Everybody loves a story. Ten years ago, Chicago native Lisa Lappe was doing the corporate thing – working a desk job as a graphic designer. She had dreams about warm weather, spending time under the sea and living a simpler life. Then one day, she just up and moved to Maui. Now that’s quite a story. Lisa is now an avid SCUBA diver, and is living her own dream as a full time jewelry designer at Mauidivegirl Designs. She shares with us her story:
Maui Made: How did you get into jewelry design?
Lisa Lappe: I have a BFA in Graphic Design and worked in the corporate world for 15 years before moving to Maui. I enjoyed making jewelry as a hobby, but enjoyed it so much that I decided to try make it my full time job. Everything is handmade by me and it’s truly become my passion.
MM: Where do you get your inspiration?
LL: My inspiration comes from the surrounding nature of the Hawaiian islands both above and below the sea with it’s life, texture, color and patterns. My designs combine natural shell, lava, coral, pearls, gemstones, sparkling crystals and story telling into island inspired, budget-friendly wearables, gifts, favors and keepsakes.
MM: What are your most popular designs?
LL: The Aloha Wish Necklaces and Adjustable Cord Bracelets are the best sellers in the boutiques. Everyone loves a story and I try and incorporate my background as a graphic designer into jewelry designs with good packaging.
The best seller on Etsy is the Mother Daughter Necklace Set. It’s meaningful and people take the time to read the story online. I wanted to come up with something unique and meaningful for gift giving. The Aloha script necklace is also a popular item.
MM: Any Etsy tips for people just starting out?
LL: Be patient, sales don’t happen overnight, and also be active, listing new items, relisting, posting to Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter. And really good photography and descriptions are essential.
LL: I’m hoping to keep expanding into other boutiques and locations. I’m currently on the Big Island, Maui, Oahu, Japan, New York, and Canada. I will be at the Haleakala Waldorf Holiday Faire on December 7th, 2013 on Maui and World Whale Day Made on Maui Fair in Kihei, Saturday, February 15th, 2014.
Mahalo to Lisa for sharing her inspirational story!
For more on Mauidivegirl Designs, check out
or find Mauidivegirl Designs in these retailers:
The Enchantress Boutique, Wailea (at The Shops of Wailea)
Collections Boutique, Makawao
Neil Pryde, Kahului
Café@LaPlage, Kihei (in Dolphin Plaza)
Ono Gelato, Kihei (Azeka Shopping Center)
Ono Gelato, Lahaina (Front Street)
The Bikini Market, Kihei (Kukui Mall)
Hale Zen, Lahaina (Dickenson Street)
Whole Foods Market, Kahului (in Maui Mall)
Pacific Whale Foundation, Ma`alaea
Ma`alaea General Store and Café, Ma`alaea
Spa Moana at Hyatt Regency Maui, Ka`anapali
Maui Memories, Wailea (Wailea Gateway Center)
Paia Mercantile, Paia
Home Remedies Interior Design and Remodeling, Kihei
Maui Dreams Dive Co., Kihei
Persimmon Boutique, Waikoloa (in Queen’s Marketplace)
Whole Foods Market, Honolulu (Kahala Mall)
Whole Foods Market, Kailua (Kailua Town Center)
Hanalei & Kula’s, Ocean Beach, NY
The Hyve Hair Studio, Prince Albert, Saskatchewan
Moanalu Co., Ltd., Osaka, Japan
Mango Green Project Japan
Pineapple Boutique, Nadi, Fiji Islands