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Talk Story With HOPA

Home9Blog9Talk Story With HOPA

In Hawaii “talk story” means catching up or chatting. LeiHut loves talking story with our vendors. Here’s a talk story session with Bronson Chang, the founder of Oahu’s favorite shave ice shop, HOPA, also known as Uncle Clay’s House of Pure Aloha.

LeiHut (LH): Tell us a little bit about HOPA and pure aloha spirit.
Bronson Chang (BC): Uncle Clay’s House of Pure Aloha, also known as “HOPA”, is a Hawaiian treat shop where you can enjoy all-natural homemade shave ice and other delicious treats, a social enterprise out to make a difference in the world, but most importantly a welcoming house for all to come together as ohana and authentically experience Pure Aloha and the real magic and beauty of Hawaii. We are guided to live “The Pure Aloha Way”, a lifestyle based on the six core values of: live pure love, inner peace now is essential, passionately self-discover, truly believing is the beginning, be humble, and continuously pursue perfection. We try to go really deep into each of these values, if you’d like to yourself, see here.

HOPA love coffee mug
HOPA Pure Aloha Oath

(LH): What inspired you to create the HOPA products?
(BC): The inspiration behind the HOPA products we’ve created was simple: how can we share more Pure Aloha?  Our intention was to provide high-quality, creative, and thoughtful products that would inspire, encourage, and remind people to live Pure Aloha.  Every time someone purchases a HOPA product, we’re excited and grateful because we know it means more Pure Aloha will be shared into the world!

(LH): What is your most popular flavor at HOPA? What is your most popular product?
(BC): Strawberry is our most popular flavor by far.  We use fresh strawberries for our syrup and it’s beloved by all.  Can’t decide on a flavor, you can’t go wrong with the ‘ohana favorite! Our most popular HOPA merchandise are the HOPA Love stickers.  I’m not surprised because the meaning behind the HOPA Love sticker is so perfect and powerful.  Oh, and we have lots of pretty color variations!  The HOPA Love sign is made using two “I Love You” signs put together and forms a heart in a house.  We envision seeing people around the world boldly sharing this sign one day to spread Pure Aloha.

HOPA sticker

(LH):  Does HOPA have any new flavors or products in the works?(BC):  Always! You’ll have to stay tuned because we’re constantly being inspired with new ideas.

Hawaiian Halloween Costume Ideas

Home9Blog9Hawaiian Halloween Costume Ideas

Everyone’s favorite fall holiday is right around the corner – Halloween! Carving pumpkins, gathering up treats, and putting together a creative costume can leave you feeling tired as a zombie. Luckily, LeiHut is here to help! Here’s our quick guide to a Hawaiian-inspired Halloween!

Hula Girl: Dressing up as a Hawaiian hula girl is an easy and fun costume that’s sure to make you popular at Halloween festivities. Start with a grass skirt and coconut shell bra. If you live in a colder climate, wear leggings and a neutral colored turtleneck shirt underneath for warmth. Accessorize your look with a bunch of artificial leis and clip flowers in your hair. Be ready to sway those hips!

Coconut Shell Bra Hula Costume
Oahu Guide Map

Classic Tourist: This creative costume idea is great for girls or guys and easy to put together. Start by outfitting yourself in a brightly colored aloha shirt paired with cargo shorts. For footwear, make it humorous by wearing socks with sandals or go for the more serious adventurer style and wear hiking boots. Carry a foldable map and wear a camera around your neck.

Surfer Dude (or Dudette): Wear a swim suit and lather up in some tropical scented lotion or sunscreen. Bonus points for putting a thick layer of zinc-oxide sunscreen on your nose. Get the true Hawaiian surfer look by sporting a trucker hat. Locals love ’em for the great sun protection. Make sure to give the “shaka” or “hang loose” hand sign to everyone you pass by folding down your pointer, middle, and ring finger and extending your thumb and pinkie.

Get Salty Trucker Hat

Have you ever dressed up as any of these things for Halloween? If so let us know and share your photos with us!

