Puakenikeni means ten-cent flower, pua meaning "flower" and kenikeni meaning "ten cents." Its name is derived from the early 1900's when visitors arrived by boat, and one could purchase Lei Puakenikeni for 10 cents.
Originally launched in July of 2020, this was our first ever washi collection. Never would I have ever dreamed that it would still be loved and cherished by our community to this day. Now writing this almost two years later (it is now February of 2022), I felt like we should share and document how this collection came to be.
I am a self proclaimed stationery addict and washi is by far one of my most favorite items to create with and it was a goal of mine as an artist to create my own washi tape. For those of you that don't know what washi is - it is a sustainable alternative to other tapes made with plastic films. Instead of being made with plastic filament, it is made with the fibers of the inner bark of certain trees (like the paper mulberry - kōzo [Japan] or waukē [Hawaiʻi], gampi tree, or mitsumata shrub). Some are even made with rice!
With everything that I had drawn in my artist journey at that point (and I was drawing a lot), I was a bit stuck in deciding what one design I was going to invest in. April was coming to a close and I had started a new series called "aloha friday" where we would create a new screen saver to beautify your mobile device for the following month (in this case, May). My husband had suggested I draw his favorite lei flower to celebrate May Day, Lei Puakenikeni.
You can find this wallpaper here if youʻd like to downlaod this artwork for personal use: download puakenikeni lei.
Originally I set out just to create a single design on washi just to check it off my artist bucket list and this collection sold out in less than 11 minutes (check out our blog on that here). At the time I had less than three thousand individuals in our Instagram community and never in my wildest dreams did I think weʻd make washi let alone sell out of our first ever collection.
Shortly after that, our friends over at Sticks and Pōhaku reached out to us and asked us if they could license our artwork. We were so excited and you can bet we said yes and the rest is history!
Since June of 2020 we have expanded our Puakenikeni collection and have rereleased our washi tapes, realizing that in limiting our washi limits the reach of its ability to shine.
Now you can find our puakenikeni design on some of our favorite things:
Puakenikeni Natural Cork Coasters - natural cork is an environmentally friendly option for this popular houseware. Here at Kākou Collective we have our eyes set on providing more sustainable/eco friendly product. As a small business, we believe that we have the power to help make eco friendly options more mainstream by carrying it in our shop. Whats even cooler is that our coasters are made in-house (yup, this bad boy is not mass manufactured).
Puakenikeni Sticker Kit - This is now retired (updated Feb 2022). thanks to our Patrons on Patreon we were able to upgrade our paper to this awesome weatherproof matte which is smoother and more durable than the last material we had! This is perfect for any planner (as it is non-planner specific), journal, or craft. Our stickers are made in-house on Oʻahu and all of our artwork is original and hand drawn by yours truly.
Stop and Smell the Puakenikeni Vinyl Sticker - we got such a great response from our puakenikeni post on instagram that we decided to make it a sticker. My husband loves vinyl stickers and has been asking me to make one. We thought it was funny and appropriate that our first vinyl sticker is his pua punahele!
Puakenikeni Washi - It has always been a goal of mine to create washi and I cannot tell you how happy I am with the final outcome! Iʻm even more excited about the fact that it is a trio of designs that can work for any creative application. Also, fun fact: Washi is a sustainable alternative to other tapes made with plastic film or other what nots. The material is made of an environmental white paper. Washi is made using fibers from the inner bark of the gampi tree, the mitsumata shrub (Edgeworthia chrysantha), or the paper mulberry (kōzo) bush. Talk about double whammy! We got to check something off our creative bucket list all while adding another sustainable alternative to our shop!