News and reviews of made on Maui products and Maui-based companies and success stories. Also featuring island shopping guides

Posts tagged ‘Bags’

Tiger Rose – A New Line of Handbags Designed on Maui

I went to a holiday party last month and met someone who was telling me all about her friend’s new line of bags designed on Maui, called Tiger Rose.  And what did I see the next day at not one but two of the shops I was doing my gift shopping at?  Tiger Rose.  What were my mainland guests swooning over as we went out shopping?  Tiger Rose.  So my friends – here’s the scoop.  You need (at least) one of these.

Tiger Rose’s designer, Maile Bongolan, shares some incite into her new company:

Maui Made: When and how did you start Tiger Rose?

Maile Bongolan: Tiger Rose was launched in the fall of 2013. I’ve always had a love for textiles and traveling so these handbags are sort of a reflection of the two. I plan to visit other areas of the world and incorporate indigenous fabrics into my products.

MM: What sets your bags apart from other handmade bags? 

MB: In this current line, the fabric used on our handbags is handwoven, traditional Ikat fabric from Indonesia. The fabric itself is a work of art. It takes up to a week for a piece of fabric to be woven. Each bag is one-of-a-kind, and they all feature quality, eco-friendly dyed leather and solid brass hardware.

MM: What’s your top selling product so far?  

MB: The top selling product this season has been the Uluwatu Wallet Purse (available in four color/pattern options). It’s a small on-the-go zip purse with 4 credit card slots in the main compartment. It features whip-stitch leather detail on the edges and zips shut with a cute leather tassel. It’s perfect to throw in your beach bag or take on a night out. It fits comfortably your credit card/ID, cell phone, wallet and keys – pretty much all you need.

inside a wallet purse

MM: Where can people buy Tiger Rose Bags? 

MB: On Maui, they are currently in Collections in Makawao, Om Maui Fitness Studio in Pukalani, The Bikini Market in Kihei, and Hue in Kahului.   The bags are also for sale on my website as well at 

tiger rose duffle handbag

The Duffle is a perfect size for a weekend getaway –

MM: Is this your full time job? 

MB: This is currently a part-time job with full time dedication 🙂 I’m a graphic designer as well so that is my full time job. But this is something I plan to expand on over the years and hope to soon be my full time job.

tiger rose wristlet clutch maui bag

The Wristlet Clutch has a removable wrist strap.

MM: What’s next for Tiger Rose?

MB: A new collection of prints and handbag styles will be out this spring/summer 2014. In the late fall, Tiger Rose will be launching its first line of women’s clothing. Stay tuned 🙂

Follow Tiger Rose on Instagram: Tigerrosedesigns

Mahalo to Maile for sharing her photos and story… can’t wait to see what’s next! 

Box Eleven – Thrift+Vintage=Love

box eleven clothes and bags

A few years ago, Katie Browne combined a few of her favorite things, fabric,  shopping and thrift stores, with a talent for sewing, and started creating unique apparel and bag designs, which she now sells under the label BoxEleven.

Maui Made: What is unique about BoxEleven Designs? 

Katie Browne: I use fabric that is purchased in limited amounts with no option to buy additional yardage, so each item is a one of a kind, or a limited edition.   The thrifted and vintage fabrics are rarely in pristine condition and might have small holes or portions faded by the sun, but i don’t consider those to be flaws; the imperfections tell a history of the item.   If you find an applique on your item, it means that i discovered a hole or stain and decided to cover it with a small scrap, rather than waste a large portion of fabric.   I also utilize parts of textiles that most clothing manufacturers hide or trim off because i want to offer a view into the making of the fabrics themselves by highlighting details,  such as the marks and indents in the fabric edges that occur during the weaving process, or the marks and signatures left by the fabric dyers.

MM: What’s your most popular item? 

KB: I think my most popular item right now is a new design, the Skater Dress, which is a super-comfy and flattering dress made in a variety of knit fabrics in different colors and prints.

MM: What are the best ways to meet new customers on Maui and online? 

