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

Posts tagged ‘Handmade’

Swoon-Worthy Leather Bags – Bags by Gscout

scout hobo bag  bags by gscout Inspiration for new blog posts come from everywhere… meeting new people, shopping through our local boutiques, or in the case of this post, simply scrolling through Facebook. I have no idea how these pictures originally appeared on my feed (through the magic of Facebook!) but when I saw these stunning, handmade leather bags, I just had to investigate further!

Gillian Adamo of Bags by Gscout shares her story of how she learned about leather work, taught herself how to make bags, and then combined her lifelong skills as a healer to create custom bags, along with her daughter and partner Cheyenne, with just a bit of something special…. 

leather bag handmade leather work braid work tassels

One of the original bags, twenty years old!

“Twenty five years ago I was traveling in Nepal, a girl walking down the dusty streets of Kathmandu caught my eye. She looked like a wild gypsy girl and she had this amazing braided leather necklace on. I asked her about it and she said she made it and that she sold them. I asked her if I could buy one from her and she said “No, I’ll teach you how to make it”!!

“She invited myself and my boyfriend to come and stay with her in her home on a lake in a town at the base of the Himalayas. Over a period of 3 weeks, she taught me numerous techniques in leather braid work.

“After returning home to Canada I got the idea to make leather bags. I created designs in my mind for bags and stitched them into form with the stitches I had been taught in Nepal. My craft was born. I created leather bags in Canada for the following 3 years. Then I moved to Maui to raise my daughter. I put my bags to the side and 20 years later my daughter asked me to make her a bag. I did, I posted a picture of it and I got 5 requests for bags… Gscout  begins!!!

“This has been a full time job for me, alongside the healing work that I have been doing throughout my life. They go hand in hand as the healing energy I work with also goes in to every one of these bags. I like to say that people ‘carry a feeling’ with them when they carry our bags. Its the feeling I generate through my healing work.

silver hand pounded detail on

Solid silver hand pounded ring on strap

“Each bag is handmade with no electricity or machines, using genuine Italian & Spanish leathers and deer skin from Alaska. My daughter, Cheyenne Jagger, works along side me. Before we joined forces, she acquired a knack for goldsmith skills and became a jeweler of fine metals and stones. In our Gscout Bags, Cheyenne creates solid silver hand-pounded rings for our strap attachments, adding one more level of refinement to these creations. Many of the Gscout bags are made to order so as our clients may have a bag perfectly fit to the individuals tastes and needs.

The custom bag for Christine McVie

“Mick Fleetwood’s girlfriend commissioned a bag for him, and she gave me a few little trinket treasures of his that I attached to the pouch. She also gave me a cool skeleton key that had special significance between the two of them and I added that to the inside pocket of her bag.  A year later, Mick commissioned a bag as a gift for Christine McVie —> (Christine’s clutch got cool sexy lines to match her cool rock and roll persona), then the next year he bought his girlfriend one of my bags. I made Krishna Das a bag, and I added a vintage Indian coin since India is so deeply in his heart. I’m making something for Gretchen Rhodes, who sings with Kenny Chesney. Gretchen’s bag is going to be earthy and sexy and solid just like her.”

Want to get your hands on your own Gscout? 

Check them out in person at Holiday and Co in Makawao, or view and purchase online at www.gscouthawaii.com. (and don’t forget about the custom options!)  And make sure you follow them on Facebook – Bags by GScout and Instagram- g scout bags .

Mahalo to Gillian for sharing her awesome story and her gorgeous bags!  Now I just need to come up with an excuse to get my own custom Gscout…

 

Kiss the Sky – A New Organic Skin Care Line!

I like yummy smelling soap and lotions. But who doesn’t. Especially on Maui, it seems like everyone is making bath and body products these days, with delicious fresh and floral scents, but when something special catches my *nose*, I take note. At one of my favorite gift shops on the island, the Hui Noeau, I was doing my usually ‘smelling of the soap’ when the sweet packaging and amazing cocoa butter fragrance of the Kiss the Sky caught my attention.

I recently caught up with the owner of Kiss the Sky, Alyson Gaioni, to hear more about her delicious new line.

Maui Made: How did you get into the bath and body business?  

