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AN INSIDE GUIDE TO KAKA’AKO WITH PAIKO’S TAMARA RIGNEY

In an age when social media reigns supreme and aesthetics are all consuming, somehow, one could argue, that we’ve managed to get back to nature. After all, floral crowns are still all the rage, and plant ladies are officially the new cat ladies.

For Honolulu, that one-stop-shop for all things flora and fauna is Paiko—a botanical boutique that provides a thoughtful mix of tropical plants, unique home decor and more. Helmed by East Honolulu-born Tamara Rigney and Partner/VP of Operations Courtney Monahan, Paiko opened at the forefront of the transformation of Kakaʻako. Today, this decidedly urban area has quickly become one of Oahu’s best neighborhoods to live, work and play.

Not to mention, the coffee shop inside the boutique, Arvo, has garnered its own cast of loyal customers—thanks to the charming staff, Australian-inspired coffee (think flat whites and Vegemite toast), and photo-worthy treats and atmosphere. One step inside and it’s clear that Paiko and Arvo, along with the modern surf lifestyle shop Milo (which also shares the space), are catering to the same style-savvy clientele.

The creative floral designs imagined by the team at ‘Okika, Tamara’s other floral studio, can be seen throughout the Surfjack, and our flower crown workshops led by the ladies of Paiko help residents and guests kick off aloha Friday in style.

Below, find out where to eat, drink and shop in Kaka‘ako and beyond. Tamara is truly part of our #SurfjackFam and we couldn’t think of anyone better than her to give us the inside scoop on this hip Honolulu ‘hood.

HOW DID YOU GET YOUR START IN KAKA‘AKO? We’ve been in Kaka’ako for five years now. Wow, that went fast! I first became involved in the neighborhood the summer before we opened Paiko. I started doing my computer work out at the now defunct R/D coworking space/cafe/gallery after surfing, and instantly I knew I had found my people. Fast forward a few months and I was looking for a spot in the neighborhood to turn Paiko into a retail shop. My friend Courtney signed on for the ride and now here we are!

WHAT’S THE BEST PART OF HAVING A BUSINESS IN KAKA‘AKO? The community. All of us business owners are friends, and although we work really hard, we laugh with each other all day.

DESCRIBE YOUR MAIN CUSTOMER: Someone that wants to bring life to their home, or happiness to a friend. Our customer values style and authenticity, and appreciates the shop’s good vibes and hand selection of plants, ceramics, and gifts by local artists.

WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD? My art studio and favorite surf break are right down the street! The plethora of breweries doesn’t hurt either.

POPULAR ITEMS IN THE SHOP INCLUDE: Our DIY flower bar, and ‘OHI, our self-published book on gathering and arranging local flowers. Customers have been getting creative with making their own bouquets, and we always have beautiful pre-made arrangements by our floral director Hadley. I think with everything going on in the world right now, people are coming back to flowers. It’s impossible not to be happy when you’re playing with flowers.

YOUR GO-TO LUNCH SPOT? Arvo always!

WHAT TO ORDER AT ARVO: Loaded avocado toast with Vegemite. Although, I have been getting into the Haloumi burger lately—the tomato jam is addicting!

AFTER WORK WE CAN FIND YOU AT…Ala Moana Beach Park surfing, or at Mud Hen Water grabbing drinks with friends

FAVORITE SHOPS INCLUDE…Roberta Oaks, The Public Pet, Owens & Co.

HIDDEN GEM: The tofu musubi found at Down to Earth

YOUR WEEKEND AGENDA: A trip out the beach on the west side, drinks at Mahina and Sun’s, and reading the Sunday New York Times at Ars Cafe

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