The demand for natural skin-care products has grown over the past few years and Ahwatukee Foothills resident, Caren Teves, has definitely noticed.
To help satisfy this demand, Teves opened the Honi-Honi Balm Shop in September. She said she started the business because it was difficult to find all-natural products that both contained quality ingredients, and were reasonably priced. She also loved the creative process, and the endless possibilities of formulation.
"The famous quote (by Bliss Carman) sums it up nicely, ‘Set me a task in which I can put something of my very self and it is a task no longer; it is joy; it is art,'" Teves said.
The unique name of the shop, "Honi-Honi" comes from a Hawaiian phrase that means "to kiss; a kiss." Teves said that a true love of Hawaiian culture was the inspiration behind the name. In addition, she said she found it to be a very fitting name for a lip balm.
Teves said that formulating skin care products is a complicated, costly and time-consuming process. In addition, she said that it took well over a year to find the right blend of all-natural ingredients. She wanted the ingredients be healthy and provide exceptional conditioning properties for the skin. Also, she wanted the product to feel as wonderful in application and to the touch.
"It was fun sending samples to people all over the country, and Hawaii, to test and rate my products," Teves said.
She will also be selling her natural skin care products at this year's Festival of Lights Kick-Off Party. At the festival, the shop will be featuring products such as the popular Conditioning Lip Balm, the Aromatherapy Body Balm Moisturizer, and an Exfoliating Cane Sugar Lip Polish.
Teves said the conditioning lip balms are available in 12, all-natural flavors that include Wild Raspberry, Dreamy Cream Coconut, Pomegranate, Peppermint Lemongrass, POG Juice, Chai Latte, Kula Strawberry, and more. She said that Tropical Banana is the most popular flavor with younger children.
The Aromatherapy Body Balm Moisturizer is one of her most popular products, and has received rave reviews. She said that the four, pure essential oil blends provide unique therapeutic aromatherapy benefits. Citrus Ginger Sage and Rosemary Mint, she said, are her shop's best sellers.
Teves is also involved with the community and gives back to an organization she created, called "Pucker Up! For A Cause." Creation of the organization has allowed her to give money to The Michael J. Fox Foundation and Team Fox in the fight against Parkinson's disease. Also, she donates to Women Helping Women Maui, an organization that provides emergency shelter and programs for victims of domestic violence.
Teves also gives back to Hale Kau Kau, a group that feeds the hungry of South Maui since 1991. She said that 100 percent of the profits from the sale of featured items are being donated. Currently, the POG Juice Lip Balm is the featured item.
Teves said she enjoys that more people are seeking all-natural ingredients, and buying locally. It's a positive trend in the community, she said, adding that she loves incorporating natural ingredients into her products the most.
"They feel good and are good for you."
• Kirsten Hillhouse is interning this semester for the Ahwatukee Foothills News. She is a senior at Arizona State University.