Design Eye: The Splinter Concept

THE SPLINTER CONCEPT

We have been so fortunate to know this talented gent for several years now and as much of a wonderful, hilarious friend he is we were blown away to realize his incredible talent for woodworking when he launched his company, The Splinter Concept. All of a sudden our feeds were flooded with photos of the beautiful artisan shelves, frames, bars and even cribs that blew us away! We experienced his mastery firsthand when we requested a custom piece of our own (but more on that in another post), further attesting to just how talented he is. So without further adieu, we are thrilled to introduce our friend, Davin Jaime, the man behind The Splinter Concept!

 The man behind The Splinter Concept, Davin Jaime

The man behind The Splinter Concept, Davin Jaime

Thanks so much for sharing with us, Dav! We love the name and logo behind your company and are curious, what was your vision for The Splinter Concept and how did you come up with your unique brand name?

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My vision was to create a space for my life where I would enjoy and love what I do almost every day. In terms of the name, everyone knows what a splinter is, but splinter also means a piece that breaks away from the main body. I am very different in how I see woodworking and my designs are a little out there, so I saw it representing me and my concepts of design.

What was the first professional piece you created?

A huge triangle shelf display

How would you describe your aesthetic?

Modern Island

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who or what are some of your biggest inspirations?

My biggest inspirations are my family, especially my wife Emily being such a powerful girl boss as the owner and designer of clothing company Yireh, my older sister Michelle killing it in the interior design world as the creative director of The Vanguard Theory, and my older brother David of Blue Star Design & Builders who I learned a lot of my wood working skills from.


You and your siblings also made headlines as the co-hosts of HGTV and DIY Network’s new Aloha Builds tv show, and you created some amazing custom pieces for some of the local remodels. What was it like working with your siblings and filming the process of your design efforts together? 

Working with my brother and sister was a roller coaster! It had it moments of greatness and failure but in terms of design my sister Michelle would give me a rough sketch for an idea and I would take it from there.

You and your wife Emily are avid surfers and world travelers—you have seen some of the most beautiful countries in the world! How have your travels and beach lifestyle influenced your approach to design?

Mostly in colors and how I mix different materials to compliment each other effortlessly—just like my wife and I.

 A custom mango slab headboard Davin created for an Aloha Builds client and their gorgeous remodel. Photo by Cory Wimberly

A custom mango slab headboard Davin created for an Aloha Builds client and their gorgeous remodel.
Photo by Cory Wimberly


What are your favorite materials to work with?

Wood, metal and leather

 Davin working on the custom desk project  Photo by Calvin Canha

Davin working on the custom desk project
Photo by Calvin Canha

You partnered with one of our co-founders, Jade Snow, and her boyfriend Calvin Canha to create a custom desk for their office that turned out beautifully! How did you approach that project and what were some of the elements that they requested in that piece?

Jade and Calvin needed a proper work space for each of their creative jobs. I listened to their wants and needs and had them share photos of designs they liked, then I designed the desk from there. Hers was a more traditional office desk with organizational elements for her books and published work, and his included details like floating shelves and a pull out drawer for his speakers and keyboard as he is a musician as well as a media creative.


How do you feel about the finished project of their custom desk?

Super freaking dope—I love how it came out!

 A custom wedding bar by The Splinter Concept  Photo by Casey Liu

A custom wedding bar by The Splinter Concept
Photo by Casey Liu

What design elements are important for clients to be mindful of when conceptualizing a piece?

There are so many unseen steps in the design process and custom work is not cheap, but you get what you pay for, so it’s hard to compare custom work to big box store prices.


What are some of the best ways youʻd recommend to elevate an individualʻs home decor look? 

Mostly to look at your space and envision the end goal you want to create and don’t compromise quality. Then hire me!

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What are some of your favorite pieces that you have created for clients?

I would have to say the co-work space for Jade Snow and Calvin Canha, Red Oak Floating shelves for a open concept kitchen, and everything I made for my baby girl on the way.

As a proud local boy weʻve gotta ask a few Pikake questions before you go! What are top 3 Pikake Picks, ie local businesses, restaurants or activities you highly recommend?

Yireh, Nalu Health Bar and Aloha Beach Club.

What is you favorite post-surf meal and where can we find it?

A veggie wrap and acai bowl at Nalu Health Bar at South shore Market

 Davin, Emily, Leo and Luna Jaime are thrilled to be welcoming a baby girl to their ‘ohana!

Davin, Emily, Leo and Luna Jaime are thrilled to be welcoming a baby girl to their ‘ohana!

What is your go-to shave ice order?

Li Hing mui strawberry


congratulations to you and emily on your baby girl, we are so thrilled for you both! And lastly, where can WE find yoU? what is the best way for clients to contact you to request your services?

You can find me on Instagram at @thesplinterconcept or email me at splinterbydavin@gmail.com. Cheee thanks girls!

Music Spotlight: Izik

 Singer-songwriter Izik Photo by Michael Vossen

Singer-songwriter Izik
Photo by Michael Vossen

Following the success of his 2016 debut album, Obsidian, singer-songwriter is back in the studio recording his second album for release in 2019. It has been a whirlwind few years for the Molokaʻi-born artist, who has traveled to NYC, Australia and New Zealand sharing his powerful music with a global audience. He made an unforgettable debut amongst industry veterans at the 2017 Nā Hōkū Hanohano Awards with two nominations and a stellar performance that had the audience in a tangible hush. In 2018 he took home the coveted Song of the Year honor as a co-writer of Nā Hōkū Hanohano Award winning female vocalist of the year winner Kimie Miner’s celebrated song “Bamboo,” showcasing his songwriting prowess. 2018 has truly been a year of transformation for Izik as he shares his journey towards personal and professional evolution as he makes strides towards a new album in 2019 and what is sure to be his most vibrant music yet.

In 2016 debuted your first album, Obsidian. What kind of music would you describe it as and how did you come up with its title?

I would describe my music as being alternative R&B. My music blends pop, R&B, and electronic. Obsidian is a type of igneous rock. I love collecting gemstones for their metaphysical properties. I believe that each stone has a different vibration that can alternate your space and environment. I purposed my album to act as an Obsidian stone. I wanted the album to alter the listener’s environment by transmuting negative energy into positive energy, much like an Obsidian stone would do.

You have become a prominent fixture on the local music scene, performing at various venues throughout O’ahu. What is it like being a professional musician in the rapidly changing music industry?

