Maui fashion brand Pulelehua blossoms into new brick-and-mortar boutique in Maui Mall
February 12, 2023, 6:00 AM HST
When Gemma Alvior made her first lehua flower design in 2016, she had no idea her work would grow over the pandemic and bloom into nationally-recognized fashion line Pulelehua Maui. Now, the Maui designer is opening her flagship brick-and-mortar boutique in Kahului.
“It’s a very big milestone,” Alvior said Saturday during the grand opening. “It’s been in the works for so long, and in the back of my head for many years. . . . During pandemic, the community support was really there. (Pulelehua) just blossomed.”
Pulelehua Boutique opened Saturday in Maui Mall Village with food, live music, hula — and lots of shopping. Grand opening celebration discounts continue today.
The Kahului location is the Maui designer’s first brick-and-mortar spot after years of pop-up events. Pulelehua last year was Maui’s first brand invited to New York Fashion Week.
Customers Jennifer Brittin of Wailuku and Maribelle Dumlao of Kahului said they already have Pulelehua tops and dresses. They showed up midday Saturday to look for more clothing.
“I like that she’s a local designer and has really good taste,” Brittin said, adding that she appreciates the patterns, colors and prints.
Dumlao said it’s exciting that Alvior was the first Maui designer to be invited to New York Fashion Week.
A steady stream of customers, many of whom donned Alvior’s signature prints, filled the 1,400-square-foot space Saturday. Alvior’s fashion models were on hand. Men’s, women’s and children’s attire, along with accessories, decorated the shop, which has fitting rooms.
Alvior highlighted that the new local boutique is a family affair.
Her daughters, Faith and Karizma, were handling the register. Alvior’s husband, Michael, cleared and set up the boutique leading to the opening. Faith’s bathing suit line, Kulunakinis, was also on display.
When Alvior began designing Pulelehua years ago, she envisioned a brand featuring locally authentic designs that everyone could wear.
Sizes range from extra small to 5X. New designs are updated every five or six months. Also, she makes 60 pieces per color.
The Maui designer said the new shop has been years in the works and she’s excited that people from Hawai’i, the Mainland and even Japan can come to Pulelehua Boutique.
“I’m happy,” she said. “It’s exciting that I have a store that everyone can come to and finally just meet me in person.”
Alvior had a special mahalo for the Maui community.
“Maui has always been supporting me since the very beginning,” she said. “It’s overwhelming and the support of Maui community is surreal. They are there; they are constantly cheering me on; they’re always wearing my clothes. It’s just so cool.”
Pulelehua Boutique at Maui Mall Village next to the theaters will be open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. today. This week, the shop is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Starting Feb. 20, the store’s regular hours will be 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday to Sunday. It will be closed Mondays and Tuesdays.