An Eclectic Mix Of Styles
Owner, Oskar’s Boutique
Please tell us about your business.
Oskar’s Boutique in Kilauea sells men’s and women’s clothing. I also sell many accessories – it’s a very eclectic mix. For example, I sell handmade beeswax candles that come from a couple on the Mainland. There is so much love poured into every one of their candles. I really love supporting the local artists, too, who make items for me such as dresses and jewelry. In taking over the store this year, I’m trying to push a little further the handmade aspects and bringing in unusual items, not only from Kaua’i, but from the world at-large. Some of the people I work with are artisans from as far away as Thailand, Israel and China.
Why did you purchase this business?
It’s always been a dream of mine to own my own business, and I’ve always wanted to have a little shop or boutique. I love adornment. What you wear is such an expression of who you are. An outfit can change your mood.
What advice would you give a small-business owner?
To be open to what people are looking for. Also, being present – you need to be there. Every day that I’m here and meet all the people from all over the world, as well as all of my neighbors who live here whom I didn’t know, I’m building relationships. It’s important to be available to be here to listen to people and know what they want.
What’s the most rewarding aspect of what you do?
Meeting everyone here, that’s been so fun. Getting to know people and hearing their stories. This community also is so full of creative, really talented people and I love the opportunity of sharing their work. People love to support the local artists.
What makes you get up every day and go to work?
It’s different every day; you never know who you’re going to meet. I also like the challenge of discovering a new line and new clothes that work for our environment. Every day is a gift. If you’re coming from a place where you enjoy what you’re doing, it doesn’t feel like work. I love coming here.
When did you move to the island?
My husband Chris and I moved here from Telluride, Colo., with our daughter Haven three years ago.
What’s the most challenging aspect of what you do?
Balancing work and family.
What items do you love the most?
I get excited with one-of-a-kind things made by artisans from around the world. For example, I have these bags that come in from Thailand that I get really excited about because I get to pick out the fabrics and watch the process.
What kind of experience do you hope people have when they shop at your business?
I want people to come in and find something that really makes them feel so good that they can’t wait to put it on. You adorn your body. Some days you want to feel cozy, or maybe some days you want to feel glamorous. And it should be fun. You’re matching people up with something they’re going to love and live with. People want to feel good when they walk out. I feel lucky to be a part of that.
What represents a good day for you at the store?
A great day doesn’t always mean selling a ton of stuff. A great day is that there were fun and interesting people who came in, who love visiting Kaua’i, who didn’t know how to get to Kalihiwai, and the next thing you know you’re inviting them over for dinner.
Oskar’s Boutique Open Monday through Friday, 10:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m., and Saturdays, noon-6:30 p.m.
4270b Kilauea Road 828-6858