News and reviews of made on Maui products and Maui-based companies and success stories. Also featuring island shopping guides

This is the first of a multi-part series of wedding posts, featuring interviews with a pair of Maui wedding professionals, to see what’s trending for the fall and into 2015!   Wanna be featured?  Scroll to the bottom for more info… 

red purple flower bouquet trend

Flowers by Opihi Love, Photography by Jenna Michelle

In this post:  Melissa Padilla, owner and stylist at Opihi Love Wedding and Event Design & Amy Alexander of Baked by Amy.

Opihi Love‘s Melissa shared that “we love that we’ve been seeing requests for more rich, luxurious colors – red, purples and greens!   We also love a fun theme that keeps popping up – upscale hipster with a bit of glam!”

Photo Booth Wedding Styling Trends 2015

Maui Wedding Photo Booth Rental Styling

Maui Dessert Bar Wedding Styling Ideas

Vendors featured in this section (except the top flowers): 

miss b calligraphy maui sign wedding Melissa continued that “right now it’s all about the wedding customization, pulling from Pinterest or Refinery 29- but putting a spin on it to make it your own. Everything from the invitations to the table numbers to the dessert bars have to be one of a kind- and we are not seeing the DIY as much now. Brides are back to hiring the professionals to create events of a lifetime.  Another great option for entertainment is a photo booth, and the new generation photo booth is a slo-mo video booth!”  Click here to view a sample video.

Opihi Love Wedding & Event Design is a boutique wedding planning & design studio. Opihi Love offers clients full service planning, coordination, design and styling, and a one-of-a-kind collection of boutique rentals. 

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beet cupcakes natural maui veganAmy of Baked by Amy, which specializes in vegan desserts, states that “Minis are IN! Miniature cupcakes and tarts are rapidly growing in popularity at weddings and other celebrations because they are hand held and bite size giving each guest a few options rather than just a slice of cake.  Also, it seems there is a lot of interest in desserts besides just cake and cupcakes.  I get requests for lemon bars, brownies, cookies, small pies and tarts.”

maui vegan dessert wedding event catering

baked by amy maui vegan dessert bar wedding

Featured Vendors in this section:

According to Amy, she loves it that “there are so many brides and grooms opting for vegan and gluten free options!  They figure that it will cover all of their bases for guests with sensitivities and allergies, plus it’s a little lighter on the waistline because who wants to feel too full when there’s dancing to be done?”

Baked by Amy specializes is delicious and creative vegan sweets, made with high quality local and organic ingredients. Besides special orders, Baked by Amy treats are available at Choice Health Bar, Aina Gourmet Market, Wailuku Coffee Co. and Honokowai Farmers Market.

maui vegan dessert bar vegan

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Want to submit YOUR pictures and trend notes?  Find a buddy (or two! a trio is OK too!) and send me a couple great shots for consideration! Current email is mauiliz77 (at) yahoo (dot) com! 

iselle.maui.effects.sandbag.paia Once again, things are on the move in Paia.  Hurricane Iselle spared Paia and most of Maui, but as I was taking pictures just a few days after the storm passed by, there were definitely a lot of sandbags and boarded up windows still to be found.  Baldwin Avenue has the habit of turning into Baldwin River during heavy rains, and the shopkeepers were taking no chances.

On to the town gossip – Just today the Maui News shared that the owners of Mana Foods have confirmed that they are indeed opening a raw-food restaurant serving lunch and dinner called Maka Mana.

Ono Gelato has changed its name to Paia Gelato, and the location has merged with its sister shop, Hana Bay Picnic Lunch company.  According to the owners, Paia Gelato is still using the original gelato recipes, using fresh local fruits as well as high quality bases direct from Italy.

Paia Gelato is also a great little spot to pick up some made on Maui products, like these

The jewelry shop Oceania Maui   – entered the shop very briefly known as Makai Gallery (and Paia Pharmacy before that) – and is now called Oceania Maui Gallery & Jewelry Paia.

oceania.maui.new.location.makai.glass

According to the paper sign on the door, the old location of oceania maui will be the new location for Pakaloha Bikinis some time this month.

