Friday, May 29, 2009

Authentic Hawaiian Souvenirs

The first time I visited Hawaii, I bought so many souvenirs that I could barely close my suitcase. When I returned home and examined all these souvenirs, I was shocked to find that most of them (ok all of them) were not made in Hawaii. How did this happen? Well, there are so many places to buy souvenirs and they are all competing for your business, so they entice you with their cheap prices. Upon closer inspection, I noticed that many items I had purchased were "designed in Hawaii" but made in China.

When I visit any destination I want to buy gifts for my friends and family that are from the actual place that I travelled to. If you are going to Hawaii, you need to look carefully before making any purchases if you want to buy something of quality that is made in the Islands. One place to get authentic Hawaiian gifts is at Shop Pacifica at the Bishop Museum. If you head downtown there are also a number of locally-run stores that have Hawaiian food products available for sale. Instead of taking a bunch of plastic flower leis home,why not buy a fresh lei and keep it in your hotel room so you can enjoy the beautiful scent of the flowers for the same price?

When buying souvenirs, be sure to ask if the product is made in Hawaii before purchasing (and check the label too). Granted, the items will cost more but they are more authentic and you will be supporting the local Hawaiian community.



Kris Nelson said...

You touch on a very good point.

I was recently on the look out for this same thing on our last trip to Maui. When I was shopping around for a few Aloha shirts, I was surprised at how many of them were not made in Hawaii. Even at Hilo Hattie, which obviously is having it's own issues right now, but was supposed to be the "Store of Hawai'i".

Like you mentioned, it's another great way to help support the local economy while you're visiting the islands. Especially now more than ever. These might cost more, but that extra money will certainly go further and you will almost always be getting something of much better quality in return.

Another great topic, Natalani, keep it up!

Anonymous said...

I took your advice. I was having a nice Mai Tai and was curious to see if it was actually made in Hawaii.

So I turned it upside down to see what it said on the bottom of the glass....

Tee Hee!

Tinna Cooper said...

Love your authentic Hawaiian souvenirs collection, Shop Pacifica is my favorite shopping center for souvenirs like did you post.