Made in Maui County Festival

One of the things I adore about Maui is the creative energy and love of farming. Maui is home to many artists, makers and growers. This weekend, 130 of these local businesses will offer their wares at the first Made in Maui County Festival. Presented by the Mayor’s Office of Economic Development and the Maui Chamber of Commerce, the festival was modeled after the popular Made in Hawaii event. The event strives to showcase and promote locally made products and will be open to the public from 8 to 4:30 on Saturday, November 8th, at the MACC.


I’m excited for the opportunity to meet the artisans behind BoxEleven (handmade women’s apparel and accessories), Aloha Letterpress (custom designed stationery printed on an antique press) and Kalapaki Girl Dezigns (women’s contemporary apparel made from vintage fabric on Molokai). I will also be visiting familiar friendly faces like Libby Behn of Maui Island Love (handmade tote bags) and Roxanne Tiffin of Kula Fields (products made from local produce by our favorite home farm box delivery service). The Festival will feature products made with love for your closet, tabletop and kitchen.

In the first year of MauiShopGirl, I successfully completed a challenge to purchase my entire holiday gift list from local makers. If you’d like to do the same this year, Made in Maui is the perfect event to kick off your holiday shopping. The full list of vendors is here.

As for me, I’ll be browsing for gifts and searching for product lines to feature on MauiShopGirl in future posts. I hope to see you there!

Fantasia Ball 2014, IMUA Family Services

IMUA Family Services annual gala, the Fantasia Ball, is just days away! It will be a night to remember.


The Black & White Fantasia Ball will be held at the Hyatt Regency in Kaanapali on April 5th. Fashion, dining, shopping and more come together to support an extremely important and valuable resource for our Maui county families, Imua Family Services.

Imua Family Services mission is to provide comprehensive early childhood development services to children and their families with the support and resources needed to achieve their full potential in life. I attended the ball last year and learned so much about the services Imua offers our families and also listened to stories of keikis and their parents who have been helped by Imua.

The Fantasia Ball is a fantastic and fun event for a worthwhile organization and this year’s event will be no exception. It is truly one of THE events I look forward to each year. Here’s a few highlights on this year’s program:

  • Fashion collection showing by MONaRREZ, Chicago’s 2013 Designer of the Year
  • Original design showing by Fashion Technology Program Students from the University of Hawaii, Maui
  • An instagram contest with a prize from the Cos Bar at the Shops at Wailea.

Imua Fantasia Ball

You can read more about the Fantasia Ball  here and buy tickets here. I hope to see you there!

If you can’t make the Ball, come and dance the night away with us at the after party to end all after parties, Fantasia After Dark.

Imua AfterDark

All images courtesy of Imua Family Services.

Hale Lani, House of the Heavens…Maui Meadows

My family moved to Maui Meadows in the early ’70s. Maui Meadows is a neighborhood in South Kihei located directly above Wailea. I was four when our house was being built in 1972 and I remember our home being one of just a few. We were surrounded by hills of empty lots filled with thorny kiawe trees. A few of my father’s family and friends wondered why he would want to live so far away from central Maui. My oh my, how things have changed. Maui Meadows is now a desired area nestled between mauka (mountain) and makai (ocean) with very few undeveloped lots. Residents enjoy cool mountain breezes, an ocean view and a close proximity to some of the best beaches on the island.

When I decided to return to Maui a few years ago I began to search for a rental until my dad suggested he expand the family house so I could live with them. I eagerly agreed. My intent on returning home was to spend time with my parents after more than two decades away and also to be available to them if and when they needed me in their senior years. I could think of no better location to live than Maui Meadows. I cuddle up at night in the crisp evenings, see amazing sunsets on my daily walks and wake up to birds chirping. I can also be at my favorite beach in Wailea, shopping at a boutique or sitting at Monkeypod’s bar enjoying wine and gnocchi in mere minutes. Since the 70s, highways have been built and expanded so Maui Meadows is also conveniently just a 25 minute drive from the central area and a few minutes drive from lower Kihei and its many grocers and other retail.

I live in the lower  portion of Maui Meadows where our view is a bit obstructed so I was thrilled to have the opportunity to attend an event behind the gates of Kaimanu Estates, at Hale Lani, House of the Heavens, on the upper portion of Maui Meadows where the views are unobstructed and jaw dropping.

Kaimanu View Round

This is the view from poolside at the estate (image courtesy of Erik Blair). It doesn’t get any better than this. Mountain and ocean views with a lush landscape immediately put everyone at ease and ready to chat while enjoying cocktails, pupus and bite sized sweets as the sun set. If you’ve never had the opportunity to view a South Maui sunset, imagine a kaleidoscope of color with the sun dropping amongst the clouds over the ocean. It is a treat I never tire of.

Kaimanu Pool Round

The 7 bedroom, 6,857 square foot home boasts several living areas, kitchens and dining rooms. My favorite feature was the ability to completely open up the living areas for the full indoor and outdoor experience. The rooms, indoor seating and outside recreation areas were all perfectly situated to take full advantage of the amazing view.

The architecture and interior spoke of island life but with modern touches throughout. One of my favorite areas was one of the kitchens with high end stainless appliances, white cabinetry and dark hardwood floors. The craftsmanship was gorgeous, streamlined and with quality materials for a luxurious yet inviting feel.

The property is private and you feel the connection to upcountry Maui’s crisp weather but also to the oceanfront below you, the best of both worlds.

My own pictures didn’t do this home justice so I’m opting instead to encourage you to take a peek at the listing hereThank you to Dano Sayles who organized and hosted us during our visit. He is also a longtime Maui Meadows resident. Be sure to check the other listings on his site after taking a peek at this property.

If you’d like to inquire with the listing agent for this property, you can contact Lucas Woodford at 808-280-2312. 

To see more pictures of Hale Lani and a video of fun candids at the event, check out the Maui Information Guide.

A Happy 2014 Fukubukuro Giveaway

Happy New Year! 2013 has flown by. I feel like I blinked and bam! It was over.


To celebrate the new year, I’d like to extend a huge mahalo to all of you for taking the time to visit MauiShopGirl and host my very own version of fukubukuro.

Fukubukuro is a popular New Year custom for Japanese retailers. The merchants fill grab bags with an assortment of lovely products with a retail price of at least twice the price of the mystery bag.

I’m taking my fukubukuro one step further and giving it away for free for one lucky reader. My bag will be filled with a few of my favorite Maui product picks. It will contain at least one food item, one personal care item and one apparel or accessory piece. The retail value of the bag contents will exceed $50. The only thing I ask of you is you leave a comment below and share a bit of your 2013 with us. It could be an accomplishment, a happy event, a life changing moment…anything you wish to share.

The winner will be randomly drawn and announced on January 10th. January 9th, 2014 is the final day to enter. Very sorry international friends but this giveaway is open to those with a US mailing address only. Mystery bag will be mailed on January 13th via Priority Mail.

If you haven’t commented here before, don’t fret if you don’t see your comment right away. I have my settings set to require approval for new commenters so those nasty spammers don’t get all spammy on us.

If fukubukuro sounds right up your shopping alley, check out Ala Moana shopping center’s fukubukuro event tomorrow.  Participating merchants and hours here.

Things I’m Loving Now

Severina Designs Maui Maile Bangle

 The Maui Maile Bangle by SeverinaDesigns, a Maui based Etsy jewelry artisan.

The maile leaf lei represents respect and honor.

The humble maile reminds me of happy times and life’s milestones.

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