By Tasha Mero
HONOLULU — Chinatown has a lot to offer, one of them being the local hotspot for flower leis.
Sam Say, works at M.P. Lei Shop. It is directly surrounded by three other flower shops on the corner of North Pauahi St. and Mauna Kea St.
Even though there are numerous flower shops within Chinatown, shop owners don’t see each other as tough competition.
“There’s a lot of competition in Chinatown but most important is customer service, you need
quality,” Say said. “The customer always come back to you, not go to the cheaper price.”
Chinatown: the Place to be
Amy Phanphongsa-Syxomphou, worker at Lei of the Island Flower Shop, enjoys being located in Chinatown regardless of any competition that it may have.
“Personally, I like being in Chinatown,” Phanphongsa-
Syxomphou said. “We kinda help each other out.”
Estrella Bolosan, owner of Pauahi Leis and Flowers, has been in the lei
business for over 25 years.
“I (have) been all over the place, Chinatown is the best place, here in Mauna Kea St. for the walk-in customer,” Bolosan said.
Myra Dela Cruz, owner of Myra’s Lei and Flowers, thinks people flock to Chinatown for leis because of its reasonable prices,
“You go airport (or) Waikiki, gonna be more expensive,” Dela Cruz said.
Help From the Family
By the looks of their lei products, it’s easy to see that these flower shop workers put their whole heart into each piece. These
particular flower shops are actually all individual family businesses.
“If you put up a business you have to learn everything,” Dela Cruz said. “If you hire someone you’re not gonna make money.”
Dela Cruz, her husband, and sometimes her sister, helps out with making the leis for their shop.
Say works with his wife and helps her out by making leis as well.
“I work for a dental lab, my wife, she love flowers, so I (am) just helping her,” Say said.
These friendly flower shop owners not only share their passion for flowers with their customers, but their families as well.