By Ava Wilkinson
Kaua‘i fashion scene is an eclectic mix of the latest surfer dress and resort wear. Let me set the scene for you: There’s an impending special occasion; you stand in front of your closet and rifle through your clothes. Your options? Wear an old favorite or find something new.
And if you want something new, unique and elegant, chances are youʻll find it at Palm Palm Kaua‘i, an eclectic destination boutique in Po‘ipu. Besides designer clothes capable of flattering any woman’s body type, Palm Palm offers an exclusive selection of fine and locally made jewelry, limited edition vegan handbags, Hawai‘i-made lotions and many items from local artisans.
“Having women leave the store saying it was a life change … that inspires me,” said storeowner Marjorie DeSouza.
Palm Palm started as a cubic zirconia store in Nawiliwili in 2005, after DeSouza had been in the retail business since 1996. Over the years Palm Palm evolved to a chic boutique in The Shops at Kukui‘ula in Po‘ipu, where DeSouza says the store has been busier than ever.
“I get excited being around real people, good people. We attract great clients, employees and artists that really resonate that message,” she said.
Within the first steps into the boutique, your eyes are drawn to the cascade of Hawai‘i-made silks adorning the wall. A few more steps, and lovely accessories complement the space. Among the curated items on display, kimono key fobs stand out for their unique story, fashioned from vintage silk kimonos and begging the question: Who once donned the original kimono?
Inspired by successful Kaua‘i women entrepreneurs, DeSouza said she opened Palm Palm Kaua‘i when she was 28 years old to prove to herself she could do it. Early on, she decided to offer an array of exclusive products. She sought artists and products that were “different, not mass produced.” These factors assisted her in becoming a successful entrepreneur.
With complete bliss, she also attributes her success to her husband, Renato.
“He is a big part of the business, everyone loves him and know him, he’s a marathoner, he’s my rock. He does everything,” DeSouza said.
Some of the local artists represented at Palm Palm include Konane Henline, with her etched glassware with a tropical couture feel, and award-winning artist Claudia Cowden, with her collection of carved Hawaiian jewelry and sunrise shell jewelry.
Palm Palm carries Rachel Pally’s designs, an ever changing, elegant soft-fabric clothing collection that naturally fits any body type. And if the dress is too long, DeSouza will tailor it on the spot. She says the collection is so flattering that it’s common so see women leave the boutique with “happy tears.”
The “evolving capsule collection” consists of a few items that are timeless in design. And DeSouza only places one order. When it’s gone, it’s replaced by a new collection.
For aspiring entrepreneurs, when “failure happens,” DeSouza advises to keep moving forward and surround yourself with people who champion you and each other, to smile more, talk less, listen and allow yourself to grow naturally.
“If you are passionate, you will find a way to make it happen. The energy you give out will come back because you are meant to succeed,” she said.
Palm Palm Kaua‘i is open Monday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. The store is at The Shops at Kukui‘ula at 2829 Ala Kalanikaumaka, Po‘ipu.
Visit www.palmpalmkauai.com for more information.
- Ava Wilkinson is a Realtor who loves the art of human connection. Visit her blog at IsleHome.com and contact her at (808) 634-3444 or Ava@IsleHome.com