All around the world, Tommy Bahama is known for its coastal aesthetic and laid-back tropical vibe. The brand is marking its 25th anniversary this year and recently celebrated the occasion with a new menu launch in its second-floor restaurant in Waikiki. Far from being a cookie-cutter operation, each Tommy Bahama restaurant takes pride in creating its own regional identity, specific to its location. The Waikiki restaurant is a favorite place of mine because of its relaxed setting, and the locally sourced food is fresh, fun and perfect to share with a group of friends or family. Among my favorite dishes are a generous crab salad, sweet and crunchy coconut shrimp and dessert of creme brulee with caramelized pineapple, served in a pineapple. On Tommy Bahama’s rooftop deck, I met up with one of my favorite lifestyle and fashion bloggers Grace Jeramie, of My Style and Grace, who shared her introduction to the blogging and IG world, and her approach to style.
Ki-ele: How did you start blogging?
Grace: I was doing some styling and people had a lot of questions about how to put looks together. They said I needed to start a blog where I could post pictures and share ideas. I never intended to start blogging but I guess it was meant to happen.
Ki-ele: What was your breakthrough moment?
Grace: I made the cover of Redbook magazine last August 2017. Every year they pick six women, focusing on sharing real-world style. I submitted my look on the last day we could enter. It was my dad’s birthday and he had died the year before, so I was feeling melancholy. I grabbed one of my dad’s shirts and styled it, and that was one of the images they picked. I was flown to New York for the photo shoot and once the article appeared my blog really took off.
Ki-ele: How did you develop your sense of style?
Grace: I grew up inspired by my grandma. She was so stylish and really worked at putting outfits together. She liked to accessorize with scarves, sunglasses, anything different. She was so “extra.”
Ki-ele: How does Ki-ele jewelry fit into your wardrobe?
Grace: It’s simple and laid-back, which is my style too. I love that it’s wearable every day, and that you can stack and layer pieces. I love to accessorize, just like my grandma.
Ki-ele: What do you love best about your job?
Grace: It’s about more than clothes. I like to make women feel good about themselves, helping them when they feel they need the extra polish to face the world. A lot of people have insecurities and think they’re the only ones who feel that way. But we all have insecurities about our bodies, and clothes can help us overcome those feelings. I’m 5-foot-1 so I had to learn how to wear things that elongate my body.
I try to remind people that none of us can be perfect all the time. Just the other day I was walking around Waikiki in a T-shirt with holes (intentional), Birkenstocks and a fanny pack, the tourist cliche, but I gotta be me.
I don’t feel I’m here to tell people what to do. I can only offer suggestions to try this or that to update a look or break out of a rut. In the long run, you’ll never look or feel comfortable if you’re not true to yourself .