ALOHA! We are Kellen and Līhau Paik, and together with our two daughters, Jemma and Maisey, we are the owners of Puahina. You might know our faces because of our music; we have been playing music as the duet, Kūpaoa, for 18 years. We have always loved the simple elegance of the Puahina designs so when we were offered the opportunity to take ownership of this family-owned business, we couldn't say no! We are so blessed to be able to continue the Puahina legacy and it's important that we share how Puahina came to be.
Puahina was founded in 1998 by Loui and Fumi Cabebe of Hanapēpē, Kauaʻi. Loui was already a screen printer, having owned Warrior Designs for several years. He and Fumi decided to expand into women's wear and Puahina was born. The name, meaning "Eastern Flower", was the couple's way of honoring both Loui's Hawaiian heritage and Fumi's Japanese ancestry. Inspired by the flora and fauna of Hawaiʻi, their first design was the palapalai print which was created from the pressing of a leaf that Loui harvested from Waipaheʻe, here on Kauaʻi. As time went on, their design catalog grew to include: kupukupu, ʻulu, lauaʻe, coral, and hala. All of the designs are hand silk-screened onto their silhouettes. It was always their intent that their fashions would be simple and elegant and that Puahina styles would be casual and affordable for all to enjoy.
We were long-time fans of the Puahina brand when, in 2016, we approached the Cabebes and asked if they would be interested in sponsoring our band, Kūpaoa. They graciously agreed and we have been fortunate enough to wear Puahina designs at all of our gigs since then. Our relationship with the Cabebes has grown over the years and when they began talking about retiring in 2021, we casually floated the idea about us purchasing the business from them, never thinking that they would seriously consider us as an option. But as the year went on, we kept talking about it and it became more of a real possibility! In February of 2022, we officially took over as the new owners of Puahina and we are so grateful to be given the chance to take this wonderful brand into the future.