Young Cook Island voyager Temanava Macquarie is definitely a woman of many talents.
Temanava aka TeRito’s new Laylo brand has got island maidens excited about this new fresh young hip look, that not only makes women look and feel vibrant, but also brightens up a dull day.
“I love colours, and if I’m ever sad, it brings me happiness,” says TeRito.
She says she has always had a passion for fashion, and whenever she was stuck for items to wear to functions – or anywhere, she would whip out her sewing machine, grab a piece of fabric from her collection and away she went.
However, adding to her inspiration was the abundant creativeness of her cousin and aunties in Tahiti.
“Some nights I would be lying in bed with my two aunties side-by-side talking about life in general, and somehow we always ended up discussing me making clothes. That was usually followed by questions: “So when are you going to make and sell your clothes,” or “You have to hurry up and do it now,” so obviously that stuck in my head, and overtime the idea started to grow on me.
“Then one day, I just decided I was going to do it, and see where it took me.”
When it came to creating her brand name, she thought of using her name. However those aunties advised her to choose something easy, fun, and preferably in English as her customers would ideally be tourists. Having something they could pronounce easily would be a winner.
Te Rito says Laylo encompasses the spirit of laying low, relaxing, chilling out and embracing your inner free spirit, and for a lack of better words, “just letting go and spreading your wings.”
“I like to think of my garments as being locally made, and although the fabric is purchased from a local store, imported from overseas, the sewing, the design, the layout and final touches of the product are all done right here in Titikaveka, and that’s what I love about it,” says TeRito.
On a more serious note, she says her creations tell a story about her journey living on the ocean and the natural beauty of the environment.
“Each garment is unique and handmade for my customers, and no one Laylo is the same, each have their own unique cut, colour scheme and fall, just like the tides of the ocean.”
TeRito’s entire focus for her brand is for it to provide a fund to keep her going while she sails the open sea, carrying the voices of her nation throughout the world.
“My life right now is all about voyaging. Unfortunately my chosen passion does not come with a weekly wage, however, for those that are like me and have a similar passion we don’t let that aspect stop us. We pretty much do what we need to do to make it work, so Laylo is my way of doing that.”
However, not only does she have this huge passion for sailing, TeRito is also quite educated.
With an education in design, and five years’ experience in fashion, there is much more to this island gem that meets the eye.
“As busy as I am, I believe that if you love something, are passionate about something and really have a heart to succeed, then you will find the time, and you will make it work no matter the cost.
“I would rather say that I tried something and was unsuccessful than to say I thought about it and was too scared to give it a go.”
With her first clothing line being that of ‘Temanava-kinies” she found that although she loved the idea of stylish island-inspired beachwear, the immense complications of accommodating different peoples’ shapes and sizes turned out to be more of a challenge than originally anticipated.
“I loved making my own bikinis and thought if I could make just one other person happy with a stunning pair, then awesome.
“I always believe that if you have a dream, then you should try it out and at least you can say you’ve done it and successful or not, you can hold your head high and believe you haven’t actually failed.”
With current stock flying out the door, TeRito’s commitment to meeting demand has become an exciting daily venture for her and in between early morning vaka training, serving tourists at Koka Lagoon cruises, helping out in her mum’s gardens and maintaing a happy social life, her sewing life has joined the party.
Laylo tops/dresses are only available from her mother’s café at the Maire Nui gardens in Titikaveka and anyone is welcome to pop in and see the friendly team. Alternatively, you can contact TeRito on her Laylo Facebook page.