by Stephen Garner

OluKai has opened the first two company-owned retail locations in the Hawaiian Islands. The Hawaiian-inspired footwear company has opened at Whalers Village on the Island of Maui, as well as at Hilton Hawaiian Village on Oʻahu.

“Hawaii, its culture and people inspire us, so Maui and Oʻahu are deliberate locations for OluKai’s first retail experiences,” said Kerry Konrady, vice president of marketing for OluKai. “Our intention is to have consumers learn while they shop, even joining staff in our community giveback days or canoe sailing with our ambassadors.”

The brand’s storytelling is brought to life through rich design elements, nuanced material selections as well as vibrant imagery and local artwork. Take the Whalers Village location’s eye-catching store-front; it has nine shapes of a voyaging canoe sails with intricate woodwork patterns, each representing nine major trade winds of Maui.

Custom artwork adorns the walls including Anywhere Aloha inspired piece by Pow! Wow! artist Gavin Murai. In the Maui store, there is an epic mural from art duo Wooden Wave that depicts the beautiful sun and ocean life abundant in west Maui. Custom-made fixtures and furniture, including the signature live edge tables crafted from salvaged mango wood, cash wraps made from premium wood and OluKai leather, were made down the street from the Oʻahu store by Hawaiian woodworker Dae Son of Wood Hi. 

OluKai retail stores will carry forward the company’s commitment to supporting local non-profits, donating part of the proceeds of every purchase, through its Ama OluKai Foundation. Additionally, the retail stores will support local entrepreneurs and sustainability projects, through direct support as well as volunteer programs originating in store.

Both stores will spotlight the breadth of the product line and feature a broad assortment of signature premium leather sandals, alongside OluKai’s latest shoe and sneaker designs for men and women. Premier products, such as artist collaborations and limited-edition exclusives, built for the Hawaiian market will also be showcased and updated regularly.

A celebration for the grand opening of the Maui store is set for October 25th. The community is invited to join in the revelry of Hawaiian star-chef prepared food and drinks, kanikapilia style music sessions, cultural performances and protocol.