HONOLULU (KHON2) — Many local businesses are working to keep up with orders for the special someone in people’s lives. Some owners said Valentine’s Day helps them make up for some of the losses they have seen throughout the pandemic.
The Maui Divers Jewelry Creative Director Hugo Laverde said they started preparing Valentine’s Day pieces last year. Everything is designed and manufactured in-house.
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The pandemic changed the habits of many, even how people shop, but some things never change such as showing affection to loved ones.
“When you are thinking of high values, if there’s something that is a $1,000 you’re not too sure whether it’s going to get lost or so on,” Laverde said. “I think that fear kind of went away with the pandemic, So online actually increased more. People are more comfortable with buying online.”
Laverde said the time and care put into their pieces of jewelry helps build a special connection with clients, but that close connection to the community is also felt among other businesses.
For small chocolate makers Choco Le’a, the support from the community has helped them stay afloat throughout the pandemic, and this Valentine’s Day, neighbors are giving them extra love.
“We really rely on those holidays and the people,” Choco Le’a Owner Erin Kanno Uehara said. “Not so much the holidays, but really rely on the people to show up, to choose us to help them celebrate their special moments in their life.”
The locally owned and operated business closed its Manoa shop when the pandemic started. Now, the shop is open on Tuesday and Saturday, and for curbside pick-up Wednesday through Friday.
The chocolate truffles are all whipped and poured by hand. Given the delicate nature of the chocolate, Choco Le’a does not ship, they truly rely on those on the island to show up.
Kanno Uehara said customers have shown their loyalty, and holidays like Valentine’s Day help make up for some of the slower months.
She said the pandemic has also changed how they operate the business and has allowed them to restrategize what is next for them.
“We kind of look at it as let’s look at our business version 2.0,” Kanno Uehara said. “What does that look like? It doesn’t necessarily have to look what we did before. So we’re actually looking to grow in a way that our community needs us.”