Caramiya can’t imagine living any other place than Maui. The tropical oasis is central creative inspiration. When she is driving around the island with her family, she’s known to stop the car several times to look at the bountiful plants that line every road. It is fitting that Hana is her favorite place on the island. “I love the layering of the jungle…there are so many shapes and shades of leaves,” she said as she explained her enchantment with the flora and fauna of the Hawaiian Islands. The Maui based artist has adopted the sacred connection to the natural environment that is foundational to native Hawaiian culture. “That respect for the love of nature really feels good. It’s what matters.” She enjoys creating with her children through their homeschooling and growing succulents and orchids at her home Upcountry. These passions translate to her prints: watercolor images of colorful Hawaiian foliage that are fitting for the Maui Girl label.
The artist was born on the Big Island and grew up in Sun Valley, Idaho. She discovered her passion for clothing design when she moved to Florence when she was 16 and followed this interest at the California College of the Arts in San Francisco where she studied fashion design.
She and her husband, photographer Daniel Sullivan, moved to Maui in 2004. They’ve embraced the Hawaiian lifestyle and slow pace of the islands, the perfect setting for their respective crafts. “There aren’t really normal jobs on Maui. Climbing the corporate latter isn’t really a thing here,” she explained. This slow pace, combine with the natural beauty of the island makes it an artist’s sanctuary.
Caramiya and her husband previously ran a store in Paia which included Daniel’s photography along with home furnishing goods sourced from around the world and a selection of Caramiya’s handmade clothing. They closed the store in January 2021 and the seamstress transitioned her time to her online Etsy store and homeschooling her children. It was around this time that former Maui Girl owner, Deb, reached out to Caramiya over Facebook, enthralled with her colorful prints that were featured in her unique handmade swimwear. This sparked a fluid collaboration that has resulted in many new Maui Girl prints that embrace the theme of Maui Made, Maui Loved, with more to come. Caramiya develops watercolor patterns on paper and scans them into the digital space to create a repeating pattern for textiles.
Some of her favorite artists on the island include Susanna Cromwell, Sarah Voyer and Noah Harder. She recommends the podcast Ka Leo o ka Uluau and the Maui art show Mālama Wao Akua at the Hui No’eau Visual Arts Center. Her favorite musical artists to listen to at the moment are Devendra Banhart and Tierra Whack. You can shop Maui Girl suits featuring Caramiya at our store in Paia or online soon!
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