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

Posts tagged ‘fashion’

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


Pandeia – An Update

Since the inception of this blog I’ve written a whopping 20 posts.  Twenty? I know, it seems like so much more… And every single day there is one post at the top of my ‘top views’ page – Pandeia.  I knew it would be popular, but – wow.  So, I figured it would be time to check in with Kelsi and see what’s new with Pandeia.

The biggest news is that Pandeia is currently available for sale on the trendy/boho/indie chic and was featured in this Steampunk Nomad Collection :

Pandeia Steampunk Nomad Free People Collection

The first order sold out in 2 days (! ) – and Kelsi is currently making more watches to fulfill the next order.

Pandeia was also featured on the ‘slow fashion’ blog The Valente , which loved Pandeia and my blog post so much that they shared it with all their readers as well!  

Other news is the new Concrete Jungle’ lookbook/photoshoot :

The city style adventures of two best friends exploring the Big Apple in their colorful Pandeia watches.  Explore New York City & discover the new colorful strap options.

Pandeia Color Band Options

Don’t you just love these new color options?

Pandeia Concrete Jungle Flowers Colors Bands Watch New York

While exploring the new lookbook, the other lookbooks caught my eye- especially this one! Washed Ashore

A bohemian inspired shoot of two beach babes who discover a treasure trunk full of Pandeia watches that washed ashore.

Pandeia Shipwreck Treasure Chest Shoot

There is also a fun The Road Less Traveled shoot:

Two road-warrior love birds hit the road in style. They head for the highway in their VW van equipped with instruments, Pandeia watches and a drooling guard dog.  Shot in Australia, this shoot inspires you to start packing and hit the open road.

Australia VW Camper Bus Shoot

And for more of the images from the previous post, you can check out Peace, Love & Pandeia -Part 1 and Part 2

A day in the life of a Pandeia explorer.  Shot in Kula, atop the mystical Haleakala Mountain, home of Pandeia Studio.

And today, Kelsi is headed out for yet another shoot (can’t WAIT to see the results from this one) and she shared this sneak peek/behind the scenes shot:

A Behind the Scenes Pic from the next photo shoot

And lastly : HAPPY BIRTHDAY KELSI!  Thanks for all of your support with my blog project and may this next year be the best yet!!!

In the Search for Maui Made Products at Whaler’s Village

I went shopping at Whaler’s Village during my annual trip to the west side, and figured I’d do a little ‘Maui-made’ research while I was there.   The first store we entered was called ‘Totally Hawaiian’, so I figured it was worth a shot.  It was certainly filled with higher-end souvenirs, home decor, wood carvings, and two large displays of buck knives right at the entrance.  I asked the shop lady how many of the items were made in Hawaii. ‘Most of them, but, not all of them.”  OK, so the Niihau shells are probably made in Hawaii.  Then I pushed on and asked her how many of the items were made on Maui,  and I got basically the same response. “Well, some of them, but not all of them.”  I mentioned I was working on a project about made on Maui crafts, and asked if she could point out the artists that are from Maui.  “The guy who makes the ceramic koi fish, this artist over here (pointing to the corner) and the lady who makes the Santas.  And probably some others.”  It’s not that she wasn’t knowledgable of the store, or trying to be helpful, but identifying artists and origins clearly wasn’t the point of the store.

As I walked around and picked up items, every single item had ‘Totally Hawaiian Gift Store” sticker with the phone number on the back.  At least they didn’t have ‘Made in Taiwan’ stickers, but you get the feeling that even if they were, they just took the stickers off.  Some items, like the soaps, which already came in nice packaging, had the stickers right over the company’s website.  Upon closer inspection, the soap company had actually changed the name on the front of the packaging to Totally Hawaiian.  I get it.  Someone on vacation gets some awesome smelling soaps from your store and when they get home and use it all up, they will look at the packaging, which they had luckily saved, and will call up your store to order more.

So, we moved on.  We walked by Cruise, a Maui Clothing company, and we dashed in at the last minute to look at a cute hat I saw in the window.  The store carries a nice selection of swimwear, hats, cover ups and resort-wear (including LeTarte, another designed on Maui company), but the entire center of the store has darling jewelry displays of ‘boutique’ designers, including many Maui-based jewelers.  Each display had a sign with the designer or company name, picture, and a bio.  The featured designers were Stellar Jewels, Rockabella Jewels, Designs by Fukuda (which I believe now goes by Kamera), Tiffany Chou (from Maui but now NYC-based), and Debra Mack.

