Your skin is the largest organ in your body! Waimea Body Essentials owner Jane Hanano’s latest line of body products is called ‘ili—which means skin in Hawaiian. Jane believes that healthy skin is key to a healthy body.
Making luscious body products is actually a third career for Jane. She started out as a court reporter in Kansas and was then assistant to the headmaster at Hawai‘i Preparatory Academy for 13 years. Jane’s father was a farmer and rancher in Kansas, where she grew up, and she was raised with a “have your own business mentality.” When she left her job at HPA, her latent entrepreneurial upbringing began to take root.
Jane had a love affair with lavender and began growing it at the Hanano Nursery and in her yard in Waimea. She started making food products, spices and teas with lavender which she sold at the Waimea Homestead Farmers Market and to a few local retail stores.
In 2007, she launched her Lavender by the Sea line of products—soaps, lotions, creams and sprays—and began selling to retail stores in earnest.
Quality and purity are essential ingredients in Waimea Body Essentials products. Jane suffers from psoriasis and is scrupulous about what she puts on her own skin. “Everything in my products is something that I use myself,” she says.
Not only are the ingredients pure, but many have healing properties as well—most notably aloe, coconut oil, kukui nut oil and lavender. Jane says that lavender essential oil is an antiseptic, and was used as an anti-bacterial before antibiotics came into popular use. The kukui lotion is made with pure Hawaiian kukui oil and is said to help people with eczema and psoriasis. Jane is quick to say that this is not a medical claim, but “Something that I know from my own experience.”
After numerous requests from retail stores, Waimea Body Essentials began creating products that appeal to visitors. Soaps and lotions make great gifts, are easy to travel with and the ‘ili line appeals to the senses featuring the five fragrances people associate most closely with Hawai‘i—tuberose, pikake, plumeria, gardenia and coconut.
Jane makes all of her products with her own two hands, head and heart at her workshop in Waimea. “I love being my own boss, it is really gratifying for me”, Jane says, “When I make progress, it’s because I have done it myself. And I meet such great people—the customers and other business owners.”
Why use the name Waimea in Waimea Body Essentials? Jane’s husband was born and raised here, she has been here for 25 years and her children were raised here. “Waimea is a big part of who we are. I want people to know that ours is a quality product being made locally right here in Waimea.”