Support Local: April Showers Bring May Flowers
Written by Kailanianna Ablog
They say April showers bring May flowers, and for Hawaiʻi, May starts off with Lei Day. Meant to celebrate Hawaiian culture, Lei Day is celebrated every May 1st regardless of the day it falls on. The act of making and gifting lei represents love, friendship or/and to honor someone.
From graduations, prom and Mother’s Day, this month’s edition of Support Local focuses on a handful of Oʻahu-based lei and flower shops who continue to provide our communities with the beauty of nature, despite current global flower shortages due to supply chain and crop-related obstacles. The next time you’re in need of a lei, bouquet, or a pick-me-up for yourself, consider supporting the following shops (and let us know of your favorite spots on our social media pages)!
The Kaimukī Lei Stand
The Kaimukī Lei Stand can be found at various pop-ups around the island. Photo Courtesy of The Kaimukī Lei Stand.
When COVID-19 hit the islands in March 2020, many people had their foundations shaken, especially those in school and the hospitality industry. For Keoni and Makamae Williams, who were furloughed from their hospitality jobs in April 2020, they decided to continue sharing love and support to the community in a different way.
Inspired by the vintage leis of old Hawaiʻi, Keoni and Makamae chose to make their dream a reality through The Kaimukī Lei Stand, which combines their love of lei and vintage aloha wear.
“Already huge lovers of vintage aloha wear, we wanted to create something with a nostalgic feel & pair the two together,” Keoni and Makamae said.
Currently operating through pop-ups at events across the island of Oʻahu, the lei stand carries a plethora of lei made using locally-grown flowers.
“We carry a wide selection of lei from flowers locally grown right here in Hawai'i. We do a lot of ‘kui’ style lei, which is sewn with a needle & string,” Keoni and Makamae said, “Plumeria, crownflower, pīkake, pakalana, puakenikeni, 'ohai ali'i, tuberose, & kou just to name a few.”
Along with their pop-ups, The Kaimukī Lei Stand also accepts lei orders.
“Majority of our orders are done on IG messaging (@TheKaimukiLeiStand) but people may also email us at thekaimukileistand@gmail,” Keoni and Makamae said. “Since we are a made to order lei stand we kindly ask for 1 week notice prior to pickup date.”
The Kaimukī Lei Stand's brand colors are Pala Luhiehu (Golden Yellow) and ʻŌmaʻoʻmaʻo (Green). Photo Courtesy of The Kaimukī Lei Stand.
Through their lei-making and celebration of vintage aloha wear, Keoni and Makamae hope their work reminds folks of the power of aloha and encourages them to continue sharing and giving love and support.
“Our hope for The Kaimukī Lei Stand is to spread aloha through each handcrafted lei and inspire others to do the same!” Keoni and Makamae said.
If you’re looking to gift lei made upon a foundation of aloha and love of old Hawaiʻi and nostalgia, consider connecting with The Kaimukī Lei Stand on Instagram and Facebook. You can also catch them in action at their next pop-up(s)!
The Hawaiian Lei Company Logo. Courtesy of The Hawaiian Lei Company.
Kaka’ako is home to many small, local businesses and eateries. The next time you are on Halekauwila Street, be sure to visit The Hawaiian Lei Company!
Located at 849 Halekauwila Street, Honolulu, HI 96813, this lei shop believes in the importance of “sharing the aloha way” and ensuring all people feel a part of the Hawaiian Lei Company family. The business is locally-owned by Mid-Pacific Institute alumna Summer and her husband.
“There is something to be said about the familiar adage ‘Living Aloha,’” co-owner Summer writes on the business’s “About Us” tab, “In keeping with the local Hawaiian traditions, I find myself, today, teaching the same values of respect, honor, and commitment to my children and staff. We, The Hawaiian Lei Company, are committed to ‘sharing the aloha way’ and making you feel like part of our family.”
The lei shop offers its patrons a plethora of lei selections in various colorways; they also sell lei “packages” for special occasions, such as graduations and weddings, and arrangements. Some of their best-selling leis include their Orchid (available as single or double), Plumeria, Ginger, Kukui Nut with Ti Leaf, and Maile Leis. They also offer papale nui (coconut frond hats), lei making kits, and candy leis, for our loved ones with a sweet tooth.
Each lei or arrangement you order will be created with fresh flowers. The Hawaiian Lei Company provides nationwide shipping and a 100% freshness guarantee that your orders will arrive “garden-fresh and lovely.” For our communities on Oʻahu, they offer local delivery, and same-day shipping through FedEX or UPS. For more pricing information, visit their “Shipping” section on their website (linked here).