Another new (though long time in waiting) addition to Paia is the opening of the Da Vine Art wine tasting bar.paia.wine.tasting.bar

Also in that little shopping center, Tortillas has closed down, and is heading west – to the Old Lahaina Center near Foodland (by Ulalena)

Lots of construction going on – just next door to Milagros (anyone know what’s going in?), at the old tiny shop lot, and the former Nellie’s site.

A fun new trend in Paia is these chalkboard signs – and there appears to be some serious competition going on for the most artistic signs!

Also, check out the upcoming sale at Pearl, and grab a brownie at nearby Dazoo to celebrate your great savings.

and because i just like these pics: here’s a snapshot from San Lorenzo and the wall next to Nellie Bistro

\see you in Paia

 

Blogging Disclaimer: I am a paid representative for Dazoo, but the brownies are seriously good.  and gluten-free!

Miss Saigon at the MACC

A couple years back (ok, make that 20), as a senior in high school, I recall getting a tour around the freshly opened Maui Arts and Cultural Centermiss saigon maui saigon cafe .  I remember standing on the vast stage, staring into a beautiful seating area and an even more impressive back stage.  The tour guide said, “this stage is built to hold Broadway sized productions, we can even have a helicopter like in Miss Saigon.”  This made my heart skip a beat, because just a few years prior (seriously, as a freshman, when I still lived in Maryland) we performed highlights from Miss Saigon in Chorus, and even drove up to the Big Apple to see it live.

If you have any inkling of what Miss Saigon is about (and if you don’t, there’s some adult topics, but I won’t ruin it for you if you are heading to see it yourself – and you SHOULD), you can imagine what kind of indelible impression this might have on a teen.  Spending months singing these amazing songs, packing on a big bus to drive up to NYC with a bunch of your buddies, then seeing this wonderful show with topics your parents would probably rather not discuss, and a dramatic surprise ending, that, even knowing the lyrics to all the major songs, I didn’t see coming.  Although I probably should have.

So lets just say that 20 years ago, I was ready to buy tickets to Miss Saigon at the MACC.  And after seeing what MAPA, the production company, did with Les Mis last summer, I’m even more excited than I was 20 years ago.  I might even go twice.

Here’s more information on the show, courtesy of the MACC:

From the company that brought you Les Misérables… MAPA LIVE presents Miss Saigon – for the first time ever on a Maui stage! This haunting and heart-wrenching love story of a Vietnamese bar girl and an American Marine during the fall of Saigon is a triumph of popular theater. With 45 performers and a live 21-piece orchestra, Miss Saigon explodes with the sweep and passion of opera couched in the gritty musical vernacular of our own time. An intimate story about the shattering effects of war on people who love each other, Miss Saigon is ultimately a moving testament to the power of the human spirit to survive. (Program contains mature themes and language.) Six shows only! Fri-Sat Aug 15-16 and 22-23 at 7:30 pm, and Sun Aug 17 & 24 at 2:00 pm

Pre-show dinner is provided by A Saigon Cafe (who else?)

A Whole New HUE

Maui is a world-class destination for a lot of things, but shopping? Not so much.  Sure we have cute little boutiques, and bikini shopping that is noteworthy, but for anything for the home, choices have been pretty limited – that was, until two talented young interior designers saw this void, and have been filling it, with gorgeous pillows, comfy yet stylish couches, handy hostess gifts and much more! Wendy Takemoto and Jessica Guard McLellan decided to open up HUE, a furniture and lifestyle store, and the results?  Well, they’ve been stunning.

maui furniture store best home furnishings“We were designers before we were in retail, and it was never possible to find pieces in our style on-island,” Jessica explained. “We knew other people must also be feeling that need. So we thought rather than ordering from mainland stores, why not open our own?”  And Maui shoppers heartily agreed, voting them Best New Business in 2013 and Best Home Furnishings in 2014 in the Maui Time Weekly’s Best of Maui readers’ poll.

maui furniture store best home furnishingsIn 2012, Wendy and Jessica opened HUE at their original retail and design space on Kahului’s Lalo Avenue.  Not quite two years later, with a good idea of what island shoppers were looking for, Wendy and Jessica jumped at the chance to move to a much larger space in an established location.  They are now located at the former Latitudes, as the anchor for a whole design center, with The Garden, supplying silk flowers, plants and arrangements, by Latitudes’ former purveyors, and Suda Shades, creating custom window treatments.

