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Star-Bulletin Features

Thursday, June 22, 2000

By Dennis Oda, Star-Bulletin
The Original Hawaiian Traders is at
2328 S. King St. Call 941-5379.

This showcase
for Hawaii artists
is in the pink


If you think the The Original Hawaiian Traders building looks like the Royal Hawaiian Hotel, you're right.

That's what the store's owners put up a bell tower, parapets and planters on top of the building and painted it Pink Palace pink to reflect the era of the first Hawaiian Traders store.

Inside, all the products are made in Hawaii, from floral colognes and cushion-cover lampshades to exquisite etched-glass vases and silver bracelets.

Antique and collectible furnishings (not for sale) are a backdrop for clothing, food products, paintings, basketry, housewares, CDs, ukulele and flutes, featherwork and hula implements.

The hula theme comes in because Hawaiian Traders is sister to the store next door, Hula Supply Center.

In 1949, B.K. Kop, known as "Fada Kop" and "Papa Kop," opened Hawaiian Traders on Fort Street, specializing in Hawaiian dolls resplendent in handmade clothing. The store evolved into a hula specialty shop, now run by Kop's son Michael and Michael's wife Syl.

When the space next door became available, Michael and Syl decided to feature Hawaii-made products and recruited 60 artisans Syl had become acquainted with during her nine years of selling at craft fairs. The artists represent all the islands and are among Hawaii's best, Syl said.

The 700-square-foot store offers a lot to check out. But beyond the walls, the Kops have an on-line inventory of artifacts as well as art (visit By year's end, they hope to have computers set up in the store so clients may view those pieces as well.

"We want to promote the culture and history of Hawaii to the rest of the world," Syl said.

Cynthia Oi, Star-Bulletin

We love high culture -- theater, dance, music, cinema -- but weekends are also made for shopping. Shopping Fanatic is a Thursday feature dedicated to the pursuit of finds beyond the malls.

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