A creative couple used their family as inspiration for a passion project that teaches kids about island culture. Mom is a singer, dad a graphic designer. They merged their creativity to create a labor of love: Makaʻiwa Keiki.

“Actually, we were looking for something for our two-year-old at the time and couldn’t really find exactly what we were looking for,” said Lisa Martin.

Browsing YouTube one day, Chad and Lisa searched for engaging videos for their son to keep him entertained while learning about his culture. No luck. 

“We decided to create it ourselves.” 

“Just to have the chance to hear Hawaiian language in a video, we took on the opportunity,” said Chad. 

Using their family for inspiration, they began creating animated music videos highlighting Hawaiian and Polynesian culture. 

“It took some time for sure.” 

Each video can take months to create and they have full-time jobs. 

“We do the whole set up with a storyboard, to give a narrative to it,” Chad explained. “And then we put it out and edit it to the music [Lisa] produces for it.”

“I came up with this song, let it marinate a while, and then the song came and I said, what do you think? We worked on that. As I was creating the music, he worked on the art,” said Lisa. 

Labor of love indeed, but worth it. 

“I love that it is family-friendly and I really appreciate how people reach out to us on YouTube and say how much they love it and share their language. But it is not just for kids. Parents use it, homeschoolers, teachers are implementing it in lessons, as well as college students around the world. We’ve got an amazing response from a global community, which is so exciting, because we are helping to perpetuate the language and culture, and that is why we did it.”

Visit their YouTube page here.