The new location is approximately 5,000 square feet, triple the size of their former location.  “Our goal is to have the island’s premiere home and lifestyle shop, and this new space brings us one step closer. We now can present an even wider range of carefully curated home and gift items” Jessica continued.  HUE is still Maui’s exclusive dealer for Lee Industries’ furniture, they have added a few new luxury furniture lines, including Lexington and Palecek, and have brought in some more affordable options as well. HUE is constantly adding to their inventory to offer fresh pieces for shoppers, with containers arriving monthly, and smaller shipments arriving even more frequently.

coastal tropical modern design aqua In addition to furniture, HUE is expanding their bed and bath collection, and offers a wide range of home accessories and gifts, including tabletop accessories, hostess gifts, jewelry, soaps and lotions, eco-friendly wrapping paper, coffee table books, lighting and more.  “We travel to the mainland two to three times a year for furniture and gift markets,” shared Wendy. “It’s the best way for us to see what’s current, to get the best possible pricing from our manufacturers, and to check out the quality of the pieces before we order.  We also get a lot of our inspiration when we travel to market. We love seeing other shops in cities like Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, North Carolina… It’s just good to see stores that aren’t ALL rattan and tropical.”

In addition to offering what’s trending across the country, HUE offers many locally made items including bags by True Story Company and Tiger Lily, compass watches by Pandeia, body products by Queen Bee Productions, jewelry by Kachi, Sophie Grace Maui, Jasmine Honey Designs and Salty Luxe Hawaii, pillows by BlueJane Maui, and eco-friendly wrapping paper by Wrappily. Featured Maui-based artists include Abigail Romanchak, Robert Suzuki and Dane Ward.

According to HUE’s Sales and Marketing Manager, Birgitte Golden, giving back to the Maui community is an important part of the business as well. “We sponsor and donate to many non-profit events, and even assist event design, like at the Pacific Cancer Foundation’s Kama’aina Christmas for the past two years. We also participate in other fundraisers, like the Lee Industries’ Lee Loves America campaign, with a portion of sales going to a local non-profit.” Birgitte continued that, “another great aspect of HUE is that it is locally-owned and operated – Aloha is engrained in who we are, and all customers are met with a down-to-earth, no pressure attitude.” All five team members are born and raised in Hawaii. In addition to Wendy, Jessica and Birgitte, the team includes Design Associate Heather Guard and Warehouse Manager Chris Auna.

Hue design studio interior decorators maui best hawaii

Wendy and Jessica also offer professional services including residential and commercial interior design, kitchen and bath design, architectural computer renderings, and more.  Appointments are recommended for design services.

As I chatted with Wendy and Jessica about their new space, I asked what they’ve learned so far in their foray into retail, and what surprises have come up along the way. “Our eyes have really been opened to how shipping affects the costs of goods,” explained Wendy.  “Also, people sometimes don’t fully understand that we are on an island in the middle of the ocean…things take longer to get here, and cost a little more.  As Jessica shares, “mainly, retail is a lot of work. And it’s a different beast in this era with online shopping, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram….it takes a lot more to stay ahead of the game, but these are also very powerful marketing tools if you know how to use them.”

And speaking of social media – you can follow HUE here: on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram

Mahalo to the HUE crew for the interview! 

KNOW BEFORE YOU GO: 

  • Location: 210 Alamaha St, Kahului
  • Hours: Mon- Fri – 9am- 5pm, Sat 10am – 4pm, Closed Sunday
  • Phone: (808) 873-6910
  • Website: mauihue.com

Disclaimer: I am a paid consultant for HUE, but the opinions are my own. 

