Founder, Chelsa Davis
Cleanser, toner, serum, moisturizer, face masks and everything in between. I bought my first ever skincare product when I was 8 years old. At this age, I didn’t think twice about an ingredient list. But since then, I’ve tried many many different products and brands. When I found AO Organics on Instagram, I fell in love. An organic skincare company founded in Hawaii? I always thought that skincare had to come from huge-named companies with large factories for production, but Chelsa Davis shows us that it’s not about the size or name of a company, it’s about what is in the product and how it affects our health and wellness.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and how AO Organics came to be.
I’m a 32 year-old mother of three currently living on Hawaii Island. Growing up in Hawaii, you are blessed with the sunshine all year round, so sunscreen is an important aspect of my everyday life. In 2017, I was pregnant with my third child and working in the hospitality industry. I initially started to make my own sunscreen for my kids because I didn’t want them using toxic sunscreen. I then began to share the sunscreen with my family, friends, and co-workers and they all loved it! But, I realized that there was a lack of knowledge on the health and environmental effects of sunscreen. So I took it upon myself to spread awareness and educate our community on reef safety, health, and wellness around sunscreen - and now all of our products here at AO Organics. And this is still our mission today.
How did your desire to make your own sunscreen shift to now a full line of skincare?
I have always been health-conscious with the food I feed my family. After I gave birth to my third child, I started taking a look at all the products around my house; including the products we put on our skin. I decided that I wanted to create my own products with better ingredients. So, that’s exactly what I did. I got certified in organic skincare formulation by a UK-program. I chose this program because the United States does not have as many regulations when it comes to skincare ingredients. And this was the start to our full skincare line.
What efforts have you made to be more sustainable?
After my certification, I did a lot of research and was inspired by all the ingredients locally. With being connected to the community, you begin to realize how much we have here on the islands. We source local ingredients by connecting with our local farmers. Now, farmers will contact me to let me know that they have something new and I can find ways to utilize it. Today, I know many beekeepers that provide honey for our products. It feels full circle when you use natural and organic ingredients that support the local community that provides a product for the people of the community.
We also have a refill option on our website and at local zero waste stores on Oahu and Hawaii Island. Every aspect about our business, we strive to be as eco-friendly as possible. Skincare can be such a wasteful industry so I always tell our customers to repurpose first and then recycle.
How have your customers responded to your sustainable efforts?
Since the beginning the response was always positive. I believe that our customers are more inspired to refill. It is becoming less of a trend and more of a lifestyle.
What is one thing about your company that you wish more people knew about?
We are a Native-Hawaiian and women owned company where we truly strive to support other businesses in the community- especially small businesses and women owned businesses.
Learn more about Chelsa and AO Organics by visiting aoorganicshawaii.com