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

Posts tagged ‘vintage’

San Lorenzo Hawaii Gets Some Esky Flavor Love

Earlier this month, San Lorenzo Bikini closed its Queen Kaahumanu Center store and opened in a location that, previous to opening, had been described as a ‘secret and undisclosed’.  I racked my brain to figure out where could be so special, so exciting that they wouldn’t even disclose it.

 San Lorenzo Paia Maui Hawaii

For months, the restoration of Paia Center was taking place, behind the dozens of event posters and weathered boards between Ono Gelato and Honolua Surf Co.  Then one day, holes were cut in the exterior to expose the door and windows, leaving the old wood and a decade worth of flyer staples, and VOILA, a brand new, fresh and funky store was open!  I don’t know how they did it – but I’m impressed!  What had been an eyesore for years instantly became a fantastic storefront (and the talk of the town) – this image below taken on opening day!

san lorenzo bikini shop paia maui

Artist, waterman, visionary and entrepreneur Mickey Eskimo was the visionary behind this restoration (he’s also responsible for the amazing restoration of Haiku Mill!)

“I am the restorer first, then the designing fun starts,” Mickey explained.    “I mean its all fun, but i like to get my canvases ready first.  I love restoring and preserving, especially here in Hawaii where very little old structures are left, a person like me is very needed.  The Paia Center was yet another labor of love, as was Haiku Mill, my Pauwela Cannery Gallery Space and several other smaller projects.

At the Paia Center, i also had the challenge to blend retail space function, with keeping an edgy “eskyflavor worthy” romantic modern/industrialism style. I blended the mega industrial sugar history and raw surf culture of Paia with New York and Paris to result in an innovative retail space design.

The center stood empty well over 15 years and I am glad it was me to give it new and lasting life.”

Mickey is also the man behind Esky Flavor.  Esky Flavor, the surf culture brand (you’ve seen the hats around… everyone has at least one by now…)  is a reflection of Mickey’s ‘love of various cultures, ideas and flavors this still beautiful, but threatened, planet has to offer.’

And now enjoying the fruits of Mickey’s labors is the newest San Lorenzo Bikini shop in Paia.  The company was established as a small sewing shop in 1991 in Lima, Peru, with the production of clothing and swimwear.  A decade later, they expanded production to add a facility in Brazil.  Their designs then reached Hawaii, and a daughter company was established in 2002.  In 2005, they opened two retail stores on Oahu, and the company has been growing ever since.

I was just in this week to shoot these pictures and the word is they just got over 700 new bikinis in the shop, so NOW is the time to check it out!  Besides an extensive collection of their signature line of bikinis, the new shop features bathing suits and cover ups by Tiare Hawaii, Esky Flavor Hats, and an exclusive line of Kamera Jewelry!

The Facts: San Lorenzo Hawaii, Paia Location is currently open from 9am to 9pm daily. (perfect for your bikini shopping after hitting up Flatbread for dinner…) It’s located square in the middle of Paia town, at the stoplight. Follow San Lorenzo Maui on Facebook

Buy Esky Flavor Hats online: Shop coming soon!  We’ll keep you posted here on Maui Made Blog!  This is where the site will be…

Box Eleven – Thrift+Vintage=Love

box eleven clothes and bags

A few years ago, Katie Browne combined a few of her favorite things, fabric,  shopping and thrift stores, with a talent for sewing, and started creating unique apparel and bag designs, which she now sells under the label BoxEleven.

Maui Made: What is unique about BoxEleven Designs? 

Katie Browne: I use fabric that is purchased in limited amounts with no option to buy additional yardage, so each item is a one of a kind, or a limited edition.   The thrifted and vintage fabrics are rarely in pristine condition and might have small holes or portions faded by the sun, but i don’t consider those to be flaws; the imperfections tell a history of the item.   If you find an applique on your item, it means that i discovered a hole or stain and decided to cover it with a small scrap, rather than waste a large portion of fabric.   I also utilize parts of textiles that most clothing manufacturers hide or trim off because i want to offer a view into the making of the fabrics themselves by highlighting details,  such as the marks and indents in the fabric edges that occur during the weaving process, or the marks and signatures left by the fabric dyers.

