RICHARD WALKER / RWALKER@STARBULLETIN.COM
Taking a break at Onjin's Cafe, Lauryn Chin wears a dress with rope straps by Scrapbook ($79) and Amber Aucoin wears a striped top ($66) and short ($66) by Scrapbook, paired with Seychelles' patent "Social Climber" flat in royal blue ($66). CLICK FOR LARGE
Bamboo Sky celebrates at new store site
The boutique reopens on its first anniversary
Exactly one year to the day it opened on Kapiolani Boulevard, Bamboo Sky will open the doors to its new boutique on Kamakee Street, next to Onjin's Cafe.
The move comes a little early for owners Shane Breeden and Tiffany Young, who had planned to have two boutiques open through summer. But their original space, sublet from Osake Sushi Bar & Lounge, was tied to the restaurant's fortune. When the restaurant closed last month, Bamboo Sky was lucky to have Plan B in place, focusing on one larger store.
Moving from 420 square feet to 1,060, Breeden said, "We have more space to expand our lines -- enough to bring in shoes."
"Customers have been asking for them," said Young, who acknowledges that it requires a commitment to stocking several styles and sizes.
"Not many stand-alone boutiques carry shoes. I'm a little scared, but now we can truly dress our customer head to toe. A lot of the time, women need to try heels to get an idea of how an outfit works, and the right shoes can really sell an outfit."
Just as with their clothing lines, Young said she tries to seek out new brands or those with limited availability in the islands. Among the shoe brands Bamboo Sky will carry are Dolce Vita, Seychelles and Steve Madden. She'll also be bringing in clothing by Alice + Olivia, Scrapbook (a company with local ties), as well as introducing a new denim line, Deener Denim.
"Everyone's always searching for the newest, latest, greatest. Everyone knows Citizens, 7; I want to find what's next," said Young, who started with a mission to offer stylish but affordable garments. Over the past year, she's learned that fashionphiles don't necessarily want affordable, preferring some exclusivity. A garment, after all, ceases to be special when everyone has it.
"I'll continue to do affordable because everybody loves a bargain. I'm not dismissing that, but they also want to buy higher end. There are more people in Hawaii who know the brands and are more aware of what's out there. They'll come in with magazine pages, and I'll listen to what they want and try to find it for them."
There's ample display room in the new space, which reflects Bamboo Sky's graduation to a modern luxe look. The Kamakee site is blessed with high ceilings, parking and restroom access, plus proximity to the Ward shopping complex.
Re-evaluating their former space, Breeden said, in addition to being small, it was difficult for customers to find parking.
"If I had known then that we would only be there a year, I probably still would have done it. We had high visibility and were helped by association with the club and restaurant and all the young people walking by.
"It's always a challenge, but I just take everything day by day. I actually enjoy it."
Bamboo Sky opens its new store at 401 Kamakee St. tomorrow. Call 591-8003.