What Does KOOSHOO Mean?
Wait! Kooshoo is a real word that actually represents what you do?
It sure is and here's the story that will answer most of your questions.
Our brilliant Co-Founder and Creative Director, Rachel, was born and raised on a very special little island in the South Pacific called Norfolk Island. The island is home to approximately 2000 inhabitants (KOOSHOO co-founders included) and lies 900 miles east of Australia. The Island is only 3 by 5 miles large so is essentially a pin-prick of paradise surrounded by ocean in the South Pacific.
Rachel grew up in a traditional island home, hand-crafted by her father, a talented builder on the Island. When the family moved to Canada in the mid 90’s the family home was converted into accommodation and called Tintoela (spoiler alert: Tintoela, like KOOSHOO, is a Norfolk word. It means Sweetheart). For a quick voyage to this South Pacific paradise, have a look at Tintoela's dreamy website.
The local Islanders who live on Norfolk are direct descendants of the Mutiny on the Bounty – the famous British naval mutiny that Hollywood has re-enacted multiple times (with Marlon Brando, then again with Mel Gibson). Rachel is a 9th generation descendent of the actual mutineers and their Tahitian wives.
Over many generations the old English of the men blended with the Tahitian of the women to create what is now known as Norf'k (sometimes spelled Norfuk), the incredibly unique language of Norfolk Island.
Following a long period of time in which the local children were punished for speaking in their native tongue by the Australian school system, the language is once again being celebrated for its unique status in the world and is now part of the school curriculum. In 2007, the United Nations recognized Norf'k on their list of endangered world languages, shortly after the first English-Norfolk dictionary was published. If interested in delving deeper, this is a brilliant app all about the Norf'k language.
As for our name, before we even knew what type of products we would be making, we knew that our company would act as a vehicle for good in this world. So when it came time to choose a name, we immediately turned to the Norfolk language. Right there in front of us was the beautiful word kooshoo, a commonly used word on the island and a word we knew was right as soon as we saw it.
KOOSHOO means feeling good. It’s used in many different ways on Norfolk though perhaps the most common is as part of a greeting:
Watawieh you? (Hi, how are you?)
Kooshoo, you? (feeling good, you?)
That original want for doing good has translated into a company filter that we use for every decision we make: “does this feel good?”, or "does this feel kooshoo?" In other words: does this choice have positive implications on many levels?
From choosing the global suppliers that we work with to build KOOSHOO headbands, hairties and other products, to the recycled and biodegradable packaging we use to the choice to donate products regularly to charity, every decision we’ve made has traveled through the “does this feel kooshoo” filter.
We hope you love the name as much as we do. And have fun and give your Norf'k skills a try. Next time someone asks how you’re doing try answering with ‘kooshoo’. If anything like us, you may just find yourself with a new favourite word on your hands.