Breaking News:


Woman creates custom designed signs, drawing inspiration from her heritage

May 8, 2024, 10:49 AM | Updated: 7:53 pm

May is Asian American and Pacific Islander Month and KSLTV is celebrating AAPI-owned businesses in Utah.

A popular way some families honor their 2024 grad is displaying a huge banner with their photo and name on it. Vania Lautaha has perfected this art in a unique way – drawing inspiration from her Samoan heritage.

It’s the busy season in the office of Talimailagi Customs.

With high school graduations in full swing, Lautaha can barely keep up with the orders she’s receiving.

“I kind of joke about it’s like my Super Bowl, right?”

In a spare bedroom in her house, she is turning out custom designs for celebrations across the Valley.

“Most of my customers are Polynesian,” Lautaha said. “I know our Polynesians will go all out and a lot of times that includes T shirts, banners, leis, it includes backdrops like eight-foot backdrops.”

She keeps her inspiration close by, her son Talimailagi, who is her only child, and the namesake of her small company that is quickly outgrowing this tiny space.

“He really is my why for everything.”

She isn’t professionally trained in this art form. She simply discovered her own unique style, and the requests started pouring in.

“I don’t use templates. I don’t, it’s not a cut and paste, like drop it in a frame type of thing. With every piece like it’s it’s so personal.”

While her son inspires her to keep creating, it was her late father who moved from Hawaii to Utah who lit the flame in her imagination.

One of the favorite things I like to do is Memorial programs. So every Memorial that I do now is really with him in mind,” Lautaha said.

Talimailagi Customs is truly a family enterprise.

“I like to tell the story.”

Celebrating all of the landmark moments in life, with Lautaha’s custom Polynesian flair.

“I feel like it’s a blessing to be able to do what I do. And sharing, it just makes it that much more special.”

More than anything, Lautaha is grateful that her 13-year-old son Tali is learning the business. He helps fill orders and earns money to use toward football fees and travel expenses.

KSL 5 TV Live

Equality & Diversity

(Google Earth Pro)...

Carlysle Price

Free concert, organization raises awareness of SLC homelessness

Hands of Hope is putting on a free, live music concert on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. to raise awareness of homelessness in the city. According to the Point-In-Time count, the 2023 estimated homeless population was 2,297 people.

17 days ago

!Vamos! Health is celebrating inclusivity and keeping accessible healthcare top of mind by bringing...

Karah Brackin

Grand opening of ¡Vamos! Health

Making steps toward inclusivity, !Vamos! Health is empowering Hispanic, Latino, and minority groups with a clinic in West Valley City.

18 days ago

A new dispenser in the Salt lake County Library Granite Branch offers patrons free period products....

Emma Everett Johnson,

Salt Lake County Library offers free period products at all branches

All 18 branches of the county library system now provide free tampons and pads in women's and unisex restrooms, and Baker says this change makes the difference between patrons staying to utilize library services or going home.

22 days ago

Willie Mays was honored by the Salt Lake Bees on Juneteenth after his death Tuesday. (KSL TV)...

Brian Carlson

Salt Lake Bees remember Hall of Famer Willie Mays on Juneteenth

The Salt Lake Bees wore throwback jerseys of an all-African American team from 1906 in honor of player Willie Mays and Juneteenth.

26 days ago

Protestors gather outside the House chambers during a legislative special session at the Utah State...

Bridger Beal-Cvetko,

Utah lawmakers vote to block federal protections for LGBTQ+ students under Title IX

Utah lawmakers convened in a special session on Juneteenth to declare the state's intent not to follow a federal rule providing anti-discrimination protections to transgender youth.

26 days ago

Balloons at a Juneteenth celebration at Weber State University. (KSL TV)...

Shelby Lofton

‘I think people get scared because it’s talking about slavery’: Weber State students, staff pause to celebrate and honor Juneteenth

Weber State University students and staff gathered on campus to reflect and celebrate Juneteenth.

27 days ago

Sponsored Articles

young male technician is repairing a printer at office...

Les Olson

Unraveling the dilemma between leasing and buying office technology

Carefully weigh these pros and cons to make an informed decision that best suits your business growth and day-to-day operation. 

A kitchen in a modern farmhouse....

Lighting Design

A room-by-room lighting guide for your home

Bookmark this room-by-room lighting guide whenever you decide to upgrade your lighting or style a new home.

Photo courtesy of Artists of Ballet West...

Ballet West

The rising demand for ballet tickets: why they’re harder to get

Ballet West’s box office is experiencing demand they’ve never seen before, leaving many interested patrons unable to secure tickets they want.

Electrician repairing ceiling fan with lamps indoors...

Lighting Design

Stay cool this summer with ceiling fans

When used correctly, ceiling fans help circulate cool and warm air. They can also help you save on utilities.

Side view at diverse group of children sitting in row at school classroom and using laptops...

PC Laptops

5 internet safety tips for kids

Read these tips about internet safety for kids so that your children can use this tool for learning and discovery in positive ways.

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why printer security should be top of mind for your business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Woman creates custom designed signs, drawing inspiration from her heritage