Alyson Gaioni: My love for herbalism and plants grew out of a passion for self empowerment. About ten years ago I started on a journey to learn the best way to keep myself healthy and happy while also respecting my environment and keeping that healthy and happy too. I ended up finding myself at a little herbal school in Boulder, CO with a rigorous curriculum where I became certified as a Clinical Herbalist.

kiss the sky maui cocoa rose body butter

A fresh batch of Cocoa Rose Body Butter

I am consistently blown away by the simplicity of the healing power the botanical world offers.  Just by learning about a few plants it is possible to take care of yourself and create products that are tailored to your exact needs.  It was exciting to discover I could take that knowledge and expand it into beauty products.  I started creating fun and pretty recipes that also heal and nourish the body.  After some years of experimenting and playing around I decided I wanted to share my creations and show people that beauty doesn’t have to come with a cost to your health or the environment.  That’s when I started Kiss the Sky.

MM: Is this a full-time job for you? 

AG: Currently it is my part time job and full time passion.

MM: Tell us a bit about yourself… 

calendula jojoba oil - bath and body - maui

Calendula Infusing into Jojoba Oil

AG: I am a culmination of the New York girl who slowly made her way west via the Rocky Mountains and ended up on this magical island 2.5 years ago.  I have followed my heart through many different places and occupations and have found a beautiful life here. I love playing the alchemist in my spare time and my kitchen can sometimes resemble a witches den.  I am constantly researching, learning and experimenting.

MM: What is the good and the bad about having a company on Maui? 

When I first moved to Maui I was nervous about the idea of finding a job that could support me (we all know this island can be expensive).  But I have come to realize that the lack of jobs has inspired many people to become entrepreneurs. This has generated a very supportive community for people starting their own small businesses – from free consulting to farmers markets and stores that are willing to carry local products.  One difficultly that I have run into, however, is the cost of shipping.  It is very expensive if any of your ingredients need to be imported.

MM: Where can people find your products? 

AG: Currently I am selling my complete product line on my website www.kisstheskyorganics.com and Etsy Store “KissTheSkyOrganics”.  They can also be found in the Hui No’eau in Makawao and Mana Foods in Paia.

MM: What’s next for your Kiss the Sky?

AG: So much!  I have a new line of mineral eye shadows coming out in the next month to be followed by more mineral make up products.  I will soon be selling my lip glosses in a liquid applicator tube as well.  After that I am contemplating a botanical baby care line.

HUGE MAHALO to Alyson for taking the time to share her story!

Want to follow Kiss the Sky?  Check out the page on Facebook

Ha Wahine unveils 2014 Line

Fresh from their ‘road trip’ to Merrie Monarch, Ha Wahine has released their 2014 line of locally designed women’s clothing.  “Everything is hand cut and sewn on Maui in our store. We strive to provide people with modern styles, in modern prints.”

These were all posted on Facebook a few days ago, but each style is limited, contact them to confirm availability. To inquire or place an order, send them a private message on Facebook or give them a call at (808) 344-1642.  Let them know which style and size you are interested in, and they can tell you which colors combinations are available. You can also drop in to their shop in Wailuku, they are open 11am-3pm, Monday through Saturday, and generally on First Fridays as well!  They are located at 53 N. Market St, #B.  Ha Wahine is the sister shop to Cy Maui in Wailea.

Hold mouse button over photo for sizes and style name.  Scroll to bottom for sizing information, shipping charges and return policy. 

Style Name: Moana28 (28 inches lengthwise)

Sizing: Small/Medium, Medium/Large, Large/XL

Price: $75

*Also available in Moana36 (36 inches lengthwise)

Sizing: Small/Medium, Medium/Large, Large/XL

Price: $75

Approximate Sizing:

Small – size 6

Small / Medium – size 7

Medium – size 8

Medium / Large – size 9

Large – size 10-12

Large / X-Large – size 12 – 14

Extra Large – size 14 – 16

XX Large – size 16 – 18

Shipping Charges:

$10 for 1st piece and $2 for every additional piece.

Return Policy:

Company Return Policy ~ Products may be returned within 14 days with sales receipt, provided it has not been used and is in resell-able condition.

