By Kathleen Wong
The deep toffee-hued wood is exclusive to Hawai‘i, used by monarchs for canoes and weapons, then later, locals for their surfboards. Koa now makes the perfect gift for you to take back home.
Martin & MacArthur is the largest supplier of koa items, like furniture, jewelry and leather accessories for tourists, locals, hotels and even ‘Iolani Palace.
Local craftsmen carve hand-selected curly koa, a top grade that makes up only 10 percent of all koa wood. “All the things that we feature, it has to be beautiful, and it has to be high-quality that is made in Hawai‘i,” comments manager Napa Wilber of the store tucked inside Moana Surfrider.
Popular are wooden watches, which get darker with wear from the oils of the skin, and the smooth ‘Koa Eternity Rings’ made with tungsten, the hardest metal in the world.
Wilber says her job is not advertising, but educating guests. “I want them to be impressed with what we have, the knowledge that they get from us and to go out of the store with something that they really fall in love with,” she says.
Martin & MacArthur
Moana Surfrider, A Westin Resort & Spa
2365 Kalakaua Ave.
[C:9 Waikiki Map]
*Multiple locations in Waikiki