Going Native In Waikiki
(from left) Mike Kop, Maile Lee, Ron and Daniel
Fujikake, Syl Kop, Maile Meyer and Kauhane Lee
of Mana Hawaii
The music calls the customer in, and cheerful greetings from the staff beckon the casual wanderer to Mana Hawaii.
“We’re the piko,” says Maile Lee, the operations manager of Mana Hawaii.
The store is a collaboration of five Hawaiian-owned businesses - Ukulele House, Lomi Vaa, Hula Supply Center, Native Books and Na Mea Hawaii - in the 1,600 square-foot second-floor retail space in the Waikiki Beach Walk shopping complex.
For the weary, Kauhane and Maile Lee of The Lomi Shop Va’a offer lomi lomi foot massages. Their section of the store also includes a complete line of Monoi Tahitian products, and massage sticks for the industrious do-it-yourself type.
“Each of these items in the store has a story,” says Lee.
“I tell them the story about it and it makes the purchase so much more special.”
The business partners all can say they personally know the more than 500 artists who create the items in the store. They know some of the artists so well that they can tell you what part of town the artist lives in, the names of their spouse and children.
The cultural treasures sold in the store represent each of the owners. For example, Sylvia and Michael Kop of Hula Supply display hula implements, videos, hula bags, fabric, silk flowers and hula skirts.
Kealoha Manaku and Maile Meyer of Native Books have selected reading material such as Hawaii’s Story by Hawaii’s Queen all the way up to popular favorites, such as a book on Elvis and Hawaii.
Father-and-son team Ron and Daniel Fujikake of Ukulele House, whom Lee refers to as “retail experts,” offer many brands of ukulele such as g-String, Tangi, Kamaka and Koaloha.
Ivan Loui Kwan and Maile Meyer of Na Mea Hawaii showcase lauhala, feather work, pareus, Niihau shells, and a bath and body line.
To ensure everyone is participating, each business provides staff to work at the Waikiki store.
Each business owner also offers one cultural program at the store. Classes are held each weekday from 10 to 11 a.m.: * Monday, Maile Lee teaches “Lomilomi for the Soul.” * Tuesday, Germaine Haili lectures on ‘Olelo Hawai’i. * Wednesday, Maile Lee instructs keiki hula. * Thursday, Daniel Fujikake has an ukulele session. * Friday, Germaine Haili presents a hula lesson for adults. And on Sundays from 5 to 6 p.m., Mike Kop demonstrates hula implements.
Mana Hawaii is located at 226 Lewers St., Suite 224 at Waikiki Beach Walk. Hours of operation are 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. For more information, call 923-2220 or log onto www.manahawaiinei.com
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