MM: What’s your most popular item? 

KB: I think my most popular item right now is a new design, the Skater Dress, which is a super-comfy and flattering dress made in a variety of knit fabrics in different colors and prints.

MM: What are the best ways to meet new customers on Maui and online? 

KB: For me, the best way to meet new customers on Maui has been to have a booth at Seabury Hall Craft Fair.  It’s the only craft fair I do on a regular basis, and I always meet a ton of new people and reconnect with past customers.  Instagram has been a great way to meet new customers online, because it’s so easy to post cute pictures and comment and like other people’s cute pictures; I’ve connected with a lot of like-minded creatives this way.

MM: When did you realize this could be a business and not just a hobby? 

KB: About 12 years ago I made a bunch of one-of-a-kind purses, put together a Trunk Show with a few other artisans and made some sales!  I didn’t sell out but I was really excited to discover that other people liked the fabrics I paired and I realized that with enough hard work and focus, I could turn my favorite hobby into a business.

MM: How did you learn how to sew? 

KB: I’ve been sewing for most of my life, but learned all kinds of tricks of the trade when I entered the Fashion Technology program at UHMC in 2010.  I thought I knew how to sew….until I started taking classes under Cheryl Maeda, and realized I had a lot to learn!  It was an excellent experience, and Cheryl is a very thorough and skilled teacher.

MM: How long have you been on Maui? Where are you from? 

KB:I’ve lived on Maui since 2005.  I’m from Carbondale, Colorado, a little town high up in the Rocky Mountains.

MM: What do you do for fun? 

KB: For fun I like to sit in the sun, read my favorite fashion mags, shop for fabric and shoes, and daydream about my next collection.  I love funny movies, lilikoi margaritas, and dinner parties with friends!  I also like to draw and sketch, and will find scraps of paper all over the place filled with doodles; for some reason it rarely occurs to me to actually draw IN my sketchbook.

MM: What are some of the best thrift stores/ vintage shops on Maui (come on, spill your secrets!) 

KB: All time best thrift store is Savers in Kahului- they have such a high turnover rate and a ton of stuff to go through.  My favorite vintage shop is Paia Trading Company, which has a very nicely edited collection of paper ephemera, vintage glassware, Pyrex dishes, and so many fantastic other goodies!

Thrifted and Vintage Fabric Clothing Designs Maui Hawaii

MM: You have an Etsy shop set up as well – any tips for sellers? 

KB: I think Etsy is awesome!  It’s the first place I go online every morning after I check my email.  I love the Quit-Your-Day-Job series and the carefully selected treasuries; I’m constantly amazed by all the beautiful and imaginative things that Etsy shop owners create.  Unfortunately, I don’t have any good tips for sellers as my sales are fairly low on Etsy.

MM: Good and bad news of being your own boss? 

KB: The best part of being my own boss is that I have complete control over how my business is run- I get to choose all the fabrics, decide which of my designs I want to produce, and take all the credit for my successes.  The most challenging part of being my own boss is that I’m responsible for EVERTHING, which can be difficult because I have to do all of the tasks that a business requires, even ones that I’m not good at, like bookkeeping.

MM: What’s next for BoxEleven?  

KB: Next for BoxEleven: getting some wholesale clients on the mainland!!  I’ve had a good response from boutiques throughout Hawaii, and I would like to expand my list of stockists to a select few shops on the West and East coasts.

MM: What’s the inspiration for the name? 

KB: My mom came up with the name BoxEleven, and I know it comes from her mailing address (as in, POBox 11) but I don’t know why she chose it.  All I know is that when she told me she wanted to name her catering and cake baking business BoxEleven, I thought it was so awesome that I stole it from her.

made on maui designs

MM: Where can people buy your clothes? 

KB: On Maui, you can see my designs at Wings Hawaii in Paia, the Hui Noeau shop in Makawao, on Hawaii Island at Pueo Boutique in Kailua Kona, and on Kauai at Work It Out in Kapa’a.

Online, I have my own shop*, an etsy shop, and I have items on Beach Wahine.  (*NEW NOTE: Katie is currently setting up a new online store, contact her directly at to place your order!)

