We had such a fun Second Saturday Art last weekend with Buddha Bentos and handprinted succulent pots for Mother's Day!
In excitement for our upcoming trunk show this weekend, we did a fun Q&A sesh with the company's founder, who happens to be a fabulous Maui girl, Amanda Dela Cruz :)
Hi Amanda! Please share the story of Lil Coconut Hawaii.
Designs by Lil Coconut Hawaii was a blessing in disguised, it all started when I need to get a gift for a friend who's birthday was a day apart from mines. She was going through a tough time and I wanted to give her something inspirational but personal and that's when I decided to create a cute little clutch with my photo of Diamond Head's waves with the saying "Salt Water Heals Everything" I made two one for me and one for my friend. One day I was at a coffee shop and posted a pic on Instagram of the beautiful latte art not really realizing my clutch was right next to it. No one really cared about the latte art, they all started commenting where I got my clutch?! Everyone around me kept encouraging to make more designs to sell, so since I was in the midst of moving from Hawai'i to Long Beach California, I figured this could be like a fun, side thing while I'm in transition of moving and finding new job so within a month, I made about 10 more designs and made a cute lil website thinking, "It'll be fun to sell like 10-20 of them." However the Universe always has a plan, when I launched the website I ended up getting over 40 website orders and stores from Hawai'i and Japan were just flooding my email about wholesaling. After that the rest was history :)
- Whats your inspiration?
My inspiration is my surrounding where ever I go, especially our home Hawai'i, we live in such a beautiful place filled with most friendliest people. Sometimes I could just be at the beach with my friends and I'll get a spark of inspiration for a design.
- What have you found is your biggest challenge?
My biggest challenge I had to face was trying to keep up with my crazy ideas and thoughts for new products. There are times I'll get a "ah-ha" moment and my mind goes 100mph where I have so much ideas that I want to do all at once, then I get scattered and unorganized. So I've been good where I have a note book at all times to write down each time I get that "ah-ha" moment.
- Shout outs to other female Maui entrepreneurs?
Shout outs would be to Ash and the peeps at Maui Thing!! We love how Maui Thing is more than just a store/boutique, it's inspirational. Also to my really good friend Brittany Yap who's also from Maui, she's a Life Coach, Hypnotherapist, and Reiki Practitioner who is so passionate giving back, that she inspires me to always give back when we can.
- What’s your “maui thing”?
I live in Honolulu now and I'm always so busy traveling throughout the mainland that I barely get o come home to Maui more than once a year. I'm a total foodie, so when I do come home, my Maui Thing is to, go to all the fun places to eat from hunna buttah days (haha) like Tasaka Guri-Guri, Sam Sato's, Komoda's Bakery, and (when it was open) Kaohu store for hotdogs haha the list goes on.
Memories of Girls Day were always fun. The boys would put up our chairs at the end of the day in grade school. We'd be first in the lunch line. As we got older, our boyfriends got us little gifs and mochi with little love notes for the holiday. But what IS Girl's Day? I really had no idea. So of course, I did what I always do when I'm stumped - I asked Siri...
Girl's Day, or Hinamatsui, is celebrated annually on March 3. The Japanese holiday began long ago when they would float Hina dolls down the river as they believed that the dolls embodied evil spirits and bad luck. Sending them down the river would ensure safety and happiness for their children. Now the custom is to display the dolls in February and take them down no later than March 3. Superstition says that if you leave dolls on display longer, the daughter in the house will get married late in life.
You learn something new everyday! Of course there are other stories and a more detailed explanation of the dolls, etc. If you'd like to learn more, I'm sure Siri would be more than happy to help :)
So as custom here in Hawaii‘i, we make pink, yummy chi chi dango! Stop by our store today to get this snack while shopping! If you don't get a chance to stop by, here's the recipe. Its very simple!
1 box mochiko
1 can coconut milk
2 1/2 cups sugar
2 cups water
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. baking powder
potato starch for after its done and cut!
Oil and flour a 9x13 pan. Mix ingredients (everything except potato starch) and pour into pan. Bake at 350 degrees covered with foil for one hour. Cut with a plastic knife (less sticky) and powder each piece with potato starch. Enjoy!
Being a young adult in today's world is weird, just weird. There are so many people, ideas, blogs, articles, beliefs pulling you in every direction possible. Gone are the simple days of right and wrong, black and white. Everyone and anyone is able to slap their beliefs or thoughts on social media and all of a sudden, it become factual information. Poor celebrities get bashed for every misspelled word, wrong hashtag or negative comment that they decided to express via the world of Twitter. People become unknowingly self-conscious, all-knowing and way too into everyone elses business!
Ironically, my BFF posted this on social media the other day and I thought it was fabulous and was a great reminder (I'll soon get into the good social media does;)
"We give too many people the power to lower our vibrations. Stand true to your own frequency."
She follows the post with the hashtag #hitthepositive (a term we coined in high school when people would get nuts.)
On that note, lets "hit the positive"...social media has done wonders for small business, making it a viable option for anyone. It's opened the lines of communication like we never dreamed possible. I can keep in touch with friends around the globe and actually get a little peek into their lives even though we rarely see each other. It sparks inspiration and creativity while giving users complete control and fancy filters to create fabulously fun and artsy photography. It makes the world smaller, real-er (for lack of a more fitting word) and enables education and exposure to anything and everything you could imagine.
In the end, I've come to the very simple conclusion that I relay to every aspect in life - balance. You need to find balance in social media usage. To help you, we've come up with 50 things to do other than social media. So next time you instinctively open that Instagram app and get ready to scroll and double click, think again. Find balance in your online life and your real life. Choose to do one of these things instead!
