interview: humunuku

I found Humunuku’s Etsy shop quite by accident and I am so glad I did! Alana and Francisco are a great team of artists and it seems like there’s little they don’t do! They recently opened an amazing shop in New York -I really want to visit someday!- and I know you’ll love them!

Q. Could you tell us a little about yourself?
Sure! We are a husband and wife company, who currently reside in Upstate, New York. I (Alana) am originally from Maui and Francisco is an Upstate Native. We met, while studying art at Pratt Institute, in New York City. I studied Photography & Francisco Painting, but we do it all. Collectively we have done all sorts of crazy endeavors, including among other things opening a bakery business, worked in fashion, home renovation, & now we shoot wedding photography and are currently opening a Boutique Shop with handmade goods, art & coffee.

Alana and Francisco's beautiful shop, 221 State Street

Q. How did Humunuku get started?

After college, while freelancing, we wanted to figure out a way to sell all of the things we were making. Living in Brooklyn, and hearing so much about Etsy, we thought it would be the perfect platform to share our work with the world. It was slow at first, but eventually became something we really enjoyed putting time into. It also led to many custom design projects and wholesaling to retail stores.

Q. Your shop is so beautiful! What is your creative process like?

Thank you so much. We try to design things that we love and would want to have for ourselves. Trusting our instincts always works best. Pulling inspiration and developing a good theme is always the first and most important aspect of the design process. We find inspiration online, in antique stores, & through travel. Once we’ve troubleshot and made mock ups, then it’s the technical stuff. This part can be just as meditating as the design. We do a lot of screen printing for most goods. Very hands on. Then it’s packaging and photographing.

Q. What’s a normal day in your life like?
There are no normal days in our life. We have so much going on it’s usually chaos. Cisco usually leaves the house by 6 AM where he goes to work managing a transportation business & golf course. We just opened the storefront so now instead of my kitchen table, I report there everyday. I’m usually out of the door by 8AM, to the post office to send out orders, then I open the shop at 9. Between then and whenever the day ends (which can sometimes be super late) there are countless things that have to get done, like answering emails, making products, packaging items to ship, talking with customers, designing, editing photos, meeting with clients, etc. Because we work right down the street from one another, once in a while we get to eat lunch together, which is really a treat.

Q. What inspires you most of all?
Europe & Hawaii, Everything Vintage & Nostalgic, Beautiful Colors, Paper, Printing, Film, Childhood, anything Handmade, Life, Love. We could probably go on forever …

2 Responses

  1. It was so great to get to know Alana a little bit from this article. I am a fan of her work on Etsy and I’m so excited to hear that she has her own shop (which I want to visit someday). I originally stumbled upon her Etsy shop because I love the name, the state fish of Hawaii! I also have an Etsy shop which has my animal inspired artwork. Check it out if you have time!
    http://www.aliciablim.etsy.com

    -Alicia

Leave a Reply