Malama Torches™ at the Fairmont Kea Lani!

LeiManu Designs

Malama Torches™

LeiManu Designs

What a thrill seeing our torches on Handcrafted America! A “Mahalo Nui Loa” to Jill Wagner and her crew!

It’s on TONIGHT!!!

LeiManu Designs

Ohhhhhh, I WISH we had cable, just for one night! We are on tonight’s episode of Handcrafted America! Mahalo so much to Jill and company for giving us this opportunity!

Mahalo so much to everyone for supporting us! As small business proprietors, we understand that we owe our success to each and every person who supports small businesses. It is often said that small business is the backbone of the American economy, and we believe that to be true. Even the largest corporation was once a small business!

So, “Mahalo nui loa” to all of YOU! Manu and I deeply appreciate you.

As you probably already know, LeiManu Designs is the “child” of Don Yuen Manufacturing, we having been given the kuleana of carrying on my Dad’s artistic tradition. We are especially blessed that he gave us that responsibility while he is still able to advise us! His biggest piece of advice, “Every piece you make is the first one. Put the same amount of care and craftsmanship into every piece. Don’t think about making five, or ten, or a hundred pieces. You’re just making that one right now. Make it the very best you can.” (He also says, “Look at that! Would YOU buy it???” ?)

I also want to give a shout-out to Galyn Williams (find him on FaceBook), who has been a wonderful advisor in marketing, and messaged me links to great opportunities such as the Chase Mission Main Street grant which we won in 2015, and encourages us to keep pushing the boundaries of what we think we can do.

Also, artists Susan Champeny and Chris Benders. None of us can do it alone. Networking with fellow business people, both in your field and in other fields, and developing strong and supportive friendships is SO important. These two amazing and talented women have taken hours of their time to advise and support us, proof reading grant applications and job proposals, and generally being an important part of our cheering section.

Brenda C. and Kev K. Mahalo, you two, for your unfailing aloha and support and joining us on our many adventures and misadventures!

Cuzzins “Bruddah Waltah” and Thaliana Aipolani! That ʻohana luv keeps us strong! Bruddah Waltah is the amazing musician playing with Manu when Jill and I are dancing hula. Thaliana, an outstanding hula dancer in her own right, was busy behind the scenes making sure the paʻina we made for Jill and her crew was ready on time.

And, a huge “Mahalo” to Rick, Jenn, and the rest of the “cast” at Beachside Lighting and Design for all the support over the years and an awesome job of marketing our work!

Leilehua and Manu
Leilehua and Manu ready for the pāʻina with Jill Wagner and her crew of Handcrafted America.

Mahalo nui loa, and blessings to all!

This Friday, We’re on Handcrafted America!

LeiManu Designs

Wow! Sooooo excited! Last year, Jill Wagner and Handcrafted America joined us here in Hilo to talk about our Malama Torches™ Filming for Handcrafted America. The episode we are in will be on INSP cable channel this Friday!

We were so happy to have Jill and her crew join us that we had a little paʻina for them. Manu’s cousin Bruddah Waltah Aipolani (SUPER cool musician, love da bruddah!), and his wife, my hula Tita, Thaliana, came over to kōkua for the video, too. Mahalo nui loa, cuzzins! And a big Mahalo nui loa to friend Galyn Williams for hooking up the propane to the torches and helping out in so many ways!

It was an awesome day, and we felt so blessed to be able to share some of our local style and family heritage with Jill, her crew, and all of the USA!

Now, can we get cable installed in time to watch it?

Lighting Trends for 2017 – Florals!

LeiManu Designs

Pua Malama Torch (TM)
The original Malama Torch design (TM)

At LeiManu Designs, we’re all about staying power, not trends. We’ve been making lighting since 1967 – that’s long enough for the great grandson of the founder to be making college plans.

But if you are around long enough, and if what you are doing is quality, eventually, the tends will catch up to YOU!

What we are hearing is that lighting trends for 2017 involve flowers, artisanal—wait, I think of that word as relating to cheeses and beers—let’s say “fine handcrafted metalwork,” interesting shapes, organics paired with metals, mixed metal textures and shades—with a lot of gold, and bold pops of color.

Cheesecake Factory
The modified Pua Malama Torch (TM) welcomes diners to the Cheesecake Factory in Waikīkī.

Back to the future! The original Malama Torch (TM) designed in 1967 by Don Yuen is the Pua, still a strong seller, and still proudly lighting the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel. (If you are going to go retro, rock an original!)

Mahalo, Maria Killiam. Yes, we at LeiManu Designs certainly approve of flowers in lighting decor! Many of our fixtures are inspired by the flowers of Hawaiʻi nei. The basic Pua design can be modified in a number of ways, from a shorter form with the flowers extending above the rim to electric pendant lights, to table-top and torchiere floor lamps. And, of course, we are always happy to work with clients to create unique custom designs.

