Best of HONOLULU 2023: The Best Shopping on O‘ahu

From leather handbags to upcycled alohawear to furniture, our roundup of best shopping will add a thing or two to your wishlist.





Best Of Honolulu Shopping Ami Mei Ay

Photo: Aaron K. Yoshino


Best Tea and Tea Accessories Shop

Sometimes a relaxing sidewalk stroll leads to a “What shop is this?” moment. It’s the best when it’s locally owned, oozes charm with its décor and sells uniquely cool products. Hello, Ami Mei. This tea-focused boutique in Kaimukī will warm your spirit with its tempting variety of loose leaf and bagged teas, from popular local and national labels, wellness and apothecary goods, kitchen essentials (stylish tea infusers and aprons), better-living books and a few kid playthings, influenced by owner Brittnee Lau’s adorable mini. The shop also has a tea bar, where you can create your own magical mixer, and a pump thermos carrying the special-tea of the day. If you need help finding the perfect blend for your cuppa, Lau is a good-to-know guru on the hot topic. —SM


1135 12th Ave.,, @shopami.mei



Best Of Honolulu Shopping De La Rosa By Matt Bruening

Photo: Matt Bruening


Best Bridalwear

Ever since De la Rosa launched in 2018, we’ve been quite taken with its effortless approach to glamour. The O‘ahu-based line was born out of designer Rachel Flemister’s desire to offer a more casual approach to bridalwear. Custom-made by hand, her gorgeous pieces somehow manage to feel both modern and timeless all at once. Think slip dresses cut from luscious silk-satin that flows over your figure like water, dipped-back gowns and sheer silk-organza coverups that convey romance with every fluted sleeve and bow. —BT, @delarosa_bride



Best Of Honolulu Shopping Tidal Theory By John Hook

Photo: John Hook


Best Leather Handbags

As if being a highly coveted photo editor wasn’t enough, in 2019, O‘ahu-based creative Samantha Hook dove headfirst into an entirely new artistic medium—leatherwork—with the creation of her handbag brand, Tidal Theory. What started off as a single bucket-style tote that Hook crafted for her own closet has since transformed into a robust line replete with gorgeously saturated hues and striking silhouettes. Her designs often draw inspiration from music, photography, nature and the magic of the sea. “I dream up ideas near or on the ocean,” she says. And in the same way that no two waves are exactly alike, each piece, individually made by hand with rich Italian leathers and solid brass hardware, feels special and unique. —BT, @tidal_theory 



Best Of Honolulu Shopping Homeworld Courtesy Of Homeworld

Photo: Courtesy of Homeworld


Best Furniture Store

Reader Pick

With six showrooms statewide, including three on O‘ahu alone, that offer practically every category of furniture and home décor imaginable, it’s no wonder readers consistently turn to HomeWorld for their furnishing needs. The locally owned company stocks popular brands such as Natuzzi, Stressless and La-Z-Boy and even boasts a furniture customization program. Plus, it has an extensive website that shows pieces fully styled that you can browse from the comfort of your soon-to-be-refreshed home. —BT


Multiple locations,, @homeworldfurniture 



Best Of Honolulu Shopping Hnldesigns Ay

Photo: Aaron K. Yoshino


Best Tropical Wallpaper

HNLDesigns wallpapers are eclectic, eccentric and exciting. True, it might be overwhelming to have one of these designs across a whole room, but an accent wall of pua kenikeni strands dancing on palaka, golden cranes frolicking on palm fronds or fanciful proteas playing in the night wake up a humdrum home. Owner and artist Lora Gallagher is heavily inspired by Hawaiian culture, its history and its people. The last time we counted, there were about 50 unique patterns to select from on its website. Honestly, there’s something for every personality, even modest wallflowers. —SM, @hnldesign



Best Of Honolulu Shopping Love At Dawn Hawaii Ay

Photo: Aaron K. Yoshino


Best Upcycled Alohawear

Fashion is transforming, and we’re cheering on major local and national brands that are committed to reshaping, reworking and reimagining clothing. But one, Love at Dawn Hawai‘i, has racked up many fans with its modern makeover on a Hawaiian closet staple. The brand, helmed by Angela Matsuo, gives timeworn aloha shirts new life—a hana hou, so to speak. The Reyn Spooner and Kāhala styles that your dad (or dentist) wore are repurposed into the cutest crop tops that are stylish, spirited and somewhat sexy. Depending on the size of the original shirt, the cinched, elastic bottom will fall on the ribs in smaller sizes, while larger versions add a lil’ more coverage. A newer style, with cutout shoulders and a flowy shortened bottom, is our current cream of the crop. —SM, @loveatdawnhawaii 



