The beautiful thing about collaborating with others is being able to come up with something beyond what I would have done on my own.
This collaboration with Pohai from Kaleimamo Hawaii is all about relationships and has actually been in the works for a while now. We initially connected on social media! She has been so kind and very supportive of my journey as an artist over the past few years. She’s bought my fabric, products and I’ve seen her shouting out and supporting other local mama owned businesses as well.
As we got to know each other, we saw how much we had in common with our love of Native Hawaiian plants, being a part of the community, caring for our keiki, working hard, and perpetuating the Hawaiian language. Over the years we built a friendship that has been there to uplift one another as we each chase our dreams. When Pohai asked me to design this collection with her - I could not say no! It would have been like saying no to my sister.
I am thrilled to now introduce the three designs we worked on together.
Hipuu Aloha: The bond of love. This design is inspired by the Native Hawaiian plants used in Pohai’s wedding bouquet: aalii, lehua and palapalai. Aalii symbolizes resilience, lehua symbolizes a beloved friend, relative or sweetheart, and palapalai symbolizes growth, humility, and hula. Our relationships make us stronger than we could ever be alone. Together we blossom, grow and uplift our community.
Maile: Maile is an indigenous Hawaiian shrub, which produces a vine with shiny, fragrant leaves. The new growth of maile is intertwined to create long, twisting lei that can symbolize the pilina (relationship) between two partners, intertwining their individual lives to become one.
Ilima: Ilima is a shrub indigenous to and commonly found across Hawaii from the shoreline up through our mesic forests. Ilima bears beautiful, yet delicate, yellow, orange, or dull-red blossoms. While also utilized as a mild laxative for babies, called kanakamaikai, ilima flowers are most beloved in lei. Incredibly detailed and time-consuming to make, it takes around 500 blossoms to make just one lei. These highly treasured and sought after lei are symbols of our hanauna hou, our mamo . . . our next generation.
This is the design I want to talk about a little more. As Pohai and I discussed the ideas and symbolism behind this design, we just knew this one was meant to be.
The first thing I notice about pua ilima is the bright, happy, golden color of the flowers. When they are made into lei you can tell they are made with love, no doubt about it. Just imagine gathering those delicate ilima flowers to string into lei! How tedious it must be to string each tiny blossom! Multiple strands require hundreds even thousands of flowers that you must treat with care because they don’t last very long. I would imagine that you would always remember each ilima lei you made.
Did you know that “lei” is a poetic word in Hawaiian for “child”? I think the symbolism is beautiful and so fitting, especially with ilima.
Children are naturally happy and bright like the colors of ilima. Just as each flower is lovingly strung on a lei, we put our love and care into our children. We take time to feed, clothe and nurture them. We’ve wiped their tears. We’ve covered them in countless kisses. Each act of love is another blossom of the strand. How tedious it can be to listen to a never ending story, and yet we do it because those years don’t last long enough. We pour our hopes and dreams for them into each lesson, each conversation, guiding them as they develop their identity.
The ilima design (to me as the designer) is a celebration of the relationship between mothers and their children. When you use this fabric I hope the happy, yellow Ilima makes you smile as you remember that the seemingly small things you do for your keiki actually add up to make something beautiful.
Each of these designs are meant to connect our hearts and strengthen our love for those closest to us. I really hope you enjoy them!
These fabrics will be released tomorrow, October 1st at 9am Hawaii Time.
If you’re worried you’ll miss the limited release, make sure you’ve signed up for our email list to stay up to speed and receive exclusive offers.
If you’re wondering what the different fabrics look and feel like, read this blog post to learn more about each fabric I offer.
Did you know there are payment plans available at the checkout if you want to get your hands on all the fabrics you love before they’re gone?
I’m sure you already know exactly what you want to make with these fabrics and even if you’re not sure yet, I can’t wait to see everything you create!
Thank you again for your support. I am in awe of this community’s desire to support local and your unbelievable talent. And a HUGE Mahalo to Pohai from Kaleimamo Hawaii and her gift of friendship - one of the best kinds of relationships there is.
Tell me in the comments: What design spoke to you the most?