 Photo by Michael Vossen

Photo by Michael Vossen

To be honest, I’m never really aware of my current status as a musician. To be considered a professional musician is taking some time to get used to. I was a waiter for 10 years of my life so I still feel like I’m a waiter who does the “music thing” on the side. I think that being a part of the Nā Hōkū Hanohano Award ceremony in 2017 has helped me understand my place in the music industry here in Hawaiʻi. I’ve gotten to travel and meet so many amazing musicians that I’ve looked up to my whole life. Being a musician has really opened up a lot of doors of opportunities to do more than just music. I’ve grown so much as an artist.

What have you learned about the music industry and how to continuously evolve in it?

So far I’ve learned that the most important thing is to stay focused on your own expression of art AND to genuinely support your fellow artists. As a musician there are times when things can get hard. In those times we have to remain humble and optimistic; otherwise we can become complacent and opportunistic.

How do you define success as an artist?

Success to me means that you’re flourishing and functioning in daily life by creating tangible artwork for other people to experience. Success also means being deeply connected to the work you’re doing and not getting locked into commitments that you don’t want or like.

What are some of the most challenging aspects about being an artist in this day and age?

The two most challenging aspects about being an artist are the same two aspects I find challenging about being a human: Money & Time.

Money: You have to pay to play. Creating can be very expensive which is why it’s so important to support an artist that you believe in. When I believe in an artist it is because they feed my soul and save me, so I gladly support them. It is a mutual exchange, lucrative to both the artist and the consumer. My philosophy is that money is an illusion. It comes and goes and is never really there. So, I choose to share it in ways I find fulfilling.

 Photo by Michael Vossen

Photo by Michael Vossen

Time: You have to work to make money so that you can create but, sometimes you work so much that you don’t make time for your art. You have to make time to educate, to process what you’ve learned, and then you must make time to create. Learning to make time for my art has been a very challenging aspect.

in 2017 You were nominated for and performed at the 2017 Nā Hōkū Hanohano Awards. What was that experience like for you?


It was such a beautiful experience. Being on stage and performing in front of so many legends felt like a dream. The best part about it was that I got to do it with some of my best friends.

Congratulations on the incredible recognition you have received at the Nā Hōkū Hanohano awards (you were nominated in 2017 and won an award as a co-writer for Song of the Year in 2018). How does it feel to stand amongst artists you have looked up to and be seen as a peer in the industry? 

Winning with Kimie was a special moment for me. I’ve been a fan of hers since her MySpace days so to win my first award as a songwriter with a songwriter I’ve admired is a moment I will always be grateful for. To be in the Hawaiʻi music industry feels a bit weird. I feel like that part of my life isn’t real because of how long I’ve dreamt about it. It actually feels like a departure from my reality because it literally is a dream manifested. I’m just lucid dreaming…eating edibles and getting phone calls from Teresa Bright. 

What were some of your favorite memories from the Nā Hōkū Hanohano Awards?

In 2017 shared a beautiful moment with Teresa Bright that night. I used to work at a restaurant in Koʻolina that Teresa Bright sings at. The restaurant was actually the first time I heard her sing live. I literally cried when I realized that she was going to be the entertainment for the restaurant. I’ve listened to Teresa since I was a child in Molokaʻi. Through the years I got to introduce my family to Teresa. She even met my grandmother who passed away in 2013.

On the night of the Hōkū awards, I was walking from my table to go outside. They were still announcing the preliminary awards. As I was walking towards the door, I saw Teresa stand up and walk towards me. I hadn’t seen her since I left the restaurant in 2014. I was so happy to see her but when she told me that the only reason she came to the show was to see me, I couldn’t hold back tears. I started crying and as my personal hero hugged me she told me how proud my grandma was of me. It was such a simple yet strong and beautiful moment. It energized me and made me realize the power we have as humans to positively affect one another.

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What does it mean to you to live authentically?

My grandma always told me not to worry about what people think; especially when they don’t pay your bills. I think to live authentically is pretty self explanatory. Do what makes you happy and if people don’t like it, they can get lost. lol. (My grandma passed on her sass and wit to me.)

You traveled to Australia with FLUX Magazine and NYC with HTA to perform at the New York Botanical Gardens. What was it like performing your music outside of Hawai'i both nationally and internationally?

Being able to perform outside of Hawai’i can be really scary. When I went to New York, I had all these preconceived notions about how people there would receive me based on the reputation that precedes New Yorkers. Some of my favorite artists come from New York and Australia. Each time I finished performing it was a surprise and a relief that they liked me. 

'Ōiwi Tv recently featured you in their Mele Ma Ka Lihiwai concert series including wonderful interview with Amy Kalili. Tell us about that experience!

Again. Another crazy dream that has now become a reality. Hawaiian music is something I grew up listening to and not appreciating in my youth. As a Hawaiian, self proclaimed Alternative R&B artist, I was honestly very excited to share my music on Mele Ma Ka Lihiwai. This moment that I was able to share with Amy was one of those reminders that whatever it is that I’m doing, I’m on the right path. In times of self doubt, I’m able to look back on this and use it to move through it. 

 Izik on the cover of Lei Magazine

Izik on the cover of Lei Magazine

You have been very open about your fitness journey in 2018 and look phenomenal! What has that process been like for you transforming your mind and body and has it affected you artistically?

In the beginning, it was really difficult to get to the gym and stay motivated. I was 320lbs in January of 2018. I knew I needed to make a change. I’ve battled with depression since I was a teenager. I don’t really talk about this too often. The thing about depression for me is that it’s not something that I can overcome and then it just leaves. It’s not a building you can just knock down and build over. It’s more like a common cold. You feel great mostly…sometimes you can go half the year and not feel it. But when it hits you, you really have to battle through it and wait for it to leave you again. The only thing getting you through it is that voice in your head. Well, the voice in my head wasn’t being very nice.

I was drinking a lot from 2015-2017 and emotionally eating. I was trying to fill a huge void inside of me. When I started working out this year, I noticed that the voice in my head started to change. Lifting weights, doing cardio, waking up in the morning… you can’t sustain any of that while being negative. When you’re working through heavy sets, you have to tell yourself you can do it. When you’re on the treadmill and have to get through the last five minutes you have to tell yourself you’re almost there and that you can do it. When it’s 6am and you know you have to sit in traffic for an hour to meet your trainer at the gym, you have to remind yourself that you’re doing it because of your responsibility as an artist to share the light that is channeled through your physical body…and you can do it. Honestly, I haven’t been able to create as much as I would like but that was something I understood going into 2018. I wanted to transform and I was ok knowing that my art and music needed to take a backseat.

