New clutch line spreads aloha
Amanda Dela Cruz, creator of clutch and accessory company Lil Coconut Hawaii, recently returned from Coachella, where she celebrated her birthday surrounded by friends. But business and sharing Hawaii’s aloha spirit always is on her mind. She designed fashionable T-shirts with the message “aloha” (using a shaka as the L) to sport at the California music and arts festival.
Now that she’s back home on Oahu, she’s turning her full attention to her summer line of clutches, totes and jewelry that represent a little piece of paradise. Dela Cruz titled her newest line, which launched on her web-site May 15, “Summer of Aloha.”
First up on the Summer of Aloha line are Note Totes: adorable tote bags with inspirational sayings to motivate the carrier.
While Dela Cruz is known for clutches that feature her own photography, customers continuously tell her that they love the quotes and sayings that adorn the bags.
“Everyone wants something that’s going to inspire them and give them a piece of aloha,” she says. “I wanted something people could carry around as an inspirational thing. Like a pick-me-up. When they look at the totes, they feel good, they feel inspired, they feel affirmation.”
Fans of Lil Coconut Hawaii’s traditional clutches can look forward to new designs (and jewelry) that scream “summer in Hawaii.”
All sterling silver and 14K-gold plated necklaces showcase the same “aloha” shaka design on the Coachella T-shirts, and each piece is hand stamped by Dela Cruz. Best of all, each necklace comes with either an Aloha Shave Ice or Hawaii Is Always A Good Idea mini clutch — perfect for storing credit cards, cash, ear buds, coins and more.
“I launched the shave ice and the Hawaii palm trees (Hawaii Is Always A Good Idea design) clutches with this collection because it’s the essence of summer in Hawaii,” Dela Cruz says.
Dela Cruz founded Lil Coconut Hawaii two years ago, but says the experience is still eye-opening.
“This is really teaching me to grow,” she says. “It’s like that saying, ‘When you’re an entrepreneur, you’re building your plane as you’re taking off.’ That’s what I’m doing.”
Last year was a sort of “test” year for her, but she says she’s now more confident and ready to grow her company. In fact, she calls her second year in business the terrific twos, rather than the terrible twos.
Prior to owning her own business, Dela Cruz managed clothing boutique Cottage by the Sea for nine years.
“The biggest fear you have to get over is taking that risk,” she says of the entrepreneurial journey. “I’m learning so much and I’m ready. I’m not afraid to step out of my boundaries.”
Check out Lil Coconut Hawaii online at lilcoconuthawaii.bigcartel.com or keep up to date on Instagram (@lilcoconuthawaii).