A garland widely known throughout Hawaii and Polynesia is called lei. For a more basic definition, this circle of flowers is strung together with the intention of being worn. In the Pacific, its different designs are presented as presents to honor people. For instance, being given to graduates, loved ones who are leaving, or visiting dignitaries. Here are my three favorite Lei makers in Oahu, Hawaii:
1. Eco Mindful Lei
Eco Mindful Lei is mindfully made, instilling the Hawaiian value of Aloha Aina — meaning to love all that sustains life: the earth, the ocean, and the air into all aspects of lei po’o making; keeping it sustainable using renewable plant resources, 100% earth-friendly, compostable, & plastic-free, making them safe to gift to nature. The founder and creator of Eco Mindful Lei is no other than Gina Ballesteros, who is a licensed psychotherapist with Mindful Based Stress Reduction training, an educator in sustainability, a Reiki master, and a yoga instructor. She believed in nature as therapy, that is why she built the company. Eco Mindful Lei can help you create the most memorable day in Oahu. She’ll use her connections to bring a carefully curated mindful event such as corporate events, retreats, family reunions, gatherings, parties and team building that will foster connection, meaning, and a nurturing vibe. She collaborated with some of Oahu's greatest caterers, photographers, yoga instructors, surf instructors, and experts to provide you the best pricing and unique events all in one spot. If you're planning to go on a trip to Oahu, you should not miss booking a lei po'o workshop with local lei makers! You can visit her website at ecomindfullei.com
2. Adorned with Aloha
Adorned with Aloha is a small business owned by Jabrielle Maua'i. She works at her place located in Laie, Oahu where she designs fresh flower and silk adornments. Locally, those products are known as lei 'ā'ī (any lei worn on the shoulders) and lei po'o (head adornments). These terms are what people in her town use and by the people who have a close relationship with her. Through dancing, Jabrielle was taught how to make all kinds of accessories that some might call “props”. Her favorite accessory is the Tahitian hip band where she learned the art of lei making. She adapted a weaving technique from it, so every piece she made was self-taught. To her, dancing became more than a passion. It became her way of living and recognized it as it was a part of her. Every piece she makes is unique to its wearer and is surely designed from the heart. You can visit her instagram account at instagram.com/adornedwithaloha
3. Kaululani Florals LLC
Kaululani Florals LLC. is a woman-owned small local business in Kaimuki, Oahu that creates floral designs. She offers and delivers quality services that are exceptional and elegant. Her specialties are traditional sets and events like birthdays and weddings. She’s very open-minded with customized works, so she could give customers’ specific wants and needs. This floral styling has been going on since the past years. Fun fact, it was actually named “Hakus by Kaululani” before it got its current title. This growing business of hers shows how she’s been handling orders very well; most of her creations can be seen and watched on her instagram account with beautiful and satisfied people. To know more about her creations, you can check it out at kaululaniflorals.com
The Lei Maker Puzzle inspired by your favorite lei makers is here! Check it out!