Giving Back to Community

Home9Blog9Giving Back to Community

Last weekend the LeiHut crew pitched in at the biggest block party on the island – Cool Kailua Nights. The event gives back to the community by donating proceeds to the Castle Medical Center’s Oncology Clinic and the Boys & Girls Club of Hawaii Windward Club House. LeiHut also donated a percentage of proceeds to Lemonade Alley. Between the food, music, and other fun happenings, the party drew thousands of residents and tourists. The founder of Cool Kailua Nights, Danielle Scherman, kicked off the first one in 2006. Danielle is a busy body, as she also is a vendor on LeiHut selling her line of Danshells jewelry!

Dangling Shell earrings on leaf
LeiHut Dog Dress

LeiHut’s mascot, Mia, modeling. LeiHut’s favorite doggie lei designer, Lei Woof, played a huge role in the event as the doggie fashion show organizer. Models walked their furry four-legged friends down the runway to show off the latest designs in pet clothing and accessories like dog leis.

The silent auction featured a number of special goods from vendors around the island. LeiHut was happy to donate two care packages towards the cause. One was filled with tasty dried tropical fruits The other care package was stuffed with Hawaiian coffee.

LeiHut loves to get out and give back to the community. Let us know if you’ve got an event where we can share the aloha!

LeiHut Care Package

Travel in Style!

Home9Blog9Travel in Style!

Gearing up for a vacation to Hawaii or some other tropical destination this winter? Use these quick tips to stay comfortable, happy, and, most importantly, in style!

Protect your peepers! Make sure to pack sunglasses with UV protection. UV stands for ultraviolet rays – the ones known for causing damage to your skin. These harmful rays can also hurt your eyes, so selecting shades with at least 100% UV protection on the label is important. Keep your sunglasses from getting scratched in your beach bag by storing them in a soft padded cloth pouch.

Hawaiian Eyeglass Pouch
Travel Neck Pillow

Catch up on Zzz’s! Long trips on planes, trains, buses and cars are exhausting and unless you’re traveling in first class, notoriously uncomfortable. Instead of subjecting yourself to in-flight movies or endless Sudoku games, sneak in some beauty sleep. Getting extra shut-eye will allow you to have maximum energy when you arrive at your final destination and will help the time fly by. A U-shaped design neck travel pillow nicely supports your head and allows you to comfortably nap on the go. Keep ear plugs stowed along with your pillow to ensure restful sleep and sweet dreams.

It’s in the bag! Having handy tote bags is a necessity when you’re jet setting. Cloth tote bags are great for travel because they can fold down flat, expand and stretch to hold your towels, snacks, reading materials, and other goodies, and they are machine washable. We are in love with our new collection of reversible Hawaiian print tote bags that are lined with fun and funky geometric patterns on the opposite side. They are also useful for grocery shopping as they are much stronger than paper or plastic bags and can be reused again and again!

Hawaiian Print Tote Bag

Are you going on any tropical vacations this year? What are your best travel tips?

Ukulele for Beginners

Home9Blog9Ukulele for Beginners

In Hawaii, the ukulele is as iconic as pineapples and hula girls. The beautiful sounds produced from this instrument can vary based on the shape, size, and materials used to create it. The best part about the ukulele is it is fun to play and easy enough for anybody to learn. Here are the basics to the ukulele:

Hawaiian Ukulele
Ukulele Lesson Book

Ukuleles have just four strings, unlike the six strings on a guitar. This simplification makes learning basic chords and notes a little easier for those new to the instrument. Most instructional books for ukulele will teach you the chords and strumming patterns using diagrams that plainly display where your fingers need to go. Our favorite beginner’s book is “Uke-ology: A Guide for the Ukulele Enthusiast.” In addition to providing all the essential information about how to play the ukulele, it also includes a CD that you can play along with. Within a short time you’ll be able to play songs!

There’s a very large variety of ukuleles to choose from. They range from inexpensive and colorful beginners styles to handcrafted, beautifully detailed, premium instruments constructed with rare woods or inlaid with shells and other adornments. It is important to select an ukulele that suits your needs and that you feel excited to play. Gather a group of friends and go through lessons together. Practice makes perfect!

Ukulele Lesson Hawaii