How it all started

When people come visit our gift shop, we usually give them a tour of our little factory. We explain how it all started, how the products are made and eventually we get to the final products in our gift shop.

Since most of our followers are overseas, we would love to give you a little background story on how it all stared.

Our mum (Sylvie) is Swiss and Italian, and our dad (Kitiona) is proud to say he is 100% Samoan. They met while working with Youth with a Mission (YWAM) in Honolulu, Hawaii.
After they married, they lived in Switzerland for 10 years (that’s when Kezia & I came along). After many long discussions, they both decided it was time for them to move to Samoa. They had planned on starting a computing school as there were none in Samoa at the time, but by the time we moved in 1998, two schools had already opened – scratch that idea, lets do something else.

They originally wanted to do something that would help the development of Samoa and the economic growth as well. Our mum decided she wanted to send our beautiful Plantation House & other Samoan handicrafts to Europe, maybe that was what they moved to Samoa for. Upon receiving the first package, our grandma (in Switzerland) found a couple of coconut oil soaps at the bottom of the box.
She called my mum and said “Make soaps, people here are gonna love it”.

No joke, that’s how the idea came about.

My parents had no idea how to make soap, they realised they had never actually read the ingredients at the back of a soap, but they thought about it and decided to give it a go.
After a year of research, trial and error our parents finally created the soap you now have in your bathrooms.

To our surprise, people started telling us that our soap helped them with their eczema, psoriasis, acne and dry/itchy skin. That’s how little we knew about coconut oil and the goodness of natural resources.

In 2000 – we had two soaps: a fragrant free soap and a frangipani soap.
First soap ever created

Between 2001 and 2006 there was a lot of moving between Samoa & Switzerland so all body care production was put on hold.

In 2006 – we expanded our range, adding body oils & lotions
Check out our bottles – oh dear lol (Ps. That’s our little little sister Shana. She’s 13 now)
We currently have seven different fragrances and have 12 different types of products
rae photography-51
Look at all these yummy products that make your skin beautiful

Fragrances include:

  • Frangipani & Lau Ti
  • Moso’oi (Ylang-ylang)
  • Papaya & Mango
  • Coconut Cream
  • Vanilla & Koko Samoa
  • For Men – Polynesian Scent
  • Fragrance Free

Products Include:

  • Soaps
  • Body lotions
  • Body Oils
  • Sugar Body Scrubs
  • Turmeric Balm
  • Lip Balm
  • Mosquito Repellent
  • Full Facial Range
    • Coconut Shell Scrub
    • Cleanser
    • Toner
    • Light Day Cream

Oh how it has grown! Our parents had never imagined we would have such a big products list.


As you may know, all our products are hand made. We use a bucket and a whisk to make our soap and that’s as far as ‘machinery’ goes. To make a soap you will need four ingredients: Fat (We use the organic coconut oil), water, caustic soda & fragrance.
It takes approximately an hour to make the mix, a day for them to set and four weeks to dry – yes one bar of soap takes up to four weeks to make, and during the rainy season, October to April, it can take up to SIX WEEKS!
Our soaps are then carefully hand packaged by our awesome staff and ready to store in our shop or shipped overseas.


14732406_10154684107594529_7021259943978957575_nWesley our handyman making soap with our heavy machinery 😉


14705670_10154686670839529_530477736927266468_nThrowing it back to 2005 – hand wrapped soaps by some local & Fijian boys.

We have loved and are loving every bit of growing up with Mailelani and we hope you like it as much as we do.

Stay tuned for more

Kez & Tai





2 thoughts on “How it all started”

  1. A co-worker of mine commented on using your lotion and how much she loves your product. Her current favorite scent is frangipani. So I Googled your company, “Mailelani”, and happened across your blog. Love your family business background story and how it involves local products and the community in its creation and build-up! All the best to the Mailelani-Samoa family.


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