readings and is working on designing a tarot deck. In addition, she’s been making t-shirts, giving stick n poke tattoos, and doing astrology posts on her Instagram, which have become really popular.
Top, Vintage ; Overalls, American Apparel

Top, Vintage ; Overalls, American Apparel

Dress: TMHL

Dress: TMHL

on her morning routine

Every day is different as far as what I have lined up to do, but I try to get up around 8:30, shower, and have coffee. Usually I grab my phone as soon as I wake up but I’ve been trying to take a sec to remember & think about my dreams and clear my mind for my coming day.

on being an artist

I’ve been an artist since I was born! I always drew & made things. I went to art school for fine arts & it’s only in the past few years that I’ve been focusing more on design.

Ceramics was always about surface decoration for me— I was starting to care less about theoretical art practices & learning more about craft & design, and wanting to make more accessible things. I throw everything, which is its own kind of amazing zen practice, but the real fun for me was always glazing, when I can play with pattern.

on her different interests

I’ve always been into occult stuff, but it started as a true path for me about four years ago when I found these outlets for my interest. I was already learning how to do reiki & more about healing practices, when I had a tarot reading with Terry Iacuzzo, a well-known psychic, who immediately said she had to mentor me in tarot. I didn’t know anything about it at that point but it changed my life.

Sweatshirt, Otherwild ; Jeans, Acne

Sweatshirt, Otherwild ; Jeans, Acne

Ceramics was a fun hobby that became a business.
— on the beginning of her career
Rachel Howe Passerbuys
Top: Vintage, Overalls: American Apparel

Top: Vintage, Overalls: American Apparel

on her makeup routine

I’d like to be totally natural. I’d prefer to never think about makeup, and it took me a while to reconcile my vanity, which I don’t deny I have, with my distaste for traditional ideas of what women should do to look beautiful. I feel way more chill about it now, and more like, whatever works! I want most of all to look healthy & happy and some days you just need some help with that. I over-plucked my eyebrows when I was young so I always fill those in, and always do some eyeliner. Sometimes it’s fun to do a crazy Egyptian cat eye.

I also recommend Maybelline Precision Eyeliner, Aesop Reverence Aromatique Hand Balm, Maybelline Line Express Eyeliner, Fat and the Moon Tinted Balm, Alba Un-Petroleum Lip Balm, and Covergirl Lash Blast Mascara.

on her personal style

I’ve always had a tomboy aesthetic but I’ve been embracing that more, and having more fun with it. Just wearing what makes me feel comfortable & playful. I shop 90% secondhand, mostly because I love the feeling of getting a lot of stuff when I shop & I can’t afford that otherwise. You’re free to experiment more. If something is too weird to wear once you get home it’s no biggie.


The Book of Highs   by Edward Rosenfeld,   A Taste of Power: A Black Woman's Story   by Elaine Brown,   The Tarot: A Key to the Wisdom of the Ages   by Paul Foster Case,   Vintage Didion   by Joan Didion,   Esoteric Encyclopedia of Eternal Knowledge   by Vernon Howard,   The Astrologer's Handbook   by Frances Sakoian
I discovered the “Esoteric Encyclopedia of Eternal Knowledge” at my friend’s house and had to order it for myself. It’s full of small, relatable, positive little stories that help you open your mind & change your perspective, without being too hippie dippy.
— on her favorite book
Sweatshirt: Otherwild, Jeans: Acne

Sweatshirt: Otherwild, Jeans: Acne

on her skincare routine

Anytime I look in the mirror and don’t like what I see, I chug water & immediately look better. Works on your mood too! Also I just discovered Cococare Coconut Oil helps everything too. It’s a really lightweight moisturizer for hair and skin. I have oily skin so always avoided moisturizer but coconut oil makes me glow. I also use Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay. I also recommend Proactiv Renewing Cleanser and Everclen Eye Cream.

on creating more for people

Last year I started thinking about designing my own deck, and after simmering in my mind, I finally started the drawings for it. It takes a while because you really have to be connected & go deep into the meanings, and I want it to be a very clear & helpful tool for guidance for people. And look cool too!

Sweatshirt, Otherwild ; Jeans, Acne

Sweatshirt, Otherwild ; Jeans, Acne

rachel's favorite books

The Book of Highs by Edward Rosenfeld, A Taste of Power: A Black Woman's Story by Elaine Brown, The Tarot: A Key to the Wisdom of the Ages by Paul Foster Case, Vintage Didion by Joan Didion, Esoteric Encyclopedia of Eternal Knowledge by Vernon Howard, The Astrologer's Handbook by Frances Sakoian

rachel's favorite places in nyc

I get coffee at Variety on Graham Ave, or Five Leaves if my friends are working

Beacon's Closet for clothing

I love Suzume for ramen

When it's nice out I like to hang out at Cooper Park, it's small & very chill

Artist & Craftsman for art supplies

Top: Viva Vena,     Jacket: Carhartt,    Jeans: Acne ,      Shoes: New Balance ,      Bag: Mansi Shah

Top: Viva Vena, Jacket: Carhartt, Jeans: Acne, Shoes: New Balance, Bag: Mansi Shah