It is a pleasure to have you a part of our Mamalani 'ohana. My name is Mele and I'm mother of three and founder/handmaker of Mamalani. I am born and raised in Kailua, Oahu and my family has been in Hawaii for centuries.
My grandfather was an inventor and avid fishermen who taught me how to care for the land and sea. My grandmother was a hula teacher who taught me how to care for others with aloha. The love my kupuna had for Hawai`i was ingrained in me and needless to say, I love Hawai`i with all my heart!
I have always had a natural interest in healthy lifestyles as I grew up across the street from Kailua beach and was either surfing, canoe paddling or swimming. I went to college to learn about nutrition and became a Registered Dietitian in 2008. I started working in the hospital and food service settings and then at community health centers whose main population were Native Hawaiians.
My health interest piqued when I worked as a cultural nutritionist in which I learned how plant foods and plant medicines were one in the same! It was at the same time that I started having children and noticed changes in my body and skin that were new to me. I started to smell in ways I wasn't used to and had to start using deodorant more regularly than before. I experimented with a body powder as my first underarm deodorant after realizing that powder is a very useful application for the hot and humid lifestyle we have in Hawaii! I also researched the ingredients most commonly found in deodorants. It was then that I felt the need to merge both my traditional plant knowledge and nutrition background to create Mamalani in 2012.
I decided to name my company, Mamalani, after one of the most influential people in my life, my grandmother. Her nickname was "Mamalani," which also translates to mean, "woman who reveres heaven." Our logo represents the connection that we as Hawaiians have with the heavens and earth. We represent the traditions of our ancestors while also merging the needs of modern day. I have created a line of natural body products that use the best the land has to offer while also valuing our resources; you will see this in our packaging efforts.
A very crucial part of our success is based on the abundance of our land and its people. If you would like to watch our video click here.
Mahalo nui loa,
Mele Kalama-Kingma, Owner and Handmaker
Mele has three children and lives in Kailua, follow her @meleinkailua