More Than Yoga At Lily Lotus
What started off as a wholesale operation for Lily Lotus owner Momi Chee has grown into a retail business that brings, as its tagline details, “clothing for inspired living.” But don’t be fooled: Lily Lotus is not your typical yoga-wear establishment. In fact, yoga-related items are just a small portion of all that Lily Lotus has to offer.
It started back in 2001 as a grassroots business, in which Chee printed and sold T-shirts at craft fairs. Her shirts featured designs that captured the feeling and essence of yoga.
“I didn’t make workout clothes,” she says. “It was more about representing the lifestyle and symbolisms and colors that captured that feeling of the emotional and psychological aspects of yoga. That remains what we do.”
From there, she grew her business to fit the wholesale industry, and in 2008, opened her first flagship store in Kaimuki, located where the former Off The Mat once stood. Now, Lily Lotus’ Kaimuki location sits at 3632 Waialae Ave.
“We’re still doing the wholesale business, but as far as retail, we’ve been able to grow it and bring something unique as far as the yoga lifestyle, the modern, active woman lifestyle,” she explains.
The whole ambiance is fused with Lily Lotus’ sense of color and island lifestyle, and Chee likes to think of it as a unique mix of products that pop with color and effortless beauty.
Lily Lotus as a line began when Chee started her journey into yoga after returning home from college.
“I was really inspired because at the time, there was not the yoga lifestyle that there is now,” she says. “Now there are many brands, but before it was just ‘workout clothes.’
“It’s about discovery,” Chee adds of the boutique. “It’s not supposed to feel like a department store, it’s supposed to be fun.
“Even if you don’t buy anything, I love the idea of people coming in and having fun, and it’s stimulating to look at all our stuff.”
Chee is all about touching every aspect of the yoga-inspired lifestyle, and the shop also offers community events. The next event features Aloha Dreamboard and Tiare Thomas (featured in our Dec. 17 issue) for a “Create A Life You Love” dreamboard workshop March 29. Also in the works is a painting event where guests can create their very own lotus painting and a Mother’s Day event with a live flower mandala.
Check out lilylotus.com for more info on upcoming events.
DID YOU KNOW?
Lily Lotus’ signature colors are pink and magenta. “It’s in the red family, so it’s very passionate,” says owner Momi Chee. “But it’s more creative.” She goes on to explain that Lily Lotus is distinctly feminine, and adds that it’s all about aspiration and inspiration. “It’s also about finding your strength and finding that balance,” she continues, “and I think that is the modern woman.”
For those who look closely enough, Lily Lotus’ logo might seem asymmetrical, but that’s something Chee wanted in the design. “We don’t want to be cookie cutter,” she explains, “and there’s balance in asymmetry.” The lotus flower encompasses everything about what Chee wants for her company and as a woman. “It’s a symbol of beauty, spiritual enlightenment and infinite possibilities,” she explains. “As a feminine flower, it’s also very strong, and it’s aspirational as it’s always reaching above the water toward heaven.”
The establishment carries lines that complement its own style. Popular clothing lines include Gypsy 05, Beyond Yoga and prAna, while jewelry brands Debra Mack Jewelry, Humanity Calling and Noelani Designs offer up beautiful creations perfect for that special lady in your life. Maya Papaya also creates handmade treasures that can be found in the store.