The latest estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau show adjusted retail and food service sales for November are up 1.4% from last year. Non-store retailers, however, are up 7.3%, and food and drink establishments are up 6.5% from November last year. HPR’s Noe Tanigawa found consumers are saying a lot with their actions this year.
Our story begins at the Salt pop up in Kakaako, designer Allison Izu Song of Allison Izu, says this past cyber Monday was a watershed---business seems slower than last year and she knows retail is heading online. Meanwhile, this has been a good year for Song, with partners Summer Shiigi of Ten Tomorrow and Rumi Murakami, who make up the Cut Collective. They’ve teamed with DBEDT’s Creative Industries Division, to help grow Hawai‘i’s fashion industry. Mutual support is a large part of the fashion scene now and pop up shopping brings everyone together, which makes a statement about what local designers and makers are up to.
Akamai shoppers have learned to flock to these retail occasions. Several outside Salt commented that buying local is very important to them, keeping the dollars here in the islands in a sort of extended ‘ohana. Some felt that Ala Moana Center is not a shopping place for locals anymore.
Finding unique items is always a challenge---one that Hound and Quail might help you with. Mark Pei says he and co-owner Travis Flazer combine mid-century furniture with leather accessories, industrial fixtures, antiques and quite a bit of taxidermy. They’ve got a five foot handmade boat, and a pretty amazing dollhouse from the 1930’s---see the interior pictured here.
Hound and Quail is carving new territory in Chinatown makai of King street on Maunakea, where the antique stores used to be. They were glad when another business moved into the neighborhood in October.
Lauren Pauls and her mom, Nancy Parnell, just opened across Hound and Quail. It’s their dream shop, The Bungalow---beach themed antiques and furnishings plus plants and soon, they hope, classes. Hound and Quail has begun hosting gatherings that mix merriment with making things---nice for downtown workers needing a change of pace
Don’t think intriguing shops like this are a living, not yet at least. Pauls is keeping her north shore barbecue corn business along with The Bungalow. Pei is a pilot, and Flazer a public school teacher to keep their passion afloat. Those in Honolulu who can find their shop are thankful for that.
Rent at brick and mortar spaces put them at a disadvantage compared to online marketers. To survive, they’re putting galleries on the walls, making meeting spaces, doing catering, offering classes, and staging pop ups. Co-working and multi-use spaces make sense, as do partnerships that build on strengths. Everybody’s working the angles into the new year.
The Cut Collective’s website.
Hound and Quail's website.