Best Of Honolulu Shopping Kealia Organics Ay

Photo: Aaron K. Yoshino


Best Shampoo Bars

From the jump, we were wowed by the variety of zero-waste shampoo bars Kealia Organics offers—a whopping 13, which feature lovely scents such as lavender, peppermint, pīkake and lemongrass-moringa. You’ll even find detoxifying charcoal and color-toning bars in the mix. All are handmade on Kaua‘i using plant-based ingredients and natural oils, butters and botanical powders that lather up like a dream. You’ll get 50 to 70 washes with each bar, and since the packaging is plastic-free, you’ll help cut down on single-use waste. —BT, @kealiaorganics



Best Second-Life Home Materials

If there was a home reno version of the game Gimme Gimme, Re-use Hawai‘i would be like the auntie with the bombucha handbag filled with every odd and end imaginable. Vintage glass doorknobs? They get ’um. Wood flooring salvaged from a bowling alley? You bet. Monkeypod slabs? Right next to the claw-foot tubs and reclaimed windows. The big winners are the environment, which the nonprofit saves from unnecessary waste via its deconstruction services, and locals who can shop said materials at deep discounts at Re-use’s Kaka‘ako redistribution center. —BT


200 Keawe St., (808) 537-2228,, @reusehawaii



Best Of Honolulu Shopping Kapa Nui Nails Ay

Photo: Aaron K. Yoshino


Best Eco Nail Polish

Let us get straight to the point. When hunting for an eco-friendly nail polish, no name came up more frequently and with more gusto than Kapa Nui Nails. Hawai‘i Island residents Terry Lam and Dr. Lynne Lam dreamt up the polish in 2018 as an alternative to traditional polishes that can be harmful to the body and planet. Made in Kamuela from nontoxic vegan ingredients, the line features colors inspired by the Islands, plus sustainable packaging. —BT, @kapanuinails



Best Of Honolulu Shopping The Consistency Project Courtesy Of Jessica Tran

Photo: Courtesy Of Jessica Tran


Best Upcycled Bottoms

Spotted: Evan Mock—local boy, model and actor—wearing an eye-catching blush pink jacket and wide-legged bottom set with bold black and white checkerboard accents on Gossip Girl. The designer? Another talented Hawai‘i creative, Natasha Halesworth of The Consistency Project, and we’ve been fans ever since. The whole ensemble was upcycled. Browse Halesworth’s Insta and you’ll find a pattern—revived pants with cool-vibe details. From patchwork denims to bicolor bottoms with wavy designs, every piece is wildly fun, distinct and unique. “When you create with reuse in mind, the design comes from the garment,” Halesworth says. “I love this, it pushes creativity and problem-solving to new limits each time.” —SM, @theconsistencyproject



The Rest of the Best: Reader Picks


Best Aloha Attire

Winner: Reyn Spooner
Multiple locations,, @reynspooner

Finalist: Manuheali‘i
Multiple locations,, @manuhealii


Best Farmers Market

Winner: Kaka‘ako Farmers Market
919 Ala Moana Blvd., (808) 388-9696,, @alohafarmlovers

Finalist: Kapi‘olani Community College Farmers Market
Parking Lot C, 4303 Diamond Head Road, (808) 848-2076,, @hfbfarmersmarkets


Best Furniture Store

Finalist: Inspiration Interiors
Multiple locations,, @inspirationinteriors


Best Garden Shop

Winner: Ko‘olau Farmers
Multiple locations,, @koolaufarmers

Finalist: Home Depot
Multiple locations,, @homedepot


Best Jewelry Store

Winner: Maui Divers Jewelry
Multiple locations,, @mauidiversjewelry

Finalist: Nā Hōkū
Multiple locations,, @nahokujewelers


Best Place for Home Accessories

Winner: Target
Multiple locations,, @target

Finalist: Ross Dress For Less
Multiple locations,, @rossdressforless