Best Retail / Women’s Shoes
Two words: Anniversary sale. Nordstrom is notoriously pricey, but come during their anniversary sale in July and you’ll score shoes at bargain price. Missed out? You still can take advantage of other discounts throughout the year. And the sales associates are so eager to help! Just tell them what you’re looking for, whether it’s basic work clogs or killer heels, and they’ll find plenty that are in stock for your perusal. (Husbands, children and bored friends can rest on chairs nearby and hangout with the Nordstrom piano man.)
Best Local-made Jewelry
“We all have something in our jewelry box that’s broken, that we love, or a string of pearls from our grandmother that we’d like to freshen up. I weave these treasures into new jewelry,” says MiNei owner/artist Katye Killebrew.
“’Mi’ is for me, and “nei” is Hawaiian for this here, so MiNei is sort of who I am now and who my customers are now,” she explains.
As a child, Killebrew frequented garage sales with her mom. As a grown-up,“My ‘aha!’ moment came at [a street] fair in Venice California, where I met a designer with a big box of charms, beads, and treasures from all over the world,” Killebrew says.” I thought, that’s my drawer at home, where I’ve been collecting things since I was a little girl.”
Killebrew raided her drawer, took jewelry making classes, and wandered into Muu Muu Heaven in Kailua wearing her first piece, made of “old vintage glass beads and an old Philippine medallion you can put a picture in.”
“Deb [Maschia Muu Muu Heaven owner] discovered me. She said, ‘This is right up my alley, bring me your line,’ which I didn’t have, so I created a bunch, took them in to her, and they’re my flagship store,” Killebrew says.
We covet one of MiNei’s Chanel-goes-Hawaiian, long windable necklaces made of dimpled Japanese pearls strung together with fine silk cord, woven by hand. The macramé is as beautiful as the treasures webbed together in each unique piece.
BEST Lei Shop (Editors’ and readers’ pick)
Cindy’s Lei & Flower Shoppe
Whether it’s a last minute dash for a meaningful lei or a larger order for an important event, Cindy’s in Chinatown always has a wide variety of options available. Born of a first generation Chinese-American family that sold lei and corsages out of the Lau barbershop in the 1950s, Cindy and her husband established their own store in 1961, which is now one of the oldest lei shops in Chinatown and currently run by the third generation of the family. Their prices and availability are excellent and the service is always highly proficient. —