Hawai‘i Shop Spotlight: 5 Things We Love About Coco’s Trading Post
The boutique recently opened in Kailua and it’s already gained a devoted following of townies and travelers alike.
Owner Nicci Lee
Photos: Aaron K. Yoshino and David Croxford
Owner Nicci Lee
The red-haired, good-fun beauty who owns the shop wants to fill your life with all things beautiful. A working mom, alohawear designer (read No. 4) and event and interior designer, Lee has a flair for finding unique, locally sourced treasures. And she knows her stuff. We picked out a handful of items and she instantly rattled off who made them, where they came from and why she selected them. “These glass vases that are mounted onto teak came from Bali. They’re made by local artists who commit their whole lives to perfecting their craft,” says Lee. “I visited their warehouse and watched how they create each piece by hand.” Lee’s stories make you want to meet—and support—the artists she features.
We love to shop local, and Coco’s Trading Post makes it easy. On the shelves you’ll find popular labels that include Jana Lam and Samudra, swimwear giant Acacia, candle-maker Makana and tee-master Dolkii, as well as kids’ play clothes by Izzy and Luke. But there’s also a sprinkling of vendors that are new to us and worth mentioning, such as jewelry from 21 Degrees North, Estrella Designs and Pirate Crush Jewelry; beauty products from Honua Skincare; and a new adorable keiki line, Lyric Hawai‘i.
Outdoor ‘ukulele, $115. Leiko vintage clutch, $158. Oven mitts, $24.
“I call our new home a modern aloha general store,” Lee says. We agree. When you walk into the sunlit space you feel the Coco de Casa vibe. Bright, dazzling hues from vibrant alohawear caught our eyes first, but then we realized how tropi-cool the rest of the shop is. Cascading capiz shell and wicker chandeliers hang above a wall-size black-and-white photo of a stunning Island girl. Front and center, kitschy-yet-trendy rattan furniture showcases a wealth of global goods from Bali to Tahiti and Oregon. The scene on the left, a cozy couch with boho-chic throw pillows and a macramé-adorned wall behind it, looks like a picture plucked out of this season’s Anthropologie catalog.
Designs by Nicci Lee
Yes, this super wahine also designs alohawear for women, men and kids. “I’m inspired by vintage prints and retro styles that I miss,” she says. “Currently in shop is the Vaima collection that includes kaftans, jumpsuits and jackets in lightweight fabrics and standout prints.” Lee also created a lifestyle lineup of hot pads, cooking mittens, aprons and handbags, all cut from the same Hawai‘i-style fabrics. We admit, the mitts were a hot-ticket item in our office.
Location is big to shoppers. Sparse street parking is a turn off, a coffee shop nearby is a bonus and being able to shop other cool boutiques is money. Luckily, Coco’s Trading Post is part of Kailua Shopping Center, so there’s ample free parking, and next to Coco’s Trading Post are locally owned Morning Brew, indie bookstore Book Ends, and Lanikai Bath and Body.
Coco’s Trading Post, 539 Kailua Road, Suite 104, Kailua, (808) 892-5642, cocostradingpost.com