The endearing success of Pacific Islands Art Limited
This post is by Rara’ura Ahuura Adriana Guyot, General Manager of Pacific Islands Art Limited
Pacific Islands Art was founded by my Grandfather, Gerard Guyot, and 3 other shareholders, in 1958 in Papeete, Tahiti.
A subsidiary of Tahiti Art Maohi, the company has become quite famous over the years in the region, due in no small part to its traditional and ancient printing techniques.
Every piece is unique
Before the arrival of Europeans in Polynesia, no woven fabrics existed and only Tapa Cloth was used.
Tapa cloth is made from bark, and can be decorated by rubbing, stamping, stencilling, smoking or dyeing. Fijian tapa usually forms a grid of squares, each of which contains geometric patterns with repeated motifs such as fish and plants.
These ancient processes are upheld by Tahiti Art, with the desire to keep a local tradition and techniques alive.
The result of these time-honoured skills is a hand-made product which cannot be identically reproduced, culminating in a unique piece of apparel.
Growing the company after 50 years
Fast forward to 2010, and Gerard Guyot’s son (and my father), Pierre, was now running the business. Looking for ways to grow and expand, he started to look towards Fiji, hoping to find opportunities there.
After facing some financial issues in Tahiti, he decided to move the business to Fiji and make Pacific Islands Art the centre of production. Manufacturing, labour and supplies were much cheaper there, and on top of that, Fiji was the main location in the region for international exports.
A decade on and we have 3 local shops here in Fiji. Pacific Islands Art also has a 70% export rate, both to nearby Pacific Islands and international countries such as Japan, Hawaii and New Zealand.
We currently have around 40 employees, but plans are underway to expand both our staff and our business with the building of a new factory, already underway.
The Pacific Islands Art range is beautiful, unique and stylish
The Pacific Islands Art Limited range is known for its bright, bold, and beautiful colours, including our gorgeous hand printed sulus, men’s shirts and women’s dresses.
We are constantly adding new products and designs, with our latest swimwear collection currently turning heads on catwalks and fashion shows.
Always striving to improve our business, we are constantly looking for innovative ways to increase product variety, boost our creative processes, and improve customer satisfaction.
With so many on-going projects aiming to expand our market, we hope to bring our beautiful clothes and designs to more countries around the world.
In the traditional Polynesian manner, our style is inspired by nature.
Leaves and flowers, waves and the ocean, animals and fish all influence and motivate our work, along with Tahitian pieces like Vahines and traditional Tahitian prints or designs.
Looking to the future
As Pacific Islands Art Limited has grown, so have our opportunities, and we were proud to be part of Fiji Fashion Week in 2016.
The experience was unlike any other, and we met many amazing designers based here in Fiji, as well as professionals from overseas.
The stunning range of apparel on display gave us a new wave of inspiration, and we would happily join the event again.
We look forward to the future, and along with our partnership with immago, we know we’ll continue to create new and exciting designs for the world to see.