Frame-Arts Hawaii's staff crafts attractive hangings that serve to protect their contents with such amenities as acid-free mat boards and nonreflective glass. Hundreds of framing choices stack up inside the shop, drawing the eye as soon as it rolls in the door. In addition to framing traditional artwork and photographs, the staff offers services for displaying sports jerseys, mirrors, and collections of autographed Social Security cards.
Big Island native Iwalani Isbell, the designer behind Pualani Kailua swimwear, spends her free time surfing and performing stunts on the water. She draws inspiration from those pastimes to create stylish swimwear that holds up against an active lifestyle. Her bikinis and one-pieces—available in array of prints and styles—are crafted from four-way-stretch fabrics and soft lingerie lining for a comfortable feel that won't lose shape. Beachy dresses and activewear transition bodies from the water to dry land.
Bali Boo embellishes interiors with handcrafted Hawaiian and imported Indonesian furniture and chic island-inspired knickknacks found in its 15,000-square-foot showroom. The shop's three floors teem with high-end Koa and Mango furniture from local island woodcrafters, as well as hand-picked petrified and coconut furniture from Indonesia. Store valuables or back-up monocles in a wooden jewelry box ($29–$60) or decorate for dinner parties with assorted hand-woven placemats ($12) topped by green-glass mosaic bowls rimmed with a thick layer of black ($55/set of three). Black and cream mortar-and-pestle sets ($80) smash herbs and spices, and a stone mirror ($60–$100) helps patrons draw on precise sharpie mustaches.
When educator Nicole Kealoha set out to enrich her community, she harnessed the vibrant power of hip-hop and urban culture to captivate young people. Her nonprofit Diverse Art Center, launched in 2008, seeks to foster connections between youths and the community via enriching and engaging instruction from professional artists. The accomplished teachers and artists—including leading local art figure Shaun Castro and award-winning dancer Josh Skittle—strive to instill positive values and self-esteem in their pupils as they shepherd them through the many mediums that comprise hip-hop culture, including dance, music, and the visual arts. No fewer than five area schools participate in the center's fitness-focused Healthy Hip-Hop program, and daily urban art instruction includes tutorials in hip-hop lettering, break dancing, and beatboxing with inner-city kangaroos.
Expressions Portrait Design’s portfolio captures families, graduates, babies, and even pets. More than 100 backgrounds unfurl on set, letting subjects surround their poses with almost any mood or theme. After the flash has gone off and the “freeze time” switch has been flipped again, color effects and image editing add more options for customization. All photo packages include standard prints, but custom framing, greeting cards, and canvas images also are available to surround portraits with gallery-caliber fanciness.
Island Treasures works to bedeck bare walls, shelves, and laser-guarded pedestals around the area with original artwork from about 125 local artisans. Add an air of culture to a home by hanging a few 4”x6” paintings ($20) from a ceiling fan, or add some prismatic pizazz to the den, bedroom, or teleportation chamber with a matted print from one of dozens of artists ($10–$25). Store explorers will also find toys, books, one-of-a-kind knick-knacks, and fashionable accessories. Beaded bracelets and necklaces ($8–$20) from the Island Treasures jewelry chest improve wardrobes, and scented sachets ($8 each) freshen any area with the smell of flowers. Guests can use aloha-print napkins to sop up spilled sauce at a luau ($16) or decorate a coffee table with a 48-inch Hawaiian-print table runner ($24). Like a mad scientist building a hot-rod Frankenstein’s monster, the store adds new items on a weekly basis.