Hawaiian store Na Mea Hawai`i asks for your help in next move

Popular local store Na Mea Hawai`i and three other stores that it operates will be leaving their Ward Warehouse location at the end of July. It will be moving “sometime in September” at Ward Centre, in the space previously occupied by Brookstone.

Aupuni Place at Ward Warehouse. Photo by Olivia Hansen.

Na Mea Hawai`i, which has been at the Ward Warehouse for nearly 20 years, is a “space for cultural exchange, education, and local goods,” as described by its website (http://www.nameahawaii.com). Owner Maile Meyer says she’s worked with land manager Howard Hughes Corporation over the last few months to “incubate community space for creative expression, small businesses, stand up comedy, music, performance, art murals, and exhibition.”

Owner Maile Meyer (on right) and manager Josh.

On the day of her media event, many of the above were in evidence. Eight small businesses had mini storefronts along the perimeter of the large space, an art exhibition greeted customers in the front, live music played, and in the center of the room, crafters invited the public to learn to make haku lei.

Crafters at Aupuni Place. Photo by Olivia Hansen.

Meyer, under the LLC “Ho`omaika`i” also is affiliated with three other Ward Warehouse stores: Hello Makana, Aupuni Place, and Native Books. While Na Mea Hawai`i focuses more on Hawaiian cultural items, Hello Makana is dedicated to packing-and-sending locally made products, Aupuni Place is a site for Hawaiian and local artists, and Native Books sells Polynesian-themed books.

Turtles for sale at Na Mea Hawai`i. Photo by Olivia Hansen.

All four of the entities will host a goodbye/ mahalo party on July 30 from 5 p.m. – 8 p.m. at Aupuni Place. The stores will close for good the next day, July 31.

They’re holding a fundraiser in July to help them transition into their new space at Ward Centre. “There are few stores selling locally-made products in the urban core. I want to stay here in Kaka`ako to provide people a place to go to not just shop, but to talk, learn, and read. It’s about relationships, connections,” she told a group of journalists. Na Mea Hawai`i’s mission, she says, is to serve as a community resource.

More on Na Mea Hawai`i and its related stores at http://www.nameahawaii.com.

Diane Ako

Peace of mind By Diane Ako I like to reflect on life. Sometimes it’s philosophically. Sometimes it’s humorously. For all its beauty, life is far too difficult a journey to take alone. You need the support and connection with others to help carry you along the way. Writing brings me that connection– within and without. It clarifies my thoughts and feelings. It helps me reach out to others for advice, wisdom, or feedback. Your thoughts become your actions. Your actions become you. A wise yogi- Patanjali- said, “Speak what is true. Speak what is pleasant.” Let’s speak of things pleasant to one another and seek some peace of mind along the way. ABOUT Diane Ako joined Hawaii: In Real Life in October 2016. She likes being part of a community of local bloggers – people who like writing and sharing, like she does. Ako is an anchor/ reporter at Island News (KITV4 – ABC) in Honolulu. She previously anchored and reported at KHON2 (FOX) and KHNL (NBC), and at stations in California, New Mexico, and Pennsylvania. She freelance writes for NMG Network's magazines. In between news jobs, in 2017, she launched and ran her own p.r. company, Diane Ako PR. From 2010-2014, she headed the public relations department at Halekulani Corporation, which oversees luxury resort Halekulani and boutique hotel Waikiki Parc. She’s been blogging since 2009 – before Hawaii: IRL, she wrote for The Honolulu Star-Advertiser, the state’s largest daily newspaper, where her stories garnered a dozen journalism awards and an Emmy nomination. Ako has a BA in Communications from Menlo College and an MA in Political Science from University of Hawaii at Manoa. She volunteers as a board member of the Honolulu Gay & Lesbian Cultural Foundation, a Shinto shrine maiden at Daijingyu Temple, a citizen-scientist studying shrimp, and a yoga teacher at a senior center.

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