When you think of Hawaii, what is the first thing that comes to mind? Is it the beautiful beaches, warm temperatures or the exotic fantasies played out over and over again in movies and television? Although Hawaii offers all of these things and then some, it offers a great deal more. Hawaii consists of several islands. Amongst them is Honolulu, also known as the “Big Island”, Kauai, known as the land of beautiful greenery, and Maui, the island where there is so much to do that you can’t possibly do it all in one visit.
In Maui there are the many shops and boutiques spread out across the island. One of these areas is a very popular section known as “Front Street”. Front Street is composed of fine restaurants and great places to shop, including many art galleries, jewelry stores and boutiques. A key to making a shopping experience an enjoyable one is finding a “hidden gem”. One such gem is a little boutique located at 697 Front Street called “Karina’s Boutique”. It is here we found the collaboration of several fashion designers under one roof presenting some of the finest clothing and accessories on Maui.
Karina is the owner of this hidden gem, established in 2006 and a staple of Front Street. We had the pleasure of interviewing her and asked her what makes her boutique different than others in Maui.
NYSG: This is an amazing establishment with some very unique clothing. Your clothing has a direct affect on you as a person. How would you describe yourself?
Karina: I am a stylist. I describe myself as a clothing psychic. I can predict what my clients want to wear. I can dress them from head to toe and make them look fabulous. This is what I love to do!
NYSG: So you get to know your clients. Do you develop close relationships with your them?
Karina: Yes, this is just a part of what I do. I develop close relationships with my clients that last for many years. I have clients who visit my shop every time they visit Maui. They purchase items for their special events because they know that I have very unique and different pieces.
NYSG: And what types of “pieces” are we talking about?
Karina: I carry jewelry, dresses, belts, swimwear, purses. We have everything that you need to look great.
NYSG: And where do you get your clothing from?
Karina: A lot of my clothing and accessories come from Israel. We also have a lot of designers here at my boutique. I am a buyer and I only get the very best.
NYSG: Can you tell our audience about some of the designers that you feature?
Karina: We feature some of the very best designers from around the world. I will not mention all of them, but the designs that you inquired about are from Baccio, Rubber Duckie and Sky.
(My wife was looking at a very distinguished swimsuit designed by fashion designer Hagit Barna. If the designs from “Sky” sound familiar to you, you might recognize the name from the Real Housewives television show)
While traveling the island of Maui we had the pleasure of interviewing Tonee Giacalone, a 22 year old fashion designer, originally from Seattle Washington. She has always had an eye for fashion and dreamed about becoming a fashion designer one day. As fate would have it, Tonee gave birth to her very beautiful daughter enabling her to become a stay at home mom with plenty of time on her hands. She took advantage of this once in a lifetime opportunity and created her clothing line “Amorata Essence”. Amorata Essence consists of lingerie, swimwear, rave wear, body jewelry and dresses. Tonee took time out of her busy schedule to sit down with us to discuss her clothing line, her target audience and the future of Amorata Essence.
NYSG: Good afternoon Tonee. Thank you for taking time out of your schedule to talk with us today.
Tonee: Thank you for having me.
NYSG: Can you now tell us who your target audience is?
Tonee: My target audience and clothing line is for everyone. I want women of all shapes and sizes to enjoy my designs. I want to share my visions with everyone.
NYSG: What makes Amorata Essence unique?
Tonee: I have visions based on my real life experiences. If I go to a party and see someone dancing in loose fitted clothing that is comfortable for dancing and suitable for the occasion, I want to design something just like that. My clothing must be suitable for dancing, and yet be stylish, chic, attractive and desirable at the same time. All of these things must be wrapped up in all of my designs.
NYSG: You mentioned that you want to cater to women of all shapes and sizes. What does that mean exactly?
All of the walking and shopping on the island of Maui can work up a huge appetite, and there is no shortage of restaurants that offer some of the best food and beverages in Hawaii. We had the pleasure of experiencing some of Maui’s finest eateries including these great spots with some of their specialties:
1) Monkeypod Kitchen (Flatbread Pizza and Roasted Chicken Wings)