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

Posts tagged ‘Beach’

Maui-Designed Cover Up Featured on The Grommet

shower beach bathing suit cover up skirt

This is NOT ME – but this is kind of what it looked like… 🙂

True Story: Last weekend, we were packing up from a day at the beach, getting ready for the requisite stop at Ululani’s on the way home, when I threw on my coverup and rinsed my sandy slippers in the shower.  As I went to turn off the reliably untrustworthy beach park shower, I ended up absolutely soaking myself, much to the amusement of everyone watching.  Luckily, I was wearing my new coverup from RipSkirt Hawaii, which is made from water shedding fabric, and I was able to enjoy my shave ice without looking like a drowned rat.

RipSkirt Hawaii is the brainchild of Alecia Elsasser, a Maui mommy and former business owner, who was just looking for a solution to her daily dilemma of leaving the beach in a wet bathing suit, where normal pareus or cotton coverups just get wet and leave tell-tale bathing suit marks.

“I just wanted something to wear that wouldn’t soak through when I made a stop on the way home from the beach,” Alecia shared.  “I couldn’t find exactly what I envisioned on the market, so I decided to start making my own cover-ups. I had a skirt with a Velcro closure and I started with that as a template. My friends and daughter helped me with my logo, the sizing, and the colors.

“The result was RipSkirt, a water-repellant wrap cover-up with no snaps or zippers, only adjustable Velcro tabs. You rip it off to change. It’s made out of a water-repellant, modern board short material with just enough stretch to give but not to cling, and it quickly covers your bum and thighs without soaking up water.”

Today, May 9, RipSkirt Hawaii was featured on The Grommet, a product launch platform.  According to the Grommet website: “we find unique, undiscovered products and help them succeed.  We have launched over 2,000 companies since 2008, many of which have gone on to become household names, like SodaStream and Banagram.” The Grommet was also named one of the Hottest Companies of 2013 by Internet Retailer.

Alecia and her husband Ed ran a handbag company when they lived on the mainland, and she heard about The Grommet from one of her former employees. “He thought my skirts would be good match for The Grommet. We were selected in February, but they wanted to wait until spring to launch.

yoga pants cover up skirt“I sent them some samples to try out, but since it was winter in Massachusetts, they weren’t heading to the beach.  As they were testing them out though, the women in their offices started wearing them over their yoga and gym attire, and we discovered that it is more than just a swim skirt. We are now marketing it as all purpose athletic wrap skirt and cover up.”

The RipSkirts are available in sizes XS – L, and feature water resistant, quick dry material, an interior key/card pocket, adjustable velcro closure and a flattering kick pleat in the rear.  Skirts are machine washable, hang dry (or dry clean) They come in solid colors : Ocean Blue, Poppy and Black, and in prints: Ulupua Blue and Ulupua Black.

pink surfboard skirt surfer girl cover up rash guardWhere to Buy:

On Maui:

Alecia is also looking for more retail locations if you might be interested in carrying her product! Click here to contact 

Want more?

beach hat cover up sun skirt bikiniWatch the video of Alecia explaining how RipSkirt came to life,

Follow Ripskirt on Pinterest

black and white skirt bathing suit hawaii

What to Wear for a Wedding in Hawaii – The Maui Made Edition

What to wear wedding hawaii beach island

Our last blog post on weddings was all the unique venues that Maui has to offer.  Today’s post is about trends in bridal attire, and if you thought there were lots of choices for venues- there are even more for bridal gowns- because since we are in Hawaii, the sky is the limit!  And as usual, the below offerings are designed or made right here on the island of Maui!

Maui Made checked in with our go-to stylist, MeiLi Autumn, to see what’s trending with Hawaiian bridal gown styles in 2014:  “Maui brides run the gamut of adhering to a traditional style to having a unique style that is more beachy and casual,” MeiLi shared.  

(Above dresses by Maui-based clothing designer Tamara Catz, hair and makeup by MeiLi Autumn.  Photography by Maui Creative Photography)

“Instead of the fluffy, lacy merengue dresses, I am seeing more elegant and streamline dresses that could almost pass as a simple sun dress. Of course there are special embellishments when you look closely like a perfectly placed crystal, or shell detail. I think Maui is special in that brides can really experiment with their style whether its an all-out Victorian extravaganza at the Haiku Mill or a bohemian beachy soiree on the sand.”

Where to find these beautiful gowns? Tamara Catz offers several different wedding gowns, available online and in their flagship store in Paia.

