Last month Ka Wai Ola continued its annual tradition of providing free advertising to Native Hawaiian-owned businesses – and we continue that effort by showcasing several gems in our Native Hawaiian community.
If you‘re on the hunt for unique gifts this holiday season, the Office of Hawaiian Affairs encourages you to ka‘ko‘o ‘oihana ‘ōiwi, support Native-Hawaiian owned businesses as you do your holiday shopping. We also found a few items we aloha to provide some inspiration. – Ku‘ualoha Lau
1. Kahiau Jerky Co.
Proudly made in Aiea, Hawai‘i, Kahiau Jerky Co. sells ‘ono varieties of jerky, fish and more. From spicy to savory and a whole lot of flavors in between, this is a yummy snack that the whole ‘ohana can enjoy. Prices range from $5 to $20
2. Kamohoali‘i Dezigns
Slip into wearable art from Dezigns by Kamohoali‘i’s line of clothing. Designer Micah Kamoali‘i finds inspiration in his ‘ohana’s kapa legacy, evident through his striking Hawaiian designs, metaphoric imagery, symbolism and interpretations. Dezigns by Kamohoali‘i honors all of Hawai‘i‘s natural environments, as well as the excellence and brilliance of the Hawaiian race. Dezigns by Kamohoali‘i also honors kūpuna and perpetuates Hawaiian culture through versatile clothing. Prices available at pop-ups and via email.
3. Ha‘aheo Hawaiian Crafts
Want to gift your loved ones with a rare and unique gift? Ha‘aheo Hawaiian Crafts specializes in handcrafted beautiful jewelry made in Hawai‘i. Currently their items consist of Ni‘ihau shell lei, seed lei and lauhala weaving. Lauhala earrings and seed lei start at $10. Ni‘ihau shell lei and jewelry prices range $60 to $10,000.
4. Akau Boards
Gift a handmade Akau Board to a loved one who enjoys being a home chef. These beautifully crafted cutting boards come in a variety of styles and sizes to choose from. They are perfect for on-the-go and at home. Akau Boards also offers handmade butcher blocks, cheese/charcuterie boards, coasters, knives, knife blocks, bottle openers and more! Boards start at $56.
5. Na Maka Kahiko
The perfect blend of our past and our present can be found in wearable art created by Wilfred Andrade. All pieces are hand-carved, inspired by our kūpuna. For the past 20 years, Andrade has carved bone, makau and koi as well as ohe kupala to create several fine styles of jewelry and accessories.
Kumumea started off as a way for Big Island business woman Lai Sha to cope with the emotional and physical strain of breast cancer. Soon, it blossomed into a limited collection of handbags, pareos, apparel, holiday ornaments and more. Accessories start at $40.
7. Maile Girl Designs
Designer Maile Kaipo creates beautiful women’s clothing that reflects cultural and traditional trends. The Maile Girl Designs also includes jewelry and bags. Apparel prices start at $35.
8. Salt Water Heals
Salt Water Heals is known for their creative designs, which are featured on shirts, hats, vinyl decals, clutches and more. The line is designed and printed in Hawai‘i, with local flavor added through sayings like Salt Water Heals, Aloha State of Mind, Aloha ‘Āina, Mauka to Makai. Hats start at $24.