Paiko founder, Tamara Rigney, invited us to explore her 'happy place' for inspiration, her little cottage hidden away in Tantalus. Originally called Pu'uohi'a, the mountain was named after the greedy Greek God Tantalus, by students of Punahou who were studying ferns in the 1840s. The God is well known for his 'eternal punishment: forever standing underneath a luscious fruit tree, full of bountiful fruit, forever out of his reach.' Fortunately for us, the infinite amount of botanical treasures welcomes explorers to an enchanting magical forest.
Tamara guided us along the muddy, yet easy trails beneath canopies of Cook Pines, Areca palms, and beautiful Banyan trees. We kept our eyes open for strawberry guava, avocado, and orange trees. She paused every so often to point out different textures and contrasting colors popping out from mystical spots. We really felt like we were in the Secret Garden! Tamara told us of the African tulip, a bold tree sprouting blossoms of oranges and reds, an invasive species that entertained her as a child. 'My friends and I would take the flower pods and race them down the gutters when it rained. It was one of our favorite games.'
Where do you normally find your inspiration? Is it ever-changing depending on where you are located?
I get inspired by everything- everything I'm seeing or doing somehow comes into play when I generate ideas. Lately, I've been spending lots of time at my house up here, and that's been influencing my aesthetic. Travel is also very important to me. Given that in Hawaii we’re out here in the middle of the ocean, it's important to go find new experiences and bring that energy home.
What elements of Tantalus are currently placed into Paiko? What characteristics of Tantalus are you looking forward to incorporating into the shop?
We’re incorporating lots of different jungle textures and foliages into our winter look. Vines, mosses and lichens are going to be major elements.
What are the consistent botanical themes that you continue to place into Paiko?
‘Tropical Modern’ is the name I give to the general aesthetic at Paiko.
What is your dream shop design and layout?
After our latest remodel this year, designed by Nikole Nelson of BlkCoral, Paiko is pretty much my ‘dream shop’. I seriously can’t believe how polished and beautiful it turned out. We have a few things to finish up, but by and large the shop is almost perfect. I love going to work every day, especially now that I get coffee handed to me when I walk through the door from Brue!
Therapists and people in general believe it's not good 'chi' to bring their 'office' into their 'home' life, how do you feel about this?
I do try to leave the office out of my home life, but I constantly bring my home life to the office. I live an amazing lifestyle up here in the jungle, and it's a major part of what Paiko represents.
Photographs by © Sara Mayko 2014