New Gift Shop in Town

Makana Nui owner Denise Taueetia (left) and her daughter Jaylene Nuesca. Photo by Natasha Westhoff.

A new gift shop has opened in downtown Kaunakakai, near Molokai Pizza, in the Huina Center. Makana Nui Hawaiian Gift Shop held its grand opening on Mother’s Day, and business has been good so far, according to owner Denise Taueetia.

Taueetia, who used to own Denise’s Gifts of the Islands in Kualapu`u, along with her husband Afa, said that her customers are starting to follow her to her newest venture in town.

“A lot of my returnees from when I was in Kualapu`u didn’t really know I had moved,” she said. “But the flow has been coming through, and people have been saying ‘Oh we found you!’”

The new store features a wide variety of Hawaiian and tropical themed items, including ornaments, jewelry from the South Pacific and neighbor islands, clothing, sarongs, and assorted home goods like lamps, gourd bowls, curtains and pillows. They also plan to expand in the future to include more furniture.

Photo by Natasha Westhoff

After 14 years at her shop in Kualapu`u, Taueetia said the decision to open this new shop in town was brought about by her family, and some divine inspiration.

“It was time to move on because my children decided to work with me,” she said. “I just knew it was the time already. Because I trust in the Lord, I trust in God, and whenever I hear that voice, it was just that time. It was time to move.”

Taueetia said a majority of her customer base is local customers, many of whom know her from her many years as a presence at the Saturday farmers market, selling, as she put it, “Anything I could get.” Her main goal with the new shop is to provide items to the community that they may have a hard time finding themselves, and to give back to them whenever possible. Recently, for instance, she found herself with a surplus of phone covers, which she then offered to her farmers market customers free of charge.

“My desire is just to help the people with whatever that they cannot find here on the island, that they can come to me,” she said.

Makana Nui Hawaiian Gift Shop is open Tuesday through Friday from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
You can keep up with them on Facebook at Makanuimolokai, or via email or telephone,
808-553-8158, makananuillc@yahoo.com.

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