Ward Bookstore Set To Have New Look In 2015

Maile Meyer of Na Mea Hawaii sees her store as a space for community service and exchange that she describes as being born out of collaboration.

The store, previously branded as Native Books Na Mea Hawaii, will start the new year with a brand-new look and website, but the same community spirit and educational passion will live on.

“It’s really an attempt for people to interact with the Native Hawaiian community,” Meyer says. “Part of that is a culture opportunity for us to be … information sharers.”

A book section sits snugly within the walls of Na Mea Hawaii and serves as a vehicle for these educational opportunities.

“We do a lot of donating,” Meyer says of the books. “And we do lots and lots of (in-store) readings … lots of film (showings). The idea is just making the knowledge readily accessible.

“The books are an important, viable teaching and learning tool — and a big part of what we’re trying to do here.”

Classes are held from January to just before Thanksgiving in the middle of the store, with each class promoting a specific aspect of the Native Hawaiian culture. New classes begin in January, as that space currently houses numerous Christmas decorations, holiday treats and one-of-a-kind festive gifts, as pictured here.

More than 200 consignees find a home away from home in Na Mea Hawaii, as do Hui Members, who utilize a space in the store in exchange for volunteer hours and event projects.

“They do these projects that really add to the energy of the store,” Meyer adds.

Consignees are paid a higher percentage for their goods, as they all are not-for-profit organizations, and according to Meyer, the amount of products from these not-for-profits will only continue to grow.

Check back at nameahawaii.com in January for the website changes.

“We’re going to (transition) to a native knowledge center model,” Meyer explains. “We’re going to have more contemporary applications because that’s the next round of resilience and kind of being relevant in the community.

“There is so much knowledge in the Hawaiian community and we want to make sure people are aware of it through technology,” Meyer adds.

Na Mea Hawaii has been open, in one form or another, for 25 years, and has called Ward Warehouse home for the past 15.

With the new website comes new branding.

“People still know us as Native Books,” Meyers concludes. “Now we’re becoming Na Mea Hawaii.”

Na Mea Hawaii
Monday to Saturday, 10 a.m. – 9 p.m. Sunday, 10 a.m. 6 p.m. Ward Warehouse 1050 Ala Moana Blvd. Honolulu (808) 596-8885 nameahawaii.com