Born on the island of Maui to a creative Filipino mother from Paia and a Japanese father from a long line of business men and entrepreneurs from Lahaina, Martina Nagasako was blessed to be raised on the mountainside over looking Lahaina town in the community affectionately known as Lahainaluna. As a young girl she was raised by both parents in the community, her mother as a jewelry artisan who could often be found on the grounds of the Old Lahaina Luau sitting on a lauhala mat with Martina by her side sharing the stories of old Hawai`i with visitors and luau guests as the sun set with her jewelry creations becoming coveted treasures for visitors to take back home from their travels. Her father worked in his family business known locally as Nagasako’s, the Nagasako Supermarket and the Nagasako family had built its name on providing the community goods, groceries, local food, and literally anything the customers might request. It was often said by locals in the 60’s and 70’s here in Lahaina “if you couldn’t find it at Nagasako’s you probably didn’t need it, but you could ask Mr. or Mrs. Nagasako for it and they would get it sent to them for you. “The Nagasako Supermarket provided the beginning of an era as the family became the beacon of aloha for many in the town, where everyone was treated like family and everyone was welcome to stop by for a little bit of anything from Uncle Nagasako and a whole lot of conversation, love and advice from Aunty Nagasako. Martina’s Father could often be found handling orders and joking with customers as she sat behind the counter unknowingly absorbing the history and the importance of the family’s place within the community.
Martina would go on to excel within the community, as the 90’s rolled by she was a shy and reserved student, who would begin to embrace her role as a leader and begin to understand her place in the community. Attending and graduating from Lahainaluna High School, she braved the next chapters of her life by attending and earning her degree from the University of Hawai`i Manoa, on O`ahu.
After exploring the mainland United States and her time on Oahu, she would ultimately move back home to her community of Lahaina where in time she would meet her soulmate, become a mother to three beautiful keiki, and begin her journey as a mother and a wife.
It was during this journey her vision of owning a business was derived with the need to spend time with her `ohana while pursuing the same environment she had been raised among so many years ago. Creating a small business became her drive, her focus of energy and Nagasako Designs was born in 2011.
Nagasako Designs was born with a vision to create pieces inspired by the beauty of Hawai`i and to share it with others around the world as well as close to home. The appreciation for the island lifestyle is portrayed in every piece of handcrafted jewelry and accessory. Nagasako Designs believes that passing this gift to others will allow each one an opportunity to have something that is truly a piece of our island and culture.
Martina Nagasako has become a beacon of what small business development, art, creativity and passion can accomplish. The reach of her ideas has spanned the globe, traveled to almost every continent, reached the mainstream population on television and been featured both near and far from the islands of Hawai`i. The creations, the passion, the belief in aloha has traveled far, but as for Martina, most days she can be found up on Lahainaluna hill at her `ohana’s home. Or taking her children to the beach to enjoy the ocean, her daughter listening to the drums of the luau in the distance mind filled with hula dreams, her sons fishing for papio with her grandfather’s fishing pole, and her and her husband watching over them - in the same spot her father spent his days watching her play in the sand. While the vision of her company spread as far as she can imagine, she is here at home on Maui.
We would like to express our sincere gratitude for your interest not only in our creations and pieces, but also in our lives.
From the shores of the Island we call home, the island of Maui, mahalo and enjoy.