LOCAL GIFT GUIDE
Unwrapping some awesome Maui-based gift ideas...
December 10, 2009
They say it's the thought that counts. Of course, that's not always true—every year we all get a few gifts that make us wish the person had thought a little harder, or not at all. But here's a thought everyone can rally around: local.
As we've told you before, keeping your holiday dollars on Maui has a big impact. According to estimates from the research fi rm Civic Economics, if every reader of MauiTime spent $100 at a locally owned business instead of a corporate chain, it'd mean an extra $2 million staying on-island to boost our sagging economy, instead of fl itting off to the Mainland or some foreign destination.
It's a pretty simple thing, really, and we're here to make it even simpler. In the following pages, you'll fi nd an array of gift ideas—some locally made, all locally sold—to suit everyone on your list. From sandals and surf gear to music and massages to dresses and drinks, they're all good thoughts—you can count on it.
SWEETS & EATS
The holidays are basically an elaborate excuse to stuff our faces, so why not embrace it and give the gift of…more food? Tucked away near the overpass in Wailuku, Stillwell's Bakery is unassuming but awesome. Their muffi ns are kickass—not a superlative generally attached to muffins, but fi tting in this case—and their cream horns are borderline illegal. Also in Wailuku, Four Sisters Bakery features pies that are (don't tell Mom) better than homemade. Since both Stillwell's and Four Sisters routinely sell out of their top items, it's good to have both options (and good to show up early). Upcountry, T. Komoda Store & Bakery will hook you up with
cream puffs that, actually, probably won't make the best gifts because you'll eat them in the car on the way home. We've focused
mostly on sweets, but of course there's lots of other choice grinds, both made and sold locally. Your best bet? Pick your favorite locally owned eatery (upscale, exotic, local-style, whatever) and buy a gift certificate (enough for dinner and drinks for two) and offer that child-weary couple in your life a night of babysitting. The joy and relief in their sleep-deprived eyes will be all the reward you need.
Shopping locally for the short people on your list is a tall order. They're bombarded with images of the latest corporate, Disney-branded bit of plastic, to the point where it's easy to throw up your hands and give in. But Maui is home to a couple of cool toy stores that actually carry stuff your keiki will like. Maui Toy Works has been offering Valley Isle parents a local option for a quarter century. One thing they're famous for is kites, which is an underrated island activity. In Central Maui, Wild Creatures has organic
cotton clothes…but what kid wants clothes? Instead, get a wooden toy or a game made from bamboo, or even—gasp!—a book (just
tell them it's the original video game).
MUSIC (AND MORE)
It's a good thing Requests Music is so awesome, because it's also Maui's only locally owned record store. Actually, it's more than
that. It's a music mecca, a lovable, disheveled mishmash of CDs, vinyl, used DVDs, books, quirky T-shirts, knick-knacks and, most
importantly, knowledge. It's the kind of place where you go in thinking you want one thing, and walk out with something else that's way cooler. Especially if you're shopping for a person with very specific, refined tastes, this is the spot: online vendors and corporate chains simply can't match the passion and history that oozes from the staple-and poster-covered double doors of Requests. Rock on. If you and the peeps you're shopping for want to make your own music—be it with keyboards, ukuleles, guitars or drums—Bounty Music is tuned into your needs. For keiki, they have harmonicas, baby drums, shakers (the fruit and veggie ones are awesome) and kazoos. Other options include Mele Ukulele and Lahaina Sound.
It's a dilemma we've all faced: Grandma wants a new pipe for Christmas, but she insists it be locally made. Where to turn? Westside Vibes is an excellent place to start. Even if you don't happen to live on the West side, perusing the wares at this laid-back smoke emporium is well worth a trip (pun intended) around the pali. From glass pieces (some of them by local artists) to stash cans to lighters to T-shirts to incense to…well, you get the idea. It's Maui's biggest head shop, with a huge selection and super-cool staff (but then, of course they'd be). South Mauians have their pick of Hawaiian Holy Smokes (yeah, OK, they've got locations in Oahu and the Big Island, but they keep it Hawaii) and Maui Mana, both convenient, reputable and well-stocked. And Paia wouldn't be Paia without an array of pipe buying options, though you may find yourself most drawn in by the non-smokable goods at the Hemp House (see Body Products).