I didn’t buy anything (I was already wearing my Eve Black earrings, which I get tons of compliments on), but I bet the store does pretty well with these displays.  Buyers these day like to know more information about what they are buying, not less. They want a souvenir from their trip to Maui that they wont also see at Myrtle Beach. Like an unnamed store in the same mall with dozens of vintage-style signs that all say ‘Kaanapali Beach’, but in Wailea they all say ‘Wailea’, and I’m guessing you can find ones that say ‘Key West’ and ‘St. Thomas’.

Two stores I didn’t venture into at Whaler’s Village but worth a mention are Martin and MacArthur and Maggie Coulumbe.

Blogger Tom Rowan recently visited the Martin and MacArthur workshop on Oahu and wrote a really nice post, but here’s a quick recap:

Martin and MacArthur, Hawaii’s longest running furniture making company, has been in business since 1961.   The company currently employs thirty craftsmen and everything is constructed here in Hawaii. Only the finest Koa wood is used, all from Hawaiian sources, with a goal towards sustainability.  With each piece of furniture sold, a new tree is planted. And the best part, if you are looking for a non-cliche souvenir, according to Tom Rowan “The company offers a full range of quality, high end furniture and there is not a carved pineapple or leaf in sight.”

For more on Tom’s visit, click here to view his post: or go straight to the company website.

Maggie Coulombe, one of Hawaiʻi’s premier couture fashion designers, moved to Maui in 1995 and launched her namesake clothing line and shop in 2000.  After more than a decade at 505 Front Street in Lahaina, Maggie moved to Kaanapali’s Whaler’s Village in the summer of 2011.

A Toronto native, Maggie studied fashion apparel design at Ryerson University in Toronto and graduated with the “Designer of the Year Award” in 1990.   With designs that mix a bit of tropics with a lot of luxe, Maggie has dressed celebrities on and off the red carpet including Halle Berry and Teri Hatcher. Her creations have been featured in Elle, Instyle, Glitter Japan, and Modern Luxury.

As stated on Maggie’s website,

“ If you are lucky enough to be wearing a Maggie Coulombe dress, all eyes are on you.”

I would add ‘And, if you are lucky enough to be on Maui, you can try on Maggie’s dresses at Whaler’s Village, but if not, you are lucky enough that Maggie sells her pieces online.’

The other fascinating fact about Maggie’s creations is that they are all ‘one size fits all’ and although I can’t attest to the fact that they will indeed fit anyone, a bit of research on her website shows that yes, although you can select the color and quantity, there is no choice of size, even on the bathing suits.

Hula Grill Kaanapali LemonadeAnd this recaps my day of shopping at Whaler’s Village, which was topped off by a beach-side lunch at the always impeccable Hula Grill.  I highly recommend the mint lemonade!

What’s your favorite shop at the Whaler’s?

New Jewelry Store in Paia – Eve Black Hawaii

I was bad.  I was out shopping recently in Paia for presents for a few of my Aries friends when I found a pair of earrings I couldn’t stop thinking about.  After a couple of days of thinking about them, I just went back and bought them for myself.   I was sold when Eve introduced herself as the designer of the earrings, and mentioned that these were still her ‘swap meet’ prices, as she was making room on her displays for her new collection.  Oh!  A limited time offer!  Sale prices!  These beautiful baubles had to be mine!  And, I’ve worn them ever since.

Eve Black Hawaii just opened up in Paia, in a new shop between Milagros and Charley’s, in a combination real estate/interior design/jewelry store.  Its a beautiful shop as you can imagine, and Eve’s designs are the icing on the cake.

I’m not sure how long Eve has been making jewelry, or how long she was at the swap meet, but I do know that her store is fairly new to Paia, and I have an inkling that she’ll do pretty well there.  In addition to her store, she sells jewelry off her website  and you can follow along on her Facebook page

Gorgeous Earrings by Eve Black Hawaii

and the earrings that i bought for myself...

and the earrings that i bought for myself…

Eve posted this picture on her Facebook page as proof that these are made on Maui, I think she just made a lot of people jealous!

Eve posted this picture on her Facebook page as proof that these are made on Maui, I think she just made a lot of people jealous!


Tag Cloud