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POP COSMETICS LLC T/A OLAKINO™
Kristie started POP COSMETICS LLC T/A OLAKINO™ in 2020. They detail the beginnings of their company in their Starter Story interview: 
Q: How did you get started on POP COSMETICS LLC T/A OLAKINO™?
After many years working as a photographer in the wedding and modeling industries, in 2009 I decided to study makeup application at The Academy of Makeup in Brisbane, Australia. I absolutely loved learning how to make people look beautiful and I have continued to practice the art of makeup application, to the present day.
In early 2019, while pregnant with my first little boy Gabriel, it was discovered that I was suffering from a toxic liver, which resulted in him passing away at (full-term) birth. As my liver toxicity was excessively high, with no explanation (I don’t drink alcohol or smoke), this prompted me to do a lot of research as to why this may have happened. What I discovered opened my eyes and provided the kick, to change my health and well-being habits.
After many years of using skincare and makeup products claiming to be “non-toxic,” I realized these companies were actually still using some toxic ingredients or components in their products and simply hoped that consumers would take their word that it was safe and not really look beyond that and the sad thing is, that’s what many of us do.
This event woke me up and I realized how important it is to know what we are putting into and onto our bodies. I started looking at all the ingredients on all of my skin, hair, and makeup products. I discovered all of them, including companies who claim that their products are safe, formulated their products with ingredients that may have been causing negative effects on my liver function.
That's when I decided to quit working with my husband, at his Hawaiian BBQ business in Maui and formally study natural/ non-toxic cosmetic formulation. After all, I knew I needed to fill the gap and provide the world with the option of 100% non-toxic products that still look and feel like high-quality brands. After a couple of months of using my own non-toxic products, my liver magically returned to normal!
Take us through the process of designing, prototyping, and manufacturing your first product.
I source and produce everything for my business including, ingredients, packaging, and labeling. After researching cosmetic laboratories, I found a lot of them simply were not willing to fulfill my formulation requests, or simply did not have the ingredients I have researched and use in my formulations. I decided to build my own lab and manufacture my own products, where I have full control over what goes into them and their quality.
I began making test formulas for my family and friends to try out, so they could provide feedback on my formulations. This enabled me to perfect what ingredients to formulate with for different skin types. By conducting real consumer trials and doing a lot of research, enabled me to create all of my current product lines.
I also make my own guava extract, hibiscus extract, and seaweed extract, here in Hawaii. I do this because I want to make sure my customers are getting the best quality product, straight from Hawaiian sources.
I design all of my logos and labels using specialized label software. Being a makeup artist, I am aware that “natural” non-toxic products carry a stigma, of not living up to the quality of high-end brands. The problem is that the majority of these high-end brands use very unhealthy ingredients because they perform very well. So I wanted to steer in the direction of making my products look like a luxury product, as well as feel like it too, but a healthy version.
> After many years of using skincare and makeup products claiming to be “non-toxic,” I realized these companies were actually still using some toxic ingredients or components in their products and simply hoped that consumers would take their word that it was safe.
I didn’t want my products to look like the traditional ‘natural, earthy’ packaging, because I want them to appeal to everyone. I designed my products to present in glass packaging with gold labeling. I chose glass because it is eco-friendly and I chose to do labels, so they can be removed once the product has been used and be cleaned, reused, or recycled.
Being a former photographer, enabled me to be able to do all of my product pics, in my lab, instead of having to hire someone and incur an extra cost.