Our Team

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Keith Holland, General Manager

Keith learned to windsurf in 1982 in Rhode Island (where he’s from). He got hooked on windsurfing straight away and sailed year-round. Sometimes Keith even walked through the snow to get in the ocean! That may sound crazy, but in RI, bad weather meant good windsurfing…

Maui was often featured in Windsurf Mag, and Keith quickly decided that Maui was the place to be. Before moving to Maui in 1994, Keith also spent a couple of winters in Puerto Rico and summers in Hood River, Oregon. In addition, he taught windsurfing clinics around the coastal US and Caribbean. Upon arriving on Maui, he ran the Cort Larned Windsurfing School and in 1998 he got the job running Simmer Hawaii in Paia.

As a kid from the Northeast, Keith dreamt of moving to Maui and running a windsurf shop. Simmer gave him the opportunity to live that dream. He’s been the GM at Simmer Hawaii ever since.

Why is the Simmer community so special, unique and awesome?

Over the years, the Simmer shop has evolved into so much more than a windsurf shop. We now focus on casually elegant beach lifestyle clothing and accessories while still supplying those who are into it the highest performance wind gear on the planet. ‘Lucky we live Maui’ is a local expression I find myself saying daily because there’s no place I would rather be- and no situation better than what I have today. Stop by the shop in Paia, no matter how busy I am, I always have some time to talk story…

What’s Keith’s favorite water sport?

I still get out sailing as much as I can. Surf most days. Free dive and spearfish when there is no wind or surf. I stay fit by running the beach and open ocean swimming…In the winters when it’s on big time, I tow surf…

What’s Keith’s favorite Maui beach?

ALL OF THEM

Michele Simmer, Owner/Buyer

Michele visited Hawaii from a very young age. Her mother loved Hawaii, and Michele often visited as a child. As a teenager, Michele wanted to live on an island, so in her early 20s, moved from Los Angeles to Maui. She worked many jobs on Maui until the mid 80s when she, along with a friend, focused their passion for retail into the opening of a women’s retail boutique, called Jazz, where Michele honed her skills as a buyer.

As wife to Klaus Simmer, Michele has been a part of the Simmer store since before Day 1. Although the store was once focused mainly on hard goods, there has always been a need for adorning the store with unique items and hand-picked soft good (apparel and accessories). Michele has a very keen eye and is a natural stylist, obvious through her buying choices. She stays on trend and fashion forward, offering clients new brands, even at times when those resources can be limited on Maui. Michele loves to buy products that support local Maui artists and businesses, women businesses, and Hawaii made goods. She has sourced locally made jewelry and other beautiful items that can be found only at Simmer in Paia.

What’s Michele’s favorite Maui activity?

I love yoga, hiking in the Crater, spin classes, and I have to be near the ocean

What’s Michele’s favorite Maui beach?

Baldwin Beach and Hamoa

Klaus Simmer, Owner

Klaus first visited Maui in 1978 to hang out with Mike Waltze. In December of 1980, Klaus moved to Maui to learn sailmaking and work R&D with Barry Spanier and Geoff Bourne at Maui Sails.

Klaus later joined his brother Malte who started Simmer Style in 1981 to develop and build the gear they needed to get into the big surf at Ho’okipa Beach (and other in-the-know sail spots on Maui’s North Shore). Initially, it was all custom windsurf sail orders directly from the loft (a converted garage) on Haiku Road. In 1985, the loft moved to a larger space at the Haiku Cannery. The current location in Paia evolved from Klaus and Malte’s original vision and Maui’s golden era of windsurfing.

 

Why is the Simmer community so special, unique and awesome?

Simmer Style has always been about pushing the envelope and making it easier to have fun on the water with innovative and high quality products. This has been what has always attracted like-minded people from around the world to visit our store. I feel so blessed and lucky to have been able to make Maui and the North Shore my home. It’s amazing to be able to share all of it everyday with people from all over the world.

What’s Klaus’ favorite water sport?

Kite surfing is the new windsurfing! The ultimate free ride! But I’ll get in the ocean any way I can, even if it’s just a quick swim.

What’s Klaus’ favorite Maui beach?

It used to be Hookipa for obvious reasons, these days it’s got to be Baldwin – great kite access to the outer reefs (and big surf) as well well as great swimming and walking/running…

 

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