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The itiba Story

the-creatorAlive with the spirit of the islands, created from the nurturing heart of a mother.

Born and raised in the US Virgin Islands among swaying palm trees, beautiful flowers, and the aromas of exotic fruits, creator – Yoki Hanley grew up in a family tradition of natural remedies and knowledge of local plants and fruits and how their importance to our lives. It was with this knowledge that Yoki created itiba beauty; a product which was first created for her infant daughter who could not use commercial, mainstream soaps and other skin care products.

Yoki made her first soap with skin-loving oils like coconut, mango butter, lemongrass and lavender. After bathing her daughter with this soap for the first time, the change was dramatic – a tear free nightly bath and, for the first time since birth, a peaceful night’s sleep for mother and daughter. Yoki immediately knew she needed to share her knowledge with others and, over time, itiba, as a collection of natural products, was born.

“My children and grandchildren are still the first ones to test any and all products, and if for any reason one of them has an issue with the products, then it is scrapped. If they cannot use it, then I will not make it – it’s as simple as that.” – Yoki Hanley

Yoki’s commitment to using natural, minimally processed and/or unrefined butters and oils blended into the best unisex skincare products to come out of St. Croix is driven by her purpose to produce a unifying range of products for all skin types regardless of the color of their skin and the shape of their body –phthalate free, mineral oil free, silicone oil free and paraben free.

The Legend of itiba – Mother Earth

legend-of-itibaIn the native Caribbean Taino religion, itiba is Mother Earth and all life sprang forth from her. To this day, Yoki still goes back to the earth to get the invigorating herbs and plants for her line of natural skin care products that are alive with the spirit of the Caribbean. All itiba products are made by hand in small batches to bring out the best of the natural botanicals used in the process. Made with natural essential plant oils, our products are gentle enough for use by all skin types and colors, women and men. View more about the legend of itiba.

Making a Better Tomorrow

Embracing the African principal of Sankofa, of learning from past lessons to make a better tomorrow, Yoki supports a number of local charities, including Heal A Woman To Heal A Nation, Inc., which works to help women grow their networks, harness their skills, and maintain their physical, mental and emotional health. Yoki has also has partnered with the V.I. Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault Council (DVSAC) to raise awareness of domestic violence and sexual assault by offering care packages to survivors. Customers at the itiba St. Croix store in Frederiksted who purchase a “Care Package” at 30% off the regular retail price that we will personally donate to DVSAC on your behalf for distribution to survivors who are seeking assistance.

I make it for my grandchildren and if they can’t use it then I scrap it.Yoki K. Hanley