Introduction: Charley A Richards

Wednesday, July 8, 2009


I am the founder and owner of Absolutely Natural which I started in 1992. We sold our first bottle of suncare in April of that year after two years of research and developing the formulas for our all natural suncare line.

Previous to Absolutely Natural, I lived in Hawaii and worked with resort hotels as a contractor providing services at the beach and pool areas in exchange for selling products at kiosks. We started in 1978 at the Sheraton Maui, the Maui Surf and the Whalers, all on Kaanapali Beach.

This business led to the development of Maui Jim Sunglasses as there was a need for a sunglass that could protect against UV, eliminate glare and not distort the beautiful colors of the island. Maui Jim’s were born and the first glass was sold in 1986. Although I haven’t had any ownership in the company for many years, I am proud of what the brand has accomplished under the direction of Walter Hester, owner of Maui Jim’s. I am the original patent holder along with Mr. Kobiyashi who was instrumental in developing the technology.

My first job in the industry was as a salesman for Hawaiian Tropic products at various hotels in Daytona Beach, Florida. I started when I was 16 years old (between my junior and senior years in high school) so I have been around suncare for 38 years!

I also was a school teacher for four years teaching high school English with added duties as a wrestling coach (I know, a strange combination).

I have done many things in my business career including import/export, owning retail stores, consulting and manufacturing, but I truly love what we do now. To be able to develop the incredible products we have now and to help so many people is extremely gratifying.

Our factory and my home are in Melbourne, Florida where I moved in 1988.

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