Got a wine snob/aficionado on your list, but don't know a Cabernet from a hole in the ground? Pop into The Wine Corner in Paia and/or Lahaina for expert guidance. Any place that installs climate-adjusted walk-in wine cellars has to be serious, plus they carry
a decent selection of micro brews, some of them hard-to-find. Those who stick to South Maui probably already know about Wailea Wine, but for the rest: they've got a nice variety on-hand and can generally get what you want even if they don't have it; good
option if you're throwing a holiday party. Also in South Maui, check out Valley Isle Liquors if you want your booze locally
made, you've got a few options. Maui Brewing Co., the island's only brewery, has a variety of not-sold-in-stores concoctions
that'll bring a smile to the suds-coated lips of the hops-head in your life. We recommend the growler, a half-gallon jug that can be refilled as needed at the source—the brew pub in Kahana—with any of the sundry ales on tap. For made-on-Maui wine, head Upcountry to Tedeschi Winery and grab a bottle of Pineapple blanc, a fruit-forward (duh) favorite. (They hold daily tastings, meaning you can sample before you buy.) It ain't Russia, but Maui does have two local vodkas: Ocean Vodka, which you probably know
about, and Pau Maui Vodka, which you might not. The latter is on the pricier side, but comes in a super-cool bottle, and, purists take note, doesn't actually taste like pineapple, but instead uses the fruit to make, in the words of distiller Mark Nigbur "a
nice, clean mash." Of course, the drink most readily associated with the tropics is rum. For that, turn to Haleakala Distillers and their award-winning Braddah Kimo's line, guaranteed to put hair on your chest (don't worry ladies—it's only temporary).
Odds are, someone you know needs a little pampering (and maybe that someone is you). Green Ti in Wailuku is the final word on
massages. They offer Swedish, deep tissue and specialty treatments like lomi lomi, pre-natal, reflexology, shiatsu and reiki. If you're looking for a facial, check out Maui Hair and Body. Their beauty technicians will get you—I mean, your special someone—cleansed,
exfoliated and relaxed during this stressful holiday season. Need some digital love (No, not that kind!)? Try a Van Beauty Salon
mani-pedi gift card. If you've got the dough, go all out and book a whole spa day. Soleil Luna Spa and Salon is the perfect place to
spend a day of decadence. Finally, Sasha and Katherine of Island Girl Pin-Ups are guaranteed to make your gift recipient feel like
a retro goddess. (Don't believe us? Check out the cover of this issue). Nothing says glamour like having your hair and make-up done,
getting dressed up and having your picture taken. Better still, book an appointment for yourself and send out the pictures as gifts.
Shopping for a pet owner is nice, because the person (OK, animal) that actually receives the gift can't speak, meaning even if they hate it, you're off the hook. Fortunately, with the great pet shops we have on-island, that shouldn't be an issue. Birken and Bailey's Too in Kihei sells Maui Wowie organic catnip, purrfect (sorry, couldn't resist) to shut up your friend's mouthy feline. Or grab some of those delicious pig's ears dogs drool over. If you're on the West side, check out West Maui Pet Supply, while in Central Maui, Pouchi
Couture has products for the fashion forward members of the four-legged set.
The world would be a better place if everyone wanted art for Christmas. That day may never come, but if anyone on your list wants art, start at Maui Hands, which features the work of more than 300 (!) Maui artists. They have shops in Paia, Kahului and Lahaina, or find them online at mauihands.com. For modern art, head over to the Paia Contemporary Gallery and check out Maui artist Brad
Huck. A couple other local hotspots for artsy gifts: the Hui No'eau and the Lahaina Art Society's gallery in the Old Courthouse.