1. Donate clothes. Surely we all have some clothes sitting in the back corner of our closets that we haven’t worn in ages!
3. Teach your child how to bake. For an easy, yummy, chocolate trifle recipe, click here!
4. Dust those spiderwebs off your bike and go for a short ride.
5. Walk your dog. Or play fetch with him/her.
6. Read a magazine. A real one with real pages that you can flip through.
7. Take a nap.
8. Call a friend you haven’t talked to in a while.
10. Pluck your eyebrows. Haven’t done it in a while? Do it! It will make you feel rather accomplished :)
11. Indulge in a yummy dessert or ice cream.
12. Eat ice cream (our favorite is Roselani!)
13. Read a book. Again, a real one. With real pages.
14. Go see a movie.
15. Clean. You’ll be rewarded with a clean house, a happy family and you’ll feel very productive!
16. Sit outside for a bit and get some fresh air.
17. Go for a walk
18. Dust off your skateboard from college and see if you still got balance!
19. Organize your digital library of photos that you’ve been putting off!
21. Have a conversation, face to face over coffee or a cocktail
22. Print and organize photos
23. Send a card to your grandparent
24. Make smoked meat
25. Pickle vegetables
26. Learn a new recipe
27. Play the uke
28. Write a poem, or a rap
29. Learn to knit
31. Teach a child something you did when you were young-crotchet, cook, bake, play jacks, play cards
32. Start a new business in Wailuku Town
34. Pull weeds
35. Spend time in nature-enjoy the fresh air, the foliage, the mountains
36. Start an herb garden
37. Share what you bought from Costco
38. Write a guest blog for Maui Thing and email it to us
39. Bake cookies and share with a neighbor
40. Go to the public library and explore interesting books
41. Arrange fresh flowers in your house and smile
42. Write down 5 things that you are grateful for
43. Go to the MACC and enjoy the Portrait Challenge Show at the Schaefer Gallery
44. Make a donation to the Maui Food Bank
45. Take a 7 day challenge to find 5 things in house each day to donate, share or eliminate
46. Make a little extra dinner and share with someone who is sick, lonely or going through a challenge
47. Look through your high school yearbook and laugh
48. Do a crossword puzzle or sudoko
49. Do 30 squats
50. Reorganize your closet or pantry
Not sure how the bento light bulb went off in my head but once it did, I’ve been slightly obsessed. (We’ll see how long this hobby lasts.) I do know it started right after the ever so hectic holidays which, came right after several months of intense work in the office, which came right after stepping off of this really time consuming board. So after all the business of the board, work and holidays, I guess I felt a little antsy and thought “Sae, you’ve never ever made one of those super cute, time consuming and meticulous kiddy bentos… think you can do it?” I was being challenged by the noise in my head.
So what you see is my first attempt of a fairly healthy finger food bento for kids. I made these for a friend’s, friend’s 2 year old. She thought that my kids were so lucky. In actuality my children never experienced this maternal side of me, it’s like it kicked in a decade late. (sorry kids!)
These are FARRRRRR from bentos I searched online, including my friend in San Francisco who would do these amazing “themed” bentos for her 3 boys E-VER-Y-DAY. I thought she was crazy, but in a super awe-inspiring, I’m a terrible mom way.
Well better late than never. I am making bentos for my son’s baseball team this Saturday, less cute, more substance. If all goes well, look out for BENTO TEST #2.
We all love Pinterest! It is a great place to get inspired. But, lets be honest...sometimes the DIY thing is not that easy. There is much more behind the "beautiful pictures" and "easy step-by-step tutorials." We decided to make a dream catcher for our Valentine's Day window. The great thing about it was we used everything we already had at the store! That always make things easier and affordable. DIY and creativity allows you to learn along the way and you can create your own, unique thing. So here is what we did on a Monday afternoon. Maybe it will inspire you to try it too.
What we used:
- Hula Hoop
- Old t-shirts (lacy and silk)
- Wire (easily be molded)
- Fishing line
- Pink yarn
- Hot glue gun
- Fake flowers
1. We started off with our big hula hoop! We cut up a cute, old lacy shirt and glued it around the hoop.
2. Then the hard part. I will be honest this took us a couple times to figure out. We molded our metal wire into a heart. This is going to be tricky, but don't get frustrated. You will definitely need some help from a friend. We intertwined the two ends in the middle.
3. Find the perfect spot in the middle of your hoop. Secure a couple sections with the fishing line. We chose the middle and bottom of the heart. Then secured two sides.
4. Time for some yarn! This is the longest part and requires patience. Again, this took us a couple attempts to figure the best way to execute this. We found out tying them individually around the hoop works best! So cut a bunch and get tying. (**Tying the yarn moves the wire heart. Be mindful of tying too loose or too tight)
5. There are going to be some areas (the top of the heart) that will need to glued in place. The more secure the better.
6. Grab your old shirts and get cutting. This will be the hanging party of your dreamcatcher. We made our outside short and went larger toward the middle. Get creative and make the bottom fun!
In the heart of Wailuku, there once was a little store,
Where each person was greeted with a smile at the door.
They were local and small, creative and bright!
Their apparel was thoughtful and fit just right.
During the holidays they worked like little elves at the North Pole,
Hoping to bring smiles and joy to every bright little soul.
They're able to flourish and grow because of people like you,
Who support Maui businesses through and through.
They’re more thankful year after year,
That they’re able to be a part of this community they hold so dear.
So Mahalo to you for all that you’ve done,
Cheers to a Merry Christmas and a week full of holiday fun!