I headed north on April 18 to Salvo to visit Christina Deneka of Hollow Daze Surf Designs. Ocean breezes blowing, I climbed a spiral staircase up to the ocean-view studio where Christina creates world-class artisan soap and other goodies.
“The breathtaking natural beauty of the Outer Banks in general and Hatteras Island in particular inspires and informs our robust collection. We use pure essential oils and botanicals, and no synthetic fragrances or colorants, to help our customers look good and feel great about each and every ingredient.” – Christina Deneka
Passionate about her craft, Christina’s specialty is handcrafted castile soap. Hollow Daze makes both European-style one hundred percent olive oil bars and American-style bars that include additional plant ingredients like shea butter, avocado and coconut oil. Hollow Daze soap varieties also feature locally sourced ingredients, including diverse cultivars of English and French lavender and locally harvested sea salt.
“In addition to all of the health and wellness benefits associated with swimming in our ocean, many people discover that it also makes their skin look good and feel great. So I especially love to use local sea salt in Hollow Daze soap to give that magical Outer Banks glow anytime, anywhere. Our Lemongrass bar with hand harvested Outer Banks SeaSalt™ was featured in the Spring 2017 Outer Banks Box™.” – Christina Deneka
I asked Christina to describe the soap she cut during my visit. It is the latest European-style variety, called ‘Surf.’
“Inspired by a particularly awesome family surf session this spring, I wanted to capture the cool/breezy and salty/invigorating feeling. Surf incorporates spearmint, peppermint and rosemary essential oils, along with mineral and antioxidant rich kelp and solar evaporated local sea salt with rosemary from Hatteras Saltworks™.” – Christina Deneka
Deeply connected to local art and craft, Christina also serves as president of the Hatteras Island Arts & Craft Guild.
“As a Guild member, I always found the shows incredibly inspiring and life-affirming because the talent level is just so high. It strikes me that perhaps that is how it may have felt to be one of the artists or artisans on the scene in Renaissance Italy. I am grateful every day to participate in the creative energy of the Outer Banks.” –Christina Deneka
Formerly an attorney, Christina laughs that board meetings now take place in the ocean: “I love our simple island life and making a living creating soap and other goodies using fabulous ingredients.” – Christina Deneka
For the 2017 season, find Hollow Daze at multiple events every week, including: Brew & Arts on Mondays, the Avon Farmers Market on Tuesdays and the Manteo Farmers Market on Saturdays.
Hollow Daze also has at least one major local art show every month:
May 26, Indiantown Gallery, Frisco
May 29, Island Art Show, Rodanthe-Waves-Salvo Community Center
June 22, Rock-the-Cape, Hatteras Realty, Avon
July 6, Island Art Show, Rodanthe-Waves-Salvo Community Center
July 19 & 20, Avon Art Show, Hatteras Realty, Avon
August 2 & 3, Hatteras Island Arts & Craft Guild Show, Secondary School, Buxton
August 31, Island Art Show, Rodanthe-Waves-Salvo Community Center
Hollow Daze is available at retail locations throughout the Outer Banks: shop the line at the SeaWorthy Gallery in Hatteras Village and Made in the OBX in Kitty Hawk and Duck. Other select retailers include the Lightkeeper’s Gallery (Frisco), Studio 12 (Avon) & the Museum Store at Roanoke Island Festival Park (Manteo).
Follow Hollow Daze Surf Designs on Facebook to stay connected and for the most up-to-date event information. Please scroll down for a glimpse into Christina’s studio and an up-close look at some incredible Hollow Daze Surf Designs creations.