Archives for December 2020

Q&A: featuring local clothing shops of Maui

2.0 – Jasmine Bustamente, Owner of ÂME Maui, Paris

Continuing our Q&A series highlighting some of our favorite boutiques of Makawao and Paia is Jasmine Bustamente, Owner of ÂME Maui. In this series, you will hear about the passions and inspirations behind these local shops, some words of encouragement for the future, and reflections/lessons on navigating a business during the pandemic. Read all about what Jasmine’s insights and reflections below…

Q: Tell us about your shop, your ethos and your inspiration for starting your boutique!

A: ÂME Maui, Paris was born from Bulletproof Aura (Callie Mahoney) + Jasmine Honey Jewelry (myself) brainstorming ways to bring our own product and designs together as a collective as well as other artists and designers that are less known or not available on Maui. From that idea ÂME was born, just an online boutique and pop-ups for the first year, then we moved into a showroom for another year and now we have expanded into a proper brick and mortar in Makawao town. 

Q: How are you navigating your way through COVID-19 times?

A: Navigating through the pandemic has been interesting to say the least. I was fortunate enough to acquire our current location because our friends, Holoholo Surf moved into a larger space, so I wasable to move into their previous space. I wasn’t sure what to expect opening our first brick and mortar mid pandemic, but friends, family and the community have been very supportive. 

Q: What is the biggest lesson you learned from the pandemic so far?

A: The biggest lesson from the pandemic is being flexible and ready for anything.

Q: What can you share about sustainability and fashion?

A: It has always been important that everything is ethically sourced. I hand make all Jasmine Honey Jewelry pieces from start to finish so I understand the amount of work it takes. It’s important that the products at ÂME are ethically sourced and produced.  

Q: What is one product you are raving about right now in your shop?

A: The French vintage work bleus, popularized by French factory workers in the late 1800’s, they are highly coveted treasures hand selected by Callie in Paris.  We offer jumpsuits, overalls, trousers, and jackets, most pieces sell out almost immediately. 

Q: How can the community help your business and other local businesses impacted by COVID-19?

A: The biggest way people can help is shop local! Tell your friends and family to shop local, post your favorite places to shop on social media and there’s always the good ol’ coconut wireless. 

Q: What are you most looking forward to for the future of your shop and the community?

A: Pre pandemic we loved hosting pop-ups with lots of people & drinks flowing, we’re looking forward to the day we can do that again.


Thank you so much Jasmine for sharing more about your shop with us and how it has been navigating through the pandemic. We can’t wait to see what is next for your beautiful shop! As Jasmine mentioned, shop local to help your local businesses through these tough times. Check out ÂME in Makawao and support this amazing local business, or shop online through their website Thank you Jasmine and stay tuned for the next Q&A! 


10 Reasons Sewing Makes Your Life Better

There are so many great life skills to have or to learn. Learning to cook, to do your taxes, to ride a bike, to make your own bread, to iron, etc.. One valuable skill that often comes in handy is learning how to sew! A button falls off of your favorite shirt or your pants get caught on an edge and rip or maybe you just want to make your own clothing design from scratch. The possibilities are quite endless. Nonetheless, it is so practical and fulfilling to be able to sew.

Apart from being incredibly useful to be able to sew, it is also great for your health and wellbeing. Checkout the 10 reasons sewing can brighten up your life:

  1. Body, Mind, & Spirit Connection – Sewing is a fulfilling exercise of connectivity between your body, mind, and spirit. Satisfying creativity, using your hands, and staying focused on your sewing project. Plus, you feel great once you’ve completed your project, knowing it was created by your own two hands!
  2. Improves memory – By memorizing many different steps, patterns, and techniques you begin to improve your memory in a fun and engaging way.
  3. Presence + Focus – Sewing is very meditative and peaceful. It can allow you to truly be engaged in the present moment, simply focused on whatever you are sewing. This can be hard today in our busy, busy world.
  4. Creativity – Sewing allows you to find another medium of creativity and self-expression in the clothes or items you wish to sew. The styles, patterns, or techniques you use can bring out a whole new side to your creative expression. Perhaps you design a whole new wardrobe designed by you! 
  5. Environmentally-conscious – Being able to sew allows you to recycle clothes more easily and to keep clothes longer by fixing up any wears or tears. Much of the clothes available today are produced by fast fashion companies who produce clothing that is not made to last. 
  6. Ethical Thinking – Once you begin sewing your own clothes you start to become more aware of WHERE your clothes or other products come from. It truly helps you cultivate mindfulness about shopping in general, ensuring what you buy is ethically sourced.
  7. The Perfect Fit – When you can alter and hem your own clothes, you finally can begin to appreciate clothes being able to fit your body perfectly, because let’s face it, our bodies were never meant to only fit into 4 different sizes.
  8. Screentime Detox – It’s difficult to avoid our screens, especially now that so much of our lives have gone virtual. Sewing is the perfect way to take a break from your screen and reconnect with the present.
  9. Finger Dexterity – Develop improved finger dexterity and fine motor skills through the nuances of learning to sew. Sometimes we take this skill for granted but it is so important for musicians, dentists, surgeons, and in a number of other careers. Sewing is a great way to improve this skill.
  10. Patience – patience is becoming lost in our world centered around ‘instant gratification’. This is truly a skill to practice and exercise, and sewing requires patience and a willingness to learn–both wonderful skills to carry with you!