Malama Torch (TM) - Lauaʻe
The lauaʻe, maile-scented fern, is featured on this Malama Torch (TM).

Style Spotter Marie Flanigan agrees that organic colors and mixed metals are strong, predicting that brass and gold will remain, and that polished nickle and silver are coming back.

That means the stainless steel Malama Torch (TM) designs are right there with temper colors of silver, bronze, and gold.

According to MamaMia, bright but warm metals paired with organics like terra cotta and natural woods, with swaths of matte white are on-trend, and those earlier-mentioned pops of color are showing up in jewel-toned green couches. But, soft greens and yellows paired with deep earth tones are also on the 2017 palette And, as far as furniture goes, retro styling is in. I guess my 1950s big green sofa is right on point!

The Big Green Sofa
My Nana’s mid-century Big Green Sofa (came back into fashion a few years ago), and her terracotta floor are on point for 2017!

He Ua lā, He Ua! – Tips for helping your electricals through the rainy season

Well, it certainly FEELS like the winter rains are here! It’s a few weeks ahead of what I think of as the start of Makahiki, but it was such a long, hot, dry summer, it’s certainly nice to have Lono resounding through the skies—without a makani pāhili!

He Ua Lā, He Ua

He ua lā, he ua
He ua pi‘i mai;
Noenoe hālau,
Hālau loa o Lono.
Ō lono ‘oe
Pā ‘ā‘ā nā pali
I ka hana a ‘Ikuā
Pohā kō‘ele‘ele.
A Welehu ka malama,
Noho i Makali‘i
Li‘ili‘i ka hana.

Iʻm predicting a long, wet winter!

So, between the rains and the winds, our local electrical systems take a real beating. Mildew grows in the seals and contacts, water seeps in, condensation can occur inside componants. Outdoor fixtures can fill with water and short.

Take some time to go check all your outdoor fixtures. Clean and repair any damaged seals and gaskets. Refrigerators and freezers also have a hard time in this humidity. The seals can get mildewed and start leaking air. Clean them thoroughly.

Utilities have a hard time, with the constant humidity affecting connectors. Even without wind, you may experience flickering power.

If this happens, turn off all unnecessary electricals to reduce draw on the grid. You may also want to turn off the freezer and refrigerator until the power stabilizes. Low and fluctuating power can damage motors, and power surges can damage microprocessors—which most appliances from washing machines to microwave ovens seem to have these days.

Once the power is stable, turn things back on one at a time.

LeiManu Designs Lights up Margaritaville, St. Thomas!

Jimmy Buffett likes our lighting. You should, too. 🙂

Pretty thrilled to get a photo of one of our fixtures lighting the night at Margaritaville in St. Thomas. Wow! If you are headed that way, send us a photo of yourself with one of our lights and win one of our candleholders! Two prizes! The first photo received, and our favorite of those submitted.

It is so amazing to live in a world where a small business in Hawaiʻi is selling products globally! Mahalo to Beachside Lighting and Design for doing such an awesome job of marketing our lighting!

Find our full page on the Margaritaville project HERE.

Living on a Warming Planet

Now that both Hurricane Madeline and Hurricane Lester have simmered down and gone on their ways, I am in thankful reflection for our beautiful mountains which protect us, and the natural forces which caused these two massive storms to perform something of a meteorological judo move and use each other’s energy to move away from us.

But I am a little disturbed by some of the comments I am seeing on social media. Someone asked if “things have changed,” as when that person lived in Hawaiʻi, we did not call storms “hurricanes.” The answer is, “Yes. Things have changed.”

We didn’t used to call most storms hurricanes because Hawaiʻi generally didn’t used to get hurricanes. They were few and far between. By the time most hurricanes reached Hawaiʻi, they had downgraded to tropical storms or depressions.

But now they are maintaining hurricane force ever closer to our islands, and coming more frequently. What has changed? The climate.

As ocean waters warm and currents in air and sea shift, the conditions for hurricanes become more favorable. These hurricane-generating conditions will only grow stronger in the foreseeable future. Hurricanes will become more frequent, draw closer to our islands and, if we are not prepared, will wreak more damage in our islands than we have ever seen before.

Whether one believes that climate change is human-caused or just part of the natural cycle, the climate is changing and we all must learn to live on a warming planet.

Mahalo Nui Loa!

MAHALO FOR VOTING FOR US in the Chase Mission Main Street small business development grant competition! We are so honored to have been the first Hawaiʻi-owned business and the first Native Hawaiian owned business to be selected for this grant.

Through the grant we have been able to upgrade our safety equipment, purchase equipment to do the repetitive work so we can focus more on our art, and we have expanded our workspace.

Mahalo nui loa!