News and reviews of made on Maui products and Maui-based companies and success stories. Also featuring island shopping guides

Posts tagged ‘Natural’

SolKine- A New, Natural Sunscreen Made on Maui!

It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything here, since when I have paying clients this ‘fun’ blog gets back-burner status, but when I saw a post about this new made-on-Maui natural and reef-friendly sunscreen, I just had to interview them!

Below is my interview with Maja Liotta, CEO and Founder of SolKine

solkine natural reef safe sunscreen made on maui Maui Made: How did you get the idea for your company? 

Maja: I had been making beauty products for as long as I can remember. From sugar scrubs with fragrant essential oils to even soap made from rendered pork fat, I have always been someone whose mind is always thinking about how I can elevate a product or food and make it better. I am also a private chef so I am comfortable manipulating ingredient ratios to achieve a beneficial result. I had been making sunscreen for four years for my own family and had been sharing it with various moms on the beaches. With some encouragement and the help of my awesome packaging, branding and website designer, SolKine got a “look” and a following as we promote and share our product with tons of north shore groms and their families.

solkine natural reef safe sunscreen made on maui

MM: What are the difficulties of running a business on Maui? 

ML: Shipping costs!!! Getting materials here is a huge annoyance- nothing comes cheap to Maui and it takes forever!!

MM: What are the best parts of running a business on Maui?  

ML: We get to live in paradise AND have a successful business plus every person on the island desperately needs a reef safe suncare product.

MM: What’s next for your company? 

ML: We opened a bay area headquarters and are excited to start getting product to the west coast and the eastern seaboard and beyond!  We are also launching a high alpine product “SolKine Alpine” as the original recipe of this product was inspired by the harshest of elements while my family and I lived in the high rockies at 9000ft elevation.

MM: Where can people buy your product? 

ML: Right now, our e-commerce site is awesome as well as its available at Hi-Tech, Sailboards Maui, Mana Foods and Paia Pit Stop.  We are adding new retailers weekly so check our website to see where else we are selling!

solkine natural reef safe sunscreen made on mauisolkine natural reef safe sunscreen made on maui


Mahalo to Maja for taking the time to give us an interview!  

Kissed by Maui – A Made on Maui Lipstick

I’m not really a big makeup person – if I’m going somewhere nice I’ll put on some lipstick, if its really nice I’ll add some mascara.  (Maybe this is why I live in Hawaii.)  I usually just apply lipstick at home, since one of my favorite lipsticks has a habit of loosing its cap in my bag, and glosses like to attract my hair with the help of Maui’s tradewinds.

made on maui lipstick natural

So when I got a proposal to sample Kissed by Maui, a made on Maui lipstick, I decided it was time to start wearing lipstick on a more regular basis.  I ordered two shades and did a road test with one in the purse for a week to see how it holds up.

The two lipsticks arrived in beautiful packaging, with substantial tubes (read= you can find it in the bottom of your purse), made out of bamboo.  They both apply smoothly and seem more moisturizing than most of the lipsticks that I have tried, without the hair  sticky-problem of a gloss.  The Pink Passion is a kind of sheer darker pink, great for daily use, and has survived a week in my purse, without melting (I didn’t leave it for long in the hot sun though) and without the cap falling off. Island Girl is a nice reddish brown that is good for fancy evenings.   (I was going to post some pictures of myself wearing them but it turns out my face and lips are not symmetrical, and my mother reminded me that most people that post lipstick pictures have professional makeup artists and a lighting crew – this may or may not be true but I get the point)

After passing my road/lip test, I interviewed Robin Kory, the founder of Kissed by Maui, to find out more about her made on Maui creations.

Maui Made: How did you get the idea to go into the lipstick business? 

Robin Kory: I became concerned about the toxins in cosmetics and cleaning products so I decided to make lipstick for myself and family and then decided that it would be a great product to share with everyone  – locals and visitors.  I did a lot of research on the internet and in books regarding how to make natural cosmetics.  Kissed By Maui lipstick is 100% natural and made with high quality ingredients, many of them organic, that have not been tested on animals.

