When Laurence Muleh’s daughter was born, she not only brought joy and love into his family, but a new business idea. The artist and Maui High School art teacher was inspired to start his clothing line, Maui Dad, which celebrates parenting, fatherhood, and our sacred island. Recently launched in December of 2013, they currently offer six designs on raglan tees (baseball style tees) and youth trucker hats. And- as Laurence shares his story below – its not always about what you get with a business, but what you give back.
“As an ecstatic new father and a local high school art teacher, I created a series of drawings that illustrated our ohana’s (family’s) tradition of touching foreheads to express our love. In a Maui-based art studio, we lovingly screen-printed each of these drawings by hand on a variety of apparel and our family business, Maui Dad, was born. We take great care to make our products as locally, ethically and sustainably as possible. We are expanding our line by creating more designs, creating infant and toddler hats, and working on our adult apparel.
“We are very grateful to have been welcomed into five wonderful boutiques across the island. According to our stores, our apparel line has been well received by both locals and visitors alike. Additionally, we were very honored to be featured on the Papa Page in the current issue of Maui Mama Magazine. As a teacher and a nurse, my wife and I have always dedicated our lives to being part of our community, which is why we decided that while we grow our business we want to connect with local non-profits in our community so that we can grow together. We believe that if we can weave the fibers of our business into the fibers of our community we can not only contribute to the local economy, but more importantly we can contribute to helping directly effect the lives of our neighbors.
“We began this mission of community involvement by reaching out to the Friends of the Children’s Justice Center of Maui, an organization that supports children of abuse and neglect in Maui County. On May 3rd, Whole Foods Market Maui has graciously offered to host Maui Dad so that we can use our business to help raise money for the FCJC. At this event we plan on offering our standard apparel line as well as new adult and mom-themed apparel in anticipation for Mother’s Day.
“We will also have a booth at the upcoming Haiku Hoolaulea and Flower Festival on April 12 and will be sharing a portion of those proceeds with the FCJC. We are thrilled about the partnership we’ve formed with FCJC and can’t wait to begin using our conscience and lovingly made local products to support their important mission.
“Since connecting with the FCJC, we have found another local non-profit called FIT (Fatherhood Involvement Team). I was able to connect with the director of the program and I was truly moved by what they do. They recognize the important role that fathers play in the healthy development of children and are committed to providing services to fathers, including teen dads, and dads that are in the Maui Community Correctional Center. As a business built on the celebration and joy of fatherhood, I would be proud to offer support to this organization towards helping men become better fathers.”
Love the designs and the mission? Buy some Maui Dad apparel at their Etsy store at: mauidad.com
Follow their family adventures on their Facebook page at: facebook.com/mauidad
Where to Buy Maui Dad on Maui : Biasa Rose in Paia, Designing Wahine Emporium in Makawao, Ambassadors of the Environment at the Ritz-Carlton in Kapalua, Royal Lahaina Resort in Lahaina, and the Enchantress in the Shops of Wailea.