New Surf Shop Has Tale To Tell
By JUNI WENDELIN FASTING
They used to be two, Michael and Peter Miller, calling themselves “the twinkies.” But March 8, 2006, changed all that. Peter was piloting a Hawaii Air Ambulance when it crashed into a car dealership on Maui, where he died.
“He was half of me,” said Michael, now 40, about his 27-minutes-older brother. “I lost everything.”
Two years later, Miller also lost his job as a pilot when Aloha Airlines shut down, but he refused to give up. On the day of his brother’s memorial, March 8, 2009, he established Twin Islands Clothing. After selling their surf clothes through several Oahu stores for five years with growing numbers, until the time was right to finally open a storefront.
“Peter would be stoked!” Miller said. “I can picture him smiling. He had a permanent smile.”
Twin Islands opened April 12 at 131 Hekili St., selling its own products exclusively, and surfboard sales are next.
Miller emphasized that they don’t want to showcase Kailua in a way that brings too many tourists. “My town should still be a peaceful secret,” he explained. “It’s just gonna be a small-town surf shop. If you’re in our neighborhood, please stop by. We’re not trying to be the next Billabong.”
The brothers, who grew up in Lanikai, surfed almost daily out at the Mokuluas, also known as Twin Islands. Since the Miller boys also were twins, Twin Islands was the perfect name for the business. The bird in the logo represents Peter looking down from above.
Most customers aren’t aware of the story behind the brand, and Miller looks forward to sharing it and posting pictures of his brother on the walls. “He would do the same for me. Now he is with me every day. I still dream about him every night.
“It’s a twin thing.”
Since Miller now works as a pilot at Island Air, his wife Baily manages the Kailua store. For more information, call 429-3774 or visit tisurf.com.