Kahele Maui circa 2010by Katy Tsark
These two little faces are the reason for Kahele Maui. I became a single mom when my girls, Makena and Waimea, were 5 and 2. Looking back, I'm not sure how I held it all together. Most days I would strap surfboards and paddleboards to our blue minivan and catch little waves at the Cove or if we had a cooler packed, we would drive across the Pali Highway to Thousand Peaks and catch bigger waves. At night I made Mai Tai's and martinis as a bartender at the Five Palms beachfront bar and later at the Four Seasons Maui Resort.
On my nights off, I sewed bags, headwraps, and later, the Hele Board Wrap. Sewing was my meditation. Once the girls were in bed for the night, I turned our livingroom into my sewing studio. I cut bolts of fabric on our kitchen island. I stacked up bag parts in rows across the counter. I sorted through baskets of beautiful fabric prints to find just the right ones to cut.