Dec 02, 2016
Two If By Sea
Photos by Twin Islands
In the 1990s, two twin brothers, Mike and Peter Miller come of age in one of the word's most picturesque beachside communities on O‘ahu's windswept town of Kailua.
They were constantly outdoors, surrounding themselves with adventure and taking full advantage of growing up in Hawaii. Fishing, diving, surfing and exploring: it was all in a typical week for Peter and Mike. The two brothers were as inseparable as the iconic twin islands that mark their hometown - The Mokuluas - and stand vigil over the nearby communities of Lanikai and Kailua. By the time they were teenagers, the brothers had become some of the most talented surfers of their generation, landing coverage in surf media and respect among their friends for their prowess in waves of consequence.
As the brothers transitioned into young men, they—like their father before them—had dreams of becoming pilots. Peter earned his wings and was soon piloting an air-ambulance, ferrying the ill and injured from the Outer Islands to Honolulu where they could receive more detailed treatment. Mike also became a pilot, flying inter island for Hawaiian Airlines. When they weren't in the cockpit, they could still be found in the lineup, trading waves and personifying the Aloha Spirit. However, tragedy struck in 2006 when Peter, at only 32, passed away when his plane crashed on Maui.
Amid all of the heartache, Mike and his friends never forgot Peter's zest for life. How could they? From all accounts, he was the embodiment of what we want our sons and brothers to be: positive, outgoing, gracious and amicable. Out of the sadness that followed in his passing, a glimmer of light shone as all those that he touched were left with the fondness of his memory.
Three years later, in 2009, Mike harnessed he and his brother's shared love of the ocean and hometown of Kailua, and created the clothing brand Twin Islands. Their logo, which features the Mokulua Islands, a cresting wave depicting the surf break "wrap-arounds," and an ‘Iwa bird, which Mike says represents Peter watching over all of us, is layered with the brand's history.
With nothing more than ambition and creativity, Mike forged the brand from a few tee-shirts and hats that were sold out of his house to create his own brick-and-mortar location in Kailua. Known for expressing true, locally owned surf style, the brand took off. Visitors and locals alike were proud to represent a brand that displayed the picture-perfect town of Kailua. "It's amazing to see how how the brand has grown over the years and to see how receptive people are to what we've done. I'm really stoked to see how it's all come together and to see how this project is now evolving into multiple storefronts and a solid wholesale business," says Mike, who, in addition to his work running Twin Islands, also recently became a father.
On the success of their wholesale line and Kailua storefront, Mike recently transitioned away from his job as a pilot at Hawaiian to further expand the company. As a creative hub for locally-owned businesses, South Shore Market is redefining what it means to shop, eat, and play in Honolulu and caters toward locally owned businesses.
We were ready to expand and when we learned about South Shore Market and the community that's growing in Ward, it seemed like a perfect fit for us. As we expand from Kailua, our brand is going to reflect that move. It's not going to be all Kailua-themed merchandise, but we will now connect and represent all of Hawaii, and showcase the things that make us special.
"We really couldn't be more excited to see the company grow and expand outside of Kailua into the heart of town. We love the community at South Shore Market and can't wait to be a part of it."
1170 Auahi St.
In Support of the Hawai'i Foodbank
Sep 14, 2017
The Ward Village Foundation Donates to the Hawai'i Foodbank