Kahakai Lei Collection

Lei. Growing up in Hawaii, lei were an important part of every occasion. So many kinds, so many ways to make them. I was so lucky to learn from one of the Hawaiian ‘aunties’ when I was fairly young, which means I’ve spent hundreds of hours making them. Understanding what kinds of flowers work, which to avoid and what dries well is a big part of making lei. But also flower or leaf size, design complexity, patterns, even the lei’s purpose. So much to consider when making an important lei. To make a lei for someone is to honor them, to show love, respect, friendship. To give or receive lei is part of every important celebration, and the quintessential symbol of aloha.

Kahakai. Liminal ocean – the ocean “edge” is of course the coast, or kahakai in Hawaiian. It’s how we access the water, and our safe place to return to after a hard water session. But coastal life is not the easiest and is subject to extremes of salt, wind, sun, and storms. Fresh water is scarce. Plants that thrive on the coast are hardy and adaptable to harsh conditions. And yet in reading about coastal lei flowers I realized how many are now endangered or vulnerable, so are no longer be used in lei. Our designs are in aid of raising awareness about these often historically important blooms. (Not all the designs are endangered, but all are at least endemic or native.) Wear a necklace or layer many flowers on a paperclip chain for a sustainable, long lasting lei.

Showing all 9 results

  • pohinahina compare necklaces gold

    Pohinahina Necklaces

  • iliahi necklace gold

    ‘Iliahialo’e Sandalwood Necklace

  • Nanu gold + blue topaz earrings

    Nānū – Hawaiian Gardenia Drop Earrings

  • Nanu necklaces with citrine and blue topaz

    Nānū – Hawaiian Gardenia Necklace

  • Medium Pohinahina earrings

    Pua Pohinahina Drop Earrings

  • O Ke Kai Lei - iliahialoe sandalwood charm with clasp

    O Ke Kai – ‘Iliahialo’e Sandalwood Flower

  • O Ke Kai Lei - pohinahina charms with clasp Medium

    O Ke Kai – Pohinahina Flowers

  • ohai necklace gold

    ‘Ohai Necklace

  • O Ke Kai Lei - ohai charms with clasp (sides)

    O Ke Kai – ‘Ohai Flower