It is technically possible—and perhaps preferable—to get all your holiday shopping done at the Kahului Swap Meet. Maybe you want to decorate your tree with handmade Hawaii-themed Christmas ornaments? Stop by A Piece of Maui's booth. Want to send your relatives on the Mainland a tiki? Check out M.T. Veatupu at the 'Tau' Master Island Woodcarving booth. Is glasswork more your style? Go to Maui Etched Glass and Dody Bowman's booths. What about a frame for all those precious moments you intend to capture with your camera? Robb Starr's handmade frames have you covered. Something scented for that young hippie couple on your street? Allow us to recommend Maui "Fresh" Incense and Maui Mana Oils. Have a scrapbooker in the family? Make sure to visit Scrapbook, Frames & Accessories by Elisha. As you've surely been convinced, the Kahului Swap Meet is the place to fi nd crafts ranging from pet
coconuts to handmade Maui Bud Bowls. Vendors change regularly, so visit often.
Dreaming of a holiday home makeover, where Ty Pennington comes over and remodels? Well, keep dreaming. In reality, go for the comfy Edison saddle chair and ottoman from Serendipity Home—simple and streamlined and just perfect with a book. More furniture can be found this month at the Schaefer International Galler, where local furniture makers have been commissioned to make dream pieces. Other options: Futon Lifestyles, featuring natural bamboo designs, Affordable Furniture and Ilin's New & Used in Wailuku.
Housewares and linens make great, if unassuming, gifts. Everyone uses them. The home fabrics at Indigo in Paia are luxurious, luxurious, with an amazing palette of colors to suit any taste. The attention to detail in their recycled fabric blanket is incredible,
with thousands of stitches holding the super-soft layers of cotton together. Stoke the paniolo in your life with the wrought
iron horseshoe hooks and towel rack at The Aloha Cowboy Store. Collections in Makawao features an array of one-of-a-kind items like aprons, pillows and magnets, while Banana Wind on the West side specializes in shells and ocean-made objects.
Kahului Swap Meet to the rescue again. A favorite option is Jim and Revi Shepard, who have an estate jewelry booth. While they
specialize in antiques and paintings, you'll find an abundance of jewelry made from bone, shell, wood and various semi-precious
stones (coral, turquoise, amber, etc). This isn't mere jewelry; these are "pieces." As in, "This piece would look beautiful with the skirt I bought from Bohemia Boutique." Also worth checking out: Verda, who designs beautiful mother of pearl earrings that are lightweight and sturdy enough to go surfi ng in. We're also fiercely loyal to the man who sells the beautiful Tibetan-themed wood and bone jewelry, although, with the frequent rotation of swap meet vendors, we haven't been able to find him in our last two visits. Learn from that mistake: If you see something you really want, get it before it's gone. And at swap meet prices, you'll probably be able to afford it.
Buying jewelry for a man can be tricky. If the guy you're shopping for is still rocking a hemp necklace, take it up a notch and get him a Morphic Designs created-on-Maui skull ring. They come in gold and silver, and some feature a gem in the eye socket or a moving jaw. These unique pieces are made-to-order; see the process at www.morphicdesigns.com
At Wings Hawaii, the jewelry designer is likely to be the same person behind the counter helping you. Their lucky necklace is a great gift—a bit of sunshine from Maui. They also carry delicate gem and shell necklaces strung on gold and silver chains.
Another good option is Maui jewelry maker Nina Lee, whose winter seas necklace can be found online www.ninakuna.com with
free shipping, complimentary wrapping and messaging and kama'aina discounts available. Other shops carrying eye-catching jewelry
include Pink by Nature in Makawao and Oh Baby in Lahaina. For a great selection of local artisan jewelry, head under the Lahaina
Banyan tree for jewelers such as Lisa Marie Leasenfeld of Hooked on Maui. Open most weekends, local artists gather to show and sell their work.
