A Patchwork
Maui Nui Patch Program
As we grew our teams to meet the challenge of balancing Maui’s deer populations, we wanted team members to really understand the wide scope of positive outcomes they were bringing to our ecosystems, communities, and customers. 
To achieve this, we developed a patch program to help reinforce that every deer truly makes a difference. Each patch was designed to celebrate specific milestones for every team member, tallying the total number of deer harvested, processed, shipped and shared throughout their time on the team. Patch designs highlight tree species essential to the slow growth of our native forests, from our keystone koa to a subspecies of ʻiliahi (sandalwood) found only on the slopes of Haleakalā, to remind us all that our growth as a solution is reflected in the health of the systems around us.
Maui Nui Harvest Teammates
I’ve had the privilege of handing out hundreds of patches celebrating our team’s hard work and dedication. I’ve watched how these 2.5 in pieces of fabric, these tangible symbols of collective impact, help to strengthen our connection to mission and help our entire team better celebrate one another.
We haven’t done this before, but we wanted to share a glimpse into one of our harvest team meetings so that you could celebrate alongside us. Hoʻomaikaʻi, congrats to Colin, Naʻo, Kalena and Dustin on all the impact you continue to have.
A hui hou,
Jake Muise / CEO & Co-Founder
 'O Wai 'Oe?
Jake and I were recently interviewed at a beautiful Elemental Excelerator event and the questions posed to us were those huge what-and-why-are-you-doing-what-youʻre-doing?-type questions and, comfortingly, many of our answers were the same as theyʻve ever been. One such humungous question was, “what are your hopes and dreams?” Can you imagine? The blank stares on our faces? It took us a beat, but then we were back at the beginning, recounting, each in our own way, what beautiful visions have always been driving us forward. 
For me, the vision is washed in greens and blues - hāuliuli. It is one of dense forests, of māla and kīhapai thick with planted foods, of so many rivers running clean and clear and out to teeming seas. Central to it all is wai, is water.  
The Q&A called to mind a piece I was invited to write for Modern Huntsman back in 2021 that centered relationship to wai and I think it might be the perfect time to revisit and humbly reshare that here. Mahalo nui to Modern Huntsman and Tyler Sharp for your partnership and for helping to bring so many beautiful stories forward. 
A quick preview:
…To a room lush with Hawaiian language speakers, the panel shared their insights, one of which was put forward in the form of a question by Lahela Camara, an Outreach Specialist from Hilo. Asked in English, the question she posed would have been a simple one: “Who are you?” But, as she was inquiring in Hawaiian, her query opened up a deeper way of thinking about our identities. You see, the Hawaiian word that can be translated to “who” is also the word we use for water — wai. 
This turn of phrase has origins in our familial ties, an inquiry into a person’s ancestral waters or bloodlines, but as Lahela turned these words over and over, it’s meaning was refracted through our mother tongue. She went on in lilting language to remind the room that whether through a rain, a river, or some underground wellspring, because each of us is nourished by some source of water, we are all deeply connected to wai, “he pilina ko kākou a pau i ka wai.”
What water do you return to in recollection or reality? Is it a rushing run of river or a memory of morning groundmist? A still-poured lake, perhaps? A torrent, a tidewater or simply the faithful gushing of the kitchen tap? I suspect you can recall one form or another, or most likely many, and now, your waters fresh in mind, what might be gleaned from these connections?"
Me ka aloha ʻāina,
Kuʻulani Muise / Brand Lady & Co-Founder
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