Support Local, Go Native!

Go Native! and Mamalani founder Mele Kalama-Kingma PHOTO COURTESY MELE  KALAMA-KINGMA

Go Native! and Mamalani founder Mele Kalama-Kingma PHOTO COURTESY MELE

Motherhood changed Mele Kalama-Kingma in more ways than one. For starters, Kalama-Kingma soon discovered that she, well, kind of smelled bad.

“I was like, ‘What happened?'” she recalls with a laugh.

As a health-conscious dietician, Kalama-Kingma began hunting for a healthy solution. Skin, after all, she reasons, is the body’s largest organ – what it “eats” matters, too. So when her search turned up empty, Kalama-Kingma resorted to making her own all-natural body powder instead.

“I was like a mad scientist for like, three months,” she says.

After sharing the final product with cousins and a few others, demand for it quickly grew. It inspired Kalama-Kingma to go into business, and about five years ago, she officially launched Mamalani.

In addition to a collection of body powders available in various scents, Mamalani also now offers stick deodorants, blended oils and medicinal salves. Almost everything is made with locally sourced ingredients, which inspired another business venture for Kalama-Kingma: Go Native!

A subscription box that costs about $34.95 each month, Go Native! highlights natural made-in-Hawaii products, including those from Mamalani. Each box contains about four or five items made by Kalama-Kingma, as well as others from local farmers and artisans she has gotten to know throughout the years.

Currently, Kalama-Kingma works with about four regular vendors. One, for example, makes herb-infused soaps while another creates all-natural eye shadows. There’s also a farm on Hawaii island that grows its own cinnamon. Items will continue to change as they become available, and all of it, says Kalama-Kingma, helps piece together a rather simple big-picture idea.

“The goal was to showcase products that not only are good for you but also have the intention to perpetuate Hawaiian culture,” she says.

“What I’m trying to do is really show this is who we are, we really take care of our land, we try not to make a lot of waste.

“It’s quality over quantity,” she adds.

Already subscriptions for Go Native! have been taking off, with customers on the Mainland and here in Hawaii. Things have been rather hectic, says Kalama-Kingma, but she’s excited to see where it goes.

“People like the subscription; you get a present every month,” she says. “It’s just been like, wow.”

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What’s In A Box?

Subscription boxes are so much fun, and it even increases the possibility of the businesses making more money, especially if they have looked for recurring billing software before selling the idea of subscription boxes to their customers. See, it has benefits for a lot of people. Go Native! owner and founder Mele Kalama-Kingma is right: It’s exactly like getting a present every month.

Products featured in the February Go Native! box JAIMIE KIM PHOTO

Products featured in the February Go Native! box JAIMIE KIM PHOTO

Kalama-Kingma was kind enough to give this Metro writer a sample of what subscribers received last month. Here’s a closer look: • Mamalani Ke‘ala Organic Deodorant Stick: Though there was a bit of a powdery texture when it dried, the trade-off for something natural was worth it. Plus, made with essential oils like lavender, lemongrass and tea tree, it had a refreshing and bright smell. • Mamalani Lokahi Body Powder: For those who have never used body powder before, putting it on might feel a bit awkward. Though, like the deodorant stick, it smelled pretty great and would be good to use before working out. • Mamalani Eleu Energy & Tension Oil Blend: I am a huge fan of essential oils, especially to use when I have a headache, which is exactly what this one was made for. I didn’t have many headaches while I had this at my disposal, but on the few occasions I did, a whiff of this did help to clear the stuffiness from my sinuses. Plus, it was made with some of my favorite essential oils (peppermint, wild orange and frankincense). • The Lotus Blossom in You Herb Eyeshimmer: I loved the idea of using an all-natural eye shadow, but this one was a bit too dark for my skin tone. Still, it clung to my skin well and I imagine would look great on those with the right coloring. • Hawaii Island Grown Cinnamon: To be honest, I didn’t taste any distinct difference from any other cinnamon I’ve had before. However, just the fact that it is farmed locally already has me wanting more.

Honestly, I think this subscription box is worth it. It’s fun and good for you and, more importantly, puts local makers in the spotlight.