Getting INTO The Swing Of Things

Linda Dela Cruz
Wednesday - March 14, 2007
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Alan Carrell (left) and Glenn Stewart are really INTO unusual things
Alan Carrell (left) and Glenn Stewart are really INTO
unusual things

Whether it’s choosing a handbag fashioned of soda can tabs, or colorful baskets made of telephone wires in South Africa, or a local artist’s vase made of newspapers and magazines, Alan Carrell and Glenn Stewart are living their dream of living in Hawaii and owning a retail shop stocked with unique items.

“We have interesting things with value,” explains Stewart.

Their 1,000-square-foot shop in downtown Honolulu, INTO, offers a wide variety of unusual merchandise from capiz shell jewelry to serving dishes to fashionable laptop computer bags. While the store’s inventory is ever changing, one line currently featured is Simon Sebbag silver jewelry. Other good sellers are reading glasses, and lamps designed by local artist Mark Chai. There’s even a line of handbags designed by a vegan that are nonleather and made in the greenest way possible. INTO also carries specialty books from publishers including Assouline, Taschen and teNeues.

The power of word of mouth in the downtown business community is alive and well.

“Everyone tries to refer people to each other’s businesses so people can experience the downtown area,” says Carrell. “These other businesses are our family.”

INTO especially enjoys traffic during First Friday events.

The shop opened in June 2006 and word of mouth, not press releases, has earned the shop national recognition in publications such as Architectural Digest, House Beautiful, Conde Nast and the New York Times Magazine.

Carrell, who lives in Kaimuki, has extensive experience representing fabric and furniture lines.

Stewart, who makes his home downtown, previously worked in the petroleum industry. Carrell is in charge of the merchandising, while Stewart handles the business accounting.

With one part-timer to help out in the retail facility, INTO also caters to a large base of wholesale clients in architecture and interior design with furniture, lighting and fabrics from Alaxi Fabrics, Kathryn M. Ireland, Malabar Fabrics and Raoul Textiles.

INTO is located on 40 N. Hotel St. off Smith Street. Hours of operation are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday. For more information, call 536- 2211, or log onto

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