Success Stories 21 Jun 2018
Business continues to grow in three months since KUKI, a business based in Samoa producing and selling handmade, natural remedies with a more traditional approach to healing, attended Auckland’s Pasifika Festival and the Pacific Trade and Invest Path to Market programme.
Maria Leota, KUKI’s Managing Director, says they have received a lot more enquiries and purchases from customers in New Zealand and Australia. After a few media interviews via radio, magazines and postings from social media influencers, Maria says it provided her company with greater visibility and valuable recognition.
“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 percent.”
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,” Maria says. “We also keep working together with local partners like 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. The website includes a number of testimonies.
“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,” says Maria.
“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.”
KUKI has also expanded into the fashion and art arena, producing contemporary, unique island designs on fabrics that reflect nature and Samoa’s culture. Maria says their fabrics are perfect for resort or beach wear, and they also create contemporary island-inspired canvas paintings.
“Ideally, we’d like to invest in more equipment and packaging for our new remedies,” says Maria.
“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 that won’t deter her ambitions to see KUKI grow.
On July 3 at Settlement Road, Vaivase-Uta, in the capital, Apia, KUKI will launch its factory and gift shop.“With the store, we’ll be able to share our local traditional remedies with our people and visitors who come to our shores.” www.kukisamoa.com