It’s All about the Hands

When I first started working at Island Essence, I started with the basics: hand labeling and pumping lotion into our bottles and doing the same for our Maui Miracle Oils. Putting together the ingredients and producing the actual product was well above my talents in the beginning. And that made sense to me.

You see, as a little girl when our family prepared for parties, everyone had their tasks. My father mixed the poi by hand, my mother made the lomi salmon (and still does) by hand, an Aunty made the chicken long rice and my Grandfather was in charge of the imu (underground oven) to kalua the pig; all by hand. You watched, learned and when our Kupuna (elders) felt the time was right, you got to help. Then the time comes when our Kupuna got too old it was your turn (with a lot of supervising from all your aunties and uncles) you knew what to do already.

Just like at Island Essence, you learn the simple things first, and then work your way up. Exciting when I learned to mix our proprietary (that means specially made for us) lotion with our fragrance and essential oils. Then came the body washes, shampoos and conditioners. I felt like “graduated” to the high-school level when I made our specialty scrubs and candles!

Everything at Island Essence is made by hand. From the labeling, as mentioned before to the mixing, pouring, capping and wrapping of our soaps. And we all try our best put our knowledge, pride and caring into each and every item that we make. I’d like to think our Kupuna would be so proud!

Aloha for now,

Anty Kalei