MM: What’s the challenge for manufacturing on Maui? 

RK: I guess the main challenge was finding all of the ingredients.  All of my ingredients come from stores on the mainland, except for the Pikake essential oil that I get from the Big Island.  I am going to look into sourcing the beeswax locally once I use up all that I have, but I am not sure if it will be pure enough.

MM: Tell me a bit about your background- 

RK: I am originally from Akron, Ohio and we moved to Hawaii about 1 ½ years ago (first Oahu for 5 months and then Maui since October 2012) after our daughter, Maya, graduated from high school.  Once she graduated we knew that we wanted to move somewhere warm and beautiful – Hawaii was the perfect place!  I have a Bachelor’s degree in Biology and have worked as a Registered Sanitarian (Health Inspector) at two local health departments in Ohio.  I then became a Paralegal and worked at a large law firm in Columbus, Ohio for 4 years.

natural organic hawaiian lipstick MM: Where can people buy Kissed by Maui? 

RK: Kissed By Maui lipstick is currently available in six stores  – Collections in Makawao, Green Ti Boutique & Massage in Wailuku, Biasa Rose in Paia, Maui Ocean Treasures (Maui Ocean Center Gift Store- free admission to gift store) in Ma’alaea, Local Store on Moloka’i and Happy Feet in Kihei.  I also have an online store. 

MM: What’s next for Kissed by Maui? 

RK: I hope to add more retail stores on Maui and other Islands and I hope to increase online sales.   I am also working with a business man from Oahu that is going distribute my lipstick to Japan via a Japanese website and directly to stores in Japan.

Mahalo to Robin for sharing her story and her lipsticks!  We see big things happening for Kissed by Maui in 2014!  

 Follow Kissed by Maui on Facebook 

Disclosure: Complimentary lipsticks were provided for this review.  

Moku Pua Soap Factory at Maui Tropical Plantation

Maui Tropical Plantation has completely renovated (see the complete post here) – and this weekend the circus is coming!  So excited to bring my kids (ages 2 and 5) to see the Big Top.  If you are heading over to MTP this weekend, might also be a good time to check out Moku Pua, a new bath and body company, and watch them making soap!

Vicki Pillar shared her story of “Moku Pua”- Natural Body Care and Soap Factory at the Maui Tropical Plantation, which just opened in September:

We are a new factory store at the Maui Tropical Plantation, making all of our products right in our store!  We make Natural Body Care and Fragrance products without adding harsh chemicals like Parabens, Sulfates, Petroleum, or Mineral Oils.  We have 9 Tropical Fragrances (and unscented Handcrafted Soap and Body Butter for sensitive skin), and our products come in Handcrafted Soap, Body Butter, Sugar Scrub, Body Wash, Body Mist, and Diffusers.  We are in the process of setting up a Sea Salt Bar, in which customers can pour colored and fragranced Sea Salt into containers for a relaxing Bath Soak.

making soap by hand on maui natural ingredients

Pouring the handcrafted soap into the mold

Our business started out with giving Plumeria Sugar Scrub to friends and family as a Christmas present.  It was well received and everyone wanted to get more to give as gifts for their friends.  Soon we we getting orders for more Sugar Scrub, and before we knew it, we had a fun hobby of making Sugar Scrub.  We started experimenting with other fragrances and soon we had over 20 different fragrances!  Our orders kept growing and we reached a point where we needed to decide to start a business and create a name for our company.  We began taking business classes and joined the Handcrafted Soap and Cosmetic Guild to develop our company.

soap process making handcrafted natural ingredients maui

Removing the soap from the mold

We now have 9 Tropical Fragrances, an unscented called “Purely Natural”,  and a variety of other products besides Sugar Scrub.  One of our signature products is our Handcrafted Soap made the old fashioned way called the “Cold Process Method.”  We handcraft our soap in small batches using food grade exotic oils of Coconut, Palm, Canola, Caster, and Kukui Nut Oils.  We mix our ingredients and pour them into a large mold.  Next, our soap is cut into bars and allowed to cure for 4 weeks to create a hard bar.  Our handcrafted soap creates a creamy rich lather, lots of bubbles, cleanses and moisturizes, and does not strip your skin of its natural oils.  Your skin will not tighten up after drying, this is because we super fat our soap with the addition of the Hawaiian Kukui Nut Oil, known for it’s medicinal and moisturizing properties.