As a proud local boy weʻve gotta ask a few Pikake questions before you go! What are your top 3 Pikake Picks, ie local businesses, restaurants or activities you highly recommend?

Barrio Vintage for clothes. Ka Waiwai Collective is a place I like to go to get work done during the day and for ‘awa and live music at night. And Thai Lao for food. I love them so much. I want to have my next album release party there. 

Where do you go for your ideal post-performance meal? 

It’s usually zippys, sorabol, or Mac24-7. Ideally it would be Thai Lao but they’re not open late lol.

What is your go-to shave ice order? 

So, don’t hate me. I don’t like shave ice. And when I do go to get it, I’m basic and just get strawberry or Passion Orange. I hate vanilla and watermelon. Yuck. haha

where can we find you and what is the best way for fans to conNECT with you?

My schedule is posted on my website (www.izikmuzik.com) Also, I would love for you to come support me at my next show on December 5th at the Hawaii Convention Center!


Lastly, What can we expect from your next album in 2019?

Um. Songs? Lol. My next album is titled Bougainvillea. I want this collection of songs to be colorful and I want them to grow on people like the vines of Bougainvillea. I identify with this vine so much because of how you have to treat it in order for it to have more color. You can’t smother it with love, and basically the closer to death you bring it, the more color it shows. So in summation the color of death is magenta fuchsia. Thank you for coming to my TED Talk. 


Island Fashion: Simply Sisters

 Simply Sisters Fall 2018 Collection at The Surfjack Photo by Michael Vossen

Simply Sisters Fall 2018 Collection at The Surfjack
Photo by Michael Vossen

SIMPLY SISTERS

7 years after Lola Miller began designing island-inspired dresses in Hilo for her local hula group at church, the humble line known as Simply Sisters has transformed into a prominent fixture in the Hawai’i fashion scene. Drawing inspiration from friends and family as well as the endless inspiration of her tropical surroundings, designer Lola Miller shares her insights on how Simply Sisters has grown from an annual fashion booth at Merrie Monarch to a beloved fashion brand with a must-stop brick and mortar in Hilo town.

First of all, mahalo nui for sharing your story with us, we are so excited to feature you on Pikake Pursuit! We are so thrilled to feature you as Simply Sisters was one of our favorite finds of Merrie Monarch 2014-we will never forget the first time we met you there! We immediately connected with you and couldnʻt wait to support your new business, so it is heartwarming for us to see how much you have grown! For those who may be new to Simply Sisters, how would you describe the design aesthetic of Simply Sisters from the prints to the clothing styles?

We have a modern take on aloha wear.  We would like to think we are trendy, fashionable aloha wear and contemporary in style and influence. 

 Simply Sisters Fall 2018 Collection at The Surfjack Photo by Michael Vossen

Simply Sisters Fall 2018 Collection at The Surfjack
Photo by Michael Vossen

How has Simply Sisters evolved over the years?

We have evolved by providing more styles and sizes to accommodate all ages from keiki to adults, both men and women—we have sizes up to 3X today! We travel to do pop-up events in Honolulu, Kauai, and Maui quite often and our collections can also be found at Parker Ranch Waimea and Grand Naniloa Hotel in Hilo. One of the most exciting updates is the recent opening of our boutique in Hilo, Hawai'i, Simply Sisters Boutique (961 Kilauea Ave.), which includes fun and affordable accessories as well as our clothing collection. 

What were some of the greatest challenges you overcame in your first years of business?

Our biggest challenge has been trying to maintain the balance between work and play.  Building a business is very challenging.  We are constantly trying to find a way to separate our business from our personal time. Another biggest challenge is finding manufacturers to work with. There are many companies that offer great assistance, but if you find the right one that you have great rapport with, that helps tremendously. 

What have been some of your most thrilling milestones you have achieved?

One of our most thrilling milestones has been finally opening our boutique in Hilo. We have been doing craft fairs and pop-up events since 2011, so it was such an amazing experience to open our shop during the Merrie Monarch Festival this year.  There is nothing like having the freedom to design your own shop, to meet new customers each week that come from all over the country and to just have the satisfaction of using the shop to promote other brands. Our mission is to also use the business to help our community raise funds for charitable functions whenever possible. 

 Simply Sisters Fall 2018 Collection at The Surfjack Photo by Michael Vossen

Simply Sisters Fall 2018 Collection at The Surfjack
Photo by Michael Vossen

As a designer and business owner you are incredibly supportive of others in the industry. How would you describe the values of the local fashion community in Hawaiʻi?

The local fashion community is extremely supportive of each other, as we all know firsthand how difficult it is to be in the fashion business. We are all different in regards to our aesthetics and collections, however, we are all ‘ohana in this business of fashion and that is just part of showing the aloha spirit.  We have a lot of respect for other designers, brands and are always there to support if needed.  Simply Sisters welcomes anyone interested in having a pop-up shop at our boutique, we love to show our support to other local businesses! 

What inspires you to create your designs?

My inspiration comes from the beauty of the Big Island—I am inspired by the beautiful tropicals all around me. I try to stay creative by always looking for new and refreshing things to bring to customers whether it is a haku bar at the boutique or new bags I discovered at a trade show.  We stay inspired by getting customers excited with new and fun ideas.

 Simply Sisters Fall 2018 Collection at The Surfjack Photo by Michael Vossen

Simply Sisters Fall 2018 Collection at The Surfjack
Photo by Michael Vossen

Simply Sisters has become a fixture in the Merrie Monarch craft fairs in Hilo. What do you look forward to most about that festive time of year in Hilo?

Merrie Monarch is the biggest hula festival in the world, and it’s grown so much since we started doing craft fairs in 2011. Today we get excited about the new designers coming in to showcase their collections. We love the fashion shows, concerts and live music, not to mention the beautiful hula that is showcased at the stadium. There is such a wonderful, beautiful energy in Hilo during that week and we are so blessed to be a part of it.  

Congratulations on the recent opening of your brick and mortar store in Hilo! What has it been like owning a store and having a home to share your designs?