Beach Wedding Attire Tips: If you are having a beach wedding, there are a few things to keep in mind as you plan your attire.  “Maui tends to be pretty windy, and on an exposed beach, veils and layers of fabric can tend to get caught up in our cooling trade winds,” explained Melissa Padilla of Opihi Love Wedding and Event Design.  “And if you are on the beach, stiletto heals aren’t going to work, so stick with wedges, or some brides will go with slippers (flip-flops) or even barefoot!” she continued.  (Melissa is the designer of some of Maui’s dreamiest weddings, check out her brand-new website here

hawaii wedding what to wear

Bridal Gown by Tamara Catz

And for the bride who is looking to do something completely out of the box, with just a nod to the traditional, Maui Girl has just unveiled its line of Bridal Bikinis– handmade here on Maui!  According to Debbie Wilson, owner and designer of Maui Girl, “we’ve been looking to create a line of bridal inspired suits for a while, it just seems so fitting with all the destination weddings that come to Maui.  We were looking for an alternative to a white t-shirt with lifesavers and puffy paints for a beach or pool-side bachelorette party, plus we loved the idea of doing a bridal inspired photo-shoot!  Now we are just waiting for that island-hip bride to have all her bridesmaids in bikinis, and her in a full gown. How awesome would that be!?”

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(Above Maui Girl Bridal Bikinis are modeled by Jazmin Repollo, photography by Ben Pigao of Empire Green)

Mahalo to all of our contributors for this beautiful post!!!

Otaheite Clothing Line and Boutique

Hulali Short Dress

When does a clothing designer who’s only been designing for a matter of months sell out designs in a matter of weeks?  When she’s Tiare Lawrence of the instantly in vogue clothing line (and boutique by the same name) Otaheite Hawaii.

In the 70’s, before Tiare was even born, her parents John and Sharon Lawrence started the original Otaheite.  Otaheite became a popular brand of clothing in those days – aloha shirts, bikinis, dresses, and shorts- were made out of fabrics that they designed, which they sold out of their own stores on Oahu and Maui. But her parents got out of the industry, and Tiare grew up knowing nothing about retail or design, meaning this new phase of Otaheite is 100% Tiare-grown.

If you are a fan of Otaheite (and there are lots of you) – first things first.  The ‘news bulletin’ just came out over Facebook today that Tiare has received a shipment and the online store and the Wailea boutique are currently being restocked up with pareu, Honolua dresses and Hulali dresses!

Tiare describes Otaheite Hawaii as a “beach chic clothing line inspired by Maui’s unique ocean lifestyle”. She takes her love of the ocean and Hawaiian background and applies it to her custom fabric prints.

Tiare took a quick break from her crazy busy schedule to answer a few questions:

Maui Made: How long have you been designing clothes and fabric?

Tiare Lawrence : I just started a year and a half ago.

MM: What inspires your designs? 

TL: Everything Hawaii, I mainly draw inspiration from Maui’s ocean and native plant life


MM: I hear your fabrics are available for a limited time only – is this to keep your stock fresh?  How long is each line around for? 

TL: Yes, we want every collection to be unique and limited. We have 2 lines a year.

MM: What is the best part of doing business on Maui?

TL: Being able to make people feel pretty

MM: I saw lots of other local designers featured in your shop – Why do you like to support other local businesses with your retail shop? 

TL: It’s important that we support each other and support local. Having a store allows me to showcase local artists.

MM: What’s next for Otaheite? 

TL: Hopefully a 2nd store one day

Otaheite Celebrated its first anniversary in June, 2013

Otaheite Celebrated its first anniversary in June, 2013

MM: So you have a clothing line, a retail store and online shop, and two kids? How do you do it? 

TL: I barely manage to pull it off actually. Let’s just say there’s a lot of sleepless nights.

MM: Do you have any time for fun?  I hear you are a big-wave surfer…  Catching the waves lately? 

TL: Not as much as before but I always make time on Sundays for beach days with my kids. I enjoy beach time even more now that I have my kids.

Where: Wailea Gateway – Near Monkeypod Restaurant

When:  Open Monday through Saturday, 10am – 9pm, Sunday – 10am – 6pm

Follow: Otaheite on Facebook

Click the links read more about the history of both the original Otaheite and Tiare’s vision:

And for more about Otaheite’s beautiful logo and branding, check out this post by Kauai-based designer Ashley Johnston


HUE – Voted Best New Business on Maui!

And the Winner for Best New Business is : HUE!  And now the readers of Maui Time Weekly’s popular “Best of Maui” poll know what everyone who’s already been in the store already knew: HUE is a gem.  HUE is a combination furniture store and interior design studio (the two owners are interior designers), but they also carry jewelry, gifts, art, body products, home accessories and more.  And they don’t just carry a little bit of everything, they carry the BEST of everything.

HUE furniture store “We describe our offerings as beach luxe: a bold blend of fun patterns, bright colors and trendy accessories that are perfect for a modern island lifestyle,” mentioned co-owner Jessica Guard McLellan.

The store also presents a rare opportunity for shoppers to view products typically only available through an interior designer. “We have fabrics, window treatments and other custom offerings available at the store that you can see, touch, and feel” continued her partner Wendy Takemoto.