maui soap cutting process

Cutting the soap into leaves

We have been manufacturers on Molokai and California for several years, selling our products to wholesale accounts.  The opportunity arose for a Soap Factory/Store at the Maui Tropical Plantation, so in July we relocated from Molokai and California to Maui.  We feel very blessed to be at the beautiful Maui Tropical Plantation where we are surrounded by the tropical flowers, plants and incredible scenery!

Mahalo to Vicki for sharing her story with us!  Don’t forget to check out their beautiful website as well, and if you aren’t on Maui – there’s online shopping! 

Lilia Designs – Locally Made Cloth Diapers and Fun with Feminine Hygiene

(Update: Use coupon code AF13LS for a 15% discount on

As stated in an earlier post, there are currently no baby, children’s or maternity stores on Maui (with the exception of some toy/book stores).  Some retail-minded entrepreneur could probably do well with a store that carries items not found in our local Walmart.  And when this store opens, I hope they carry locally made products – like LIlia Designs, by Anna Hakes:

LIlia Designs is made up of two main lines, Maui Diaper, a unique, one-size-fits-all cloth diaper, and Go With The Flo, reusable cloth menstrual pads for women. Each product is hand-crafted using primarily natural fiber and organic fabrics such as bamboo, hemp and organic cotton and wool. Hand-dyed items are dyed with non-toxic dyes, and no harsh chemicals or pollutants are used during the dying process.   In addition to the main lines, Lilia Designs also makes nursing pads, the Diva Panty (period underwear!) infinity scarves and multi-purpose wet-bags.

Maui Made: Where did you get the idea for your company? 

Anna Hakes: Lilia Designs was born 11 years ago out of the need and desire for a diaper that didn’t leak.  The Maui Diaper brand was created through years of designing and testing cloth diapers on my 4 children, resulting in a cutting edge design: the ‘One Fit’ one-size diaper.  The Go With The Flo brand was added in 2005 to give women a healthier care option for their monthly cycle.  My passion is designing, and spend most of my free time creating clothing, re-usable products, and other necessities that everyone can use.

MM: Is this a full time business for you? 

AH: I am a full time wife and mommy.  Lilia Designs is my creative outlet and provides a supplemental source of income for our family and for other women who work with me.

MM: How do most people hear about you?  

AH: Most of our customers come to us through word of mouth.  Although based here on Maui, my main customer base is in the UK, New Zealand, Australia, and across the mainland US.

menstrual cloth mama cloth pads cotton organic

Go with the Flo cloth pads- come in a variety of colors!

MM: What’s your most popular product?  

AH: Believe it or not, my most popular product is Go With The Flo pads!  More and more women are realizing the damage disposable paper products can and do cause to our bodies, and they want a nontoxic, organic alternative.  And we’ve got it!  Tied for top seller status are the hand-dyed Infinity scarves we make.  A close second is the waterproof storage bag I designed.  It’s PERFECT for keeping wet swim wear in on the way home from the beach.

MM: What’s next for your company? 

AH: Lilia Designs is poised for a major growth spurt right now.  As the demand grows, I am barely keeping up!  So the next step is finding local manufacturing.  Then, we’ll be able to get our product out there for everyone to see in the local stores…

Anna also has great information on her website if you are considering starting cloth diapers or feminine pads.

Lilia Designs are available for purchase at Mana Foods in Paia, Maui, at these retailers in Canada, the UK and Australia, and online at – If you are in the UK and you want to purchase online you can click here.  There is also a store on Etsy.

Follow Lilia Designs on Facebook and Twitter

Want 15% off your purchases at  Use Coupon Code AF13LS! 

Mahalo to Anna for taking some time to share her story – I’m so glad to know about this product, I just wish I knew about it six years ago!  Hoping to help spread the word to other new mommies, and anyone considering making a small change for themselves and the planet.


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