 Simply Sisters Fall 2018 Collection at The Surfjack Photo by Michael Vossen

Simply Sisters Fall 2018 Collection at The Surfjack
Photo by Michael Vossen

It has been so much work but so amazing! We love our little vintage looking shop and are still pinching ourselves that we actually have a shop. I enjoy bringing fresh flowers on Saturdays and bringing in new apparel and accessories from local vendors as often as I can. The shop is also used for charitable projects within our community.  It is a place to give local vendors a place to host pop-up shops and to support other businesses.   

How do you envision Simply Sisters evolving and what are some of your goals for 2019? 

Simply Sisters is constantly evolving because we are always learning. For 2019, we are excited to showcase new designs and styles as well as bring fun new accessories to the shop. I’m interested in opening a bigger shop in the future! I would love to have a bigger shop where we can enjoy fellowship in workshops and community projects. I am always looking for ways this business can bless others. We are a family of aloha! 


What are 3 things you have learned as a business owner?

I have learned that having a positive social media platform is the most powerful way of connecting with people. I have learned that you have to really love what you do to make anything work. As long as you’ve got passion, faith and are willing to work hard, you can do anything you want in this life. I have also learned that the secret to growth is helping others grow.  It is not what you have accomplished but what you can do to bless others. 


What are your top 3 Pikake Picks, ie local businesses, restaurants or activities you highly recommend in Hilo?

 Simply Sisters Fall 2018 Collection at The Surfjack Photo by Michael Vossen

Simply Sisters Fall 2018 Collection at The Surfjack
Photo by Michael Vossen

Oh dang…only 3?!  Everything in Hilo is amazing! My top 3 favorite local businesses would be Hana Hou Hilo, Kapohokine Adventures Shop and Aloha Grown Shop. I love them because they support local vendors in Hilo. For my favorite Hilo restaurants I love Hula Hula’s at the Grand Naniloa Hotel. You can’t beat the atmosphere right there on the bay and the food is excellent.  

My second would be Ruebens Mexican Restaurant for our favorite comfort food and margaritas.  Number 3 would be Chapter 27, which has theeeeee best appetizers, and 4 for the best breakfast place is Paul’s Café… can’t beat the breakfast waffles and jazz music!  Lets go when you come! For activities, I enjoy riding bikes and kayaking on Banyan Drive provided by Kapohokine Adventures. I also enjoy making lei with Hakus by Bunny who does workshops in Hilo or workshops like macramé making, sip and paints etc at Circle of Life Studio.



What is you favorite post-hula meal and where can we find it? 

Post hula meal is Reubens Mexican or Noris. You will always see the ladies there. Haha! 


What is your go-to shave ice order?

In Hilo, it’s “ice shave” at Wilson’s By The Bay. It’s the cutest vintage ice shave shop that has been in Hilo forever!

Lastly, where can we follow Simply Sisters and purchase some of your beautiful designs?

You can find us at Simply Sisters Boutique (Saturdays 10-2 or by appt.), Parker Ranch Store, Kapohokine Adventures and the Grand Naniloa Hotel. 

Music Spotlight: Conner Snow

 Maui born singer-songwriter Conner Snow in Santa Cruz on the eve of his debut album release.  Photo by Erik Snow

Maui born singer-songwriter Conner Snow in Santa Cruz on the eve of his debut album release.
Photo by Erik Snow


CONNER SNOW

A decade after discovering his talent for music when he picked up an ukulele and taught himself to play, Maui singer-songwriter Conner Snow has proven himself a dynamic and brilliant musician. With the release of his debut album, “If I Knew Then What I Know Now,” Snow showcases his passion for musical diversity with a an innovative pop sound that is a unique and refreshing addition to the local music scene. Get to know this wonderful as we celebrate the launch of her first project!

First of all, mahalo nui for sharing your story with us, we are so excited to feature you on Pikake Pursuit! Let’s set some groundwork for our followers and give them a bit of insight into your story. Tell us a bit about your background with music and your journey to get where you are today.

Thank you! Well, interestingly enough I didn’t grow up in a musical family, music happened to me in a very unorthodox and organic way. I picked up the ukulele when I was about 14, mostly from taking ukulele class in middle school. It wasn’t too long after that I discovered Jake Shimabukuro, the ukulele master, by watching a YouTube video of him playing his rendition of “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” in Central Park.

I decided right then and there I was gonna learn that song no matter how long it took me. If you know what video I’m talking about, then you know I’m not kidding when I say I find my younger self absolutely insane for deciding to learn that song with less than a year’s worth of ukulele practice under my belt!

But I did, and about 3 months later I had it down pat. 2 years later, my parents bought me my first guitar and I discovered John Mayer, which led to a very similar process: this time though, I devoured every song of his I could find, and when I was done with that I moved on to local artists we’d grown up listening to like Justin Young and The Green, and reggae artists like Gentleman and SOJA. This was when I really started performing, and for the next 2 years I played at restaurants, school assemblies, events, block parties, grad parties, weddings. Anywhere I could.

 Conner in 2009 with his first musical inspiration, ukulele virtuoso Jake Shimabukuro during a school visit to Snowʻs alma mater, Seabury Hall.

Conner in 2009 with his first musical inspiration, ukulele virtuoso Jake Shimabukuro during a school visit to Snowʻs alma mater, Seabury Hall.

WOW, you are a tried and true self-taught musician! when and how did you eventually decide to make music your career?

When I left for college, I thought that was sort of it for music and put it on the back burner. I studied music for a semester but it took the fun out of it, so I changed track. 3 years of college went by, and at the end of it I was nearly depressed. I had continued performing here and there, wrote songs pretty often in my dorm room (when I should’ve been studying), but the idea of a music career still hadn’t taken hold. It wasn’t even in the realm of possibility because I was still thinking in terms of school, and the school system that was supposed to give me answers as to where my path should lead had only left me with more questions. 

Time turned those questions into frustration and self-deprecation. My vocal coach  convinced me to go to this music camp in LA, where I ended up meeting my friends Elliott and Jake, who would eventually become my manager and songwriting partner respectively. They got me asking myself “Well...what about music?”. When I finally asked that question, it was like everything finally clicked. I realized I’d had this… THING inside me that was trying so hard to find the light of day, but my own preconceptions about life and profession were keeping it down. 

Once it broke the surface, I knew what I wanted: I wanted to move to L.A. to pursue music. It was almost like I’d known the whole time. It took awhile, both to make the plans and then convince my family that I was serious about this admittedly risky venture, but eventually I up and left to San Jose, California and moved in with my brother Erik. About a year and a half later, I finally made it to L.A., and I’ve been here ever since.

