Local Entrepreneur visited by Michelle Obama
Christina O’Connor posted on November 8th, 2023
I got really lucky when a friend of a friend of a friend told me Michelle Obama would be visiting a local entrepreneur while the Obamas were vacationing on Oahu. When I asked if I might come and write a cover story about the visit – how surprised I was when they both agreed right away!!
“The more people who learn about the work to be done, the more we spread the word,” was an almost identical reply I received from both Michelle Obama and Cid Chun.
Cid Chun is a former Hawaii high school teacher who has built a gigantic organization with Ever Skincare – a network marketing company that sells clean skincare and makeup. How might you ask does that warrant a visit from the former First Lady? Well, Cid’s team with Ever made a decision when they were a small team five years ago to concentrate their power of giving toward a few special causes. One of them is Michelle Obama’s Global Girls Alliance. Cid’s team of over 50,000 women (and as Cid says “a few great men”) have donated over ONE MILLION dollars to the Global Girls Alliance.
When I arrived, the driveway was long and lined with trees as I pulled into Cid’s family compound on Oahu’s North Shore. One thing I noticed right away was that most of the trees were fruit bearing trees. Hedges were a mixture of flowers, herbs, and indigenous plants. Cid was outside waiting for me with a smile and was wearing a blue sundress from local designer Maunuheali’i. I needed to look twice to be sure, but YES, standing next to Cid was a pig getting its ears scratched.
“Hey Christina,” Cid says as I get out of my car, “this is Petunia.”
“We’re going to sit outside; it’s such a beautiful day.”
The compound has several dwellings, and Cid leads me to the yoga studio, whose roof is a sundeck.
“When we bought this place, the yoga studio was a game room. The first thing I did was renovate it into a yoga and meditation studio. It’s my favorite room in the house – after the kitchen and family room. I love Saturdays when all the family is here and gathered together for dinner and game night, so we keep the games and cards on the deck outside the kitchen of the main house.” Cid smiles at me and adds, “But I also need time to myself, to think, to meditate, and to breathe. I hang out in the yoga studio every morning at sunrise.”
From the deck, we had a view of the ocean. Cid had refreshments ready for us, and as we helped ourselves to herbal plantation tea, she invited me to ask her questions as we waited for the First Lady’s arrival.
I was curious if Cid and her organization had other causes they rallied behind, especially any local ones.
Cid’s smile with this question lit up her face. I could see how passionate she was with the sparkle in her eye.
“Totally.” Cid replied. “Slow Money Hawaii, Center for Food Safety Hawaii, and Sustainable Coastlines are my big three.” Cid’s passion for healthy living and local sustainability goes back to 2006, when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Surviving cancer and, as Cid says, surviving chemo, put her on a journey of holistic health and self-discovery.
While we discussed the work these three organizations do, time flew by, and soon I heard an unfamiliar sound announcing our special guest.
“What’s that?” I asked.
“That’s India,” Cid smiled, “the compound’s peacock. He’s a great watchman.”
We met Michelle Obama as she walking up to the studio, and she was even more stunning in person than a picture could ever capture. She was in a bright yellow floral dress that worked like a piece of art against the backdrop of the Chun’s landscaping.
During the interview I learned the impact of educating girls globally, while I also learned of Cid’s experience as a 20+ year veteran teacher here in Hawaii. I learned that Cid was planning a trip to Africa, to visit in person some of the community programs that have benefited from the Global Girl’s Alliance. And that Michelle Obama herself is helping with the details of Cid’s visit!
My last question for Cid was “how did you realize your dreams; how did you make them happen?
She took a deep breath, closed her eyes for a moment, then looked at us and smiled.
“I always had big dreams. But for a very long time, my thoughts and actions were scattered. Five years ago I enrolled in a class that changed my life. The Master Key Experience. I learned how to control my thoughts, focus my thoughts, and concentrate my thoughts, into actions. Everything you see here, everything I contribute, I thought it first.”