A Cute And Casual Crush

Mother-and-daughter team Dorina San Augustine (right) and Dana Abell own Crush Boutique. Coco Zickos photos

Dorina San Augustine
Co-owner of Crush Boutique

Please tell us about your business. Crush is an islandinspired, girly boutique located in Kapa’a at the Kaua’i Village Shopping Center next to Longs. We offer children’s clothing little girls’ and little boys’ sizes 2 to 6 a lot of which is locally made. We also have cute, sexy women’s clothing from extra-small, petite to plus sizes. In addition, we sell shoes, jewelry and other accessories, many of which also are locally made. We definitely wanted to have Hawaiian-made things. Casual, but cute.

The store officially opened Nov. 23.

How did you start this business? It was inspired by my daughter Dana Abell, who wanted to start a clothing business. It was so quick and spontaneous. We talked about it last summer and by August it started to transpire. We looked for a place, found it and went with it full steam ahead.

What’s the most rewarding aspect of this business? Seeing people feel beautiful about themselves. They come in and say they can’t wear something, but I say, “Yes you can, put it on.” And they do and they pull it off. I tell them just be and feel the clothes, it’s fun. A lot of girls here aren’t really used to dressing up outside of the house, and so it’s fun to watch them feel pretty.

What’s the most challenging aspect of this business? Juggling our busy lives. I already have other businesses, like Island Woodworks, that I’ve owned since 1998. It’s hard balancing those with family.

How has business been so far? It’s been good. It’s actually really been a blessing. We opened our doors and people came.

Do you have mostly visitor or kama’aina clientele? Both. This shopping center has heavy traffic. There is a mix of locals and a lot of visitors.

What are your plans for the future? Doing more Crush Boutiques around the island.

What makes you get up every morning and come to work? Dana. We’re both on each other about opening on time.

How many employees do you have? Mostly Dana and I work here, and my two nieces, Chyanne and Britney Garces. It’s good to have a lot of family. My family also helped build the store.

Why this location? When we were looking around, there were several locations we were interested in, but this particular spot, when we looked inside, Dana really fell in love with it. It’s almost heart-shaped inside and it was love at first sight.

What sets your business apart from others? Our products are affordable, so everybody can wear them.

Are locally made products important? Yes! I’m part of the Kaua’i Made program. I think that we’re very talented on Kaua’i, and our products help stimulate the economy. In fact, we welcome more local vendors to come share their work here at the store.

What else do you want people to know about your store; any special promotions currently happening?

We want guys to know they can come in, too. They come, stop at the door and their wives or girlfriends will come in. But they can come in and cruise and sit down. We really want the guys to come in, especially for Valentine’s. And if they come in, we’ll give them a 15 percent discount for all purchases for the month of February. I just don’t want them to be afraid to come in.

Do you have a business philosophy or motto? Live happy, live beautiful.

4-831 Kuhio Hwy., Kapa’a

Open Monday through Saturday, 9:30 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. crushboutiquekauai@gmail.com.