Maui Thing is another year older and wiser. The small retail shop located on Market Street is known for its organic feel good designs done locally and its iconic octopus logo. Saedene Ota from Sae Design decided to to open the business deciding her Maui Thing brand would transcend the beach culture island wear with positive environmentally friendly earth conscious designs. Their graphics driven silkscreened knits are sized for men, women and children and have messages like “stuck on good” in tanks, tees, dresses, and hoodies.
Maui Thing started out on Market Street and from the beginning have embraced the First Friday celebrations, procuring and setting up a stage, food booths and fun during the block party celebrations in front of their store. This past First Friday held July 1st honored their third anniversary with a fashion show of their new collection and a free concert with Willie K. Ota says, “As a small business we rely on our neighbors, constituents, partnerships, trade and cross-promotions. My proudest moment is ‘us’ working together for a greater cause.”
The Maui Thing brand says their biggest challenge is fabrication and shipping, and finding local manufactures to source from. “It’s like finding a needle in a haystack, and sometimes we don’t even have the haystack.” The fact is that Hawaii is not a source for the garment industry. Their niche and direction remain the same, and staying true to local customers and listening to local customers while staying true to their brand is their goal.