KB: For me, the best way to meet new customers on Maui has been to have a booth at Seabury Hall Craft Fair.  It’s the only craft fair I do on a regular basis, and I always meet a ton of new people and reconnect with past customers.  Instagram has been a great way to meet new customers online, because it’s so easy to post cute pictures and comment and like other people’s cute pictures; I’ve connected with a lot of like-minded creatives this way.

MM: When did you realize this could be a business and not just a hobby? 

KB: About 12 years ago I made a bunch of one-of-a-kind purses, put together a Trunk Show with a few other artisans and made some sales!  I didn’t sell out but I was really excited to discover that other people liked the fabrics I paired and I realized that with enough hard work and focus, I could turn my favorite hobby into a business.

MM: How did you learn how to sew? 

KB: I’ve been sewing for most of my life, but learned all kinds of tricks of the trade when I entered the Fashion Technology program at UHMC in 2010.  I thought I knew how to sew….until I started taking classes under Cheryl Maeda, and realized I had a lot to learn!  It was an excellent experience, and Cheryl is a very thorough and skilled teacher.

MM: How long have you been on Maui? Where are you from? 

KB:I’ve lived on Maui since 2005.  I’m from Carbondale, Colorado, a little town high up in the Rocky Mountains.

MM: What do you do for fun? 

KB: For fun I like to sit in the sun, read my favorite fashion mags, shop for fabric and shoes, and daydream about my next collection.  I love funny movies, lilikoi margaritas, and dinner parties with friends!  I also like to draw and sketch, and will find scraps of paper all over the place filled with doodles; for some reason it rarely occurs to me to actually draw IN my sketchbook.

MM: What are some of the best thrift stores/ vintage shops on Maui (come on, spill your secrets!) 

KB: All time best thrift store is Savers in Kahului- they have such a high turnover rate and a ton of stuff to go through.  My favorite vintage shop is Paia Trading Company, which has a very nicely edited collection of paper ephemera, vintage glassware, Pyrex dishes, and so many fantastic other goodies!

Thrifted and Vintage Fabric Clothing Designs Maui Hawaii

MM: You have an Etsy shop set up as well – any tips for sellers? 

KB: I think Etsy is awesome!  It’s the first place I go online every morning after I check my email.  I love the Quit-Your-Day-Job series and the carefully selected treasuries; I’m constantly amazed by all the beautiful and imaginative things that Etsy shop owners create.  Unfortunately, I don’t have any good tips for sellers as my sales are fairly low on Etsy.

MM: Good and bad news of being your own boss? 

KB: The best part of being my own boss is that I have complete control over how my business is run- I get to choose all the fabrics, decide which of my designs I want to produce, and take all the credit for my successes.  The most challenging part of being my own boss is that I’m responsible for EVERTHING, which can be difficult because I have to do all of the tasks that a business requires, even ones that I’m not good at, like bookkeeping.

MM: What’s next for BoxEleven?  

KB: Next for BoxEleven: getting some wholesale clients on the mainland!!  I’ve had a good response from boutiques throughout Hawaii, and I would like to expand my list of stockists to a select few shops on the West and East coasts.

MM: What’s the inspiration for the name? 

KB: My mom came up with the name BoxEleven, and I know it comes from her mailing address (as in, POBox 11) but I don’t know why she chose it.  All I know is that when she told me she wanted to name her catering and cake baking business BoxEleven, I thought it was so awesome that I stole it from her.

made on maui designs

MM: Where can people buy your clothes? 

KB: On Maui, you can see my designs at Wings Hawaii in Paia, the Hui Noeau shop in Makawao, on Hawaii Island at Pueo Boutique in Kailua Kona, and on Kauai at Work It Out in Kapa’a.

Online, I have my own shop*, an etsy shop, and I have items on Beach Wahine.  (*NEW NOTE: Katie is currently setting up a new online store, contact her directly at to place your order!)

Want more?  Follow BoxEleven on Facebook and Instagram

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