Just some of the ways sewing brightens up our life! We hope you can find the same joy in it as we do at JOA. We offer private sewing lessons at the Atelier in Makawao. We would love to share this wonderful life skill with you! Get in touch if you would like to schedule a lesson. Email Jennifer at Mahalo!

Meet our Studio Office Assistant: Yasmine

Yasmine performing in Karen & Allen Kaeja’s work in London, UK.

Our Studio Office Assistant, Yasmine Lindskog, joined us this past September. She works behind the scenes at JOA doing administrative work, social media marketing, writing, and more. Aside from working with JOA, she is also a professional dancer and choreographer! Find out more about Yasmine in our Q&A below…

Q: How did you get interested in dance?

A: As a child I had so much energy! My parents put me in every activity, from softball to soccer to tennis to gymnastics to horseback riding to ballet. They put me in baby ballet classes when I was 4 years old and I loved it. I kept taking classes and started taking loads of different styles as I got older. I haven’t stopped dancing since! 

The early stages of ‘Places’ by Project Syntrex.

Q: What’s the most favorite dance you’ve been in or choreographed?  

A: This is such a tricky question, I have had so many wonderful experiences! Hmm one of my most memorable experiences was working for the multimedia art collective, Project Syntrex, in London, UK.  We were a group of artists living in London coming from Lithuania, China, France, and the USA. We spent a year developing and presenting a project that combined sound design, movement, and animations. What I loved about this project was the meeting point of art mediums, the DIY nature, its experimental essence, and the very humble beginnings of it all. We were working on a tight budget so our rehearsals jumpearound from an array of spaces: the Royal Festival Hall Cloakroom Foyer, classrooms in the University of London College, Studio Wayne McGregor, our kitchen, an East London Village Hall, and Guildhall School. It was fun to be jumping from space to space. We performed this piece in Haarlem, Netherlands, and at a few venues in London, UK. The piece in its entirety was performed at The Pickle Factory in East London. Definitely a fun and memorable experience!

Q: What led you to Maui?

A: A  close friend, Katie,  from my undergraduate was from Maui, we had lived together for three years in Long Beach, CA and collaborated on multiple projects over the years. When I was living in London, we would always talk and just start snowballing different ideas we had about art and dance. She called me one day in 2018, with this idea that I should come to Maui and collaborate with her on a project for Adaptations Dance Theater. I thought that was a wild idea, but the following day I called her back and decided to come visit for a period of time. I fell in love with Maui, its community, ADT, and the gorgeous nature.  I went home for the holidays and then moved in January of 2019 to start an exciting new chapter working for Adaptations Dance Theater and teaching dance for several schools across Maui. 

Q: What do you see in your future?  What are your goals for dance?

A: I see myself entering more collaborations and multidisciplinary projects. Recently, I have been experimenting more with finding movement through other art mediums such as film photography, sound/audio design, and video editing. Some future goals for dance are to choreograph/direct movement for an opera, an immersive art exhibition, a large-scale site-specific piece, and a film or tv series. I also want to continue to explore ways to make contemporary dance more accessible to people. I would love to develop an intergenerational dance company/art collective. And one day I would love to have a space of my own, a meeting point for artists, a place to experiment with new ideas, share, collaborate, create, and talk. There are so many possibilities, I am constantly stumbling into new ideas and areas of art that I want to explore. I especially love working for Jennifer and being more exposed to the fashion and design world. It has given me so much inspiration and new ideas to draw from! Thank you for welcoming me into the Atelier Jennifer! You are such a talented artist and inspiring boss! 

Thank you for sharing with us Yasmine! Find out more about her work at And check out some backyard dance films she made with her roommate Hallie during the pandemic. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram at @jenniferoberatelier to stay up-to-date with happenings at the Atelier!