 Snow connecting with a young admirer on the streets of L.A. during a music video shoot in 2015

Snow connecting with a young admirer on the streets of L.A. during a music video shoot in 2015

You just returned to Los Angeles after recording your debut album, If I Knew Then What I Know Now, in Honolulu at Sea Major Seven Studio. What kind of music would you describe it as and why did you title it as such?

This is always a pickle of a question for me. The truth is that there isn’t a single genre that wholly encompasses what this album has to offer. I call it a pop album because that’s the brand I want to build, but it contains the different flavors of music that comprise my interests and background as a musician: funk, R&B, singer-songwriter, power ballad, reggae, soft rock. I know that seems counterproductive to a lot of people; How do you market something that can’t be put into a neat little package? But to me, that’s exactly the point. This album is a glimpse at who I am as a person, and I’m not something that can be codified into tidy categories. I’m human.

As for the title, I wanted the name of this album to be something that intimates growth and progression. This project has been an insane journey for me, from its conception to its upcoming release, and I wanted that sense of progress to be very clear in the title. What I love most about “If I Knew Then What I Know Now” is that it invokes a different meaning to every person who reads it. Everybody has their own unique journey, and simply saying that phrases causes you to look back at your own life and go “Wow, I can’t believe I did that” or “Damn if I only knew that would lead here”. That introspection is super important to me, not only because I think it’s essential as people to learn from our past, but also because it gets people to bring their own experiences to the table when they listen to the album.


What was it like returning home to Hawaiʻi to dedicate yourself to recording your first album?

 Snow and producer Calvin Canha recording at Sea Major Seven Studio in Honolulu, owned by producer/engineer Noah Cronin

Snow and producer Calvin Canha recording at Sea Major Seven Studio in Honolulu, owned by producer/engineer Noah Cronin

It was equally exciting and scary, to be honest. Hawai’i is in my bones, the same as it is with anyone who was born and raised there. It will always be my sanctuary, but I’ve known for awhile now that it’s not where I need to be at this moment in time. That’s why I left in the first place, because I was determined to launch myself out of my comfort zone in order to grow. So coming back for an indefinite period brought an unexpected series of anxieties. 

I worried that I’d feel a little trapped, that it would be hard for me to separate the boy I was when I left from the man I’ve become since. Turns out, my fears were mostly unfounded. I realized that just because I was coming home didn’t mean I was taking a step back. I came home as someone new, with a different perspective and appreciation for Hawai’i that bolstered my creativity instead of hindering it.



What were some of the greatest challenges you faced throughout the recording process?

Personally, one of the toughest things I had to learn to do was decide when something is finished. I’ve always known that I’m a consummate perfectionist but gawdDAMN, it’s never given me the trouble it did during this process. I mean as an artist, you’re 1000% invested in your work emotionally, physically, financially. It is quite literally an extension of you, so you want to make sure every part of it is precisely how you envision it. Having the confidence to step back, listen to what you’ve done and say “Yup. Thats correct, lets move on” is really difficult, and in the beginning of the process I had a hard time with that. 

A give a ton of credit to my producer Calvin Canha in this respect, he really was amazing at giving me the space to experiment while knowing when to step in and say “I think that’s really strong” or “Hey, let’s give it a rest and come back to it”. He really helped me gain confidence in my own musical sensibilities and not look so much for validation from outside.

What was it like recording at Sea Major Seven Studio?

Amazing. Really amazing. The space itself is incredible, the studio just feels like the type of creative space that helps foster creativity. A lot of studios go for this very spartan, minimalistic atmosphere and I understand that as well. But Sea Major has real vibes. Beyond that, the Sea Major crew are just awesome people. All talented musicians with great ears, they’re the type of guys that you can bring an idea to and they’re first reaction is to say “Dope, lets it figure out”. That’s exactly the kind of energy you want around you when you’re in the creative process.

 Artwork for debut single “Going Down,” photography by Sebastian Sayegh

Artwork for debut single “Going Down,” photography by Sebastian Sayegh

What were some of the greatest challenges you faced throughout the recording process?

Personally, one of the toughest things I had to learn to do was decide when something is finished. I’ve always known that I’m a consummate perfectionist but gawdDAMN, it’s never given me the trouble it did during this process. I mean as an artist, you’re 1000% invested in your work emotionally, physically, financially. It is quite literally an extension of you, so you want to make sure every part of it is precisely how you envision it. Having the confidence to step back, listen to what you’ve done and say “Yup. Thats correct, lets move on” is really difficult, and in the beginning of the process I had a hard time with that. 

A give a ton of credit to my producer Calvin Canha in this respect, he really was amazing at giving me the space to experiment while knowing when to step in and say “I think that’s really strong” or “Hey, let’s give it a rest and come back to it”. He really helped me gain confidence in my own musical sensibilities and not look so much for validation from outside.

You recently released your first single, Going Down, along with itʻs accompanying music video. How has it been received?

The reception for the Going Down video has been absolutely overwhelming. The day it went up was the happiest moment of my music career so far, not only because people had such positive things to say but also because it felt like they really identified with what I was trying to communicate. It was the first time that I had something to show people that I had really put blood, sweat and tears in to, so to have it be so well received was a dream come true.

 Snow shooting scenes in upcountry, Maui for his music video in 2018. Photo by Sebastian Sayegh

Snow shooting scenes in upcountry, Maui for his music video in 2018. Photo by Sebastian Sayegh

Who did you partner with to create the vision for your video? 

I partnered with my friend Sebastian Sayegh, who I’ve known since I was like 10. He’s an NYU film grad and an absolute WIZARD. It was such an honor to work with someone like him, not only because of his immense talent but because he was so great at working with me throughout the whole process. I kept wanting to just completely take my hands off the wheel and let him do his thing but he was adamant about hearing my creative input, even if my thoughts weren’t exactly precise. Plus, we’ve been friends for years so we had an awesome time running around our home and doing all the things we like to do as Maui boys.

Where was it shot and how did you decided upon the locations for the video?