Ha Wahine

Hours:

Mon – Sat: 11:00 am – 3:00 pm

Address:

53 N. Market St. #B

Wailuku, Hawaii 96793

 

Phone

(808) 344-1642

Website

http://www.cymaui.com

 

Add a Little Sunshine with Petit Soleil

Looking for a sweet little handmade gift idea?  Andrea Sisouvong, a former florist and current stay at home mommy, started creating some fun gifts for all the birthday parties that her family attended. She got so many requests for more that she’s turning it into a new business called Petit Soleil!  Andrea current portfolio includes stick horses, reusable snack bags, make-up bags, play tea bags, aprons, pillows, baby items and hair clips, but I imagine she’ll be adding even more soon.

handmade stick horse gift hawaii

A perfect gift for a young horse lover

Andrea was born and raised in Switzerland, went to school to be a florist and came to Maui in 2008. “I worked in a flower shop upcountry for over 2 years,” she shared.  “I loved working with all the tropical flowers and the big lush weddings and fun set ups.  I’m now a stay at home mommy, or as I like to call a home manager, with a three year old daughter and I’m also nine months pregnant!”

handmade snack bag blue chevron

reusable snack bag hawaii

To see more of her new creations, follow Petit Soleil on Facebook  and Instagram.

This is a new venture for Andrea, you can contact her directly through her Facebook page to inquire about colors, prices, etc.

What’s next for Andrea and Petit Soleil? “I would be really stoked to have some of my creations in a store or two, or maybe start a Etsy Shop!?

handmade fox pillow baby gift F

What DOES the fox say?

grey chevron maui stencil bag

bags for every need!

Stocking Stuffers – Made on Maui

OK, so I haven’t even enjoyed my Thanksgiving pie yet (because it’s really all about the pie, isn’t it?), but Christmas is coming at us like the Sugar Cane Train.

It’s time to start thinking about Christmas and the all important STOCKINGS.

Hawaii Christmas Stocking Stuffer Gift Idea

Here are some fun ideas that are all made on Maui, and best of all, they are all available for online order!

First of all – the Stockings.

Check out the great inventory (but hurry – they are moving fast!) at this etsy shop – TikiTales – Now offering personalization!  Learn more about Happy Honu Maui and TikiTales from this earlier post. 

For the Fragrant Soap Lover (or a filthy friend)  –

soap maui gift set holiday

The Rainbow Gift Set Comes in this Beautiful Packaging

Soap from Maui Soap Company: “We started our company with a formula using organic coconut oil, wonderful aromas and cool colorful designs and began selling at the craft fairs. Here we are 5 years later with 2 full time employees and one part timer and sold throughout the Islands and now planning to export to Japan!” This holiday season we’re giving 25% of online sales to the Haku Baldwin Center in Makawao, as well as contributing 1% of total sales to a local conservation group through the 1% for the Planet organization.

For the Person who is always borrowing your Lip Balm –

maui natural lip balm handmade

Can’t go wrong with natural lip balms by Queen Bee Maui – a Sweet Gift!

Lip Balms from Queen Bee Productions come in three flavors,  Plain Jane (Honey Inspired with Shea & Cocoa Butters), Chocolate Mint and Tangerine Dream.

For your Frequent Flyers –

queen bee travel kit maui facial products sampleThe  Travel Kit from Queen Bee Productions, which comes in Rose, Lavender or Citrus, contains samples sizes of the Honey Cleanser, Facial Toner, Luxurious Body Oil, Royal Exfoliant and Cocoa Body Butter in a reusable plastic zipper pouch that’s carry-on friendly! (see above for purchasing details) 

For your Sweet-tooth –

The Limited Edition Gift Box from Sweet Paradise Chocolate comes with flavors that include Kona Coffee, Macadamia Nut, Mango Ginger, Lilikoi Silk and more.

Maui Stocking Stuffers Chocolate Maui on Maui Hawaii

For your soon to be tooth-less –

tooth pillows maui hawaii custom

These quality pillows will last through all the years of wiggly teeth…

The Tooth Fairy Pillows by BlueJane Maui are small enough to place beside you, but large enough that the tooth fairy will find it. Each one is made with quality, designer fabrics and professionally sewn and machine washable. Each pillow comes with a sweet little poem in the pocket.

For your Four-Legged Friends:

maui.dog.treats.pumpkinMaui Dog Treats are made by hand on Maui using wholesome, all-natural & organic ingredients. Available in Pumpkin Peanut Butter and Wheat Free Pumpkin.

