Anyone who knows me knows there are two things I live for: Travel and Shopping. On a recent trip to Hawaii I took advantage of the local design opportunities. Many think that it’s difficult to find resources when you travel, but I encourage you to explore, drive around, and read local journals. Look for items that are local/regional signature pieces.
Everyone agrees that Hula girls are the trademark of Hawaii, and as a result, I wanted to find a Hula Lamp for my house. I went to a local shop, Hula Lamps of Hawaii, and found exactly what I was looking for. Their showroom is up in the hills of Kailua Kona, in an industrial park. They have antique-inspired lamps and can tell you the history of each design, and how each dancer’s movements tell a story. Not only can you choose the pose, but you can select custom shades and automated skirts as well. Founded by Charles Moore in 1997, Hula Lamps is not only an Island favorite, but has become the world’s premier hula lamp manufacturer.
“Each lamp is painstakingly cast and finished, resulting in something special and unique that will be cherished for generations. . . . Charles’ current efforts focus on designing and creating his own more detailed and contemporary styled hula girl lamps. His bronze lamps have become one of the most sought after treasures by visitors to Hawaii wishing to take home something truly special and unique.”
For more information, go to www.hulalamps.com to see their wide array of choices.
Many years ago, I fell in love with a rug in our hotel room at Hualalai, and our hotel was kind enough to forward me to the store that made it, Indich Collection. Indich Collection is a local boutique that uses traditional hand-made techniques to produce innovative rug designs and custom sizes. “Inspired by the beauty of Hawaii, Indich Collection is one the most artful hand-woven carpet collections of the world. As direct importers with the largest inventory in the Pacific we have stock on hand to meet your interior decorating needs from fine Orientals to dhurries.”
Be sure to visit Indich’s online showroom at www.indichcollectionhawaii.com to see their selection of deep, plush rugs featuring beautiful tropical themes and colors. One of these custom carpets would be a great accent piece to bring a touch of Hawaii to your home.
No trip to the Big Island would be complete without visiting a coffee plantation. The owners of Watson-Kabei Coffee Estate supply their 100% Kona coffee to the Four Seasons Hotel on the Big Island.
“Dale Kabei and Gretchen Watson-Kabei established their 5-acre Kona coffee farm located at Hualalai Farms in Holualoa, Hawaii in 2004. Their premium Kona coffee is a 464 degree Fahrenheit dark roast, rich in flavor. Until recently, their Kona coffee was only available to select clientele. Watson-Kabei Coffee is presently being served at a number of fine restaurants on the Island of Hawaii, and to many connoisseurs of great coffee across the WORLD! “
You can place your order online at www.watsonkabeicoffee.com. I promise you will not regret it!
Another unique food item native to the island is honey, and Big Island Bees Honey is the best I have sampled. Their honey is unique, because it is a single-source honey, meaning the bees collect the nectar and pollen from only one type of flower. Each of the three honey flavors has its own distinct color, texture and taste due to the blossom’s soil, rainfall and temperature in which it grew. Big Island Bees sells three different varieties: Wilelaiki, O’hia Lehua Blossom and Macadamia Nut Blossom. Orders can be placed online at www.bigislandbees.com.
On the off chance you decide to drive around the island, check out Hawi Town. This small town on the North side of the Big Island is full of interesting shops and art galleries. I stopped in an interesting boutique, Elements, owned by John Flynn. “[He] opened Elements in 1999 as a showcase for locally handmade art and fine crafts, including his own niobium, silver and 14k jewelry. Elements has grown to be a local favorite for its unique collection of colorful, high quality jewelry and art, educated and friendly staff, commitment to artists and superb customer service.” Visit their website, www.elementsjewelryandcrafts.com to see just some of what Elements has to offer.
No matter if you’re relaxing in the sun on a tropical island, or visiting a hectic metropolis, be sure to set aside some time to explore the local shops and businesses. You may discover a unique memento to take back home with you to remember your experiences.