Hawaii is a gathering place for all sorts of human beings – artists, surfers, writers, musicians, photographers, chefs, yogis, hippies, accountants, close talkers, you name it. And don’t get me wrong, everyone isn’t constantly running around being inspiring and spontaneous and creative all the time, but the ratio of radical versus non-radical human beings compared to other places I’ve lived is… well, impressive, I suppose.
Having lived on Maui for nearly two years, I’ve met several entrepreneurs who are pushing the boundaries of their craft, and are doing so in the most lovely way possible – by not shoving it in your face. Please enjoy those I’ve listed, and let me know who I’m missing in the comments below. Show your support for local businesses on Maui!
Wedding Cocktails – Garnish
If you’re planning on getting married on Maui, and you’re also the type of person who appreciates really good cocktails – beyond the sugary pool bar drinks whose main ingredient is future hangover – check out the new cocktail menu at Garnish, a wedding cocktail catering company on Maui.
Owner Stephanie Smith, between juggling life as a mother and full-time business owner, is also a cocktail rockstar. She makes her own bitters (bitters, y’all!), fresh squeezes all ingredients, and comes up with the most innovative ingredients you’ll find on Maui, including succulents in ice cubes, vanilla bean infused maple reduction, jasmine tea-infused gin, lavender, and sage-infused vermouth, kiawe wood-smoked glassware, and rose mist, for starters. She also comes prepared with several varieties of handmade bar collections and unique glassware. Cocktail game = on point.
Beauty & Skincare – Body HI
A new business on Maui, Body HI was created by Maui nutrition consultant and fitness trainer, Olive Cadwell. With a line of healing balms and cold-process, handmade soaps, Olive utilizes local and organic ingredients that are free of synthetic fragrances, focusing on real plant extracts and other natural ingredients that are healthy for your skin. Besides being absolutely beautiful, her soaps smell amazing! Some of my favorites include the Rose Scented Cold-Process Soap and Maui Brewing Coconut Porter Cold-Process Soap.
You can find them on-island at The Market by Capische (located at the Wailea Gateway Center), as well as several other locations, or simply buy them online.
Vacation Rentals – Tracy’s Tropical Treasures
It’s not often that a vacation rental sticks out in my mind. Aloha decor here, a little wicker furniture there, smack dab done. This is not the case with Tracy’s Tropical Treasures. Located in North Kihei just across the street from a beautiful stretch of uncrowded beach, Tracy O’Reilly has outdone herself (and everyone else in town) when it comes to vacation rentals, and is my pick for the #1 vacation rental in Maui.
Not only has she included every single thing you could possibly think of needing on a Maui vacation – picnic baskets, robes, espresso machine, wet bar, sound machine, board games, Hana road tour CD, beach umbrella, chairs, coolers, manicure kit, yoga mat, tennis rackets, binoculars, sunscreen, aloe vera, glow-in-the-dark bocce ball, LED rain shower, and tons more – but she goes above and beyond to make sure your stay is a dream come true. With four rentals to choose from, you deserve to tropical treasure treat yourself. Trust me.
Fitness – Infusion Yoga Maui
Between all the spam, shave ice and mac salad, a fun yoga session might be in order. While there are several ways to work up a sweat on Maui – hiking, biking, surfing, stand up paddle boarding, etc. – taking a yoga class in a new place is always a great way to meet people and challenge yourself. Infusion Yoga Maui, owned by teacher and yoga extraordinaire Trish Bianco, is located on Maui’s north shore in the small town of Paia.
Try the island’s only Barre Fusion class, or choose from a variety of yoga classes, including Power Flow, Power Vinyasa, or Gong Restorative, and enjoy a calming (albeit sweaty) experience on Maui before going down the street for a dip in the refreshing Pacific.
Jewelry – Isle Empress
Davida Ogden, owner of Isle Empress Boutique, is the traveling gypsy girl you’ve always wanted to be, only real and living on Maui. With a serious eye for exotic handmade jewelry, fashion and art, Davida has a collection of worldly finds that puts your passport to shame.
Visit her online shop for a ton of beautiful products, including jewelry, handbags, wallets, belts, and art, hand-selected from just about every country you’ve ever heard of. And maybe some you haven’t.