They can create custom leis, as well.
“We are often asked if we can accommodate special and custom requests. Yes, yes, and yes!,” The Hawaiian Lei Company writes on their “Our Commitment to You” tab, “We love a challenge and enjoy creating unique, custom leis by means of your creativity and originality. Also, there is such a diverse assortment of leis; it is difficult to exhibit them all on our website. To make a special request, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us toll free at 1-888-395-LEIS (5347).”
The Hawaiian Lei Company can create custom leis and arrangements, including these special lei consisting of blonde and marble kukui nuts, shells and crownflowers for the Marriot Waikiki! Photo Courtesy: The Hawaiian Lei Company
Interested in giving more than lei?Leis are always a wonderful option when gifting and celebrating someone or an occasion. For those who wish to give an alternative gift within the flower spectrum, consider visiting the following local shops for some potted plants, planters, and more!
Mari's Urban Garden Logo. Courtesy of Mari's Urban Garden.
Created by Mari’s Gardens, a family-owned and operated farm and nursery, Mari’s Urban Garden is a plant shop that supports the community’s love of sustainability and nature. On their farm, they promote “sustainable living, urban farming, and buying local” through their dedication to using various techniques to bring our communities quality goods, including their ornamental indoor and outdoor plants.
Located at the Imperial Plaza on 725 Kapiolani Blvd (C-119), Honolulu, HI 96813, Mari’s Urban Garden has a variety of greenery, pots, gardening tools and accessories for budding plant parents and enthusiasts alike. From succulents, cacti, dried flower bundles, Pitcher Plants, ceramic planters, rattan vases, and plant pins, you’ll definitely be seeing green (in a good way)! For those who wear their (plant) hearts on their sleeves, their Sweet Enemy x Mari’s Garden collaboration, which features a “Your Mind is a Garden” tee, sweater and reversible bucket hat, would make a great addition to your closet (or a gift to the plant lover in your life)!
Mari's Urban Garden offers many potted plants and much more, perfect for the garden lover(s) in your life. Courtesy of Mari's Urban Garden.
The next time you are visiting Ala Moana, Kaka’ako, or Ward, don’t forget to stop by Mari’s Urban Garden! They are open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. They are closed on Sundays. You can enjoy two-hour free validated parking or street parking.
Stay connected with Mari’s Urban Garden on Instagram and Facebook!
Plantoem is a plant shop, cafe and community gathering place that features plants, workshops, and positive vibes. Courtesy of Plantoem.
Having its soft opening on August 1, 2021, Plantoem is a plant shop in Kaimuki that combines a love of plants, coffee, and poetry. Created by Zoe Zhang, Plantoem is located on 3457 Waialae Ave Unit 203, Honolulu, HI 96816.
“I personally love plants, coffee and poetry and I thought it would be lovely to be able to combine the three. Hence my shop name Plantoem which is a word I made up by putting plant and poem together,” Zoe said.
Those who are in search of the perfect plant for their home will find Plantoem to be a great option, as they carry many types of indoor plants to help spruce up any space, especially homes and workspaces.
“We offer a very wide range of indoor plants, and a good amount of cacti, succulent, outdoor plants, terrariums and rare plants,” Zoe said. “Our Begonia and Calathea are very popular in the shop.”
You'll never be lacking GREEN while at Plantoem! Look at all the luscious plants that line the walls of the plant shop! Courtesy of Plantoem.
Along with their plant offerings, Plantoem is also a place of community. Each month, Plantoem offers different workshops and events. Zoe posts news and information regarding these happenings on Instagram, and sign-up links are always available in Plantoem’s Linktr.ee, located in the plant shop’s Instagram bio.
Keiki with developing green thumbs may enjoy Plantoem’s terrarium classes, held every second Sunday of the month. Those who love the music scene and are budding poets can also stop by the plant shop every third Sunday for Plantoem’s Monthly Jazz and Poetry nights. This event is free, and runs from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
It is through Plantoem’s diversity of offerings that Zoe hopes her plant shop can become a beacon of education, good times, and positive vibes.
“I hope Plantoem will become a spot for where people can learn to take care of plants in the right ways,” Zoe said. “And also a community spot for everyone to enjoy all of our events.”
You can visit Plantoem Wednesday through Sundays from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. You can also stay up-to-date with the latest news and plant shop events by following their Instagram page.