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

Posts tagged ‘Hawaiian’

New Children’s Clothing Line – Pilialoha Keiki

pilialoha keiki hawaiian clothing company children kids

It seems like at least a monthly occurrence, the invitation arrives in your email inbox for a baby shower, baby luau or child’s birthday party.  Time to head out again to shop around for the perfect present, but what kind of toys do they like?  Do they already have this book?  What is something every child can use and every parent can appreciate? Clothes – especially ones with eye-catching designs, inspired by the culture of Hawai`i.  Working mom and budding entrepreneur Rondy answered a few of our questions about her brand new children’s clothing line, Pilialoha Keiki. Rondy, a teacher, started the line along with her husband, a registered nurse.

lea lea hawaii red bird shirt girls

Le`ale`a means Joy and Fun in Hawaiian. The ‘i’iwi bird, or native Hawaiian honeycreeper, is also on the Pilialoha Keiki logo.

Maui Made: Where did the idea come from? 

Rondy: About 3 years ago my husband wanted to start a food based business so I decided to take a class put on by the Maui Economic Development board to learn how to start a business.  The food idea didn’t stick but I had to come up with a business idea quick so that I could write a business plan in the class.  At the time I had a young daughter at home and couldn’t find any clothes that reflected positive, local values and images.  I decided to write a business plan based on this idea and called the company “Pilialoha Keiki”. Pilialoha is my husband’s middle name and it means “My Beloved”.  I finished the business plan and the class, but after the class we didn’t pursue starting the company.  We were busy with work and we also had another addition to our family so we just dropped the idea.

On New Years Day 2014, my husband and I decided that we needed to do something for ourselves and we revisited the idea. I started drawing up designs and my husband worked on finding venues to sell the clothing.  So far we have met some obstacles but we love the opportunities that this business has given us.  My husband and I are introverted but by creating this business we go places we would normally wouldn’t go to, we meet so many great people, and we feel like we have grown so much by putting ourselves out there.  I hope that the meanings behind the clothing will transcend the Hawaiian culture and will be meaningful to all parents and their beloved keiki.

little opihi baby shirt onesie hawaii MM: Any items that are more popular so far? 

Rondy: So far our biggest seller is our “Little Opihi” onesies.  I think that term is so endearing in Hawaii and people are so proud to say that they have an opihi.

MM: Where are the shirts silk screened?

Rondy: When I was thinking about starting the business, a former student walked into my class and said that he just got a job at a silk screening company named All Island Printworks.  It was like fate, so we went with them.  They are located in Kahului by Ace Hardware.

mahalo greeting cardMM: You’ve also made a line of greeting cards, where are they printed? 

Rondy: At first I went with a mainland company because I thought it would be the cheapest and easiest.  After my first batch, I wasn’t too impressed so I searched around and found Ace Printing Services here in Wailuku.  They are so nice and have great prices!

hawaii onesieMM: Are you the artist behind all these designs?  

Rondy: Yes, I design all the artwork.  It’s so fun to do art again that I’ve been trying lots of techniques like drawing, linoleum printing, and computer generated art. I think I’m trying to be an artist again after about 10 years of not doing any art.

hawaii onesieMM: Where can people buy your products? 

Rondy: We have an Etsy shop, and right now we have been going to different craft fairs and events.  We keep people updated on where we will be at through Instagram (@pilialoha_keiki) and Facebook.  People also contact us to buy from us directly.

MM: What’s next for you company? 

Rondy: We’re so excited to be accepted to the Made in Hawaii Festival in August as well as the Made in Maui County Festival in November.  So far this experience has been amazing and we are just letting the business grow slowly and see where it takes us.

pilialoha keiki merrie monarch kids clothes shirts

Pilialoha Keiki Booth at their First Event: Merrie Monarch

Mahalo to Randy for sharing her story!  

 

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Palapala Designs – Hawaiian Art Textiles

tea towels clutch pillow cover case decorative

Founded by artist Palapala (Barbara) Chung, Palapala Designs offers textile products ranging from pillow covers to purses. Barbara designs and carves original blockprints of Hawaiian motifs and subjects, combining them with contemporary form and function.  Each item is carefully hand printed and sewn here on Maui, with each item created in short runs so availability and supplies are limited.

Barbara shared a little more about Palapala Designs in a recent interview:

Maui Made: How did you start this project?

Barbara Chung: I have danced the hula since I was a keiki and through hula one learns so much of the Hawaiian culture, to respect and honor all aspects of this special place we live. I wanted to use my art to celebrate the Hawaiian culture and through my information cards which come with most of my products, give those who may not know, a glimpse into this world.

MM: What are your most popular products and designs?

BC: All my designs and products seem to connect and appeal to kama’aina and visitors alike, but the most popular designs might be the Kalo (taro), Ulu (breadfruit), Ko’a (coral) and Honu (turtle).

MM: Where do you sell your products?

BC: I sell to stores in Maui, Oahu, Hawai’i (big island), Kaua’i and do several shows across the state, notably the prestigious Merrie Monarch Invitational Craft Fair, The Made in Hawai’i show, the Na Makua Invitational Christmas Fair and the Seabury Hall Craft Fair.

MM: What’s the key to success to be a crafter on Maui?

BC: The key to success in my business is having a handmade work of art that not only tells a story but is usable in the contemporary world. After drawing the artwork, carving the design and sewing the items, I personally sign most of the products because you are getting a one of a kind hand printed work of art. No two blockprints turn out exactly alike!

MM: Where can people buy your Designs? 

BC: View my website for the list of retailers carrying my Designs, or come see me in person (call for studio times or set up appointment) at my design studio at 1993 South Kihei Road in the Island Surf Building.

I have a website which is set up like a gallery of pictures. There are no prices at this time as it is mainly for my store accounts, but anyone can contact me and order by email or phone. I hope to have an online store in the future.

kihei studio island surf south kihei road

Barbara’s studio in Kihei is open by appointment, or, call for studio hours.

MM: What’s next for you and Palapala Designs? 

BC: My dream is to open a large store where modern meets traditional Hawaiian culture in a perfect blend of color and design.

Mahalo for your time, Barbara!  Best of luck at the upcoming Made in Hawaii Festival, happening next month!

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