Organic Fabrics For Mom And Baby

Linda Dela Cruz
Wednesday - March 05, 2008
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Regan and Sue Ranoa
Regan and Sue Ranoa say clothing made from organically grown cotton is better for sensitive skin

The mother-and-daughter team of Sue and Regan Ranoa is on the lookout for more products that will complement its inventory of organic clothing and toys for mama and baby. Their business, Organic Keiki, sells organic pants, onsies, T-shirts, tank tops, shorts and skirts for children. For mom, there are organic necklaces, bracelets, rings, earrings and hats.

“Organics are good for the land,” says Regan Ranoa. “If it is not organic, the pesticides start to erode the soil, so it’s not usable. Organic puts back the nutrients. Organic food has more flavor, vitamins and nutrients.”

Ranoa further explains that cotton is grown with chemicals that include seven known carcinogens, and that is not good for cotton farmers, the land or consumers.

“Organic cotton is easier on sensitive skin,” she adds. “Organic cotton is not treated with chemicals such as formalde-hyde the way other cotton products are. The food you put in your body and the clothes you put on your body have an effect on you. We want to have the best opportunity for our kids, so why would we want to feed them or clothe them with anything that could be harmful?”

She researches to find companies that have been certified organic to be a part of their select line.

The challenge to running this business, Ranoa admits, is determining what your core capabilities are.

“Once you determine what you are good at, it’s good to delegate or outsource the things that you’re not so good at,” she says. “Know when to outsource because you can’t do it all yourself.”

Ranoa was working on an organic farm on the Big Island when she found her calling.

“I realized I wanted to do something in organics, but not necessarily farming,” says the former San Francisco resident who worked in marketing for a travel adventure company.

She and her mom bought Organic Keiki from a young mother on Maui who started the business. Ranoa revamped the firm’s website and added new products.

Mom handles sales, graphics and administration. Ranoa handles the website, e-mail marketing and public relations. Her dad Randy, who was born and raised in Hawaii, helps out with errands when he’s not busy doing his own work as a jewelry designer. He’ll be constructing a gourd playhouse for Organic Keiki.

The company is in the design phase for starting a clothing line of its own. The first products to be introduced are a dress and boy’s pants.

“We want the clothing line to be more fun, not so hippy dippy,” adds Ranoa. “We’d like something to serve the Hawaiian niche market. Some clothes will have the surfer/skater look.”

Organic Keiki’s full line is on the website. Coming up, they will be at the Green Living Expo at the Blaisdell March 15, 16 and 17, and the Kokua Festival April 19 and 20 at the Shell.

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