In 2007, as Cory Labang contemplated a career change from the spa industry, a friend suggested she design her own line of handbags.
Armed with a passion for vintage clothing and fabrics, Labang started sewing and producing handbags out of her home studio in Lanai City, Hawaii, and selling them under an umbrella at the Saturday Market in Dole Park.
Four years later, in November 2011, she opened her boutique, the Cory Labang Studio, located at 431A 7th St., just one block from her humble beginnings in Dole Park.
Early roots in handcrafted goods
Labang learned the art of sewing from her grandmother at the young age of 5 and she’s been at it ever since. As a teenager, she started collecting vintage Hawaiian fabric, clothing and remnants, which she uses in her one-of-a-kind creations.
Labang also uses her iPhone to snap pictures of orchids, the ocean, and even herself and uses an app to transform the images into unique patterns for her purse designs. In addition to her handmade handbags, Labang sells vintage clothing, accessories, home items, and handmade jewelry by Maui and Lanai artists.
“I am really inspired by Lanai. I love the small town charm and the fact that people reuse things instead of throwing them away,” Labang said. “I love all the friendly faces that come into the shop and enjoy meeting people from all over the world who appreciate my work.”
The Cory Labang Studio was voted as having the “Best Hand-crafted Vintage Accessories” in Hawaii magazine’s 2013 Best of Hawaii issue.
Labang is a native of Maui and graduate of Kamehameha Schools, Kapalama Campus. Her one-of-a-kind collectables can be found at her store on Lanai or on-line.
Cory Labang’s studio hours of operation are:
- Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday - 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
- Saturday - 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
- Closed Thursday and Sunday
- Mondays - 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Cory Labang’s collection is featured at the Artist’s Showcase at The Lodge at Koele.