I survived 27 miles of choppy seas, gusty tradewinds and mid-day tropical sun!  It was physically taxing and mentally tiring, and I wasn’t even racing!  I was a support person aboard one of the escort boats.  (click on any of the below images to view them a bit larger – sorry they are not the best, taken with iPhone on a bumpy boat ride!)

maui to molokai 2014 race SUP

The boat in the mirror is much larger than it appears…

Let me explain.  We have a boat.  It’s day job is a fishing vessel, but it moonlights with a much more exciting profession – escorting big wave surfers to Jaws during the winter months, and long-distance paddlers for channel crossings in the summer.  Normally I am “at home with the kids” or “working” but when an opportunity came up to crew on the boat, escorting several time World Champion and neighbor Kai Lenny on the M2M2014 (Maui to Molokai Stand Up Paddle Race), on a day when the grandparents (MAHALO) could watch the kids, I jumped at the chance.

kai lenny redbull headphones athlete

Getting Focused before the race

Now, I’ve been neighbors with Kai and the Lennys for years, and even lived next door to the family when the boys were little bitty kids, but I wasn’t sure what to expect from a kid guy (man?) that has traveled the world, is a champion in many water sports, and has recently been spotted around the island with celebrities ranging from the cast of Pretty Little Liars to rockers fromThird Eye Blind.  What I discovered Kai is friendly, humble, and the only thing deeper than his amazing work ethic and dedication is his love for his family.

What wouldn’t surprise anyone who has followed Kai’s amazing story is that his most loyal fans, his parents, were on board, but the amount of mutual love and respect that I was able to witness close up (it’s a pretty small boat, especially on the trip home) was just palpable, and as a mom of two young kids, inspiring.

kai lenny dad martin lenny

Kai gets a hug from Dad at the start of the race!

paula lenny kai lenny mom

Mom looks on with binos at the start of the race!

The original intent of this trip was to be able to report back about the behind-the-scenes aspects of the race, and the duties of the escort boat, but the emotional journey that I took, picturing my own son, now three, spreading his wings and going on his own adventures, and hopefully being able to experience just a part of it with him, was just so much more exciting!

I will say – the repairs at Mala Ramp were definitely appreciated, Honolua Bay is just gorgeous, the start of the race is very exciting, and  – if you are going to be an escort boat – being with one of the top finishers is the way to go!

maui to molokai start honolua bay maui

Just before the Start

I have actually never been to Molokai before, so to journey almost the whole southern length of the island and step just a few feet (enough to find a bathroom!) at Kaunakakai Harbor was a great adventure, and I would love to venture back to the island some day!

The race between the top four finishers, Connor Baxter, Kai Lenny, Dave Kalama and Travis Grant, was quite intense, it was almost like two separate races – the top four and then everyone else!  At one point in the middle of the Pailolo Channel, we could see the top four, all pretty close, and literally no one behind us. Not even the escort boats.

travis kai conner maui molokai

Three of the Top Four finishers sharing one swell after the start.

The Top Four - Kai, Travis, Conner and Dave

The Top Four – Kai, Travis, Conner and Dave (click to view much larger!)

EPiC Aerial Pro - Justin preps the drone

EPiC Aerial Pro – Justin preps the drone

As our sweet boat, actually named Sweet Alexandra, is accustomed, especially when at Jaws, there was a photographer on board.  This time was a new twist, a new, locally based drone-photography company, EPiC Aerial Productions joined the crew.  Justin and Nana, who started EPiC earlier this year, dreaming of one day filming Kai paddling the open ocean, and in a typical, yet magical Maui moment, they just so happened upon Kai’s backyard one day, and the rest is history.   Click HERE to see EPiC’s YouTube Video of the race!

maui drone operators

Justin flys the drone as he and Paula watch what the camera sees in special googles!

The boat captain, Matt (my husband) is an amazing multi-tasker and thrives on adrenaline, always performing best under pressure.  While this might not be quite as anxiety-ridden as driving a boat next to 60-foot breaking waves, while the photographer is demanding you ‘get closer!’ and the boat is loaded down with thousands of dollars of not only surfing gear, but camera equipment, escorting a paddle race has numerous challenges.

