MaruMaru Hawai‘i’s Cheeky Child-Sized Tees

Way cool, cute and Island-inspired.
PHOTO: COURTESY OF Sean Kinoshita Photography (@seank_photography); dad to Colton and Kaila


We’re running with the in crowd and we have a feeling you may know a couple of cool kids who’d make a great addition to the crew. Our criteria for joining? You’ve gotta be young, wild and chic.


We’re not trying to be ageist. We’re just ditching the high-school-hipster letter jackets for something a little more … little, namely the sweet little tees by Hilo-based kids’ line, MaruMaru Hawai‘i. Kara Iopa and Tania Takashiba, the two sisters behind this jolly collection, started printing shirts with cute sayings and adorable artwork in 2015 after finding themselves serendipitously pregnant at the same time. With two toddlers around to give them inspiration, the possibilities for wee tees were endless, but the sisters also get ideas from their hometown, as well as from their local Japanese culture. The result is a quirky, distinctly Hawai‘i lineup that has some serious local style. (In fact, the sisters got so many requests for adult sizes in some of their designs that they did a Father’s Day run of tees for adults!).


What’s got these little shirts popular with us? We’re head over heels for the hand-lettered text and Island inside jokes, such as the "Hilo Love" top, which sports an apt little rain cloud, or the "Let's Go Holo Holo" piece, featuring rubber slippers where o's should be. "I Love To Bocha!" declares our personal favorite, while one of the ladies’ seriously sought-after creations reps the sleepy city in a sturdy san-serif "hilo, das  why." Endearing odes to Hawai‘i’s that our littlest locals can wear?


Now that just cliques.