I am Vriko Kwok, the co-founder of Herbs’ Oil Hawaii. My partner (Tata Mitamoto) and I established the brand in 2016 with an aim to offer products that help maintain healthy skin.
I have always had clear skin and never complained of issues. However, stress and pollution gradually deteriorated its radiance and there came a point where I could no longer ignore it. My partner, Tata, on the other hand, was prone to allergies, and no matter how many branded products she tried, they never helped repair her skin. Tata’s son was born with sensitive skin too and even developed eczema. She tried various treatments, but none seemed to work.
Despite multiple treatments, she and her partner couldn’t get rid of their skincare woes.
We wanted to come up with a solution and began researching various possible natural remedies. This led us to discover the potential of Hawaiian botanicals. We realized that a holistic approach to healthy skin, combined with using ingredients that have been scientifically proven to work, would show visible results. To our delight, our formulas not only helped Tata’s son but also helped us beat our own skin woes.
She was keen to build a community where women can inspire each other.
Our mission is to cultivate a community that believes in the power of Hawaiian botanicals and the spirit of Aloha, which refers to the coordination of the mind and heart within each person. Our platform offers a safe space for women to come together and talk about their skin challenges, and inspire each other through their journeys.
Just like all start-ups, the biggest challenge we faced was spreading the word about our brand, and for that, we turned to Facebook and its free training resources available. Creating our own Facebook page and a private Facebook group was the first step. Good content helped us come across as authentic and made people feel more comfortable about interaction. We could gauge our customers’ needs and serve them better. In fact, it was due to our digital presence that we could limit the impact of the pandemic. It enabled us to have direct conversations with our customers and we could together cope with the crisis.
She overcame all challenges to build a successful brand with a loyal customer base.
It’s been a few years since we started, and over time, we have been able to establish a loyal customer base. We also joined the #SheMeansBusiness Program as trainees, then went on to become its sharing speakers and now mentors to co-design and co-lead its inaugural Fellowship Program this year. We strongly believe in its vision of inspiring emerging women entrepreneurs (or brands) and developing advocates to give back to the SMB communities. We wish that other women find our tips helpful and can navigate the new normal effectively. Ups and downs are a part of any business, but we are focused and hope to take Herbs’ Oil Hawaii to greater heights with each passing year.