You need to stay near your paddler, but not too close.  You need to monitor the race course and recommend a track (unless there’s a coach and navigator on board). You need to watch out for other paddlers, boats, debris, etc in the water.  You need to make sure everyone on board is staying safe, with arms, legs and heads inside the boat. (this is amazingly difficult, we witnessed another boat with a passenger fall off, and I just read a report of someone falling into the same boat when boarding after the race). You need to make sure there is ample cold Coors Light to reward of-age racers at the finish line.  (ok, the crew is responsible for this- but someone needs to pack the cooler and ice)

Speaking of the end of the race: to read a recap and view the race results, CLICK HERE.  And here are some end of the race images for your enjoyment as well… 

drone maui

Watching the launch of the drone from the flybridge

Back to the multi-tasking captain – as if all this isn’t enough, add in a photographer, looking to get the perfect shot.  Then, to add another level, the photographer is flying a drone, which needs to be launched from and landed on the boat – which is bobbing and swaying in the rough ocean – oh, and the drone is NOT WATER PROOF!

I once asked my husband, as we were driving up the hill in the middle of the night in yet another tsunami evacation, with one sleeping kids and one almost 9 months along in my belly, “Isn’t your adrenaline pumping?” His reply “Not unless I’m in mortal danger.”

All in all, Justin and Nana of EPiC Aerial were able to successfully launch and land the drone THREE times!  I can’t wait to see the footage.  I hope to add it to the post in the future, but make sure to follow Maui Made on Facebook for notifications.

Justin and Nana wisely chose to ride the Molokai Ferry back to Maui, as Sweet Alexandra was loaded down with two very long SUPS, Kai and his parents, Jerry Bess, Captain Matt and yours truly, for a bumpy ride, all huddled inside the snug and dry cabin, all the way back to Mala.  Everyone returned with enthusiasm for the next Hawaiian adventure – Molokai to Oahu, which takes Captain Matt three days all told.

I’ll pass.

Want to see more pictures from the day? Here’s some more highlights:

Dazoo Restaurant is Maui’s best kept secret for hand-crafted cocktails, but with bloggers like ‘EZdrinking’ discovering this Paia restaurant and spreading the word, the secret is soon to be out.

Dazoo is gaining attention for their creative cocktails using fresh squeezed, locally sourced juices and Maui made liquors. This month, they are launching Pau Vodka Night, on Wednesday, July 16, from 5-7pm.

On the third Wednesday of each month, Dazoo’s talented team of bartenders, lead by Jimmy Shoemaker, will create four new cocktails featuring Pau Vodka (crafted using Maui pineapples just up the road in Haliimaile) and other local ingredients.

Pau Vodka’s master distiller Mark Nigbur will also be at the event, to answer questions and entertain the crowds!

Dazoo cocktails, best, maui, vodka

Jimmy Shoemaker, Dazoo’s bartender, and Mark Nigbur, Pau Vodka’s master distiller, will be serving up great drinks and lots of laughs the third Wednesday of every month

I was invited to sample and photograph the cocktails (its a rough job, but someone has to do it!) to help promote the upcoming event, and all I can say is I’ve already made my reservations (and you should too!).

In July, the featured cocktails will be:

maui best cocktail pineapple vodka martini Plantation Fire

“Everything in this cocktail is either roasted, grilled, dried, or infused with heat in some way!”  

Pau Vodka, pickled pineapple with Hawaiian chili peppers by Maui Preserved, grilled oranges, roasted and creamed coconut (courtesy of the bakers at Moana Bakery), dried nutmeg

red rocker maui best cocktail vodkaRed Rocker

“Enjoy the flavors of the summer, just like you are back in Grandpa’s rocking chair” 

Pau Vodka, house made strawberry shrub, thai basil, lime juice, rhubarb bitters

 

 

Maui Best cocktail paia mauiDa Suzie Experience

“Suzie is a little bit sweet, a little tangy…” 

Pau Vodka, Lillet (a floral fortified wine), Cava sparkling wine, Upcountry grapefruit juice, lime juice, celery bitters

 

 

 

tao pau maui best cocktail Tao of Pau

“The path to relaxation” 

Pau Vodka, St. Germain, fresh blackberries, lemon juice, mint garnish

 

 

 

Will you be attending the event?  Take photographs of your favorite drink and post it on social media using #PauVodkaNight to enter to win special prizes!

