By Léo Azambuja
High-quality products, affordable prices and exceptional customer service are the pillars of a lasting and successful business. And Andrea Weston-Webb, owner of Hanalei Trading Company, knows it too well.
“Everything we have is a notch higher (than our competitors’ products), but with the same prices,” said Andrea, a former professional bodyboarder who moved from South Brazil to Kaua‘i more than two decades ago.
Hanalei Trading Co., “a one-stop shop” on the left side of the road right before Hanalei Town, offers beach, workout and party wear, beach rentals, local jewelry and activities bookings among other things.
But what really sets the store apart from others, Andrea said, is the personalized customer service.
“We dress people up, we don’t just sell clothes,” said Andrea, adding that in Brazil, the beach lifestyle is extremely fashionable, and she tries to pass that on to her clients.
The bikini section in the back of the store has a huge variety of styles, colors and sizes — from zero to 24W — for children, teens and adults.
“The special thing about the bikinis is we do have a large array of options, and we sell separates,” said Andrea, explaining some women may prefer larger tops or bottoms, and at Hanalei Trading Co. they can mix and match the bikinis.
And they have American style bikinis and increasingly popular Brazilian bikinis.
“Our Brazilian bikinis are much smaller cuts, which is what they’re known for,” she said.
Hanalei Trading Co. also sells Hawai‘i-made sunscreen, Kaua‘i-made lotions, baseball caps painted by a local artist, straw hats, men’s board shorts with the store’s logo, dry-fit shirts, T-shirts, tank tops, Balinese sarongs and Brazilian slippers, among other things.
Aside from all the fashion, a large part of the business only took shape a couple years ago. Hanalei Trading Co. first opened in the summer of 2001, in the annex building at Tahiti Nui. After 11 years there, they moved to its current location, next to Postcards Café.
Back when the business first opened its doors, Andrea sold clothes, Balinese furniture and local art. Over the years, the price of Balinese goods, as well as importation taxes and cargo fees kept increasing.
The rentals pretty much include everything for a day at the beach. They have silicon fins (easy on the feet), masks (including prescription), dry snorkels, backpack beach chairs, surfboards, stand-up paddleboards, etc.
In the activities bookings, Andrea said because her business works closely with vendors, she’s able to offer really affordable prices.
Thinking ahead, Hanalei Trading Co. is planning to add scuba rentals next summer, which would be the first one in the North Shore. They also plan to offer GoPro cameras and Optrix waterproof cases for smartphones for rent or for sale pretty soon.
“We are always thinking about innovation,” Andrea said.
Hanalei Trading Co. is at 5-5075 Kuhio Highway and they can be reached at 826-1373.