Wednesday - April 13, 2011
While traveling back and forth between Hawaii and the Mainland, Meilin Vitale-Vae thought about how people were always missing home. So when it was time to name her business, she decided to call it Missing Polynesia.
“They were Hawaiians missing Hawaii, Samoans missing Samoa, Tongans missing Tonga, Polynesians missing the Polynesian Islands,” explains Vitale-Vae, a 1999 graduate of Waipahu High School.
Missing Polynesia, which VitaleVae co-owns with husband Richard Vae, offers traditional and contemporary Island art on modern-day wear. The store, located at Harbor Center (98-029 Hekaha St. Building 5, Unit 32), behind Cutter Ford in Aiea, carries women’s, men’s and boy’s hand-painted clothing, as well as its own clothing line called LeApia, and an assortment of Polynesian jewelry and accessories.
“We believe in relationships and in hard work,” says VitaleVae. “We believe in originality and try our best to make every piece that we paint and put together as different as possible. Being in the apparel business is tough, so if we have to labor day and night to make sure we can bring something different to the table, that’s what we’ll do to make sure that people will come back.”
For more information, visit missingpolynesia.com or call 782-6715.
Styling by Ralph Malani / Makeup by Kat Sanchez
Photos of Anuhea Jenkins by Whitby Bierwolf
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