Want more?  Follow BoxEleven on Facebook and Instagram

Pandeia – A Compass Sundial Wristwatch Made on Maui

Pandeia-Compass-Watch-Maui-HangingWhen I first saw the Pandeia display at Wings in Paia, I figured it was some hot Italian designer, and all the cool kids in Paris and Rome were probably wearing them.  The whole display was so professionally done, so spot-on trendy in a vintage chic kind of way, and just such high quality work, when I later heard that they were made by a woman in Haiku, I think my reaction was ‘whaaaat???’

Pandeia watches can be described as a compass sundial wristwatch, made of hand cut leather and antiqued brass, but upon closer inspection you discover that its really so much more.  Like a conversation starter.  And my personal favorite: motivation on your arm.  I fell in love with Pandeia when I saw the tagline –  FOLLOW YOUR INNER COMPASS.    What could be simpler, and more empowering?  I could go on and on about the power of this tagline, which I might just stencil over my kitchen sink (or really, I should just get a Pandeia), but let’s get back to the wristwatch.


Pandeia got its start with the discovery of a brass pocket compass sundial in a vintage shop, and when it was combined with some leftover leather straps and a brass buckle, a whole new company was birthed.

The more I researched Pandeia, the more interested I became, and was stoked when the woman behind Pandeia, Kelsi, agreed to take time out of her crazy busy watch making, order filling and social networking schedule to let me interview her.

MM: What is Pandeia to you? 

Kelsi: Pandeia is more than a time piece, it is a wearable reminder to escape the boundaries of time.  Its a conversation piece that helps share the idea to live free and enjoy each moment.


MM: What kind of personalization options do you offer? 

Kelsi: There are several customizations that people can order to make it more personal or special.  I have men’s and women’s styles, several color options, I can add studs, or stamp a word/name/date into the leather.  I love doing custom orders because it makes me get a better idea of who my customer is.  I want nothing but positivity when it comes to Pandeia, and having happy customers that are stoked on their watch is the best feeling.  Each piece, customized or not, is numbered for authenticity on a hand stamped brass tag

MM: How does the watch actually work? 

Kelsi: The instructions are engraved on the back of the piece, but you hold the watch level, find North with the compass, flip the dial wing vertical, and the dial wing will cast a shadow on the roman numerals, telling you the time.  There’s a slight variation in time depending on the season, your location on earth and whether you participate in daylight savings.


MM: Where can people buy your watches on Maui?  

Kelsi:   On Maui you can currently (as of June 2013) buy Pandeia at 4 stores, Wings Hawaii in Paia,  Pink By Nature in Makawao, Hue in Kahului and The Maui Ocean Center Store in Maalaea. (MM side note: You don’t need to pay aquarium admission to go to the gift store at the aquarium, just let them know at the front gate, its an impressive store if you haven’t been there yet)

(and currently on the Pandeia website, there are 5 women’s watches and 2 men’s)

MM: When did you realize that this would be a real business and not just a hobby?

Kelsi:  When I started Pandeia I was running a business for another artist on the island.  I created Pandeia in my spare time.  It took a long time to develop since I was investing the little money left over from each paycheck into it.  I remember not knowing if I had enough money left for dinner because I just ordered 100 buckles.  I was 23 years old and happily scraping by.  The day that I quit my real job Pandeia instantly became full time.  The second that I put all my energy into it, it started growing.  And it was growing faster than I had ever expected.  Its been a one woman show and I’m stoked to finally hire a part time intern.  I work way more than full time.  It never stops.  But when you love what you do, you don’t really want it to.  It doesn’t feel like work.  Its fun.  There are so many different aspects to the business that I never get bored.  From photoshoots, to social media, to making the actual product, developing new ideas, finding stores, filling orders my work is never done.


MM: How is Maui as a place to be creative? 

Kelsi: Maui is an awesome place to be creative, there is endless inspiration.  My studio and the birth place of Pandeia is a 250 square foot shack in the middle of the jungle (Haiku).  You have to hike to get down here!  Being able to create in a workspace surrounded by nature is a dream come true.  Maui is also amazing because there are so many other creative, like-minded individuals.  I love collaborating and supporting one another.

MM: What do you see as the next step for your business?  

