Letter From The Editor

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When asked how PA‘I Foundation goes about curating vendors for its new Pa‘akai Marketplace, now held monthly at SALT at Our Kakaako, PA‘I’s Elizabeth Ka‘iulani Takamori says this: “We want something that is unique to each vendor. I don’t want something that is cookie cutter to be sold here. We want people who actually live here and create here to come and bring their things that they make.”

That was definitely evident when we stopped by January’s Pa’akai event. Its dozen or so vendors — there are about 35 total that rotate each month — each offered hand-crafted, can’t-be-found-anywhere-else goods. From necklaces made from lauhala, pigskin suede and koa wood, to customizable home goods, the things you’ll find at Pa‘akai certainly are unique.

The event was created in partnership with Kamehameha Schools, and as senior asset manager Gary Evora explains, “The objective of Pa‘akai Marketplace is to embrace and showcase Native Hawaiian and local art, music and crafts to the community in the innovative Our Kaka‘ako.”

In line with both PA‘I Foundation and Kamehameha Schools’ missions, the market serves as a way to strengthen Native Hawaiian identity.

PA‘I Foundation is perhaps best known for being the force behind Maoli Arts Movement (MAMo), and many of the MAMo artists now have a monthly home at Pa‘akai. For more on how the marketplace is helping small, local businesses and what it’s got to offer, read more here.