Tia Yamanaka was born and raised in Hilo, Hawaii. While in high school, Tia worked as a sales associate at Big Island Surf Company, which is where her initial interest in fashion began. Tia also had the opportunity to intern for Mun and Sun Co., a large manufacturer and distributor located in the fashion district of Los Angeles. As an intern for Mun and Sun Co., Tia was able to see the inner workings of the fashion industry, which deepened her obsession with fashion.

After graduating from Waiakea High school in 2004, Tia began her collegiate career at the University of Hawaii at Hilo, where she earned a bachelor's degree in psychology.

With her bachelor's degree in hand, Tia went on to pursue her original dream of attending the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising (FIDM) in Los Angeles, California.

While attending FIDM, Tia worked as a sales representative at T& A showroom. As a sales representative for T&A, Tia represented both men's and women's clothing and accessory lines, selling to every kind of store, from large chain stores to small boutiques throughout California and Nevada.

After obtaining a professional designation degree in merchandising from FIDM, Tia decided to move back to Hilo and bring L.A. fashion with her. With a new idea for Hilo and an untapped market to conquer, Tia then decided to open The Boutique Hilo, HI.