Talofa and Welcome to CHEEHOOlife!
We are Tui & Catey Avaava. We met while working at a large county jail in the Pacific Northwest. As you can imagine, the jail was everything you have imagined that it would be...negative, stressful, and poorly managed but much greatness came from that job. Aside from us meeting each other there, our beloved small business was also born in that jail. One day, while sitting in an office chatting during a break, Catey casually asked Tui where she could buy him some new lavalavas. Tui explained to his naive palagi sweetheart, that generally, lavalavas are not an item that you can find online or in a store. You must either “borrow” them from your dad, your older brother, or a cousin and they become your own, or when a family member returns from Samoa with a roll of fabric, you might get lucky and get a few yards cut off the roll. The conversation then slowly shifted to the possibility of us making and selling lavalavas ourselves, using quality fabrics and modern prints and colors. In July 2016, we launched Avaava’s Lavalavas.
We both happily left our jobs at the jail in 2018, and have been enjoying the small business roller coaster ever since. In mid-2019, after realizing that we expanded into selling much more than lavalavas, we rebranded to CHEEHOOlife.
Our growing little business has blessed Tui with a stronger connection to his Samoan heritage and has opened avenues for us to give back to our community in so many ways. We are so excited for this amazing opportunity and have big plans for CHEEHOOlife and hope you will be a part of our adventure.
Tui & Catey Avaava