July 10th, 2013 / posted by paularath

Lynda  in her studio with Hadji Baba on her shoulder and Peaches on her head!

Welcome to a new column I plan to write periodically.  It’s called “What’s in a Name?” and I will be searching for the meaning behind some of Honolulu’s most interesting store and designer names. Names you’ve always been curious about. Why did the designer choose that name? What was the proprietor’s inspiration when she decided to call her store ____?

I’m counting on YOU to let me know of names you’ve always been curious about. Just send me a comment and I’ll scout it out for you.

That’s Hadji’s little sister Peaches on the left. Hadji, in all his glory, is on the right.

First up:


Hadji Baba is Lynda’s beloved cockateil. He is her constant companion and a great communicator. Here’s what Lynda wrote about why she named her handbag business after her bird.

“My bird, a cockatiel, was two years old when we ‘discovered’ each other in California.  He was  previously owned by a niece who was marrying a man with too many cats.  So when I asked if I could have the bird, who had started telling me his life story the moment he set eyes on me, she readily agreed.  I flew him over on United.  That was 26 years ago, and he is now 28.

“When I began sewing my bags, Hadji seemed to enjoy it as much as I, and would either sit on top of the sewing machine or happily chew on the ends of all the fabrics.  He had good taste, and seemed to prefer fine silks and he loved color.  So it was a very early decision to call my bags “Hadji Baba Bags”  to recognize that relationship, but it satisfied all my other needs as well.  It was slightly mysterious, because people weren’t quite sure who Hadji Baba really was….and I kept it vague.  The name sounded exotic, an association I absolutely loved.  Everyone knew just where the Hadji Baba name came from….kind of.  Was it an old poem?  An old story?  A children’s story?  Classic Literature?  Everyone had a theory.  But it gave me license to use beads from Africa and Nepal, fabrics from all over the world.
“Hadji is considered very very old now, because a cockatiel’s average life span is 12 – 18 years.  But he still loves to sew and he can still pick out the finest piece of fabric in the pile. And he is still telling me the story of his life.  And I tell him that he is famous, now!”
– Paula Rath

The view from Lynda’s sewing machine, an industrial version that sews incredibly fast.

What are they saying?
Leave a comment below.
Elizabeth Kieszkowski
July 11th, 2013 at 7:07 am

Impressed that this cockatiel has had such a long and happy life! Great story, thanks for sharing it.

Winnie Adolpho
July 12th, 2013 at 1:41 am

I have met the famous “Hadji Baba” and Peaches! Till this day every time that I visit Lynda at her home, Hadji lets her know that he also wants to visit with me while I’m there. Peaches has become a little shy and loves her perch in the sun room.

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