I have a huge heart for supporting other locally owned small businesses and I'm so encouraged to be apart of a community of entrepreneurs that uplift and support each other. Recently, we did a collaboration with YIREH, which is a local woman owned business who makes beautiful pieces of women's clothing and places ethical standards at the forefront of their values. I believe that a huge part of buying anything is knowing who and what you're supporting, so here's a look behind the business of YIREH.
Emily Jaime, owner and designer, was gracious enough to answer some questions about her business, how it started, and what is important to her.
Mahina Made: What inspired you to start a business?
Emily: I've always wanted to be a designer. Right after high school, I started making and selling jewelry with the goal of investing my profits from that business into starting a clothing brand. When I received a scholarship in college to study abroad I chose to go to Indonesia because it felt like my second home away from Hawai'i. While I was there I met a family of artisans who I became close with and decided to take a chance and create my first design with them! I sourced fabrics from markets and sat with them in their home to create my first line for Yireh. When I brought my pieces back to Hawai'i everything sold out quickly and Yireh was officially born!
Mahina Made: What are the values that serve as the foundation of Yireh and how do you put them into practice?
Emily: Yireh is founded on the idea of humanity over profits. Growing up in Hawai'i it has been ingrained in me that we should take care of the land and our community. So from the very beginning, I knew Yireh had to be responsibly produced. We partner with a female-founded ethically made factory that has a low waste business model. We also give back annually to various non-profits around O'ahu with missions focused on sustainability and helping women in the community.
Mahina Made: Where do you get the inspiration for your styles and prints?
Emily: The island lifestyle is what inspires me. Growing up on O'ahu my clothing has always had many uses. It had to take me from places like the beach, to an aunty's house, and then to dinner. I never liked having to wear many layers and I've always wanted to remain comfortable while still feeling stylish. So when I'm designing I'm constantly thinking about versatility and comfort! I also am so inspired by color! We are surrounded by so many colors here in Hawai'i and it's my favorite color palette to work with!
Mahina Made: What is your favorite thing about Hawai'i?
Emily: My favorite thing about Hawai'i is the strong sense of community. We all have each other's backs, support, uplift, and encourage one another. It is something that is so special it cannot fully be explained and I've yet to see it anywhere else.