Honoring her Irish, Chinese, and Polynesian heritage, Keya is a certified Community and Family herbalist, lei-maker, and distiller of aromatic medicine based in Wailua, Kaua`i.
She is proud to have been born and raised beneath the fragrant Ponderosa Pines and purple Rocky Mountains of Colorado. She spent much of her childhood in Hawai`i, where the beauty and power of Kaua`i was imprinted upon her mind and spirit.
Having had the privilege of working in 62 countries around the world, Keya brings a global perspective to her local plant medicine practice in the Pacific.
Her path is unique having studied with healers from as diverse traditions as the Navajo Nation to the Bamanan people of Mali, West Africa. She has been instructed in Western Herbalism from luminaries such as Tammi Sweet, Holly Bellebuono, and Susan Weed, and inspired by the work of Gail Fatih Edwards, Rosemary Gladstar and Aviva Romm. Keya grounds her herbal practice in the Wise Woman tradition, focusing on women's health from puberty to post-menapause. She sees clients as partners in healing themselves, using plant medicine, daily practices, and nutrition to address the whole woman.
As a grower of plants and distiller of hydrosols, Keya is passionate about incorporating aromatic medicine in her collaborative and integrated healing practice. Hydrosols form the cornerstone of her activities as a medicine-maker, believing in their capacity to heal on acute physical and broad metaphysical levels.
On Kaua`i, she feels privileged to have studied traditional hula under Kumu Kehaulani Kekua, and the celebrated lei maker, Mary McDonald.
For Keya, every lei she weaves acknowledges prismatic plant and flower lifetimes — how they carry the sun, the rain, the soil that grew them, the season and the wind that nurtured them, and the medicinal actions held in perpetuity inside their DNA.
For Keya, the lei becomes a living formula, rescuing meaning from a global social construct that has tried, so desperately, to leave only an edifice of “beauty” for us consume—the shell without the life. It is not unique to Hawai`i, but the devolution and plasticity of Hawaiian lei is a cultural flashpoint of what is most pernicious in the post-colonial, peak-materialistic, max-industrial paradigm we inhabit; a near total loss of land literacy, botanical medicine, and annihilation of the sacred and wild.
Therefore, as a lei maker, she is dedicated reclaiming the nobility of the Polynesian lei making ritual to heal and transform our relationship to Mother Earth, and to amplify the wise voices of the fields and forests.