According to Jessica, “our most popular small ticket items are the fun pillows, picture frames and the refillable soap dispensers from Caldrea. I think because they all have fun, modern prints and colors. We also do a lot in custom order with LEE Industries, our main upholstery line.”

l shaped couch sectional modern comfortable

Stylish couches, fun pillows, great gift ideas and home decor options…

As I write this, Wendy and Jessica are on a buying trip on the mainland – yay!  They shared some of their fun finds so far: “Here at market, we are finding new tabletops, throw rugs, and we are bringing in two lines of bedding, one of them organic out of North Carolina. We also found some cute cell phone cases, cotton rugs for the bathroom, Men’s and Childrens’ gifts, and lots of beautiful Christmas decor! We are hoping to really pack the store for the holidays.”

Upon entering HUE, you can tell that Wendy and Jessica are talented interior designers. The store is at once light, fresh and airy, yet filled with so many wonderful finds that you’ll want to stay for a while just to peruse all their offerings.  You may even want to take a break on the comfy looking bed couch.   HUE also seems to have exactly what you want, even if you don’t know exactly what that is.  And if they don’t, they’ll find it.  They regularly have shipments of new furniture and accessories coming in (which keeps their inventory always changing) and can special order just about anything for you.

And if you are looking for made on Maui products, you won’t be disappointed: a recent shopping research expedition revealed finds by blog favorite Pandeia (compass sundial wristwatches), Bluejane Maui (pillows), Kachi (jewelry), and Abigail Romanchak (art).

Interior design professional services include residential and commercial interior design, space planning, furniture sourcing, window treatment design and installation, kitchen and bath design, architectural computer renderings, custom upholstery, designer fabric selections, and more.  HUE offers appointments for design services as well as several different design packages, ideal for clients who desire a more personalized experience.

Where: HUE is located at 261 Lalo Street, Kahului, Maui, Hawaii

When: Open Monday – Friday from 9-5 and Saturdays from 10-4


A Maui Made Wedding- Nautical Theme, Part 1

Maui Wedding Nautical Ocean Beach Theme Wedding Ideas

A classic theme for any coastal wedding is nautical, or beachy, and Maui is of course a perfect location to carry out this theme.  A search of ‘Maui Wedding’ on Pinterest will lead to numerous jaw-dropping photos, but due to the perils of Pinterest, it may be difficult to contact the actual vendors for these beautiful weddings.  Here are some actual photographs of nautical and ocean inspired weddings and event decor options, with links to the proper purveyors.

For just about anything involving the written word, check in with Barbara Vanderpool from Miss B Calligraphy.  With a formal background in illustration and design, Barbara has a great appreciation for hand-drawn, whimsical art and the lost craft of letter writing. She specializes in custom-made large scale chalkboards, wooden signs, menu design, illustrations, place cards and envelope addressing.   Each piece is a one-of-a-kind, created out of a collaboration with the bride and groom, resulting in elegant and personal designs.

Surfboard Sign photos by Wendy Laurel 

And for anything involving flowers, Bella Grace Flowers can add the perfect touches to suggest a coastal theme in a natural, organic way.  For a recent wedding, owner and head floral stylist Mandy Grace combined driftwood and mercury glass with white, orange and pink bouquets set in vases with seashells in complimenting colors to create this elegant, yet relaxed table setting.  Mandy has been designing floral arrangements since 1999.  Her work has been featured on, The Knot and Destination Inspiration.

Floral Centerpiece photos by Kim Aihara of Aihara Visuals Photography

Maui Sweet Cakes is a special events bakery that offers beautiful and delicious wedding and special event cakes on Maui.  In addition to wedding cakes, they offer dessert bars, candy bars and cupcakes.   Each dessert is made with fresh, all-natural ingredients, with delivery available island-wide.  Maui Sweet Cakes does a limited number of events per day to ensure that the cakes are fresh & moist, and their clients have their full attention.


Looking for a few perfect finishing touches for your wedding?   Opihi Love provides brides, event planners, and photographers with one-of-a-kind props and furniture rentals. With the popularity of vintage items with nautical themes, owner and designer Melissa Padilla has been collecting a wide assortment of items, including ship wheels, anchors and sea fans.  Melissa also recently announced that she will be partnering with Dish Wish Hawaii, which offers beautiful fine vintage china, teacups and silverware for events.  She is also partnering with Blue Jane Maui to offer custom painted pillows for your wedding decor, which they’ll even ship home for you after the event!


And of course, once you have designed the wedding of your dreams, you’ll need the perfect photographer to preserve the event forever. Anna Kim Photography’s first priority is to provide their clients with beautiful images that they will cherish.  Anna also specializes in making sure her clients have a good time and feel comfortable being photographed.  Anna’s photographs feature different angles and creative composition, which capture moments filled with honest emotion and beauty.

Anna Kim Photography Maui Wedding

Anna Kim captures a magical Maui moment

With all these dreamy options, any couple can have their own magical Maui wedding, complete with honeymoon of sailing off into the sunset… (stay tuned for Part 2)

If you have a product that you think should be featured on Nautical Wedding Part 2, or have any feature blog written about of your Maui Made company, please email me at lizsmithonmaui (at) yahoo (dot) com . 

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