Our business started out as just a hobby for Master Carver Robert Taitano and the family back in the early 1980’s displaying items in his home in Yigo, and soon at the request of our house guests we started making profit, which lead to an idea of opening a small business where we can offer our products to the island.
The “Ifit Shop” is a family business that manufactures ifit wood products, carvings and furniture which are all 100% authentic and made on Guam. All products have been produced exclusively by Guam’s Master Carver Robert Taitano and son (Robert Taitano, Jr.).
Master Carver Robert Taitano is one of the few oldest traditional Chamorro artisans left on Guam whose work illustrates the Chamorro culture through ifit wood carvings of latte stones, matatis, and depictions of Sirena Legend, Gadao, Two Lover’s and Guam’s tropical landscape and scenery. Mr. Taitano has created living and dining room sets, clocks, cutting boards, backgammon boards, display shelves (known as the family tree), plaques, fruit bowls, and many more including personalized products all made out of ifit wood throughout his lifetime and continues his traditional Chamorro craftsmanship with his son Robert Taitano, Jr. to this day.
The “Ifit Shop” produces about 20 – 40 pieces of artwork a week. We offer popular items of gift choices for those who would like to present something uniquely from Guam. About 50% of our customers is from the Military personnel and their families requesting for a memorable item that will remind them of their stay on the island of Guam. In addition, our business has specially made nameplates for the Senator of the Guam Legislature. We have also carved numerous ifit trophies and award recognition plaques for various island competitions.
All products made by the “Ifit Shop” and displayed on our site are carved 100% by hand and NOT by a machine; this way we ensure that all our customers receive a traditional, “Made on Guam” product when you order from the “Ifit Shop”.
In addition to our products displayed on our site, we also take special/custom orders. If you want to a specific scene or wording created you can contact us for a quote and time frame for completion of your personalized ifit wood product. If you decide to purchase a personalized ifit wood product, payment MUST be made upfront before any production begins. You are guaranteed to get a unique piece of ifit wood product from the “Ifit Shop”.
The ifit tree is the official territorial tree of Guam. It grows on the island of Guam, the ifit tree can also be found in other islands around the Marianas as well as throughout the Pacific. The ifit tree is also known as ifil or ipil tree. The ifit is a medium to large, slow growing evergreen tree. At maturity, it ranges in height from 7 to 45m tall, but rarely exceeds 25m in Guam. It has a strong and reddish brown with heartwood yellow to orange wood. It has high resistance to attacks by termites. The bark and leaves of the ifit tree have been used in traditional medicine, and the tree has become endangered in most areas where it grows and almost extinct because of excessive logging due to the desirable characteristics of the wood.
The ifit tree grows best in areas receiving excessive rainfall, but will tolerate long dry seasons. It prefers rocky well-drained soils, strongly acidic to strong alkaline; it will also tolerate a wide range of soil types including inundated inland areas. Although, it is a lowland, tropical rain forest tree often in areas bordering mangroves, swamps, rivers, or floodplains; ifit will grow inland up to 600m.
The ifit wood is an extremely strong reddish wood once used for interior woodwork for houses. When polished and finished the wood has a lively, shiny look to it making it an attractive piece of furniture or display piece inside the home. During the old days the people of Guam traditionally used ifit wood for flooring, furniture, posts and beams for homes. Today, ifit wood is carved for centerpieces in the home, display artwork to hang in homes, musical instruments and on occasion for an attractive piece of furniture in the home.