Behold: the Aerium
New in Kaka’ako! . . . again / The dust that never seems to settle in Kakaako isn’t borne of gang fights or the constant construction on Ala Moana Boulevard (I mean, will that ever end?). It’s from new and unique shops that seem to open up every 20 minutes. It’s almost as if Kamehameha Schools is saying, “Dreaming big? Need a warehouse to hold them all? Call now.”
Paiko, a shop of botanic art and curiosities run by Tamara Rigney and Courtney Monahan, celebrated its grand opening at Honolulu Night Market last weekend. “I have always loved plants and design,” says Rigney, the shop’s president and creative director. “I was just frustrated with how much time I had to spend behind the computer [as a landscape architect].” Rigney was designing landscapes and talking about plants, but not touching or working with them, she says. She then started to make living and cut arrangements under her own name before landing some big accounts in Waikiki and now Kakaako.
“[My grandmother] gave part of her house to me to use as a flower studio,” on Paiko Beach, she says. But when Rigney’s business grew too big for the beach, she moved West.
Selling a new selection of cut flowers weekly, Paiko is inspired by the flower shops of Paris that sell well-curated selections from local vendors. “Every flower comes with a backstory behind it,” Rigney says, adding that they source the vendors on each arrangement. Look for succulents, “exotic, trippy-looking orchids, not the regular things you see at City Mill,” different ways to display Tillandsia and epiphytic plants (plants with roots that don’t need soil), and “aeriums,” her name for terrariums held in hanging glass ornaments. “We’re kind of going crazy thinking of ideas,” she says.
Paiko is about education as much as it is about design, and they plan to use their website for tips on each of the seasonal arrangements throughout the year. Expect workshops and events that focus on sustainability and sourcing locally, as well as classes on how to create living arrangements and presentations by guest speakers in the field.