With quality over excess as her mantra, Maui-based Olympia Etal founder Kaili Scheer has made a name for herself in fashion, crafting small-batch, artisan-made, thoughtful womenswear. Here, she offers her words of stylish wisdom.
Fashion is more than a form of expression. It’s... a way of manifesting. What you wear can really impact the way you think and feel about yourself, and in turn the way you interact with the world. There is a lot of power in that.
The Olympia Etal woman is... at ease. She’s comfortable in her skin, and the clothing she chooses is timeless.
Feminine style is defined by... being true to yourself and creating a wardrobe that fi ts your unique style.
Olympia Etal champions sustainability and the environment by… always reevaluating how we can do better. Since we are in the business of creating newness, it’s hard to champion the word ‘sustainable’ without cringing a bit to myself. I am focused on creating less these days and, of course, the obvious principles of reducing wasteful packaging (we don’t import our goods individually packed from the factory anymore). I’ve also started incorporating natural dyes into our fabrics, which is great for the nontoxic aspect and the most beautiful earthy palette. I’m a plant-dye geek, and it’s been a goal for years to do it on a production scale, not just in my home kitchen. We are also in the process of moving to organic cottons. It will forever be something we are very mindful of, but I would never label us a ‘sustainable’ fashion brand. We can always do far better, and in time, we will.
This fall, I’m most looking forward to... launching a new collection! Since 2020, we went mainly direct-to-consumer. I also had my second baby, as well as built out a restaurant with my husband—so life got in the way, but really in the best way. Long story short, Olympia Etal is moving to a more seasonless style of landing product, which is a big part of training our consumer minds away from new, new, new all the time. I want less, less, less—but better. My new motto is to make things really well, take the time to love what I’m creating—really love it—before offering it to the world. The end result is more considered and, in that way, less wasteful.