Our love of the North Shore, where our Route 99 brand was “born,” inspired us to create a unique, locally-made product.  It is common practice for our industry to market caps embellished with synthetic, imported weaving material as “lauhala”.  We set our sights on incorporating the “real-deal” into our brand.

Excitedly, we searched out a locally-sourced, genuine lauhala item woven here in Hawaii.  We found Jill Komperda, a passionate, locally recognized master lauhala weaver.  Jill took her first lauhala class in 1994 through Adult Education at Leilehua High School.  In 2013, she completed a Lauhala Hat Weaving Class from Ulana Me Ka Lokomaika’i (To Weave from the Goodness Within).  She is a prolific weaver preferring to weave solo (instead of with a group) to strengthen her self-reliance, problem solving skills and unique design creations.

Like us, Jill lives on the North Shore making our collaboration all the more easy and successful.

Aloha kekahi i kekahi Visor
Polynesian Tribal Pattern Lauhala Full-Panel Hat
Mean thorns and dirty freshly gathered lauhala
De-thorned and unusable parts removed (only about half of each leaves’ length is usable)
After washing in the ocean alongside hala fruit
The weaving
Weaving on a cap
Embroidery on woven lauhala

In this video, Jill gathers lau (leaves) from one of her favorite trees in Kawailoa (a section of the North Shore) and she highlights the historical and modern importance of lauhala in Hawaii.

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