The best thing about 11 Bohemia Boutique is that they take designer outfits and assemble them for you. Liked that ensemble you saw in Vogue? The girls at Bohemia Boutique probably already have it waiting for you, at a much lower price. For fans of the LBD (little black dress), they often have dazzling examples on display. Elise Clothing Co. in Kahului also has an amazing selection of consignment goods, organized and easy to browse through, while on the South side, Rainbow Attic has got your back (and backside) covered.
SURF & WATER SPORT GEAR
If you don't have at least one surfer or water sport enthusiast on your list, you need to make more friends. And whether
they're wishing for a new board or just a replenishing of accessories—wax, fins, leashes, board shorts, paddles, racks, etc.—
Maui is, of course, blessed with several shops brimming with both goods and knowledge. Best of Maui-winning Hi-Tech is a local institution, and for good reason. Their selection is surpassed by their passion; stop in to talk story and come out with whatever you're looking for (or, if you don't know what you're looking for, they offer gift certifi cates). If you're buying for a windsurfer, check out Second Wind in Kahului. Like Hi-Tech, they're staffed with folks who, when they aren't behind the counter, are out on the water. Ditto Naish Maui Pro Center, which some hard-core kite-boarders swear by. For the stand-up paddler, pop into Hawaii Island
Surf & Sport, or get something to stick under your favorite bodyboarder's tree at the Foam Company. Another, pricier option is to order a custom board from one of Maui's many legendary shapers. It won't come cheap, but if you've got a hard-core surfer who's been very nice this year, it's a sure fire way to keep them stoked into the New Year.
The Mercantile in Makawao has a whole display of Calleen Cordero heels that could really rock a girl's world, if that's what you're after. These handcrafted wood shoes are equal parts chic and comfort, and won't wear out. It won't exactly be a surprise, but you can get handmade leather sandals at Island Sandals in the Wharf, made to fit with a line drawn around the wearer's foot and the shoe built from scratch. Historical note: the design dates back to the Byzantium. Hey, if it worked for Jesus…
Tees are the man uniform of Maui. At Urban City, the registered Star Wars-design Mark Echo shirts are a Force to be reckoned with.
The One Eighty Board Store has some great local designs, including the ubiquitous Defend Hawaii and 808 All Day shirts. For surf-inspired wear, head out to your locally owned surf shop—try Hana Highway Surf and Simmer in Paia, and the Hawaiian Island Creations flagship store at Lahaina Cannery Mall.
DRESS SHIRTS (MEN'S)
Every man needs a dress shirt, even on Maui. Go for short sleeve styles in the tropics with a natural fabric. Where to fi nd them? Try Him in Kahana. Owner Jefferson Wery cherry-picks the cool stuff and offers it to his clientele at a solid price. If you need the bright aloha print, you seriously can't find a better selection than Maui Shirts. Their showroom in West Maui is open in the afternoon, but it's easier to check them out at mauishirts.com. Shopping for one big bugga? No worries—their shirt sizes go to 5x and 6x.
Shopping for boardshorts is more technical than you might think. With Velcro, without Velcro; above the knees, below the knees. Figure it out, and head to 15 Hi-Tech with the specs. They have a large selection of different styles in all sizes, and you can get plenty of advice from their staff. You'll also find a great selection at Honolua Surf, which has locations islandwide.
Wings Hawaii has these incredible little pink tees with wings on the back that are almost too cute, is there is such a thing. The Wings girls just opened their Paia shop and hand-screen all of their designs. Maui Thing has awesome kids' shirts at their Wailuku
shop, with enviro-themed messages and designs. (Their clever slogans are the brain children of local designer Sae Ota).
EVENING WEAR (WOMEN'S)
Here's a timeless romantic gift idea that's basically guaranteed to "work" if you catch our drift (and we think you do): two tickets to
a swanky fundraiser and a fancy dress. Start on Market Street with the well-priced Sue Wong line of dresses at If the Shoe Fits. If that isn't over-the-top enough, head to the Shops at Wailea for the belle of the ball embellishments at Enchantress and Fifi & Bootzie. If you prefer a simple statement the Little Black Dress in Kihei has got what you need.
