Q & A with Sue & Kollette
1. City of residence:
Sue: Kealakekua, Hawaii
Kollette: Our home is on the Big Island of Hawaii, Honaunau in the Kona Coffee Belt
2. Place of birth:
Sue: Providence, RI
Kollette: Santa Clara California
3. In under five sentences, define your business:
S: Pure Mana Hawaii is an eco-luxe and skin care brand that is literally food for the skin. We grow, harvest, process and hand-presses the purest, organic Macadamia Nut, Kona Green Coffee and Vanilla oils on our farm on the Big Island of Hawaii. Our skincare was inspired by local agriculture, plant medicine, and self-care rituals.
We have our hands and hearts in the entire process which is why our motto is “From our soil to your soul”.
K: Our business is made up of two businesses that support each other. As a Certified Organic grower, a processor of Izzie Macs! Macadamia Nuts and Kona Rose Coffee on Mahina Mele Farm. I am also the CEO, Developer, and co-creator of Pure Mana Hawaii, an eco-luxe skin care brand based on the pressed organic oils direct from the farm. A vertically integrated business that is eco-conscience, sustainable, farm-direct, and certified organic. Our business is unique as we are the only certified organic macadamia nut oil producers in the United States as of now. The macadamia nut and green coffee oil is unadulterated and pressed to create a nutrient-rich oil that is beyond compare. We have our hands and hearts in the entire process.
4. What social or environmental impact is your business making?
S: We have the potential to be leaders in sustainability within the beauty industry. We live a sustainable lifestyle that has echoed in our business model. As we grow we want to support neighboring farms start-up facilities to grow and process the ingredients we will need for the production of future products. We also created a Return, Reuse, and Reduce waste program where we will be refilling the bottles to eliminate rubbish in our landfill.
K: As a farmer for the past 15 years here on the Big Island at Mahina Mele Farm we have made many social and environmental impacts. South Kona Hawaii is a slower economic area. The island provides abundance in many ways although jobs and resources are a 60 min drive. We have employed many hands on the farm to help produce food for the community and afar. We have not been able to succeed without the worldwide volunteer programs that exist. We have shared our knowledge and lifestyle of organic farming practices, solar living, and coffee and macadamia nut production. It’s a mutual learning experience for the volunteers that come and for our family.
The work that we do is about giving back. The more we feed our soils, and care for the land the more abundant the trees. When we can work in unison with the land we form a harmony that extends to the food and products we share. One of the goals of Pure Mana Hawaii is to give back to the farmers that produce our food and botanicals and help them to succeed. Pure Mana Hawaii makes eco-conscious decisions every step of the way. From the ingredients we use to the packaging, all is done as a gift “from our soil to your soul”. One world, one mission. Let us all take our part in the greater plan of preserving the pure natural resources that are still available.
5. What is the best part of the work you’re doing? Why?
S: The work constantly changes. There is always a new stage or task to accomplish within our business growth. It never gets boring and always activates my brain abilities to problem solve in the most efficient ways.
K: I am grateful for the lifestyle that we have created and the work that I do. Especially with my two best friends, Sue and my husband. It would not have existed without them. It is fulfilling, satisfying, tangible, and with purpose. Living off-grid and starting my own business does not come without its trials yet everything has its trade-offs. I have been able to raise my family knowing where their food comes from and the energy it takes to produce it. I feel passionate about quality and producing the most nutrient and fresh food available. Pure Mana Hawaii is food for your skin. It has been a blast to co-create and share effective, pure, natural skincare with the ones we love and watch their skin transform. It is always a reminder that we need to continue to share the gold that we are able to produce.
6. Out of all the products you produce, which is your favorite? Why?
S: Soul Serum. It was the first product we created and I have witnessed it several times over healing our visiting guests’ sunburnt skin. The essence always feels so majestically romantic.
K: We have four products that are our babies into the world. Each product has its unique and special quality that I love. If I had to pick only one to love everyday it would be the Soul Serum daily moisturizer. Its earthy and balanced scent of Hawaiian Sandalwood, Green Coffee, and Rosehip grounds and centers me immediately. It was one of the first products Sue and I created together. When I wear Soul Serum, my skin feels moisturized and dewy, which sets my makeup when I wear it, perfectly. Its activating ingredients tighten my skin, energize me, and remind me that I am taking great care of myself. I love that it takes the redness out of most people’s skin here on the island. It’s powerful and protective.
7. What book(s) are you currently reading?
S: None at the moment, any extra time I have has been spent meditating and working with sound vibrations.
K: I just started reading the book of King Kamehameha. His life story from the perspective of oral history. Much of Hawaiian culture is based on “talking story”, learning, sharing. The stories can be horrifying, to today’s standards, and humbling. My favorite so far in the book is Kamehameha and the Mamalahoa- the story of the splintered paddle. The name of our highway. The basis of the story is we need to take care of one another. Now that includes driving with aloha but the Hawaiian culture does just that, they take care of their elders and the children.
8. Quote you (try to) live by?
S: “Live Love” is how I live but the quote that rings true to my soul is — “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” – Marianne Williamson
K: “Happy, Healthy, Holy”, with these things we have everything.”
“It’s not the destination but the journey”- It’s now, this moment that needs all my attention and energy.
“Love conquers all”-always!
9. What is one random fact that most people don’t know about you?
S: I like rocks.
K: Something most people do not know about me is that even though I am an open book and outgoing, I’m charged by my moments in solitude. I cherish moments alone to meditate in nature and I try to make that happen daily.