The whole video was shot on Maui, and the locations were comprised of all my favorite spots on the island: the crater, Makawao forest, two of my favorite beaches which will remain unnamed (lest I get reamed by my Maui community for giving up the gems). I went with these locations because they’re the places on Maui that I feel most connected to, the most at home when I’m back on the island. They’re also sort of unusual in that they don’t portray the stereotypical perspective of what Maui is, the “white beaches and palm trees” aesthetic. I really liked that because I wanted to show a more honest side of Maui, the side I identify with and that someone from the mainland wouldn’t expect to see. 

Your single has been receiving major Maui love from HI 92.5 playing in rotation on their local station. As a new artist how does it feel to have your first single receive so much support at home?

Oh man, that’s been totally surreal. First off, I really didn’t expect it to make it to a radio station, ANY radio station on Maui. I figured it was just too different from what people there are used to. Then 92.5 picked it up out of the blue and all of a sudden, I’m getting texts and DMs from family, friends, even people I haven’t spoken to in years. They’re jamming it in the car, at work, even out on the boat!! It’s so wild to me. Going into it with sort of meek expectations definitely made that response even more overwhelming, i’ve gotten emotional because of it on several different occasions. But that’s par for the course with me, I’m a sap.

ONE OF OUR FAVORITE SONGS IN THE ALBUM IS A TRACK TITLED QUEEN, WHICH HAS A CLEAR MESSAGE OF FEMALE EMPOWERMENT. WHAT WAS THE INSPIRATION FOR THE LYRICS AND MESSAGE OF THE SONG? 

So when I wrote this song, the hashtag #MeToo movement had just started to go viral on social media. I was reading all of these stories about women and the struggles they’ve endured, from sexual harassment to the gender pay gap. It got me thinking about my manager Elliott’s little girl, Elouise, who is now 4. With so much disheartening information coming to light, I asked myself: “What do you say to a young daughter as a father nowadays? How do you prepare them for a world that has been seemingly so skewed against their favor?” 

 Snow in Santa Cruz, 2018.  Photo by Erik Snow

Snow in Santa Cruz, 2018.
Photo by Erik Snow

I thought about my own experiences growing up in a very matriarchal immigrant family, being raised by a mother, sister, aunties, and cousins who are all fierce, intelligent, ambitious women. The whole idea of female empowerment was almost alien to me because in MY family, the women are the dominant force. I mean shit, anyone who’s ever had the misfortune to cross a Filipino woman will understand the biblical wrath they can inflict upon you. That’s not to say that my father or my uncles were brow-beaten sidekicks by any means; to the contrary, the men in my family are equally strong, intelligent, and ambitious. They’re just proud of the women, proud of their strength, savvy, and courage. Not once in my life have the men ever treated them as anything less than equals, and took every opportunity to encourage, enable, and empower them. 

After pondering all of this, I realized that I was really lucky to come from a background where feminism as an ideal was obsolete, and I had this urge to say to all women “I believe in you. I’ve seen your power, I believe in that power, and there are many others like me who feel the same”. That’s how I landed on the idea of “You are a queen”. It encompassed all the traits I would encourage a daughter to strive for: compassion, grace, intelligence, wisdom, strength, courage (I’ll admit that I was thinking of Queen Daenerys from Game of Thrones while compiling those traits) . Once that idea materialized, the song took me under an hour to complete, start to finish.

YOUR SOUND IS UNIQUE TO HAWAIʻI AS IT IS OFTEN DESCRIBED AS BEING MORE “MAINSTREAM.” HAS GROWING UP IN HAWAIʻI INFLUENCED YOUR MUSIC, AND IF SO, HOW? 

Absolutely. The main thing that growing up in Hawai’i instilled in me as a musician is that all songs should draw real connections and inspire honest emotions. I grew up listening to a ton of reggae and a ton of Hawaiian music, both of which are very honest types of music. In reggae, it’s pretty rare to hear what I call a “throwaway song”, which is a song that is fun but doesn’t really doesn’t contain much substance lyrically or emotionally. In Hawaiian music, I think that type of song is actually impossible to create because the language itself is inherently poetic and draws so much meaning from context. So both of these genres had a big impact on my early development as an artist and songwriter because they impressed upon me the importance of vulnerability in music. If you’re not trying to connect to people, to say something they can identify with and FEEL, then what’s the point?

 Snow in Santa Cruz, 2018.  Photo by Erik Snow

Snow in Santa Cruz, 2018.
Photo by Erik Snow

ONE OF YOUR STRENGTHS AS AN ARTIST IS YOUR TALENT AS A SONGWRITER. HAVE YOU ALWAYS BEEN INTERESTED IN WRITING HOW DID YOU DEVELOP YOUR SKILLS AS A SONGWRITER? 

You know what’s funny is that I never took writing as something I really enjoyed growing up. I just thought I liked it because I was good at it. Getting assigned a paper in school was always a relief for me because I was confident that I could pump out an A paper with my hands tied. In retrospect, however, it’s the other way around: I was good at writing BECAUSE I liked it. 

I’ve always enjoyed words, having grown up a voracious reader as a kid, but never really had a medium to employ that interest. I loved stories, but writing them was just too involved. I didn’t have the attention span for it. I think that’s why I took to songwriting so readily. It was a way for me to tell a story without actually writing a whole story. To that end, I loved the critical thinking aspect of it, because you’ve only got a few dozen syllables at any point to take an idea and distill it down to its most fundamental parts. I found that to be a really inspiring challenge. I still do. 

As far as developing my songwriting, there’s only one foolproof way to get good at it: write and write and write. Find whatever system or motivation that works for you, that gets you behind the guitar or piano and puts a pen in your hand. It can be the same song for 2 weeks or a different song every day, as long as you are putting in time developing a song. If it’s not exactly the same way other people do it, that’s okay. 

WHAT ARTISTS ARE YOU CURRENTLY LISTENING TO AND INSPIRED BY? 

Hmmm Maroon 5, John Mayer, Bruno Mars, Justin Timberlake, Michael Jackson, JB Cooper, Allen Stone, Alessia Cara, Ed Sheeran, Adele, Shawn Mendes, Neyo, Usher, Mac Ayres, The 1975, Coldplay, Stevie Wonder…I could go on!

 Snow hiking Haleakalā Crater in July 2018 for a scene in his first music video for the single “Going Down.”  Photo by Sebastian Sayegh

Snow hiking Haleakalā Crater in July 2018 for a scene in his first music video for the single “Going Down.”
Photo by Sebastian Sayegh

DO YOU HAVE ANY FELLOW LOCAL ARTISTS THAT HAVE MENTORED AND INSPIRED YOU? 