Performing at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center’s Artmixx in February 2020.

Inventing the Abbotts

Inventing the Abbotts + 1950s Dresses

When I worked in Hollywood, I made costumes for various films, tv shows, and private clients (you can see the full list here). Inventing the Abbotts (1997) was a fun assignment. I worked on a vintage 1950s dress for Liv Tyler which was worn in the dance scene. The dress was covered in a beautiful small flower trim. It turned out that the dress was too small for her. Our skilled costume shop team had to get creative to find a way to make it fit just right!

We ended up adding panels on the side to make it larger around the body. Then we went on a scavenger hunt for that vintage trim in one of Los Angeles’s enormous fabric stores. Guess what?! We found the exact same flower trim to match the dress! We carefully attached the new trim to the panels and blended it seamlessly with the old trim. It was perfect! The dress fit perfectly and you couldn’t even notice the difference where the new fabric and trim were added. 

Recently, we have been working with a client who had the same issue. She came in with an adorable 1950s style dress that was too small. We took fabric from the skirt and made clever panels on the sides to help extend the dress to fit her just right. It was the exact same problem we had with Liv Tyler’s dress. Steady, careful sewing by skilled artisans make this problem not a problem anymore. It is amazing how any dress–too small or too big–can be altered to fit just right.

Also, fun fact, Liv Tyler is the daughter of Steven Tyler who happens to live on Maui. It is a small world!

A story behind the gown

We worked with the award winning graphic artist, Wailani Artates of Artistry8, on a custom wedding gown a few years ago. Wailani came to me with a clear vision of what she wanted her wedding gown to look like. It is always such a treat to create and collaborate on a dress with another artist.

Wailani recently won her 4th Nā Hōkū Hanohano Award for the graphic designs of Amy Hānaiali‘i’s 15th album, Kalawai‘anui, alongside Kumu Hula and fashion designer Micah Kamohoaliʻi of Waimea. We did a Q&A with Wailani to chat more about her custom wedding gown inspirations and process, memories of her wedding, and about her recent award! Find out more below…

Q: What was your inspiration for your wedding dress?

A: Well, at the time, I despised anything sparkly and lace for some odd reason. My tastes were more structured, less traditional. I actually couldnʻt find a single silhouette that had this shape without sparkles. We even traveled to Oahu to find something that sufficed. 

Q: What was the dress design process like for you?

A: Being a designer, I literally took two silhouettes and photoshopped them together to create what was in my head. I then found Jen by googling “seamstresses on Maui” and was so lucky to have found her.

Q: How was it working together with Jennifer? 

A: She is the most amazing person, with or without a needle and thread in hand. We became fast friends andended up creating together at different capacities beyond my dress. She suggested this structured translucent fabric for the bottom half of the dress to provide some texture and it was gorgeous, something I didnʻt think of. She also created a bra in the dress because the back was low and it held up literally so well.

Q: What was your favorite memory from your wedding?

A: My favorite memory was seeing my husband cry when we said our vows. He is a reserved person and doesnʻt show his emotions publicly ever, but as he said his vows he cried. It was unexpected for me and such a beautiful memory Iʻll always hold dear.

Q: Can you share more about your recent win at the Nā Hōkū Hanohano Awards! 

A: Sure! The Nā Hōkū Hanohano Awards is like the Hawaii Grammyʻs. Itʻs such an honor to just be nominated. Iʻve been nominated 7 times and won my 4th this year. The gravity of being a Hoku award winner is huge for me, being on a stage and holding an award that music legends my grandparents grew up with, music that we were raised appreciating, itʻs just so big for me and my family. Music plays such an important role in life, it takes you to a time in your past, an instilled memory. We create these memories for our children and music plays a big role in our day to day from morning jam out sessions to bbq live streams (these days). 

The other part of this event that I love is the fashion. Oh, the fashion!!! Jen and I should get together one year. Every year, my husband and I try to be thoughtful of the album Iʻm nominated for by being inspired by  the experience, the name of the album, or even the artist to honor them and that process in some way. We also love to honor our ancestors and Hawaii. One year we wore kapa, another lauhala. I took my daughter one year when it was too difficult for my husband to leave our baby, and we wore lā’ī (ti leaf) that was treated to look like leather. Always so fun to do it up and try to top it every year. 

We can’t wait to see what Wailani creates next! Such a wonderfully talented artist in the community. We wish you all the best with your beautiful family! Thank you for sharing your insights and reflections with us! Follow her Facebook Page to see what she is up to next: And for any custom gown inquiries send us an email! Mahalo!