Magnificent Business: Lilikoi Wear by January & Rodrigo Barros
January and her husband Rodrigo founded Lilikoi Wear, a sustainable activewear, because they are passionate about helping women look and feel great. It is their hope that when women wear their beautiful and comfortable clothing, they will physically exude confidence and strength. All of their clothing items are made with sun-protective and 100% biodegradable fabrics that have joyful unique prints and are as comfortable as a second-skin. Their Brazilian fabrics have tropical appeal and fit in very well in Hawaii – their patterns are colorful, fun and playful, offering something different than many other activewear brands.
January and Rodrigo are excited to be part of Still & Moving Center’s fundraiser to build Pearl Haven, a safehaven for sex-trafficked girls, because it aligns with Lilikoi Wear’s aim to be socially and environmentally responsible. Lilikoi Wear will donate $2 to Ho’ola Na Pua for every item sold at Still & Moving Center, between July 4th and Labor Day. Lilikoi Wear believes we all should help to protect women and children who are being mistreated, and to raise awareness about sex trafficking.
Lilikoi Wear’s products are unique and one-of-a-kind. They are made of Amni Soul Eco polyamide nylon fabric, which will fully biodegrade within 3 years under landfill conditions. Lilikoi Wear designs all of their clothing for water use, including dresses! All of their material is UV50+ which blocks 100% of UV rays. This fabric is also sweat-wicking, quick-drying, anti-microbial and odor-resistant.
Lilikoi Wear got its start by selling already-made activewear items at pop-up events at the local gyms in Kona on a foldout table. When, for the third time in a row they sold out all of their inventory, the couple decided they wanted to take the next step and design their own merchandise. They created their own brand – Lilikoi Wear – designing clothing, sourcing sustainable fabric of the highest quality, and having the pieces custom made in Brazil. They got their start with just capris and leggings, then added shorts, bra tops, tank tops, rashguards and skorts.
Two years ago they moved to Oahu to further grow their company. They recently added a Lilikoi Luxe line to their collection, which showcases dresses, palazzo pants, and long skirts, all still made with their high-quality, sustainable and colorful fabrics. They sell at many events, including marathon and triathlon expos, resort pop-ups, and in several boutique and sporting goods stores throughout the islands. Lilikoi Wear’s current goal is to build strong brand recognition throughout the islands, to be followed by expansion to California and Florida.
After 10 years of working for other people, January decided she wanted to work for herself. Entrepreneurial blood runs through her veins, as many of her family members are also business owners. Rodrigo comes from an entrepreneurial family, as well, and has had experience running several different businesses in Brazil. Together, their skills and experiences compliment each other, creating a successful business, where each of them can contribute their unique talents. January says, “Running a business with your spouse can be challenging, yet I have learned so much from Rodrigo and his previous experience, and I have picked up a lot of new skills.” It’s certainly not a boring relationship!
January and Rodrigo love running their own business. They get to spend time together on a day-to-day basis and travel together to Brazil to source their fabrics. January thrives in the creative process of designing her own clothing line. She loves seeing something she dreamt up herself come to life on the women wearing it. Her closet is comprised of mostly Lilikoi Wear items. The cuts, fabrics, and prints are exactly what she wants to be wearing every day. She loves when she spots someone in public wearing their prints!
Lilikoi wear is available at the Boutique-E at Still & Moving Center.