Izik has been a big inspiration of mine. He sort of took me under his wing when we first got a chance to hang at the ASCAP Expo last year. He’s really helped show me what it means to be fiercely and unapologetically yourself (if you know him, you know what i mean) and I love him for it. I’m also really inspired by Evan Khay and Keilana, those two are really freaking talented musicians and they’re creating some unique stuff. I can’t wait for them to put out their projects!


AS A PROUD MAUI BOY, COMING HOME MUST ALWAYS BE A HIGHLIGHT. WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR MAUI “MUSTS” WHEN YOU ARE HOME—PLACES TO GO, ACTIVITIES TO DO, PLACES TO EAT ETC.

Lets see. Always have to hit the beach (obviously), usually either at Baldwin or down in Kihei/Wailea. I try to hike the crater at least once a year because that’s my favorite place of ever. I also try to get out to Hana to hike or camp and go to my favorite black sand beach. I go hiking upcountry too, up in Olinda or Kula. I definitely always hit Tamuras for poke, Komodas for stick doughnuts, Pukalani Superette for chili chicken, Ululani’s for shave ice, Tin Roof for a mochiko chicken bento and Nuka for sushi.

YOU ENJOY BEING OUTDOORS, HIKING AND GOING TO THE BEACH. WHERE DO YOU GO TO UNWIND AT HOME AND WHAT GRINDS DO YOU BRING WITH YOU?

I can’t tell you, otherwise my friends will murder me for revealing our spots. But we always have poke, pipikaula, chips, and beer on us pretty much everywhere we go.

What is your go-to shave ice order?

It changes every time honestly, I like trying new flavors. But whatever the flavors, it always has to have haupia cream or condensed milk at the very least. 


Lastly, where can we find you and keep up with you as you prepare for the release of your album?


You can find me on my website, www.connersnow/com, and can download my album on iTunes, Apple Music and Spotify









Shops We Love: Driftwood Boutique

 The breathtaking scope of Driftwood Maui boutique in Upcountry’s Makawao town

The breathtaking scope of Driftwood Maui boutique in Upcountry’s Makawao town

DRIFTWOOD

Proud upcountry girl and Pikake Pursuit co-founder Jade has known Driftwood owner Carrie Gebb for over a decade on Maui. She watched in awe as Gebb evolved from an aesthetician to the owner of Paragon Salon and now doubling her boss babe status as the founder of Driftwood, Makawao’s most chic and elegant boutique! We got a chance to chat with Gebb about her journey as an entrepreneur and how she manages her own personal growth and self-care with a family and two thriving businesses.

Mahalo nui for sharing your story with us, we are so excited to feature you on Pikake Pursuit! Let’s set some groundwork for our followers and give them a bit of insight into your story. Tell us about your background growing here on Maui.

Mahalo to you both for including me! I moved to maui in 1995 to chase the sun and surf. Mother Maui has been incredibly accepting and generous to me from day one. I met my husband surfing at Ho’okipa beach, had 2 amazing children at home in Huelo and have the good fortune to own 2 business in Makawao. I feel very grateful and blessed.

You have been a longtime fixture in the Makawao Town community as the owner of Paragon Salon and now the owner of Driftwood Boutique next door as well. What is it that drew you to Makawao and has kept you there expanding your businesses?

I grew up in the San Juan mountains of Colorado and although I love the seaside I feel most happy upcountry where the weather is cooler and the views are spectacular.

I had been a patron of Paragon Salon before I became the owner so that was a natural transition. When I decided to open Driftwood I never even considered another location. Makawao is such a charming town! I love that it is quant and the businesses unique, being locally owned and operated by some very talented people. Makawao is not on a main thoroughfair which makes it a destination town, we do not get the throngs of tourist that other towns experience but rather a well traveled visitor. It’s refreshing.

 Carrie Gebb Owner of Driftwood Boutique & Paragon Salon

Carrie Gebb
Owner of Driftwood Boutique & Paragon Salon

You began your professional journey in Maui as an aesthetician at Paragon before becoming the owner and renovating the salon to the beautiful space it is today. Was owning a salon a dream of yours and how did you ready yourself for that step?

I knew I wanted to be my own boss after working in previous jobs for people who were not good at being the boss. I thought I would suffocate if I was not able to find my own path. Luckily I worked very hard and the opportunity arose.

The transition from working in Paragon Salon to owning it came naturally as the previous owners moved on to other things. I realized from my past experiences that I would make a great business owner because my level of dedication is huge and I champion for the people working with me.

How did the idea of Driftwood come about and how did you come up with its name?

My dear french Grandmother, Lorraine taught me how to sew at the age of 8. I worked with her every summer until I was 16 learning, designing and creating cloths so fashion has always been a big part of my life. I was in great need of a creative outlet and another source of income so the idea of a boutique was born.

The name Driftwood came as a convergence of 2 things I hold very dear, the forest an the ocean. I love the idea that a tree can end up in the ocean travel thousands of miles, be washed up on another shore changed by the experience and yet the paradox is the tree remains itself. I suppose it’s a nod to my personal experience of moving the Maui.

 Photo by Driftwood Boutique

Photo by Driftwood Boutique

What is the aesthetic and vision of Driftwood and how has it been received?

The aesthetic of Driftwood is rustic modern. I’m a huge fan of modern architecture and interior design but it can get very sterile. I wanted to have a space that felt fresh but stayed true to the Paniolo vibe of Makawao Town. We poured white epoxy floors and painted the interior white then added distressed wood to the interior columns. I specially stained wood for the dressing room wood that resembles weathered barn siding.

My husband, Ariel, made a beautiful shelf system with 12 foot lengths of poplar anchored with 80 year old Ohia posts that were salvaged from a house in Kaua. Our desk is topped with an ancient organically-shaped piece of Pheasant wood that my father-in-law gave us. Every aspect of the space was carefully thought of and constructed by us. The reception has been phenomenal. Every day customers tell us that Driftwood is the most beautiful store they have every seen.

You have always been known for your style savvy so we were thrilled to hear you were opening a boutique. Did your experience as the business owner of Paragon prepare you for your new venture at Driftwood?

Absolutely! I’m not sure that Driftwood would have been so successful with out that experience under my belt.

 Photo by Driftwood Boutique

Photo by Driftwood Boutique

Driftwood has been expanding its online store and launched a wonderful Insider’s Guide to the Maui community and local businesses, what has that process been like for you
expanding your website?

