Mainstream media and social media visibility is enabling a Samoan natural remedy and fashion company to attract more customers in the region.
Kuki, a business based in Samoa that produces and sells handmade and natural remedies as well as fashion, recently attended the Pasifika Festival and the Pacific Trade and Invest Path to Market programme in Auckland.
The company’s managing director, Maria Leota, said they received a lot of queries and purchases from customers in New Zealand and Australia after extensive press and social media coverage.
“People identified with our story and wrote to us about their experiences,” she says.
“In the past month alone, our natural remedies sales have risen quite significantly, around 50 per cent.”
Growing online interest is reflected in a rise of weekly orders, which they send out by post and air freight.
“We continue to update our Facebook and Instagram pages on our new developments,” she added.
The company also works with local partners Women in Business, Chamber of Commerce and Samoa Association of Manufacturers and Exporters.
KUKI is still researching and testing remedies to add to its collection, including working on a formula for anxiety and sleep difficulties, which they aim to launch as a balm at the end of this year.
Maria says traditional Samoan culture still dominate the lives of its people, including the use of all natural and organic remedies to heal most ailments.
“We want to share our culture and ancient remedies with the rest of the world by modernising them into balms, salves, oils, powders and soaps,” she added.
“Our company is cutting edge in providing natural, artisanal skincare from the heart of Samoa. Using mainly indigenous and botanical ingredients, our product is at the forefront of alleviating a range of ailments and conditions; including burns and aches and pains from overuse of specific muscles.”
The company has expanded into fashion and art with Maria saying that they produce contemporary and unique island designs on fabric, which reflect nature and Samoan culture.
“Ideally, we’d like to invest in more equipment and packaging for our new remedies. But because we are far in distance from the larger countries, our biggest challenge is the procurement of manufacturing resources from overseas. There is also a potential shortage of local products for our organic processes due to climate change.”
But the challenges will not derail her ambitions to grow her company with July 3 put down as the date to commission a new factory and gift shop on Settlement Road, Vaivase-Uta in Apia.
“With the store, we’ll be able to share our local traditional remedies with our people and visitors who come to our shores,” she added.