Best Retail: Others
Best Retail / Best Grooming Products for Men
Gentlemen, you wished your bathroom were stocked like the shelves of Mojo Barbershop. Barely a year old, this old-school hair salon is already building a rock-solid reputation with its modern grooming sensibilities for the modern male. Part of its appeal is its ability to untangle the stress from buying legit hair products that won’t have you aimlessly roaming the counters of Neiman Marcus feeling 105.72% out of place. Enter the Mojo mantle of G.Q.uality merchandise: A straightforward easy-to-browse, but hard-to-find-elsewhere presentation of clays, pomades and gels all of which would look just as good on a shelf in your pad.
When it comes to old standards, we turned to notable veteran DJ Delve, our Spin Zone “DJ of the Year 2011,” for some guidance on where to score the Island’s best vinyl. “Have to hands down be Jelly’s,” he says, and we’ll just take his word on it considering party shake-and-poppers in the scene already do when it comes to music.
The Raiders of the Lost Ark-y warehouse in Kakaako and the geographically further, though arguably more charming, original in Aiea are eclectic playlists all their own–volumes of LP records, 45s and 12” singles in a sweep of A-Z genres–that refuse to lift the needle in a digital age that’s loudly faded out competitors. (And now, a moment of silence for Cheapo Music and Tower Records.)
But what makes Jelly’s resonate is more than just the yearn for an old school format. “They’ve not only supported local music and creatives for decades, but they, specifically [owner] Norm, started Radio Free Hawaii, one of the best things that ever happened [here],” says Delve. “It let everyone who thought they were the only ones who listened to underground hip-hop, ska, metal, et cetera, in those days know there were lots of other like-minded people out there.” In 2012, you can still find that affectionate crew lurking the crates at Jelly’s in solidarity.
Best local discount deals
Isle Discount (iD card)
Remember Entertainment Books, those volumes of paper coupons that cost a lot of money and didn’t yield very many discounts that you would actually use? Step into the digital age with Shawn Dohmen’s iDcard, the discount card that can be used over and over again at hundreds of restaurants, shops and services. The best part is, you don’t have to remember to clip coupons before you go out–the card fits in your wallet, and free apps for iPhone, BlackBerry and Android tell you what discounts are nearest you at any given time. For only $30, this card has more than paid for itself in just a few trips to Teddy’s, JJ’s Yogurtland and Pho 777.
Local-made bedding and quilts
Poakalani & Co.
Some people have a “bucket list” of things to accomplish before death, itemized feats of courage, daring acts of adventure, and places to see. My list is more like a retirement program of hobbies I’d like to take up when I’m elderly: Number one on that list is to go every Saturday to the Old Archives Building at Iolani Palace from 9:30 am to noon to learn how to quilt with Poakalani & Co. Their mission is to preserve Hawaiian Quilting through sharing and teaching this art form. If quilting isn’t your thing but you want a custom piece in your home, order locally-made bedding from the talented quilters of Poakalani. Find them on Poakalani’s website, Facebook or at the Palace on Saturdays.
Art meets function in Foundwood’s rustic yet refined creations made from reclaimed wood found in Hawaii. Owner/creator Jennifer Homcy collected driftwood that washed up on the beach with her woodcrafter father throughout her childhood. Over the past twenty years, Jen has refined her own woodcraft skills, and now finds wood in Hawaii, mostly from trees that have been removed for development, to turn into multi-purpose kitchen utilities, custom frames, and furniture pieces that last a lifetime. “My father is alive in my craft and I am blessed to have access to the most beautiful materials in the world,” Homcy says. Foundwood is sold at Kai Boutique in Kailua and Haleiwa Farmer’s Market.