Made in Hawaii - Where to buy local?

  • Where to buy locally made Hawaiian products?
  • What local products is Hawaii known for?
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Aloha @Lizzayon!

If you’re driving around Oahu, close to Polynesian Culture Center, Turtle Bay Resort, and Kahuku food trucks there are two really neat shops-

  1. Ohana Island Creations (wood engravings & bone jewelry)
  2. Full Fathom Five (a display of 30+ local artists’ paintings, crafts and beautiful sea glass jewelry)
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Aloha @Lizzayon!

All of Hawaii is known for a broad range of unique local products and handicrafts that are proudly grown, raised, farmed, constructed, or designed and manufactured in the islands. Buying local is not a problem if you know the right places to go. The biggest problem you will have is having to choose between so many delicious and beautiful items to take home and how to fit them in your luggage! The easiest way to do it is to go to where the goods are, then talk to the vendor or shopkeeper and ask a lot of questions about how and where the item was made. Local artisans and business owners here are very Hawaii-proud, and will gladly take the time to talk with you about their products and what makes them unique. Two of the best places I always recommend for finding locally made Hawaiian goods are:

The Diamond Head Farmers Market:
Great for all local food products including coffee, macadamia nuts, Hawaiian sea salts, fruits and vegetables, honey, jerky, fresh flowers, and bath and body products like soaps, scrubs, and natural sunscreen. There is also a large selection of delicious, locally baked goods (think mochi cupcakes and pineapple bread) as well freshly made while-you-wait snacks and meals by local restaurants. It doesn’t get any more local than this!

For trendy, locally designed home goods and fashion head to The South Shore Market at Ward Village, where you will find a good assortment of shops owned by local merchants and entrepreneurs selling their unique made-in-Hawaii designs and clothing labels. During some recent shopping there I spotted hand-poured Hawaiian floral scented candles, colorful canvas shopping totes, trendy tees, hand-made hammocks, and lovely beach wraps in Hawaiian inspired prints and colors, all with the laid back Hawaiian lifestyle vibe. This is a good place to see the newest items being produced and sold by local designers. It’s also the best place to escape the average mall scene and score a fashionable souvenir of your trip to Oahu.

I also want to mention Na Mea Hawaii, another beautiful shop in Ward Village offering native Hawaiian themed books and local products as well as cultural events free to the public such as traditional weaving and Hawaiian language classes. This shop is a “must” for gaining an appreciation of the traditional arts and artisans of Hawaii.

The shopping on Oahu is endless, and I do recommend that you choose quality over quantity when faced with overwhelming choices of what to buy to ensure all your purchases will fit in your luggage on the flight back home. No worries, though. You can always pick-up a cheap extra suitcase (or two) at any discount retailer on the island if you need more room!

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WOW! Thanks so much for that!!! What do you think is the neatest locally made souvenir to bring home? I know it’s probably a silly question because there’s so much, but is there something that sticks out as a must-bring home? thx



Aloha @Lizzayon!

My top three essential souvenirs from Hawaii would have to be:

  1. A bag of locally grown coffee beans,
    preferably organic dark roast
  2. Hawaiian sea salt or Hawaiian sea salt
    blended spices
  3. A tropical dress or swimsuit designed and
    manufactured in Hawaii

You are going to fall in love with so much here, it’s going to be tough to make choices! FYI, I also love bath and body products containing scents and ingredients locally sourced. My rule of thumb is always “quality over quantity” when it comes to purchasing souvenirs in Hawaii. Make sure to check your labels when purchasing as many shops (especially in Waikiki) are not selling locally made goods.

Have fun! I can’t wait to see what you bring home.