Jayne Nhaisi and Susanne Ball met in 2009 when Jayne's family moved from New Jersey to Oahu. Bonding over their mutual passions for tennis, the beach, hiking and the ocean, they spent many days together enjoying life in Hawaii. One day in 2012, they were in the ocean in Lanikai when the concept of sharing Susanne's original paintings on bags and apparel was conceived. Well, life got in the way, and it took five years for Bliss Hawaii to come to fruition, but they are thrilled to be presenting 'olu'olu by Bliss Hawaii today. 'olu'olu represents the marriage of Jayne's design sense and Susanne's artistic talent.
Jayne Nhaisi, the founder and designer, explains how the experience of moving to Hawaii led her to create 'olu'olu by Bliss Hawaii.
"This move had a very profound effect on me. I quickly became deeply attached to the Hawaiian culture, way of life and the stunning beauty of the natural elements in Hawaii. The deeply shadowed crevices of the Ko'olau mountains, the vibrant colors of the heliconia and plumeria, the serene, soothing water of Lanikai; all of these elements bonded me to Hawaii. I developed extraordinary friendships with so many people, that I left a piece of my heart on Oahu when our family returned to the East Coast in 2012. 'olu'olu by Bliss Hawaii is a way for me to share my passion for the beauty of these islands with anyone who loves tropical landscapes the way I do.
"When I was designing the bags, I imagined the cork fabric as the sand element which perfectly complemented Susanne's vivid, tropical images. The cork leather is so luxurious and buttery, that it simply feels good to hold. The bags bring to life the vibrancy of the landscapes of Hawaii. To me, they represent the active lifestyle and laid-back attitude that residents of Hawaii are so fortunate to experience every day.
"When you live on an island that is so remote and so beautiful, you become keenly aware of the effects of your actions on the environment. 'Where does the trash go? How is recycling handled? How can we protect the water, air and marine life from polution and overuse?' This thinking led me to select the cork fabric for the bags because it is so eco-friendly. There are more than six million acres of cork oak trees growing in the Meditteranean. Because the cork tree does not need to be cut down when harvested, cork has been harvested for hundreds of years without cutting down a single tree. The cork fabric is not only supple and luxurious to the touch, but completely natural, vegan, renewable and biodegradeable. I think that people who like 'olu'olu will appreciate buying a product that is eco-friendly. "