Tag: paiko


Getting to Know Jordan Lee


His neighborhood is changing, and this Our Kaka‘ako resident, visual merchandiser, and entrepreneur is busy making sense of it all.

Text by Kelli Gratz | Photos by Jonas Maon

Slender and spikey-haired, Jordan Lee moves swiftly along Auahi Street clad in a tie-dyed T-shirt and jeans, a stylistic nod to his laid-back yet urbane charm. If you’ve been to the neighborhood in the last year or so, there is a good chance you’ve seen this 33-year-old hard at work or play, and a similar chance that you’ve seen one of his displays.

Take, for example, a shimmering installation that hung from Paiko’s ceiling during the holiday season, catching every sliver of sunlight filtering through the shop’s picture windows. Lee, who created this vision, was inspired by the spring 2015 Chanel runway show, and he recruited the store’s founder Tamara Rigney and marketing associate Kenna Reed to help him make it. The trio spent hours cutting out life-size monstera-, banana-, and laua‘e-shaped leaves from gold paper. “Hanging them in the front entrance with accents of abstract florals made from leather cording and bright paper, it really popped when you saw it,” Lee says of the display.

Jordan Lee Kakaako

Lee is well-known throughout the Our Kaka‘ako community as a creative with an iron-clad work ethic and an energetic design philosophy. But when he left his hometown of Mililani in 2003 to study interior architecture and design at the Academy of Art in San Francisco, he had no idea that he would call Kaka‘ako home nearly a decade later. “I had thought California was where I wanted to be because of all the job opportunities they had for design, and also because I loved the commuter lifestyle,” he says. “But when I heard about SALT and everything that was going on here from friends back home, I realized home is where I wanted to be, and I never really looked back.” As one of the early residents of 680 Ala Moana, Lee has witnessed Our Kaka‘ako’s creative transformation. “I’ve met a lot of quality people here that are passionate about what they do,” he says. “I’ve seen a different side of Hawai‘i that I never knew existed, and I’m really happy to be a part of it.”

Since his return, the designer has created visual installations throughout Honolulu, most recently as a visual merchandiser for Louis Vuitton and Paiko. Now, in addition to these gigs, Lee is prepping for the grand opening of The Public Pet, an urban pet supply store that he and his husband, Matthew Guevara, debuted in February 2016 in Kaimukī. The couple’s aim with the shop is to give local designers a platform to create something great for local cats and dogs. It will carry goods from Raw Dog Hawaii, Roberta Oaks, Toby Adams, Dee Olivia, and A.Wattz Dezigns. “It all circles back to working and living in Kaka‘ako,” Lee says. “I befriended all the other business owners here, and they’re all around my age. That’s really what inspired me to open up my own store.”

In their spare time, you may find Lee and Guevara walking around Our Kaka‘ako with their two dogs (or “babies,” as Lee fondly calls them), Lola and Pfeiffer. “They are ultimately the reasons why we moved to Kaka‘ako, and why we are opening a pet store,” Lee says, showing me a photo of them just like a proud parent would. “We needed to find a place that was pet-friendly, and a place that we could walk everywhere if we wanted to. We just love living in Kaka‘ako because the community is so close-knit.”

Jordan Lee Kakaako

Jordan Lee’s Five Favorite Things About Our Kaka‘ako

The dogs and cats in the neighborhood: “Animals are such an awesome way to start a conversation, people are so open to their energy, and quickly become receptive to talking with one another.”

Talking with the people who work and live here: “It’s been great meeting people in Kaka‘ako, the community is so new that everyone is willing to share their story of how they got here.”

The fried avocado from Cocina, and the $5 salads from The Cut: “You. Must. Try.”

The art and the community that cultivate Our Kaka‘ako: “The influence that Pow! Wow! Hawai‘i has brought to Kaka‘ako has attracted many local artists. It’s refreshing to be in the presence of people who really appreciate creativity.”

The smell of Palo Santo incense: “We burn this stuff on the hour at Paiko. I am basically addicted.”

For more information about The Public Pet, visit thepublicpet.com. Find Lee’s handiwork in Our Kaka‘ako at Paiko, located at 675 Auahi St.


Happy Holidays, Paiko Style

Paiko Kokedama

The ladies at Our Kaka‘ako’s beloved floral studio share a DIY gift perfect for plant-loving loved ones.

