As tīfaifai definitely brightens up a room, Rava has lit up several scenes from her performance as fierce competitor for best dancer in heiva 2018, to Fashion Weeks in Hawaii through her glamorous dresses and designs passing by Vogue magazine exhibiting hand-made jewelry with hand-picked shells. American by her father and Polynesian/French by her mother, many options were unfolding before Rava in terms of university studies. Hawaii and New York had her heart at the time, she’s becoming a talented designer to eventually get her degree in Design and Fashion from Parsons The new school for Design, in 2017. She has been lucky enough to combine her urge to create and her passion for travels, working on Hawaiian Airlines as a flight attendant for almost ten years. However, she has never felt as fulfilled as she is, today, when she’s making a tīfaifai from home, allowing her to look after her family and stay close to her children.
« When my kumu passed away and he never got to see my finished work, I kept thinking this is just really sad if somebody is perpetuating the culture he lives into and then he dies then the culture dies with him! I had a lot of reflecting and meditating upon it. It’s actually happening. He died and I was one the people that had a little bit of his knowledge. My kumu’s name : John Serrao. »
Back in Tahiti, Rava felt like the art of making tīfaifai wasn’t as alive as it was in Hawaii. She wanted to create spaces, gathering people around the tīfaifai. But feelings of unworthiness and fear to offend people and doing the wrong manner held her back until her kumu (teacher in Hawaiian language) passed away. One day she had just decided that keeping the culture alive was more important than getting her feelings hurt. In 2021, the adventure had begun and she was hosting people in her house and giving quilting classes and tīfaifai classes which are slightly different.
« The last process is gifting, or displaying on a bed or in your house, I like the idea that tīfaifai need to live, I don’t think they should just sit in a drawer in the dark. I think that they should be appreciated and loved, touched , and they should be part of the family. »