In the Spirit of Giving
I live in paradise. The garden island of Kauai is arguably one of the most beautiful places in the world, surrounded by lush and tropical rainforests, stunning waterfalls, and exotic plants and flowers. My husband, Shaun, and I decided to move here from the mainland 10 years ago because we wanted our children to grow up in a place where they could see nature firsthand and get back to basics.
Plumeria, also known as frangipani, is a popular flower grown on the islands that is used in many M-alie Organics products.
Moving to Kauai and being surrounded with the unique scents, textures, and colors of the island's tropics was very inspirational, and I felt that Kauai possessed something truly unique and special that I wanted to share the only way I knew how—by creating products. I also discovered an island full of talented, exceptional people who were creative and eager to be a part of a team and to create beautiful ideas and products. I spent the next two years developing products that give people real value, using Kauai's many natural resources to help create exceptionally luxurious beauty products. The company we founded, M-alie Organics, was named after a Hawaiian term, often used to describe the ocean, meaning calm, serene, and tranquil. M-alie is also my daughter's middle name.
We're so grateful for Hawaii, for the land, and for the people who've become our neighbors and friends. Because of that, every aspect of our company revolves around giving back. At M-alie, we have created special initiatives with some of our lines, like Koke'e, which was named after one of Kauai's sacred wilderness areas. We donate a percentage of sales to the Koke'e Resource Conservation Program in order to save dozens of rare, endangered native plants, exotic birds, and other wildlife.
Our goal has always been to help build the economy here, to export products from Hawaii, and to create jobs. Every decision I make for M-alie comes down to how we can create benefits for our community, vendors, and the M-alie team. That starts from the moment our ingredients are selected. We're completely committed to local organic farms and sustainably harvesting rare and wild-crafted plants.
I love the fact that we blend exotic Hawaiian ingredients, like coconut oil, ginger, kukui nut oil, mango seed butter, and all our delicate flower essences into our products, and people all over the world take them home to enjoy the spirit of Hawaii. Our pure hydrosols capture the aroma and the therapeutic power of the entire plant. We've experimented with everything from coffee macadamia nut body scrubs and indigenous Kauai clay to wild-crafted lilikoi and lemongrass oils, creating new organic spa rituals that embody the transformational quality of our unique Hawaiian aromatherapy offerings. The rainforests, the lava-enriched soil, the sunlight, and all the tropical tastes and scents can be experienced sensually through the products.
Founder Dana Roberts picks fresh cherries from Kauai's coffee fields for her new anti-aging skincare line.
And now I've entered one of the most exciting times in our business. Our dreams for making a greater contribution to Hawaii have taken off. Just recently, I've found the key to creating a unique anti-aging facial line. In this competitive marketplace, I needed that special "wow" ingredient to base our facial range around. I always sensed it was right here in Hawaii, with more than 150 indigenous ingredients in our portfolio already.
Every day on my way to the office, I drive through coffee fields. It was during one of these drives that it came to me. This was the "magic" anti-aging ingredient for which I was looking. The coffee cherry is a gorgeous shimmering red or golden-yellow fruit that surrounds the coffee seed or bean. Most people never even think about coffee coming from a fruit, but researchers have discovered that the coffee cherry possesses more antioxidant power than almost any plant source in the world, including açai, blueberries, and pomegranates. Officially judged by its Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) score, our coffee cherry extract measured at more than 100,000 ORACs per gram in independent lab results. That's intense anti-aging power, because the coffee cherry creates and stores antioxidants to protect its seeds from the tropical sun and other harmful elements in the environment. We can draw on this natural anti-aging protective power and use it for our own skin.
Hawaii's coffee cherry is proving to be a potent antioxidant.
I always start with ingredients, researching what people want. Then I ask, "What will create the most value for the consumer?" At M-alie, we've created a very simple line based on effectiveness. These organic formulas are made up of an anti-aging cream, an anti-aging serum, an eye cream, and a coconut milk cleanser, all of which have coffee cherry as the foundation ingredient. They're age-defying because the extract offers an intensely concentrated way of therapeutically treating lines and wrinkles, sun damage, and hyperpigmentation.
Kauai and Kona, on the Big Island, offer us a bounty of the finest organic coffee found anywhere. Our coffee cherries are hand picked at their ripest, when the cherries exhibit their peak antioxidant power. Until recently, millions of pounds of Hawaiian coffee fruit were thrown out every year because they hadn't solved the problem of bringing the fragile cherry from harvest to processing. Now we've been fortunate to work with our local chemists in creating a natural extraction method using water—and no chemicals—that allows us to create this pure and powerful extract.
Our Hawaii Coffee Cherry line has taken our vision of giving back to Hawaii to an exponentially explosive level. We're impacting an entire industry in our state on a grand scale with one of our largest exports by enormously increasing the value of coffee and creating more jobs. The coffee cherry has proven potential in so many health arenas, from foods and beverages to vitamins and nutraceuticals to stress relief and disease prevention, as well as skincare. It's the ultimate articulation of the M-alie philosophy. It's another way to allow people around the world to enjoy the Aloha Spirit of Hawaii and the M-alie Organics range of fine natural products.— Dana Roberts