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

Posts tagged ‘Home decor’

A Whole New HUE

Maui is a world-class destination for a lot of things, but shopping? Not so much.  Sure we have cute little boutiques, and bikini shopping that is noteworthy, but for anything for the home, choices have been pretty limited – that was, until two talented young interior designers saw this void, and have been filling it, with gorgeous pillows, comfy yet stylish couches, handy hostess gifts and much more! Wendy Takemoto and Jessica Guard McLellan decided to open up HUE, a furniture and lifestyle store, and the results?  Well, they’ve been stunning.

maui furniture store best home furnishings“We were designers before we were in retail, and it was never possible to find pieces in our style on-island,” Jessica explained. “We knew other people must also be feeling that need. So we thought rather than ordering from mainland stores, why not open our own?”  And Maui shoppers heartily agreed, voting them Best New Business in 2013 and Best Home Furnishings in 2014 in the Maui Time Weekly’s Best of Maui readers’ poll.

maui furniture store best home furnishingsIn 2012, Wendy and Jessica opened HUE at their original retail and design space on Kahului’s Lalo Avenue.  Not quite two years later, with a good idea of what island shoppers were looking for, Wendy and Jessica jumped at the chance to move to a much larger space in an established location.  They are now located at the former Latitudes, as the anchor for a whole design center, with The Garden, supplying silk flowers, plants and arrangements, by Latitudes’ former purveyors, and Suda Shades, creating custom window treatments.

The new location is approximately 5,000 square feet, triple the size of their former location.  “Our goal is to have the island’s premiere home and lifestyle shop, and this new space brings us one step closer. We now can present an even wider range of carefully curated home and gift items” Jessica continued.  HUE is still Maui’s exclusive dealer for Lee Industries’ furniture, they have added a few new luxury furniture lines, including Lexington and Palecek, and have brought in some more affordable options as well. HUE is constantly adding to their inventory to offer fresh pieces for shoppers, with containers arriving monthly, and smaller shipments arriving even more frequently.

coastal tropical modern design aqua In addition to furniture, HUE is expanding their bed and bath collection, and offers a wide range of home accessories and gifts, including tabletop accessories, hostess gifts, jewelry, soaps and lotions, eco-friendly wrapping paper, coffee table books, lighting and more.  “We travel to the mainland two to three times a year for furniture and gift markets,” shared Wendy. “It’s the best way for us to see what’s current, to get the best possible pricing from our manufacturers, and to check out the quality of the pieces before we order.  We also get a lot of our inspiration when we travel to market. We love seeing other shops in cities like Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, North Carolina… It’s just good to see stores that aren’t ALL rattan and tropical.”

In addition to offering what’s trending across the country, HUE offers many locally made items including bags by True Story Company and Tiger Lily, compass watches by Pandeia, body products by Queen Bee Productions, jewelry by Kachi, Sophie Grace Maui, Jasmine Honey Designs and Salty Luxe Hawaii, pillows by BlueJane Maui, and eco-friendly wrapping paper by Wrappily. Featured Maui-based artists include Abigail Romanchak, Robert Suzuki and Dane Ward.

According to HUE’s Sales and Marketing Manager, Birgitte Golden, giving back to the Maui community is an important part of the business as well. “We sponsor and donate to many non-profit events, and even assist event design, like at the Pacific Cancer Foundation’s Kama’aina Christmas for the past two years. We also participate in other fundraisers, like the Lee Industries’ Lee Loves America campaign, with a portion of sales going to a local non-profit.” Birgitte continued that, “another great aspect of HUE is that it is locally-owned and operated – Aloha is engrained in who we are, and all customers are met with a down-to-earth, no pressure attitude.” All five team members are born and raised in Hawaii. In addition to Wendy, Jessica and Birgitte, the team includes Design Associate Heather Guard and Warehouse Manager Chris Auna.

Hue design studio interior decorators maui best hawaii

Wendy and Jessica also offer professional services including residential and commercial interior design, kitchen and bath design, architectural computer renderings, and more.  Appointments are recommended for design services.

As I chatted with Wendy and Jessica about their new space, I asked what they’ve learned so far in their foray into retail, and what surprises have come up along the way. “Our eyes have really been opened to how shipping affects the costs of goods,” explained Wendy.  “Also, people sometimes don’t fully understand that we are on an island in the middle of the ocean…things take longer to get here, and cost a little more.  As Jessica shares, “mainly, retail is a lot of work. And it’s a different beast in this era with online shopping, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram….it takes a lot more to stay ahead of the game, but these are also very powerful marketing tools if you know how to use them.”

And speaking of social media – you can follow HUE here: on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram

Mahalo to the HUE crew for the interview! 

KNOW BEFORE YOU GO: 

  • Location: 210 Alamaha St, Kahului
  • Hours: Mon- Fri – 9am- 5pm, Sat 10am – 4pm, Closed Sunday
  • Phone: (808) 873-6910
  • Website: mauihue.com

Disclaimer: I am a paid consultant for HUE, but the opinions are my own. 

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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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