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

Posts tagged ‘Organic’

Kiss the Sky – A New Organic Skin Care Line!

I like yummy smelling soap and lotions. But who doesn’t. Especially on Maui, it seems like everyone is making bath and body products these days, with delicious fresh and floral scents, but when something special catches my *nose*, I take note. At one of my favorite gift shops on the island, the Hui Noeau, I was doing my usually ‘smelling of the soap’ when the sweet packaging and amazing cocoa butter fragrance of the Kiss the Sky caught my attention.

I recently caught up with the owner of Kiss the Sky, Alyson Gaioni, to hear more about her delicious new line.

Maui Made: How did you get into the bath and body business?  

Alyson Gaioni: My love for herbalism and plants grew out of a passion for self empowerment. About ten years ago I started on a journey to learn the best way to keep myself healthy and happy while also respecting my environment and keeping that healthy and happy too. I ended up finding myself at a little herbal school in Boulder, CO with a rigorous curriculum where I became certified as a Clinical Herbalist.

kiss the sky maui cocoa rose body butter

A fresh batch of Cocoa Rose Body Butter

I am consistently blown away by the simplicity of the healing power the botanical world offers.  Just by learning about a few plants it is possible to take care of yourself and create products that are tailored to your exact needs.  It was exciting to discover I could take that knowledge and expand it into beauty products.  I started creating fun and pretty recipes that also heal and nourish the body.  After some years of experimenting and playing around I decided I wanted to share my creations and show people that beauty doesn’t have to come with a cost to your health or the environment.  That’s when I started Kiss the Sky.

MM: Is this a full-time job for you? 

AG: Currently it is my part time job and full time passion.

MM: Tell us a bit about yourself… 

calendula jojoba oil - bath and body - maui

Calendula Infusing into Jojoba Oil

AG: I am a culmination of the New York girl who slowly made her way west via the Rocky Mountains and ended up on this magical island 2.5 years ago.  I have followed my heart through many different places and occupations and have found a beautiful life here. I love playing the alchemist in my spare time and my kitchen can sometimes resemble a witches den.  I am constantly researching, learning and experimenting.

MM: What is the good and the bad about having a company on Maui? 

When I first moved to Maui I was nervous about the idea of finding a job that could support me (we all know this island can be expensive).  But I have come to realize that the lack of jobs has inspired many people to become entrepreneurs. This has generated a very supportive community for people starting their own small businesses – from free consulting to farmers markets and stores that are willing to carry local products.  One difficultly that I have run into, however, is the cost of shipping.  It is very expensive if any of your ingredients need to be imported.

MM: Where can people find your products? 

AG: Currently I am selling my complete product line on my website www.kisstheskyorganics.com and Etsy Store “KissTheSkyOrganics”.  They can also be found in the Hui No’eau in Makawao and Mana Foods in Paia.

MM: What’s next for your Kiss the Sky?

AG: So much!  I have a new line of mineral eye shadows coming out in the next month to be followed by more mineral make up products.  I will soon be selling my lip glosses in a liquid applicator tube as well.  After that I am contemplating a botanical baby care line.

HUGE MAHALO to Alyson for taking the time to share her story!

Want to follow Kiss the Sky?  Check out the page on Facebook

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Kuau Store Opens at Former Kuau Mart Site

Well, the times they are a changin’… in the site of the former Kuau Mart, a former favorite stop for the surfers and beach go-ers to pick up some good local food, the shiny new Kuau Store has just opened.  It appears to have a little of everything, I would call it an organic convenience store, with everything from local Kombucha to natural toilet paper.  Now, whether Paia needed another organic shop I’m not sure, but a store with designated parking?  YES.  They are currently open from 6:30am – 7:00pm.

I did a quick undercover mission (hence the horrible photos) – but as you can see, they offer Paninis, Plate Lunch, Juices, Smoothie, Coffee, Poke and much more!   I haven’t tried anything so I can’t offer recommendations – Have you tried it yet?  Please leave a note in the comments!

UPDATE:  Kuau Store now has a website and a Facebook Page: 

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.  

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

(Update: Use coupon code AF13LS for a 15% discount on liliadesigns.com)

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 LiliaDesigns.com – 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 liliadesigns.com?  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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