Handmade Artisan Goods From Boho Brand Avela

Two girls plus an entire world of makers equals one chic collection.


OK, students, pull out your leather satchels and let’s make sure you’ve got all your school supplies. Loom? Chisel? Mortar and pestle? Check, check, check. Sounds like we’re ready to start—artisan class is now in session.

We hope you little scholars are up to date on your geography, ’cause today’s lecture’s going to take us all over the map. Avela founders Ali Bayless and Gadea Pérez-Andújar grew up in Southern California and Spain, respectively, and met while pursuing biology degrees at University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. Since then, they’ve traveled together to Africa, Europe and Australia, met a whole lot of local crafters and artisans, and headed back home with more than a few souvenirs for their troubles.

And so, last fall, Avela was born. The two ladies pulled together a cosmopolitan-cool curation of their favorite boho baubles and fresh finds from every corner of the globe to make them available for local shoppers looking to get their international chic on. These meticulously crafted creations are not industrially or mass-produced, resulting in unique items that hearken back to a traditional handicraft way of making.

Take the the Avela pareos: beautiful wraps from Jaipur, India, with gorgeous patterns made by block-printing, an ancient technique with a unique, intricate result, in which hand-carved wooden blocks are dipped in dye and then pressed onto the fabric. Also, check out the ladies’ totally functional, rustic-chic baskets that we can’t wait to tote on our next market trip, which are hand-crafted in Morocco from natural palm fibers and finished with stamped, genuine-Moroccan-leather handles. The stylish duo is even sourcing stylish pieces from their own backyard, with a mini line of lightweight, 100-percent cotton kimonos made and printed right here on O‘ahu.

Where in the world can you find Avela goods? Check out the world wide web for the brand’s online store, or stop by any of the many local boutiques that have been bitten by the Avela bug. Plus, Bayless and Pérez-Andújar aren’t ready to settle down yet—this fall, they’ll be jetting off to Africa and India to refresh their stock.

In other words: Avela’s really going places.

$35–$48, shopavela.com.