CABANA CASUAL WEAR (WOMEN'S)
Maui designer Tamara Katz has made her name with breezy island styles, featuring embroidered and beaded designs. With her recent fall launch displayed in her Paia store, it's all too easy to find gifts, like the "Maui" tanks that all your Mainland friends will covet. Maggie Coulombe is another Valley Isle designer with a Maui-only boutique fi lled with her fascinating convertible designs. One garment worn many ways is a gift that keeps on giving.
WATER WEAR (WOMEN'S)
Bikinis for Christmas? By all means—after all, we're in the tropics. Shop for the water-loving wahine on your list at Maui Girl in Paia, where Debbie Wilson's bikini designs have caught the eye of Sports Illustrated. If your girl likes Brazilian-style bikinis, Pakaloha and San Lorenzo in Lahaina help show off the okole Rio style.
BACKPACKS & BAGS (MEN'S)
Traveling is getting more and more diffi cult, as airlines jack up prices and tack on fees. One solution: gift a Dakine rolling suitcase
from Honolua Surf Co. that fi ts in the overhead compartment, and save those extra fees for the surfboards. Protect your gadgets with the Dakine laptop sleeves, also found at Honolua Surf. For day-to-day travel, the messenger bags by Dakine found at Second
Wind stow laptops, wallets, sunglasses and beach towels in a tidy case.
The groovy vibe and cutting edge L.A. looks at Alice in Hulaland command style mavens to stop and shop. Accessories for your head are no exception—they have fedoras in straw and tweed, and ivy caps in every color and style.
Beauty goods make the product junkie light up like a Christmas tree. 17 Lilikoi Passionate Beauty in Paia celebrates the skin and local goods by carrying Ali'i Kula Lavender Farm products (you can also get the products at the farm itself and take a tour). Nearly nextdoor at the Hemp House, you can find hemp oil-infused hand lotions and custom designed perfume from Lunaroma.
Support local artisans and stewards of Hawaiian culture by shopping at Native Intelligence. Store owner Jenny says they strive to be more than a high-end Hawaiian gift shop by stepping outside the box—the ever-popular Koa box that is. By offering
hula implements, books, pahu drums, lei hulu, Hawaiian weaponry and many other important but lesser-known items, Native Intelligence's goal is to bring more aspects of Hawaiian culture to the forefront. And, perhaps, to your stocking.
Affordable Furniture, 199 Dairy Rd., Kahului,
Alice in Hulaland, 19 Baldwin Ave., Paia, (808)
Ali'i Kula Lavender Farm, 1100 Waipoli Rd.,
Kula, (808) 878-3004
Banana Wind, 1221 Honoapiilani Hwy., Lahaina,
Birken and Bailey's Too, 1279 South Kihei Rd.,
Kihei, (808) 875-9805
Bohemia Boutique, 105 North Market St.,
Wailuku, (808) 244-9995
Bounty Music, 111 Hana Hwy., Kahului, (808)
Elise Clothing Co., 310 Alamaha St., Kahului,
Enchantress, 3750 Wailea Alanui Drive, Kihei,
Fifi & Bootzie, 3750 Wailea Alanui Drive, Kihei,
Foam Company, 70 E Kaahumanu Ave # A10,
Kahului, (808) 873-7833
Four Sisters Bakery, 1968 East Vineyard St.,
Wailuku, (808) 244-9333