 

Reservations are now available by phone 579-9999 or through opentable.com

 

Blogging Disclaimer: I am a paid spokesperson for Dazoo, but the opinions are my own! 

pilialoha keiki hawaiian clothing company children kids

It seems like at least a monthly occurrence, the invitation arrives in your email inbox for a baby shower, baby luau or child’s birthday party.  Time to head out again to shop around for the perfect present, but what kind of toys do they like?  Do they already have this book?  What is something every child can use and every parent can appreciate? Clothes - especially ones with eye-catching designs, inspired by the culture of Hawai`i.  Working mom and budding entrepreneur Rondy answered a few of our questions about her brand new children’s clothing line, Pilialoha Keiki. Rondy, a teacher, started the line along with her husband, a registered nurse.

lea lea hawaii red bird shirt girls

Le`ale`a means Joy and Fun in Hawaiian. The ‘i’iwi bird, or native Hawaiian honeycreeper, is also on the Pilialoha Keiki logo.

Maui Made: Where did the idea come from? 

Rondy: About 3 years ago my husband wanted to start a food based business so I decided to take a class put on by the Maui Economic Development board to learn how to start a business.  The food idea didn’t stick but I had to come up with a business idea quick so that I could write a business plan in the class.  At the time I had a young daughter at home and couldn’t find any clothes that reflected positive, local values and images.  I decided to write a business plan based on this idea and called the company “Pilialoha Keiki”. Pilialoha is my husband’s middle name and it means “My Beloved”.  I finished the business plan and the class, but after the class we didn’t pursue starting the company.  We were busy with work and we also had another addition to our family so we just dropped the idea.

On New Years Day 2014, my husband and I decided that we needed to do something for ourselves and we revisited the idea. I started drawing up designs and my husband worked on finding venues to sell the clothing.  So far we have met some obstacles but we love the opportunities that this business has given us.  My husband and I are introverted but by creating this business we go places we would normally wouldn’t go to, we meet so many great people, and we feel like we have grown so much by putting ourselves out there.  I hope that the meanings behind the clothing will transcend the Hawaiian culture and will be meaningful to all parents and their beloved keiki.

little opihi baby shirt onesie hawaii MM: Any items that are more popular so far? 

Rondy: So far our biggest seller is our “Little Opihi” onesies.  I think that term is so endearing in Hawaii and people are so proud to say that they have an opihi.

MM: Where are the shirts silk screened?

Rondy: When I was thinking about starting the business, a former student walked into my class and said that he just got a job at a silk screening company named All Island Printworks.  It was like fate, so we went with them.  They are located in Kahului by Ace Hardware.

mahalo greeting cardMM: You’ve also made a line of greeting cards, where are they printed? 

Rondy: At first I went with a mainland company because I thought it would be the cheapest and easiest.  After my first batch, I wasn’t too impressed so I searched around and found Ace Printing Services here in Wailuku.  They are so nice and have great prices!

hawaii onesieMM: Are you the artist behind all these designs?  

Rondy: Yes, I design all the artwork.  It’s so fun to do art again that I’ve been trying lots of techniques like drawing, linoleum printing, and computer generated art. I think I’m trying to be an artist again after about 10 years of not doing any art.

hawaii onesieMM: Where can people buy your products? 

Rondy: We have an Etsy shop, and right now we have been going to different craft fairs and events.  We keep people updated on where we will be at through Instagram (@pilialoha_keiki) and Facebook.  People also contact us to buy from us directly.

MM: What’s next for you company? 

Rondy: We’re so excited to be accepted to the Made in Hawaii Festival in August as well as the Made in Maui County Festival in November.  So far this experience has been amazing and we are just letting the business grow slowly and see where it takes us.

pilialoha keiki merrie monarch kids clothes shirts

Pilialoha Keiki Booth at their First Event: Merrie Monarch

Mahalo to Randy for sharing her story!  

 

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