Tag Archives: Hawaii

Fast Fashion Mothership, aka H&M, arrives in Hawaii

Yes it happened and the best of Honolulu showed up to embrace H&M’s arrival in the paradise state. Just in time for our craving of Spring fashions.

I popped in after work Thursday on its opening day for a peak that ended up lasting nearly 2 hours. There’s only so many lines I’m willing to wait in, and the dressing room wasn’t one of them. I showed up in a solid black body con dress so I could thrown on anything I really wanted to try on with ease. I recommend doing the same if you attempt a visit anytime this week.

I was most anxious to see what their higher end line included. I am already well stocked in fresh tanks & great cottons I rely on H&M for, but what I really wanted are their select trendy better-made pieces. With this they did not disappoint. I scored a sweet off the shoulder navy tencel dress for under $60. My other favorites were a voluminous skirt in blush ($60), a chiffon green print maxi a la Rachel Zoe ($70), a silky halter bodysuit ($10), and fabulous strapless black & cream printed dress ($70) reminiscent of something Balenciaga or Oscar de la Renta might have sent down the runway.

By the time I arrived late last night, the collections were dramatically picked over. Some of it was just the sheer number of things being taken to the fitting room, not necessarily sold. No $5 pineapple tank top, the items from Miranda Kerr’s collection that were sold out online were already scooped, and the opening offers aren’t worth mentioning except for the $4 linen-like shorts.

H&M is a well oiled machine, and there were no shortage of helpers eager to tidy up as the chaos swept in. There were even cleaners sweeping the floor, polishing mirrors, dusting etc. while people selected items from the adjacent rack. I expect the store to be massively replenished daily, so plan to check frequently for fresh finds. Turnover and fresh items are the key-stone to fast fashion. One note, many of the spring styles I had eyed online were no where to be found, hopefully those will make their way here soon.

Parking was a cinch, and FREE for the first 3 hours with validation, a huge plus! A quick ride in the elevator and I was on the ground floor around the corner from the main entrance.

I’ve been anxious for H&M to arrive in my home state ever since discovering the retailer in Paris in 2000. Can’t say I was expecting more, just happy it’s finally here.


Olive & Oliver boutiques celebrate milestones

On Friday Ali McMahon of Olive Boutique and Parker Moosman of Oliver Men’s Shop celebrated major milestone achievements. Olive has now been making Kailua women stylish one outfit at a time over the past 5 years. Oliver is the sole Men’s shop in Kailua and already has a loyal following both in Hawaii and Japan after just one year of being open.

Olive took over the old Ali’i florist space on Kihapai when you could count all the independent boutiques in Kailua on one hand. Now it feels like a new shop is popping up every month. Kailua has always been a destination for locals and tourists alike, but mostly just for it’s famous white sandy beaches. Now its visitors are seeking out more than just a beach excursion, they’ve come to shop and eat too. Kailua has become more lively as a result, it’s a win win.

What really make Olive and Oliver special is the unique character of the shops, an enjoyable well curated experience carrying local, national, and international brands. Olive is the only place on Oahu stoking Tilvaro Designs, made by hand on the North Shore. Oliver was the first and only shop on Oahu to stock URSA major men’s products from Vermont. Casual and comfy, their shops often become a hangout for the effortlessly cool ladies and gents.

If you haven’t stepped inside their doors yet, what are you waiting for? Then again, these characters aren’t going anywhere. The shops have been embraced by their followers making their presence a standout in a sleepy beach town. We’re excited to see what the next five years will bring for our two favorite east-side shops.

Olive Boutique 43 Kihapai street, Kailua, Hawaii 96734. 808-263-9919. IHeartOlive.com

Oliver Men’s Shop 49 Kihapai street, Kailua, Hawaii 96734. 808-261-6587. OliverHawaii.com

First cut: your personal stylist in action

So this is what I’ve been up. This short video illustrates what it’s like to shop with me.