Mauidivegirl Designs Makes a Splash with Unique Jewelry

maui dive girl necklace jewelry braceletEverybody 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:

glass bubble necklace diver gift

Lisa models her Breathe Bubble Necklace and Earrings, Inspired by her love of scuba diving.

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.

maui dive girl jewelry craft fair boothMM: What’s next for Maui Dive Girl?

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

 The Etsy Shop

Facebook

Twitter

or find Mauidivegirl Designs in these retailers:

MAUI:

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

HAWAII:

Persimmon Boutique, Waikoloa (in Queen’s Marketplace)

OAHU:

Whole Foods Market, Honolulu (Kahala Mall)

Whole Foods Market, Kailua (Kailua Town Center)

NEW YORK:

Hanalei & Kula’s, Ocean Beach, NY

CANADA:

The Hyve Hair Studio, Prince Albert, Saskatchewan

JAPAN:

Moanalu Co., Ltd., Osaka, Japan

Mango Green Project Japan

FIJI:

Pineapple Boutique, Nadi, Fiji Islands

maui dive girl jewelry design hawaii seashell

Moku Pua Soap Factory at Maui Tropical Plantation

Maui Tropical Plantation has completely renovated (see the complete post here) – and this weekend the circus is coming!  So excited to bring my kids (ages 2 and 5) to see the Big Top.  If you are heading over to MTP this weekend, might also be a good time to check out Moku Pua, a new bath and body company, and watch them making soap!

Vicki Pillar shared her story of “Moku Pua”- Natural Body Care and Soap Factory at the Maui Tropical Plantation, which just opened in September:

We are a new factory store at the Maui Tropical Plantation, making all of our products right in our store!  We make Natural Body Care and Fragrance products without adding harsh chemicals like Parabens, Sulfates, Petroleum, or Mineral Oils.  We have 9 Tropical Fragrances (and unscented Handcrafted Soap and Body Butter for sensitive skin), and our products come in Handcrafted Soap, Body Butter, Sugar Scrub, Body Wash, Body Mist, and Diffusers.  We are in the process of setting up a Sea Salt Bar, in which customers can pour colored and fragranced Sea Salt into containers for a relaxing Bath Soak.

making soap by hand on maui natural ingredients

Pouring the handcrafted soap into the mold

Our business started out with giving Plumeria Sugar Scrub to friends and family as a Christmas present.  It was well received and everyone wanted to get more to give as gifts for their friends.  Soon we we getting orders for more Sugar Scrub, and before we knew it, we had a fun hobby of making Sugar Scrub.  We started experimenting with other fragrances and soon we had over 20 different fragrances!  Our orders kept growing and we reached a point where we needed to decide to start a business and create a name for our company.  We began taking business classes and joined the Handcrafted Soap and Cosmetic Guild to develop our company.

soap process making handcrafted natural ingredients maui

Removing the soap from the mold

We now have 9 Tropical Fragrances, an unscented called “Purely Natural”,  and a variety of other products besides Sugar Scrub.  One of our signature products is our Handcrafted Soap made the old fashioned way called the “Cold Process Method.”  We handcraft our soap in small batches using food grade exotic oils of Coconut, Palm, Canola, Caster, and Kukui Nut Oils.  We mix our ingredients and pour them into a large mold.  Next, our soap is cut into bars and allowed to cure for 4 weeks to create a hard bar.  Our handcrafted soap creates a creamy rich lather, lots of bubbles, cleanses and moisturizes, and does not strip your skin of its natural oils.  Your skin will not tighten up after drying, this is because we super fat our soap with the addition of the Hawaiian Kukui Nut Oil, known for it’s medicinal and moisturizing properties.

maui soap cutting process

Cutting the soap into leaves

We have been manufacturers on Molokai and California for several years, selling our products to wholesale accounts.  The opportunity arose for a Soap Factory/Store at the Maui Tropical Plantation, so in July we relocated from Molokai and California to Maui.  We feel very blessed to be at the beautiful Maui Tropical Plantation where we are surrounded by the tropical flowers, plants and incredible scenery!

Mahalo to Vicki for sharing her story with us!  Don’t forget to check out their beautiful website as well, and if you aren’t on Maui – there’s online shopping! 

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