As I was researching this month’s feature article on Hawaii, I discovered a bounty of cool potential gifts for those of you who can’t get to the islands right away. From clothes to fragrant creams and cool tunes, it’s all at your fingertips!
Stand up paddling, or SUP to its practitioners, has become so popular that it’s about to start its own fashion craze. The newly launched Mahiku Activewear, started by former General Hospital and Dancing with the Stars actor Ingo Rademacher and his wife, Krista, who live on Oahu’s North Shore, offers a colorful, comfortable cross between sport leggings and yoga pants in a fantastic array of prints. Great in and out of the water!
Despite Hawaii’s laid-back vibe, even locals like a good jolt to get them going! With “good” being the operant word, this Hawaiian-created antioxidant drink harvests the fruit of the coffee plant (there’s your buzz) and combines it with pineapple and other fruit juices to produce what its founders call “paradise in a bottle.”
Take the islands’ classic fruits—coconut, mango, guava, passion fruit—and the most aromatic flowers—ginger, pikake, plumeria, tuberose—and you’ve got the basis of the Kopa Haiku line of bath and body products. Organic, nourishing and fantastically fragran Kopa Haiku is the go-to source for sun-baked (or winter-dried) skin.
KAHALA ALOHA SHIRTS
The aloha shirt, aka Hawaii’s “wearable postcard,” comes in all configurations, but among the most coveted are Kahala aloha shirts—first introduced in 1936. What makes a Kahala shirt so swell? The designs are eye-catching, but subtle, and aloha shirt purists love them because the patterns match across the shirt closure.
Yes, ukulele lovers, there’s Jake Shimabukuro, but don’t stop there when it comes to Hawaiian musical talent. Paula Fuga’s enchanting voice and killer uke stylings has attracted a host of admirers, such as Jack Johnson, who helped produce her Misery’s End CD. Slack key guitarist Makana has played at the White House and given a TEDx talk on his dazzling technique. Guitar virtuoso Willie K has been called the Hawaiian Jimi Hendrix with the way he burns up the strings with his rapid-fire strumming … then there are those amazing vocals.