Non-chain stores are usually a reflection of the culture in which they’re immersed. They’re also a reflection of their owners’ personalities, idiosyncrasies, and tastes.
We love to spotlight such boutiques. (Check out a sample of our recent posts on this topic here and here.) And it’s not just because we want to support local businesses. It’s also because we want visitors to have an authentically Hawaiian experience.
We recently came across a great example of a locally owned and operated clothing store on Oahu called The Human Imagination. As its name suggests, this boutique is about expanding the limits of style while embracing Hawaiian culture. That it’s situated in the up-and-coming Chinatown neighborhood only adds to its appeal.
Run by a quartet of “partners” — Ryan Arakaki, Todd Shimabuku, Jun Jo, and Keith Kanagusuku – The Human Imagination specializes in fashion-forward streetwear. It’s a spinoff of In4mation, a Hawaii-based retail and clothing line, and there’s a statement on the brand’s website that is as bracingly non-conformist as it is refreshing.
The crew is dedicated to “using fresh perspectives that come into play against major lackluster retailers that make mundane attempts at pleasing the masses.” In other words, these guys are about using their, well, imaginations.
Perhaps The Human Imagination’s most represented item are its “HI” T-shirts. Of course, those two letters double as Hawaii’s postal abbreviation and the kind of welcoming spirit you’ll find all over the islands. Other offerings include hats, graphic T’s, and even flasks.
Youth-oriented? Sure, but the Human Imagination has the kind of commitment to quality you most often associate with adults.
We had a wonderful time at Sail Away and I recommended Hawaii Hideaway to dozens of people. You were a delight to work with and I will definitely use you again the next time we rent a home in the islands.
Like a Dream
Bliss doesn’t even describe our experience. It was almost like a dream. We are ready to do this again with Hawaii Hideaways – you guys are the best. Everything was perfect!!!
Outstanding Experience From Beginning to End
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Coral Gables, FL
Perfect Combination of Elegance and Comfort
First time to Maui (and Hawaii). This is a spectacular setting and the home is a perfect combination of elegance and comfort. I could stay on the lanai all day long and be happy. Of course there’s a ton of fun activities, but it was great to have Gull Cottage as our base to come back to!
Arlington Heights, IL
You’re Going to Want to Stay
Our family spent a splendid week in Kauai in early 2017, basing ourselves out of the Touching Green house. It’s in a great location, has everything you need, and is just lovely. The pictures don’t do it justice. You’re going to want to stay!
We had a wonderful time in Kauai! We remained in awe at the unimaginable beauty, both of the rental home, as well as Kauai itself. It will be a treasured memory for life. I hope we can come back and make more memories.