Huge thanks to Olive Boutique in Kailua and Meagan Kellogg for modeling. Film created by Simon Holland.

Find me at Roberta Oaks Hawaii

Happy Veteran’s Day!

Today I’ll be helping out my good friend at her shop (Roberta Oaks) in Chinatown. Stop by and say hi. But most of all check out the awesome new men’s shirts in cool limited edition Hawaiiana prints. Cut trim for those lean surfer bods you know, it’s a total crowd pleaser either way.

Patriotic spirit: Show your military ID for 20% off at Roberta Oaks (valid 11/12/12 only).

19 N. Pauahi St. Honolulu Hawaii, 96817


A Captured Moment: Family

Not since we were kids have my brothers and I gotten together to take photos. And why not? Who says you have to have little kids as an excuse to capture the passing years? In the last ten years there isn’t a single shot of my whole family that’s not taken at night with a bad flash.

To address this issue I hired Nicole Seu from Studio 3511 photography. I wanted shots of us to be outdoors. Lucky for us Hawaii is full of splendid natural backdrops. However cliche, Lanikai seemed like the perfect backdrop. I’m really happy with the results, now, and I’m sure for years to come. Thank you Nicole!

Precision Perfect Hair: Joy at J Salon

I take my recommendations seriously. I am without a doubt a super picky person. I wasn’t a princess growing up, but I was the only girl…so maybe that’s how I ended up this way. Just know I would never half-heartedly recommend anyone.

Joy at J Salon is without a doubt my favorite hair stylist in Hawaii. She’s fun, easy going, and takes what you want for your hair seriously, but then takes it up a notch in the right direction. She’s been trained in the Vidal Sasson method. I’ve got what she calls hoale asian hair … meaning stick straight hair that shows every mistake. Joy gets it, she gets hair, and she gets people. I love being in her chair, it’s a royal treatment to see her!

Years ago I was so scared to cut off my scraggly long locks, I searched endlessly to where I would go for a bob cut, this was in 2005! After finding Joe and Joy at J salon, I have only gone shorter and more fun and spunky. I haven’t regretted it for a minute. It’s now 2012 and J salon just celebrated it’s 9th anniversary!

J salon has maintained a list of loyal clients for a reason. The salon is sharp, gorgeous, and now serves you fabulous drinks made to order. You pay for it, but I believe it’s worth it 100%. Your hair is an accessory you wear everyday … so it’s less than $2/day if you go every 6-8 weeks.

Oh and they’re named one of Elle’s top 100 US salons for a third year in a row … no big deal right!?

J Salon

Cost: $85 haircut with Joy

Location: 1240 Ala Moana Boulevard  Honolulu, HI 96814

Phone: (808) 550-4441

Hello Makana

Good friends of mine just launched a new venture –  www.hellomakana.com. Connecting friends and family from afar with created-in-Hawaii products. It’s certainly worth checking out and sharing with your extended ohana. Even better, they’re offering a discount through Oct 4!

Makana is a subscription service that delivers a monthly “care-package” of select products created in Hawaii.  We work closely with local artists, community producers, entrepreneurs and family-owned enterprises to share the best of Hawaii.  Anyone, anywhere can join Makana or share it as a gift to others.  Makana subscribers receive a monthly delivery in the mail:

  • 3-5 items/products created-in-Hawaii
  • foods/snacks, health/beauty, novelty, small commissioned artworks, music/media
  • chosen by us for uniqueness, creativity, authenticity, quality of production

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You too can help get Makana off-the-ground. Here are three ways you can do so:

You get something too. A special discount on 6-month and 12-month subscriptions (First shipment in mid-October), good through 11:59pm HST, October 4, 2012.

Gift some early holiday aloha or remind your college student of home. The “Friends & Family” discount may be applied to multiple subscription purchases.

Like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter & Instagram @hellomakana, Pinterest (hellomakana) and read the latest on our blog.  Share the Friends & Family discount with your networks, use the hashtag #hellomakana.