Text by Kelli Gratz |Images by Jonas Maon

When it comes to floral designs, this refreshing retail shop that opened in Our Kaka‘ako in 2012 is doing a lot of things right. For example, Paiko boasts a handful of fresh, locally sourced flowers and exotic plants, like twinkle orchids, Big Island protea, wave ferns, night-blooming cereus, and Waimānalo rosette succulents. It also offers hands-on workshops, a flower bar stocked with beautiful cut blooms, and a DIY bar for assembling succulent gardens and terrariums, complete with coverings such as stones, tumbled glass, and shells.

The brainchild of Tamara Rigney, a Hawai‘i native with years of experience working as a landscape designer, and business-minded Courtney Monahan, Paiko is also host to an array of plant vessels made by the Hawaii Potters’ Guild, apothecary goods by Indigo Elixirs, custom stationary, and books. Plus, Brue Bar has set up shop inside the establishment, serving perfect espresso drinks whipped up with a copper-clad Slayer machine. Basically, you can come here and decorate your home with handcrafted goods while recharging your body and mind with caffeine and plant life.

Rigney also launched a new boutique studio, ‘Okika, which creates custom floral designs featuring local, seasonal plants—so if you can’t find what you’re looking for, you can enlist her couture services to create living designs for you or for an upcoming event.

Paiko Kokedama


To get into the holiday spirit, the gals at Paiko put together a perfect DIY gift. Here is how to make a kokedama (Japanese moss ball):

1. In a bowl or bucket, mix two-thirds peat moss with one-third bonsai soil, then add water. This will create the soil composition needed to hold your kokedama together around the plant roots.

2. Lay out a blanket of sheet moss, then completely envelope the ball in it, gathering it at the stem. You can also use sphagnum moss: Wet the moss, and then pat it onto the soil ball until completely covered.

3. Prepare your plant of choice, preferably a shade-loving type. Remove it from its grower pot, shaking off original soil until the majority of the roots are exposed. Do this over a trashcan, or better yet, over a container, saving any leftover soil for your garden.

4. Add an inch-thick layer of the wet soil mixture around the roots, creating a ball. Next, squeeze it to release excess moisture. (Channel your musubi-making skills!)

5. Wrap twine, jute, or holiday ribbon around the moss until it feels secure. Then tie a knot. Create a loop of cord of the desired length for hanging the plant. Add a holiday ribbon at the stem.

Bonsai soil, peat, sphagnum moss, 2-inch and 4-inch shade plants, 2-inch orchids, 4-inch succulents, and natural and colored jute are all available for purchase at Paiko. Sheet moss may be found at local craft stores.

For more information, visit paikohawaii.com or okikafloral.com.


Present Notions: A Gift Guide

Keep it local, keep it Kaka‘ako. These six spots offer perfect gifts for friends, family, foodies, keiki, co-workers, co-habitators, and creatives this holiday season.

FITTED waiwai hat

1) Waiwai Holiday Collection hat $59.99
@fitted, fittedhawaii.com

Paiko Kakaako Holiday

2)  General Store flower sack towel $12
3)  Indigo Elixirs Tantalus body and room mist  $18
4)  Palo Santo incense $5
@paikohawaii, paikohawaii.com

Honolulu Beerworks

5)  64 oz. twist-top growler $12 empty, $28 with beer
6)  64 oz. flip-top growler $34 empty, $50 with beer
(Refills for both are $16)
@hnlbeerworks, honolulubeerworks.com

BikeFactory Kakaako

7)  Hydroskins protective case  $12
8)  Hydro Flask $25.99
9)  Hemp Gold organic protein bar, cocoa or vanilla $3
@bikefactoryhawaii, bikefactoryhawaii.com

Illest Kakaako

10) Men’s aloha t-shirt $30
11) G-Shock Illest 15th anniversary collaboration watch $225
12) Keiki aloha safari t-shirt $22
@illesthawaii, illestbrand.com

Highway Inn Kakaako

13) Chocolate haupia pie with shortbread crust  $3.50
14) Bread pudding with haupia drizzle $3.50
15) Haupia sweet potato pie with shortbread crust $3.50
If you would like one dozen or more to go, order three days in advance. Kulolo from Kaua‘i is also available Thursdays.
@myhighwayinn, myhighwayinn.com

Still don’t see what you’re looking for? A Pinch of Salt for the Holidays is a festive pop-up event featuring local designers and boutiques. Skip the mall madness and get all your gifts in one place.