About

Your Hawaiian fashion designers

Nola and Linda Nahulu of Bete Mu'u continue in the footsteps of Betty Manchester, who founded Bete Inc. in 1959 to provide Hawaii's island women with traditionally styled mu'umu'us (Hawaiian dresses). When Nola and Linda acquired the company in 1994, foremost in their minds was to uphold the integrity of Bete's designs and the quality of its manufacture.

A Common Past

Their decision was confirmed when the former owner and partner of Betty Manchester, Mrs. Rene Kubo, decided in only three days that the Nahulu sisters could best handle the company she had nurtured for over 35 years. They received further validation with the discovery Mrs. Kubo and their mother had graduated from dressmaking school in the same year: 1938.

Our History

Although Nola's professional background is choral conducting and Linda is a psychiatrist, they felt the influence of their mother, a professional dressmaker. When Bete Mu'u became available, they saw a business opportunity that combined the environment they were raised in with a way to preserve an important tradition in Hawaiian wear with the classic Hawaiin mu'umu'u.
Honolulu, Hawaii

Timeline

1959: Betty Manchester, founder
"I chose the Hawaiian spelling of my name, Bete, because I plan to do collections of Hawaii's favorite garmet, the mu'umu'u!" — 12/29/1959

1963: Rene Kubo, partner/owner
"...Rene arrived on my doorstep, "dressed to kill" in gloves and hose and hat to interview for a job as an assistant. Rene is my right arm, half my head and half my heart." — Manchester on Kubo

1994: Nola and Linda Nahulu, owners
"When we entered the factory we felt like we were in our obachan's (grandmother's) kitchen with the Japanese radio station playing and women who could be our aunties. It was a sign... The time was right!"

Today: mu'umu'u can be be found in the following retail stores
Na Mea Hawai'i, Ward Center, Honolulu Hawaii, (808) 596-8885
Fashions by Nake'u Awai, Houghtailing Street, Honolulu Hawaii, (808) 841-1221
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