Watch our process here with mahalos to Akakū Youth Media Exchange and K. Kapuni
Feel the Love. Love the Feel.
Back in 1980’s, I was blessed by the birth of the world’s cutest baby. I knew I had to be a “stay-home-mom”, to be there for all her little moments. I was young, energetic, blissfully naïve and her daddy was very supportive.
Fortunately, my wise and talented mom had taught me to sew. As a child, I was in awe of the transformations that happened in her little sewing nook. I grew up wearing mom’s creations until I began making my own. She patiently taught me how to imagine and then to materialize.
Fast forward to 1987. I have a great sewing machine. I live in Hawaii and have access to a rich tradition of textile printing. Hawaiian/aloha prints are everywhere: business men wear aloha shirts to the office; aunties wear mu’umu’u to luncheons and church. My primary interest being the world’s cutest baby, I decide to use aloha prints to create baby clothes and COOKIES Maui was born.
I was on a roll, creating crazy cute kids' clothes with aloha print fabrics, which I wholesaled to local boutiques.
Fast forward to 1991, the second world’s cutest baby was born. Our son. Still committed to being the more realistically named “WORK-from-home-mom”, I struggled to juggle my growing business with my growing family. It became clear very quickly that I needed to put the business on hold.
Fast forward to the late 1990’s. Third cutest baby is underfoot. I've got the hang of it. Older two are in school and I’m ready to create again. Serendipity put some tee-shirts in one hand and my old COOKIES patterns in the other and BAM!… the new generation of COOKIES was born. Tee-shirts replaced Hawaiian prints as my raw material. It was so exciting. The graphic potential is seemingly limitless. Everything "Hawaii" that I loved about the aloha prints was available in the most comfy fabric known… tee-shirts.
The new generation of COOKIES was born out of a simple desire to make great stuff out of existing stuff. Think recycling. I like to call it "up-cycling". Tee-shirts are the raw materials, all of which are sourced right here in the Hawaiian Islands. No need to import more stuff into our delicate ecological and economic systems. COOKIES supports local charities by buying our raw materials from their fundraisers. All of our products are still designed and sewn with care on the island of Maui.
Now here is an especially great part: the afore-mentioned world’s cutest baby #1 is now designing, sewing and marketing in our growing business. The reason… she is committed to being a “WORK-from-home-mom”, to be there for my first grandbaby's little moments.