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 www.amemauiparis.com. Thank you Jasmine and stay tuned for the next Q&A! 

 

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 www.yasminelindskog.com. 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.

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: facebook.com/artistry8. And for any custom gown inquiries send us an email! Mahalo!

Q&A: featuring local clothing shops of Maui

1.0 – Jana Andrews, Owner of TRIBE Maui

What a year it has been! Small business owners have not had it easy during this pandemic. We have been sad to see so many local stores close their doors. To keep things light, we wanted to highlight some of our favorite boutiques of Makawao and Paia for this ongoing series. 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. Starting off our series is a Q&A with the owner of TRIBE Maui, Jana Andrews

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

A: My love for fashion started very early on….From the age of 3 I was picking out my own outfits and was pretty decisive about what I wore from then on…just ask my mother! Choosing what to wear—and how to wear it—was a type of creativity that I gravitated toward without really understanding the significance of fashion. I could channel Madonna one day and Janis Joplin the next…the inspiration never ended! But as I got older I started enjoying styling other people as well, and I guess that’s where my career in retail was born.

My husband and I moved to Maui 4 years ago and every Friday we enjoyed a date night at Casanova’s. Year after year I would look across the street and tell my husband if I were ever to open up a retail store…the location across the street—where Tribe is located—would be it!   Styling is my passion and both the window expanse and the exposure of this particular space was absolutely perfect for me. When the location became available I jumped at an amazing opportunity…and within 6 very busy weeks, Tribe Maui opened in September 2018. I had been in retail for over 20 years and worked for Urban Outfitters for 13 of those as a Visual Merchandiser overseeing 40+ stores at one point. I learned so much from that career and was able to apply much of that knowledge into the opening and running of Tribe.

Tribe Maui embodies the playful, yet fearless side of our island “Tom Girl”…seamlessly merging retro beach and streetwear with flirty and classic silhouettes to create a unique and unexpected vibe. Her body is an ever-changing canvas representing an innovative and creative sense of style through risk-taking and being true to her imagination. Our Tribe girl enjoys being outdoors and strives to make healthy choices for her mind, body, and soul. She surrounds herself with encouraging and loving people and embraces their individuality. She is bold…she is the leader of her Tribe.  

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

A: As I continue this adventure, one of my biggest goals is to bring in more pieces that are made locally. There is such an amazing talent base here on Maui—and on outer Islands—and being able to support that within my four walls feels extremely fulfilling. While I love styling and merchandising…I really love buying as well! We’ve got a handful of diverse shopping options in Makawao and I strive to always offer something different and unique.  I adore researching new and upcoming brands and introducing them into Tribe.

Recently, one of my associates showed me a beautiful jewelry line called Kisiwa Designs out of Oahu.  I immediately fell in love with her work as it’s so different from any other local jewelry line I’ve carried so far. Gaeda uses Japanese glass beads to intricately create colorful patterns which can be seen on necklaces, bracelets, earrings….and now face mask straps! I love that no two pieces are the same so you can buy one and gift one to your bestie and never feel like you are wearing the same piece! So clever!!!

While I wanted to bring new brands to Maui and to support local artisans, I truly wanted to create an environment where people could come, hang and decompress. Tribe has become so much more than just a retail space…it has become a second home to me—and my puppy Aiko—and hopefully to many of my customers as well. The absolute biggest win for me on any day at Tribe is watching someone try something on and seeing them absolutely glow in confidence. Their smiles and sheer delight in feeling beautiful not only energize me, but also fuel my desire to continue to do what I do.

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

A: As I anniversaried my first year open…I breathed a sigh of relief as so many people said that the first year would be the hardest; however, my relief was short-lived… Covid hit quickly and by March we were forced to close our doors. For the next six weeks I felt like I was in a battle I just wasn’t sure I could win. There were many prayers and many tears… and little by little the darkness began to lift. I taught myself how to build an online store which was my saving grace throughout this process. I evaluated and re-evaluated my business plans and took risks so that Tribe could sustain this uncertain time. But the biggest take-away from all of this is how much I realized I love and adore my community in Maui. I have been supported in so many ways which has encouraged me to keep fighting even when times have been rough. 

Words cannot express the gratitude I have for this amazing community…and their strength has given me the strength to persevere. I have been blessed and am excited to share that communal love and compassion for many fashionable years to come!

~Mahalo Maui

Thank you so much Jana for sharing your story, your reflections, and your hopes! We are so lucky to be a part of this very special community. We wish you much success as you venture forward in your business both online and in store. If you haven’t checked out TRIBE Maui before, then check out their Boutique in Makawao or visit their website at www.tribemaui.com. Now you can purchase their beautiful collection of clothes from anywhere!! Thank you again Jana! Stay tuned for the next Q&A!