Kapua Browning

Kapua Browning on the left with her beauty products on the right

Founder of Honua Skincare

“I was born and raised in Hawaii. I was raised with the food, the music, the traditions. I feel really passionate about Hawaiian culture. So,13 years ago when I became an aesthetician, I decided I wanted to infuse my passion for Hawaiian culture, Hawaiian healing and Hawaiian medicine. I wanted to take the plants that I grew up around that my family used as natural remedies and use them to help heal.

I began to notice that there weren't a ton of truly holistic green beauty brands out there. I knew that a lot of the plants I used could create skincare products with anti inflammatories and antioxidants to help with what people struggle with everyday. I got excited and I started experimenting and eventually I was fortunate enough to open up my own apothecary spa. And that’s when I saw people really fall in love with my approach and my products.

But, there is a huge exodus of families in Hawaii. The cost of living is insane. Where I grew up was definitely a poorer area for sure. Now you can’t find a house for under a million dollars in that neighbourhood and the houses aren’t anything special. We couldn’t afford to raise our four kids there. Especially with one going off to college soon it just wasn’t in the cards for us. So when my husband was offered a job in California, we moved my entire family here.

I started a practice as an aesthetician here but honestly, figured I would have to leave the products and formulating behind because most ingredients are not available outside of the islands. But, clients started contacting me. I was getting calls and emails from customers back in Hawaii wanting me to send them my products because their skin had seen such drastic changes. I had the ingredients shipped from Hawaii to California and I would go to Whole Foods to buy little bottles to send it back home in batches. And then my brand just grew and grew.

From there I thought okay, if I’m going to grow my company I need to do it in a way where smaller farms back home can benefit. I wanted to put money back into Hawaiian agriculture. So, I decided to work closely with a bunch of different farms back home. It was important to me to build a brand with not just a sustainable supply chain, but one with a life cycle that was able to help local Hawaiian farms.

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