Futon Lifestyles, 285 Hukilike St., Kahului,
Green Ti, 40 North Market St., Wailuku, (808)
Haleakala Distillers, www.mauirum.biz
Hana Hwy. Surf and Simmer, 149 Hana Hwy.,
Paia, (808) 579-8999
Hawaiian Holy Smokes, 320 Ohukai Rd., Kihei,
Hawaiian Island Creations, 1221 Honoapiilani
Hwy., Lahaina, (808) 667-6111
Hawaii Island Surf & Sport, 415 Dairy Rd.,
Kahului, (808) 871-4981
Hemp House, 16 Baldwin Ave., Paia, , (808)
HI-tech Surf Sports, 425 Koloa St., Kahului,
Him, 4310 Lower Honoapiilani Rd., Lahaina,
Honolua Surf Co., 115 Hana Hwy., Paia, (808)
579-9593 (Locations island wide)
Hui No'eau, 2841 Baldwin Ave., Makawao, (808)
If the Shoe Fits, 21 North Market St., Wailuku,
Ilin's New & Used, 1275 Lower Main St.,
Wailuku, (808) 242-4788
Island Sandals, 658 Front St., Lahaina, (808)
Kahului Swap Meet, 310 Kaahumanu Ave.,
Kahului, (808) 244-3100
Lahaina Art Society's Gallery, 648 Wharf St.,
Lahaina, (808) 661-0111
Lilikoi Passionate Beauty, 18 Baldwin Ave.,
Paia, (808) 579-6055
Maui Brewing Co., 4405 Honoapiilani Hwy,
Lahaina, (808) 669-3474
Maui Etched Glass, 30 Kuapapa Place, Kihei,
Maui Girl, 12 Baldwin Ave., Paia, (808) 579-9266
Maui Hands, 3620 Baldwin Ave., Makawao,
(808) 572-5194 (Locations island wide)
Maui Mana, 1794 South Kihei Rd., Kihei, (808)
Maui Shirts, 222 Papalaua St., Lahaina, (808)
Maui Thing, 28 North Market St., Wailuku, (808)
Maui Toy Works, Lahaina Cannery Mall, 1221
Honoapiilani Hwy., Lahaina, (808) 661-4766
Mele Ukulele, 1750 Kaahumanu Ave., Wailuku,
Naish Maui Pro Center, 111 Hana Hwy.,
Kahului, (808) 871-1503
Native Intelligence, 45 North Market St.,
Wailuku, (808) 249-2421
Paia Contemporary Gallery, 83B Hana Hwy.,
Paia, (808) 579-8444
Pink by Nature, 3663 Baldwin Ave., Makawao,
Pouchi Couture, 400 Hana Hwy., Kahului, (808)
Rainbow Attic, 1881 South Kihei Rd., Kihei,
Requests Music, 10 North Market St. Wailuku,
Schaefer International Gallery, 1 Cameron
Way, Kahului, (808) 242-2787
Second Wind, 111 Hana Hwy., Unit 110,
Kahului, (808) 877-7467
Simmer, 137 Hana Hwy., Paia, (808) 579-8484
Stillwell's Bakery, 1740 Kaahumanu Ave,
Wailuku, (808) 243-2243
T. Komoda Store & Bakery, 3674 Baldwin Ave.,
Makawao, (808) 572-7261
'Tau' Master Island Woodcarving, 1941 South
Kihei Rd., Kihei, (808) 874-7024
Tedesc Winery, HC1, Box 953, Kula, (808)
The Aloha Cowboy Store, 3643 Baldwin Ave.,
Makawao, (808) 573-8190
The Mercantile, 3673 Baldwin Ave., Makawao,
The One Eighty Board Store, 275 W
Kaahumanu Ave, Kahului, (808) 873-8838
The Wine Corner, 149 Hana Hwy., Paia, , (808)
The Wine Corner, 808 Wainee St., Lahaina, ,
Urban City, Ste 1029, 275 W Kaahumanu Ave,
Kahului, (808) 871-5550
Valley Isle Liquors, 95 E. Lipoa, Kihei, (808)
Van Beauty Salon, 65 Kaahumanu Ave.,
Kahului, (808) 873-0950
Wailea Wine, 161 Wailea Ike Pl., Kihei, (808)
West Maui Pet Supply, 991 Limahana Pl,
Lahaina, (808) 667-2662
Westside Vibes, 1087 Limahana Place,
Lahaina, , (808) 667-1900
Wild Creatures LLC, Maui Mall, 70 E. Kaahumanu
Ave., Kahului (808)-871-5800
Wings Hawaii, 71 Baldwin Ave., Paia (808)
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