Since Wei Fang and Kina Mahi have spent more than a few years off-island, chasing degrees and careers, altogether realizing how homesick Hawaii can make you, they’ve created a remedy to rough Hawaiian withdrawals. Makana (in Hawaiian, gift)–a monthly subscription service of curated gift boxes–was founded because they want to share the natural wealth of our paradise by simultaneously supporting all the best that is Hawaiian-made. Sign up monthly or in special prorated periods and expect a box delivered each month, packed with three or four hand-selected, investigated and profiled created-in-Hawaii food, art or objects. (They haven’t figured out yet how to ship rainbows, but I have a feeling that if there is a way, these two will discover it.)
Where do they find products to feature? Mahi says that’s the most fun part of the gig. “We spend time going to farmers markets, speaking with people in the community such as Maile Meyer [of Na Mea Hawaii], who is definitely an inspiration for us, and we do road trips; we’ve gone to Maui and Kauai, and the Big Island is next. We want to know where the product is coming from, so we can tell their story. Most of our subscribers have a really strong relationship to Hawaii already. They have a real commitment to supporting local. They know why it’s special to do it, and they want to know the stories behind the local businesses.”
November’s box features a small jar of Hawaiian Kine seasoning, a bar of Manoa Chocolate and the ‘aina issue of Mana magazine. Follow their blog for interviews and mini-documentaries on the products they share, as well as interesting insight into what it takes to run and support small, local businesses.
Unlike Pandora’s but just like Forrest Gump’s, opening Makana’s box can only improve your life, and you never know what you’re gonna get.