say aloha to the new(ish) kawaii captain :: beth
the lion has been through a massive journey of passage this year, relocating from the west coast of oz to the sunny gold coast of australia. also with a new captain in tow since feb, we figured we were long overdue to introduce you folks to her for reals. say aloha to lady beth bennett, the mama with the hula heart who now proudly waves the kawaiian flag. beth shares on the journal what steals her heart and why she knew it always felt like the most natural thing in the world to dive into the universe of the kawaiian lion.
what first captured your heart about kawaiian lion?
I was a fan & customer right from the beginning I loved that it was inspired by everything I was into- retro surf, Hawaii & was just fun & different to everything else on the market. It had a homegrown feel that appealed to me..
what is your home decorating style?
a little bit of everything- filled with colour, art & vintage hawaiiana, skate, & surf. I was speaking to someone recently about how not having a style kinda was my style! not always on trend but filled with everything I love..
what is your work background & how did you find your way to interiors/homewares?
I did a visual art degree initially & then spent the last 15 years in the retail world of vm, most of that designing & creating store habitats for tigerlily. I was also lucky enough in that time to work on some amazing residential projects with my interior styling. I’ve always been extremely passionate about interiors - everything from layout to finishes, but most of all the feeling you can create in a space. to me soft furnishings is that final layer that gives you all those feels! I love interpreting all sorts of styles for my clients but kawaii land is more in keeping with my own personal aesthetic. it feels like home to me.
how did you find out about dee wanting to move on from Kawaiian Lion and the captaincy being up for grabs?
through a mutual friend initially & then when I read dee’s email I felt like it was speaking directly to me. it was funny but I knew immediately this was meant for me - I wasn’t looking to buy a brand at all, and it was the only one I ever would have as I had just always had such an immediate affinity with it. and then dee & I spoke on the phone & I met my hawaiian soul sister….
How did you know this was the right move for you in your career?
I didn’t. But I just had to jump in! I knew I would regret it if I didn’t. It just spoke right to me. It was like one of those instant YES this will be mine moments.
what do you love about designing for Kawaiian Lion?
to just immerse myself wholly into something creatively has been so fun. instead of putting stuff together for clients or brands, I’m finally just getting to roll with my own vision. my hula collection was the first I have been solely responsible for design-wise and the moodboard was just like the inside of my head come to life…
how have you found the community of kawaiian lion?
so beautiful & welcoming - so many people reached out & I had an instant support network of other small businesses and lovely customers!
what is your favourite hawaiian island?
kauai. hanalei bay is my favourite place in the world. I left my heart there, didn’t I?
what's next for the kawaiian lion?
I love the classics and we will always continue with them, but just expanding on the colour ways. also delving into the kawaiian archive to return and update some long lost classics... and finally, having developed our own kawaii exclusive prints this season for the first time ever- exciting!- we will be continuing with that as a focus. we worked with karina jambrak- one of my all-time favourite artists (and friend) on developing these and it was all my dreams come true!
love dee & beth x x