It’s a ton of work!! Going online is basically like opening another store. I love the blog work be- cause it provides yet another creative outlet. And it’s wonderful to share friends and fellow business owners stories and endeavors.

You are also the mother of 2 amazing kids. What impact does motherhood have on your business?

Time - I need more of it. Being a good mom for me means having the time to be with my kids and that shrinks the time for work and vise versa. It means I must surround myself with amaz- ing supportive people that help me take care of things on both fronts.

How do you balance being a working mom while also growing Paragon Salon and Driftwood?

It’s not always pretty. I can probably contribute most of my grey hair and under-eye bags to lack of sleep and stress. I often work late into the night or very early in the morning to keep all my s*** together.

 Carrie & daughter Eden Sparrow  Photo by Driftwood Boutique

Carrie & daughter Eden Sparrow
Photo by Driftwood Boutique

With your busy home and work life, what do you do to nurture yourself and relax?

I turned 40 last year and really noticed a big different in my body. I need more sleep than every to function on all 4 cylinders and have a greatly productive day. I’m also nursing some injuries that I have ignored for too long so I’m trying to make a commitment and have regular self care, like body work and massage. Thankfully I have practiced yoga for the past 19 years which has seen me though all physical and mental hardship. I recently started doing Barre which I love, love, love. It’s so hard but highly effective and the class is only an hour long so it fits into my crazy schedule. My son is old enough to surf by himself and my daughter is getting close so I’m putting surfing back into my life which feels so great.

 Photo by Driftwood Boutique

Photo by Driftwood Boutique

What have been some of your favorite products or brands that you love?

Oh my that’s tough. I love every product from Herbivore Botanicals, it’s like having a flower gar- den in a jar. It is such an honor and joy to work with all the local Hawaii vendors, like Acacia Swimwear, Jasmin Honey Jewelry, Hay Hay Couture, Ella May Maui, Olympia Activewear, Clhei the list just goes on, it seems like the islands are a serious melting pot of creativity.

Who is the Driftwood customer and what kinds of products do they shop for?

Our customer base is very broad with equal amounts of locals and visitors. There is literally something for every one between our clothing, jewelry and accessories, home goods and beauty products. We are a one stop shopping experience.


What are some of your must-have items for a weekend adventure on Maui?

Defiantly our Acacia Swimwear exclusives which include a swimsuit, dress and beach cover up. Also the new Reef Escape Lux slipper made exclusively for boutiques, Kipa Beach turkish towels which roll up super small to fit in your bag and are so soft. One Teaspoon denim shorts and designer Joah Brown makes the most butter-soft basics, perfect for our island climate.

 Photo by Driftwood Boutique

Photo by Driftwood Boutique

What are some of your favorite treatments that customers should book at Paragon Salon for the summer?

My current obsession is the Dermaplaning Facial with a Glycol Peel! The Dermaplaning re- moves the peach-fuzz from your face and gives a lite exfoliation. The Glycol peel is an awe- some anti-ager, it adds a deeper exfoliation and helps the skin retain water to improve plump- ness and helps to remove dark spots. It leaves your face unbelievably soft...

What does it mean to you to live an authentic, healthy life?

You must do what you love and also strive but be happy where you are at. My husband is very fond of saying that ‘life is wanting what you have, not having what you want’.

What are some of your favorite Upcountry eateries?

La Provence for breakfast, the benedict is a must. Makawao Garden Cafe for lunch, they have outdoor seating, great sandwiches and salads and the best lemonade. Makawao Steak house for a drink in the lounge and Nuka for dinner.

23825896_1623103784435886_5473011684995550350_o.jpg

What are your favorite ways to unwind?

I’m not good at relaxing, it mostly comes down to giving myself permission to sit and enjoy the life I work so hard to cultivate. But I’m realizing more and more how truly important it is to watch the sunset, read and book or lay in the grass and listen to the birds sing and give myself the mental break.

As a woman who networks you’re all about building relationships and making connections. What advice do you have for individuals who want to get involved in their community?

Do what ever you can big or small it all helps!! Don’t be afraid to reach out with ideas and defi- nitely encourage others to do the same.

The Pikake Pursuit Continues!

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After much anticipation and over a year of planning, we are excited to finally welcome our Pikake Pursuit community to our new and improved website! It has truly been a labor of love putting it together, as life has truly taken us for quite a ride in the 5 years since we first created this platform and oh how we all have grown from it.


It truly started as a passion project for both of us, two simple local girls who loved hula, Hawaiian culture and our island homes here in Hawaiʻi and wanted to share our discoveries with others who could identify with the same. Whenever we were out enjoying a girls date, whether to a new restaurant, an event or discovering a new shopping obsession, we wanted a place to share it with others with these same values and who were dedicated to supporting local as much as possible.

 Pikake pursuing at one of our favorite annual events, the Made in Hawaiʻi Festival in 2015

Pikake pursuing at one of our favorite annual events, the Made in Hawaiʻi Festival in 2015

The irony is that we are not childhood friends who grew up experiencing this together, but became instant best friends upon meeting 5 years ago as we realized we share the same heart and grew up with truly parallel life experiences on Maui and Oʻahu. We both went away to the mainland for college, where we spread our wings and realized an even deeper sense of gratitude for our Hawaiʻi, returning home to establish our roots and to redefine ourselves within the community.

We wanted to be a part of something that tugged the heartstrings, that moved people, that inspired change, that sparked creativity…all the things that we hope Pikake Pursuit has become for you. The pursuit is our daily search for beauty, for greatness and for wonder, in all of the ways being local girls born of these islands affords us. And in sharing them it serves as a daily reminder of our deep desire for all that Hawaiʻi has gifted us in itʻs immense landscape, in itʻs culture and in the community that makes it truly extraordinary.

 Capturing some of our favorite local dishes at Lucky Belly in 2015

Capturing some of our favorite local dishes at Lucky Belly in 2015

We hope that you will visit us here often where you can get to know the creatives, businesses and causes that inspire us and how we can all stay more connected amidst the digital craze of the modern world. Cause at the end of the day, there is nothing greater than the friendships forged from these connections, from the farmers who grow our produce to the chefs who transform them to the designers who adorn our bodies, the musicians who sing us to sleep and the individuals whose hearts are just so phenomenal we had to share them with all of you.

So, welcome…to our humble little heart space filled with everything and everyone we love.