Two Up-cycled Product Lines Pop Up At Ward
Artistic duo Keith Tallett and Sally Lundburg of media company Mahi‘ai Creative recently launched two up-cycled retail lines – and they’ve got their relationship as husband and wife to thank.
The conception of both lines, Manukai Handboards and Kalakoa Designs, came from Tallett looking for creative gift ideas for Lundburg. So Tallett, a seasoned surfboard shaper, put excess material from his shop to use: For Christmas, he crafted her a bodysurfing handboard from an old surfboard, and then, for her birthday a couple months later, he made her a ring from leftover resin in the shop.
Now, the Hawaii Island-based artists create and sell bodysurfing handboards through Manukai Handboards, as well as jewelry through Kalakoa Designs. Tallett and Lundburg are hosting a pop-up shop at Na Mea Hawaii in Ward Village through Aug. 14. The handboards also are available for purchase at Roberta Oaks in Chinatown.
“The first wave I got (with the handboard), I rode all the way to the beach,” Lundburg recalls, “and I had never gotten a wave bodysurfing like that before.
“(The boards) create more lift and more glide so you can go longer on the wave,” she continues. “It’s a huge difference.”
Kalakoa Designs, meanwhile, features colorful rings, earrings and pendants.
A chief goal for Tallett and Lundburg for both Manukai Handboards and Kalakoa Designs is to utilize items that otherwise would go to waste. To create the handboards, they repurpose old surfboards, that might often make use of fiberglass core materials – and then craft straps for the boards from used wetsuits. To create their jewelry, the couple uses resin that’s leftover from Tallett’s surfboard shaping or from their artwork. The handboards and jewelry also both are partly comprised of scrap wood that they gather from fallen trees on their farm or driftwood they find on the beach.
“It’s about making our materials with what would have ended up going into the landfill,” Lundburg says. “Living a sustainable lifestyle and creating with what we have, creating things that are conducive to a healthy environment is really important to us. It’s important that we can make products that we can stand behind ideologically.”
Tallett and Lundburg both are conceptual artists and work in a variety of media. Originally from Hawaii Island, they attended San Francisco Art Institute and then worked in the city for a few years before returning home. These days, they showcase their artwork statewide. While they mainly work independently from one another, they have begun to collaborate more recently – starting with being featured artists in Honolulu Museum of Art’s CONTACT exhibit for the past couple of years.
“Working collaboratively has been a great thing, because we are able to share our skills,” Lundburg says. “And we are doing things that we might not do alone.”
But, Lundburg says, the real credit to launch Manukai Handboards and Kalakoa Designs goes to their 11-year-old daughter, Kia‘i Tallett, who encouraged them to create an Etsy account to sell some of their goods.
“That is how we started to take the business seriously,” Lundburg recalls.
For more information on Manukai Handboards, visit manukaihandboards.com. The Kalakoa Designs website (kalakoadesigns.com) is set to launch in a few weeks. For more on the pop-up shop at Na Mea, call 596-8885 or visit nameahawaii.com.