Our natural environment brings the gift of connection
Ko Ranginui kei runga. Ko Papatūānuku kei raro. Ko te tangata kei waenganui. Tihei mauri ora.
THE MINDKAI STORY
Ko ngā pae tawhiti, wahia kia tata. Ko ngā pae tata, whakamaua kia tina.The potential for tomorrow depends on what we do today.
Self-care through simple daily rituals
I wanted people to give time to not only their physical health, but their mental and spirtual wellbeing also.
Why? Because the stats are pretty stink when it comes to mental health in Aotearoa, and they’re even worse when you chuck a 'Māori' filter over it. It’s a stat that resonates with me a lot, as there are people in my life with a mauri meter running on empty. A little bit closer to home — my cousin became a catalyst for MindKai, when he took his life during the 2020 lockdown.
I just wanted to do something (anything) to help. I wanted to contribute to the kōrero. I wanted to change mindsets around looking after whole health. I want to see the stigma dropped around mental health.
Bringing MindKai to life started with the simple gift of knowledge. Mātauranga from my nanny. From my dad. From my journey to learn rongoā Māori.
As a kid, I spent many of my weekends and school holidays watching my nanny toil with Papatūānuku (Earth Mother) and forage to feed our whānau (pork bones & puha were my favourite!). I was always by her side in the garden or on the hauhake (harvest) following the rhythms of the maramataka — although at the time I didn’t know the gold she was sharing, and much looked at it like slave labour!
My dad was also ‘at one’ with nature. I lost him at the age of five to Tangaroa (god of the sea). I always imagine his last moments in te ao were peaceful — he was at home in the sea and the rongoā that came from it, so reflecting back it doesn’t surprise me that he was claimed by it. From my dad came the gift of belief and that ‘anything is possible’ if you put your mind to it. School may not have been his jam — but it didn’t stop him from being successful. I like to think that the apple hasn’t fallen too far from the tree!
Fast forward to now, I am obsessed with all things nature and natural and I’m living my best life when I’m outside.
TE WHARE TAPA WHĀ
MindKai is based on the holistic health model developed by Mason Durie - Te Whare Tapa Whā. With its strong foundations and four equal sides, the symbol of the wharenui illustrates the four dimensions of well-being. If one of these aspects is missing or damaged - a person is not seen to be balanced and fully well.
Recognising taha wairua (the spiritual dimension), taha whānau (the role of family), and the balanceof taha hinengaro (mind) as being just as important as taha tinana (physical manifestations of health) is an acknowledgement of the customs of our people, but also their deeper needs.
Sustainability — our packaging & ingredients.As an effort to reduce the use of plastic and minimise waste—we use 100% recyclable materials whenever we can. To give respect to our natural environment, we follow the tikanga of harvesting native plants to ensure they continue to grow and thrive.
Sharing the love! For every sale $1 is donated to the Mental Health Foundation. As well as this, in the spirit of the maramataka, MindKai gives away a custom facial oil on Oike, as part of utunga (reciprocity) or the 'giveback' period.
Get to know us. Sharing the highs and lows of MindKai as I navigate this small business on this wild journey is really important to me. Follow our social media channels to be part of the MindKai tribe.
The MindKai pledge. We’re committed to using language that doesn’t set unrealistic expectations of what beauty is. Our language deliberately focuses on supporting your skin’s overall natural health,not achieving outdated beauty ideals, or a need to maintain youthfulness and other beauty stereotypes.
For everyone. MindKai is steeped in mātauranga Māori, but you don't have to be Māori to use it. It is for anyone open to the idea of whole health. There is no judgement on gender, culture, or who you love. He aha te mea nui o te ao? He tangata, he tangata, he tangata. What is the most important thing in the world? It is people, it is people, it is people.
Share information about your brand with your customers. Describe a product, make announcements, or welcome customers to your store.
The harvesting process of MindKai is done in a traditional and sustainable way to ensurethe health of the rākau (plant) is respected and maintained. The domain of Tane Mahuta (the forest) is only entered when the maramataka (moon phases) are in high energy periods. This ensures we as gatherers are in the right frame of mind, and that the rau being harvested is at it’s strongest. We are aware of and heed tohu (signs) — we never harvest while its raining or unsafe. We never take from unwell plants or those that may be sprayed or affected by pollution. We only harvest as much as we need, and never over harvest from one tree to ensure it continues to grow and thrive.
To ensure the ingredients we use give the greatest benefit to its recipient we channel the mauri of the rongoā we have intention of picking. We then ask permission through takutaku (chants) and karakia (prayer) so the rau presents itself and gives itself freely to us. Wild harvesting following this tikanga ensures a connection to our natural environment and that the rau is harvested with high energy — both from the plant itself, and the person collecting.As a Kaitiaki Rongoā (guardian and protector of our traditional practices) I feel humbled to hold this mātauranga of our rākau (trees) and how they heal the land and us. Through me, it keeps this knowledge alive for our future generations.»Recognising taha wairua (the spiritual dimension), taha whānau (the role of family), and the balance of taha hinengaro (mind) as being just as important as taha tinana (physical manifestations of health) is an acknowledgement of the customs of our people, but also their deeper needs.
The steeping of rau in oil is done when the maramataka is in high energy periods, and only once the rau has been naturally dried to seal in its natural properties. A clean, sterile environment is very important during this process. Leaves are hand torn and placed in a glass bottle to takutaku to release their energy for the steeping process. No plastic or synthetic materials are used to keep the integrity of the process pure. MindKai uses native plants that support your overall skin health. These are Kawakawa, Manuka, and Kanuka. We also harness the power of chamomile and lavender.
These infusion blends are steeped for a minimum of eight weeks, and are stored in a cool and dark area. Twice a day I channel my mauri and healing intent into the blend doing takutaku at 6am and 6pm. Now you know why MindKai is no ordinary skincare!
The magic of MindKai comes together during the blend process. Your skin survey allows me to connect in with you and tells me the needs of your mauri (life force). I follow my intuition to understand how much of certain ingredients are needed - for this reason, every blend is unique and one of a kind (even if the same ingredients are used!). Ingredients are selected based on the needs of your skin, as well as what support you need for your mental wellbeing. For me, the special part of the MindKai experience is the spiritual aspect. The essense of rau that are channeled into your facial oil to trigger transformation, clearing of trauma, growth or positive change.