Think global, act local

November 25th, 2015

I wouldn’t necessarily say I’m a mall person. I like to support local and there are more than enough boutiques and cute shops to have everything I could possibly want.

AMANDA DELA CRUZMaui artist Amanda Dela Cruz launched her holiday clutch collection at Kit & Ace this week.


Maui artist Amanda Dela Cruz launched her holiday clutch collection at Kit & Ace this week.

Especially during the holiday season, the mall is just plain scary. People fighting over parking stalls, even in Hawai’i where nobody really speeds (that lives here) and most times they let you merge in. Something like Black Friday sounds more like a nightmare than a day to go out there and get deals on shopping. I would rather pay more to spare my own sanity. I’ll wait for Cyber Monday.

Although this year is quite special for Ala Moana Center with a beautiful new wing featuring Bloomingdale's and a dozen of other shops, for those that love the deals and love the mall, there is a great new boutique called Kit & Ace on the second floor across the Apple Store. The Canada-based company specializes in technical cashmere and likes to focus on “creative class” people. They recently partnered with a local artist and are supporting a great cause. Friends and loved ones who have moved on to the mainland would love a little piece of Hawai'i and if you purchase one of these mini bags designed by Maui-born artist Amanda DeLaCruz, a portion goes to support Women Speaking Out, a domestic violence organization.

Amanda’s beautiful watercolor drawings featured in her signature clutch collection are inspired by her picturesque surroundings, and is a great little bag to keep you from digging around in your purse for your chapstick or carrying on its own to spread the aloha.

“I’m all about the Law of Attraction” she said via email. “When you are happy with what you are doing, not anybody else then you attract nothing but inspiration and positive vibes.”

Amen, sister.

CHRISTA WITTMIERArt & Flea's Aly Ishikuni circa 2008, still killing it.


Art+Flea's Aly Ishikuni, circa 2008, still kills it in 2015.

If you are still out and about on Friday there is a collaborative sale in Chinatown with a wide assortment of amazing local boutiques, shops, galleries and food vendors to pick up a special and unique gift as special and unique as your loved ones are. The Downtown Shoparound goes all day until 7 p.m.

For those who want to skip Friday completely, the number one shopping event to exist (in my opinion), Art+Flea is hosting a huge block party on Kamani Street in Kaka’ako that features their trademark entertainment and small businesses.

Named in my Best of 2014, I can’t say enough good things about Art+Flea and what they do for the community. For as long as I've known Aly Ishikuni, her talent and work ethic has been very inspiring. It's so great to see how far she's come with both MORI at Ward Warehouse and Art+Flea. If you are looking for one-of-a-kind gifts handmade my local artists that keep on giving, these are some great options.

Of course, if you still can’t find anything you love, you can come to my cancer fundraiser at Nextdoor on Friday starting at 8 p.m. I'll have tons of amazing raffle and auction items, plus everyone who comes will get a copy of the paper I wrote detailing how I beat cancer in four months. I will also be screening my entire two-and-a-half-hour Snapchat story that spanned my fight for the first time. I know there are many who have been touched by this ugly disease and this is my gift to everyone who has supported me through this.

Happy Thanksgiving!


Christa Wittmier has chronicled Honolulu nightlife since 2004. She is senior marketing director at Young's Market Co. of Hawaii, plays music as DJ SuperCW, is a tech columnist for Metro Honolulu and co-produces the popular Bacardi Pool Party on Oahu. Contact her via e-mail or follow her on Twitter.

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