In his seminal song “Margaritaville,” Jimmy Buffett famously laments, “Blew out my flip-flop. Stepped on a pop-top.”
Of course, pop-top soda cans have long gone the way of pogs – bottle caps for passion-orange-guava juice or milk (originally from Haleakala Dairy) and a popular preoccupation for school kids in the 1990s. They exist only in memory or eclectic collections.
In the place of pop-tops today are tabs that stay on the can. The tabs can be easily removed and now hold their own brand of fascination achieving a second life of sorts as shiny, durable baubles for fashion accessories.
The bountiful Hawaiian Islands offer both locals and visitors a wide variety of experiences as well as treats that appeal to all five of our senses. Maui, most specifically, promises its guests a selection of beautiful scenery, mouthwatering food, and many other activities that are sure to quench your thirst for some R and R. Visiting this tropical paradise is sure to be a part of the bucket list of travelers from all over the world.
But what is a great Hawaii vacation getaway without souvenirs to share the experience with your closest family and friends? If you need some bright ideas on what are the best gifts from Maui to bring home after a great holiday, here are some of the top souvenirs that you can find during your stay!
Just ask Kekai Kahokuka’alani, owner of Kapa Curious, what makes her company unique, and she’ll talk about her roots, her ‘ohana, and about sharing the art of kapa making with the world. Here’s her story . . .
Born into a family of hula dancers, kapa makers, wood carvers, and lei makers I have been blessed to grow up thinking that it is normal to have art everywhere in a home. The smell of wauke and natural dyes would permeate the air while the ringing of tools carving into wood echoed in our ahupua’a on Moloka’i. When I became a mother, art took a backseat to providing for my daughter so when she decided to graduate from high school early, I was not prepared and found myself at a loss for what to do with my spare time. One day I found a piece of my mother’s kapa that she left behind from one of her visits, and I was suddenly compelled to embrace my art again. (more…)
Let’s face it; bags are essential for everyday life. They carry all of our belongings, our necessities, our not-so-necessary items, and we feel much safer knowing all of our “stuff” is stored securely in a single contraption.
Some bags are not as orthopedic friendly, not eco-friendly, and well, just not as cute as others. Some bags weigh ten pounds before putting a single thing in them, while some are made from real animals, and some are just plain fugly (yep, this is a word). So why do we put ourselves through this distress when there is a simple solution?
Channeling ancient tradition, deities, and culture, Maui-based Na Koa Brand marshals a minimalist style to create compelling pieces of wearable art. Na Koa translates to “fearless warrior”, and founder and clothing designer Daimus Kanahele says he strives to inspire adults and youth “to live life to the fullest, without fear”.
Art has the power to transform our world. Just ask artist and designer Leah Santos owner of “all I see is ART.”
Leah creates lightweight laser cut and carved wood jewelry that embodies Hawaiian motifs on high quality, locally sourced and imported wood. Each design has a significant story and tells a little more about the beauty found on Maui where she grew up.
Utilizing natural materials, Leah transforms them by using modern technology to carve intricate designs that emulate the beauty seen in our Hawaiian environment. The blending of art and technology allows her to be creative in an emerging field of fabrication.
Maui-born and Kihei-based photographer Amity Mason has created a razor-sharp niche that embraces Hawaii’s unmistakable sense of place. Her one-of-a-kind handbags, adorned with iconic isle motifs, suit themselves to almost any occasion, be it a beach day, luau or a reception at the Arts & Cultural Center. This, she maintains, is a natural outgrowth of her island roots.
“When not sewing, you can find me in the ocean – surfing, swimming, paddling,” says Mason, whose name fittingly means friendship and love.
Whether it be memories of your romantic Maui wedding on Kaanapali Beach, or your nostalgic childhood home in Haiku, Sparrow Seas allows visitors and residents alike—anyone for whom Hawaii is a special place—to display a unique piece of the islands close to their heart.
Sparrow Seas is a Maui-based designer and retailer of captivating jewelry inspired not only by the islands, but by the people who love them. Owner and designer Lynn Baldwin recalls something her mother-in-law always said, that her “heart was in Maui.”