Gift Local, Support a Dream, Part 2
By Sage Yamashita, Intern Reporter
Shopping Molokai-made products will be the highlight of gift-giving during the holiday season. To give an inside look on Molokai gifts, a selection of local artisans, crafters and shops are featured for the next couple of weeks in The Molokai Dispatch. This week, we talked with the Molokai entrepreneurs behind Hulalei Designs and Buji-fied about supporting the island’s community, while keeping your money local this holiday season.
Lehua Paris is the creator behind the brand Hulalei Designs and the terms “Eat more Veg’Aina” and “Making Mo’olelos.” These brand terms are frequently heard and seen on Molokai.
“I actually started off making jewelry,” said Paris. “That is Hualei Designs. But then I thought, can we make something for men, too.”
Paris grew up on Molokai. Living off the land in the valley and her thrive for going out to make memories and make stories inspired her most well-known taglines.
“‘Eat More Veg’Aina’ basically means to eat more vegetation from the land, not necessarily vegan or vegetarian, but whatever you can gather or grow,” explained Paris. “Also supporting our local farmers and knowing where your food comes from.”
Growing from hats and earrings to adding shirts, jackets and accessories, Paris’ brand grew to a wide range for everyone in the ‘ohana. You can find Hulalei Designs and Paris’ popular lines online, on social media and in shops all over Molokai, including Buji-fied.
Buji-fied started last holiday season to expose Tylor Tanaka’s brand and other local vendors to Molokai’s community. Tanaka’s shop is now located at Paddlers Restaurant and Bar.
“We have about 15 different local artists, vendors, makers or crafters in the store,” said Tanaka. “We try to look for different things that people don’t normally see here.”
The store features many local brands like I’ini Designs, Amanda Kathryn Jewelry, Kūleʻa & Co., Kreations by Kennedy, and many more. Buji-fied’s own line is described by Tanaka as unique and something you won’t find anywhere else on Molokai. MoloWays is a featured line that offers gear with style.
Buji-fied provides different ways to shop the store. Online, it has all in-store products and inventory. There is the option of ordering or pick up at the store.
With all the options to shop this holiday, remember to prioritize shopping local.
“Not only are you supporting a local family or person, but it just shows that we can work together,” said Paris.
Look out for our next story featuring more of Molokai’s local businesses and check out our Instagram @molokaidispatch to tell us your favorite places to shop on island or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.