DFS Guam held a grand opening to celebrate its Wellness line of products at T Galleria that offered a glimpse of products that promote holistic health. 

Residents and tourists who attended were able to sample artisan wellness products, and learn a little more about maintaining overall health from experts, including Clare Calvo, co-owner of Synergy Fitness gym and owner of Synergy Wellness store. Calvo also is a certified instructor in yoga, fitness & dance, and Barre Sweat. 

The event, held at the new “Wellness Area” in the Food and Gifts section, provided an intimate and welcoming experience for the approximately 100 people who flitted from one display to another, smelling lotions and learning more about products that enhance their quality of life. Participants included tourists, health enthusiasts, and entrepreneurs such as Mica Griffith, the founder of Griffith Pacific and Hafa Adai Honey. Griffith was very pleased with the turnout.

“Many of (these brands) didn’t start with the intention of starting a business. Most started trying to do something good, something that they’re passionate about," Griffith stated. "These passion projects will always have a greater chance of success because if you’re just focused on making money, it’s quick for you to give up, but with these brands, they will ride through the storm to do something great.”

Healthy living 

Event organizers noted that the idea of self-care has changed over the years and the modern concept of a healthy lifestyle encompasses all aspects of life, which promotes physical and mental well-being - from exercise to healthy eating, personal care and beauty, and nutrition. 

The event was obviously a subject of passion for the vendors and event organizers.

“We want to curate something beautiful. A holistic solution for head-to-toe beauty and skin care, and by working with these brands we bring the best of what Guam has to the floor," said DFS Guam's Charlene Muna. 

Calvo, in her opening statement, said each vendor brought a different assortment of handcrafted beauty and skin care products to their tables, each aligning with the idea of bringing a natural, holistic healing experience to people. 

Calvo believes that having an all-natural, locally sourced, and environmentally aware approach to beauty and wellness will help local entrepreneurs compete in an industry that is growing but also learning more about the beauty of natural products. 

"For example, using local fruits and herbs - it's good to know that it's all natural," she said. "I've always been a proponent of the idea that if you can't eat it then you shouldn't put it on your skin."

Products that help

MaliKai, one of the more popular vendors at the event, produces handmade soaps at home and in small batches.

Originally, the business started out as a solution to Mari Tagami's son’s skin condition. Tagami, the founder, and owner of MaliKai shared, “He has always suffered from feeling itchy and sometimes couldn’t stop scratching until he bled, especially after washing his skin with general soap I bought from stores.”

Once Tagami and her husband, Tora, launched MaliKai, they began donating their soaps to the Japanese School of Guam to support kids in need of a natural solution to their skin conditions.

Hanalei, another skin care brand, creates products to accentuate men's and women's natural beauty. The company's table, laden with enticing lotions, lip scrubs, and oils, was almost always crowded. Everyone wanted to sample the best Hawaii has to offer.

Tropical beauty

The founder of Hanalei, Alice Kim, has years of beauty product experience, and she applies her skills to her passion project to ensure the highest quality ingredients and fulfilled customers, all while helping the environment and staying true to her values.

“We always move island to island, so we understand how important it is to sustain island culture and beauty, and we do that through these island beauty products. Our mission is to spread the love of aloha and island botanicals through skin care and beauty products that work," Kim stated. 

Another goal for the company is to raise awareness of natural resources abundant on islands.

“Some people never knew that there could be such richness, like kukui oil, in these types of beauty products. We use sugar from Maui, papaya enzymes, all these beautiful ingredients, fruits, vegetables, and natural resources that a lot of people don't see," Kim said. 

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