Kelsi: I constantly have new ideas whirling around when it comes to Pandeia.  Pandeia has become a world traveler. My watches are found in stores and on wrists in Japan, Australia, South Africa, Amsterdam, Sweden, France, Italy, Canada, Brazil just to name a few… the list grows everyday!  I wish I was so well traveled.   I am also hoping to expand my line in the near future by introducing other styles and rings/necklaces.

MM: Wow!  Keep us posted, Kelsi!  Now get back to work!

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Photos by Lens and Key, Location in scenic Kula, Upcountry Maui.

If you want to see more of Pandeia – here are two video links.

Here’s the video that goes with the pictures in this post 

And here is a video of Kelsi making the watches in her Haiku studio

And finally, I’ll leave you, dear readers, with this inspiration from the Pandeia website :

Escape the boundaries of time with this unique compass sundial watch. Made of brass and handcrafted leather, this time piece inspired by the past is sure to be as unique as the free spirit wearing it.  Pandeia compass sundial watches are made with love and aloha in a jungle shack on Maui. Stay true, be strong, and always FOLLOW YOUR INNER COMPASS.

Maui Made Weddings – A ‘make your own’ Wedding Guide

As a popular location for destination weddings, Maui has no shortage of talented people who can help make your wedding a unique and memorable event.  Once you settle on the big stuff, the venue, caterers, photographers, the groom, here are some of the options available to put the icing on the proverbial wedding cake.

Gown with the Wind {The dress}:  If you arrive on Maui without the perfect dress, fear not, since Maui-based designer Tamara Catz has a beautiful shop in Paia with a selection of bridal gowns that would be ideal for a beach wedding.  The dresses are available online as well.

One of the gorgeous bridal gown options at Tamara Catz

One of the gorgeous bridal gown options at Tamara Catz

From Ear to Eternity {The jewels}: Looking for the perfect earrings, or a one-of-a-kind gift for your bridesmaids?  Jewelry designer Valerie Dunne has just launched a bridal collection and will create custom jewelry for the bride or bridal party, whether you are getting married on Maui, or she offers shipping and gift wrapping if not!   Valerie shared that this line was “inspired by the beach, and designed for brides who love the islands.  They would also make great anniversary gifts.”  These designs would be the perfect compliment for your tropical attire, or bring a touch of aloha to any mainland wedding.

Something borrowed, something old {the props}: Perhaps we have Pinterest to thank for the current popularity of the wedding prop rentals industry. Maui is lucky enough to have Melissa Padilla, a talented event designer who happens to have an impressive collection of furniture and decor rentals for Maui weddings and photo shoots. Melissa’s new company Opihi Love offers a unique blend of Hawaiian, industrial, rustic, and vintage décor, with items ranging from local bottles and skeleton keys to steamer trunks and custom made floral living walls.

{and i know you are going to ask anyway: These amazing photos are by Tamiz Photography}

“All my tables are made on Maui,” stated Melissa, “the vintage items I find are all from estate sales and auctions on Maui, and I have collected a wide selection of Hawaiiana Treasures, including wooden dairy boxes from Puunene Dairy.  I try to bring one element to each wedding that is made on Maui even if I sneak in a Maui Soda bottle with some flowers for the powder room.” With Opihi Love at the helm of your décor, you’ll end up with your own Pinterest-worthy event!

A Touch of Glass {cake toppers, favors and gifts}: With all the ways to personalize a wedding, cake toppers are certainly no exception.  Kai Pua Gallery on Lahaina’s Front Street now offers custom made glass sculpted cake toppers.  Kai Pua also offers a wide variety of glass wine-stoppers, wine charms, and sculptures which would make unique gifts for wedding party, fun wedding décor, or memorable favors for your guests.

{even more amazing photographs courtesy of Natalie Brown Photography}

The glass items can be customized for your wedding, incorporating personalized color options and more: “Let us know your theme and we can create something special for your big day!” shared Anna Keay and John Lindquist of Kai Pua Gallery.

Pretty as a Painting {portrait of your bouquet}: For something a little different than the typical photographs, Anna Keay can also create a custom oil painting of your bridal bouquet, just supply a picture!

Bridal Bouquet Painting, Commisison

A portrait of your bridal bouquet by Maui’s own Anna Keay

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