Akalei Designs is Hawaii's only designer of handcrafted Kumihimo beaded Hawaiian Lei. With over 100 unique designs we were recently awarded “Best Beaded Lanyard” from The American Kumihimo Society (2023) for our complex braid structures. In addition our silk Hawaiian necklace is being showcased in a commercial for the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement Pop-Up Makēkē Market. And another positive compliment was three of our designs were selected in a juried art exhibit in Oahu by The Hawaiian Handweavers Hui. This public recognition reflects how our unique and high quality necklace lei are gaining attention. All our designs are handcrafted on Maui. We are unique in that we are able to incorporate aspects of floral lei into modern forever lei using glass beads with designs normally only seen in the shell lei made famous on the island of Ni’iHua (The Forbidden Island).
Matte Brown and Topaz Magatama beads :"Forbidden Island" Necklace - 25.5"
This segmented design blends brown metallic tones with transparent topaz magatama beads. These brown earth tones provide a neutral palate when wearing Summer colors (beige, white, etc.). The brass toned metallic magnetic end cap blends right in and keeps this secure. Our kumihimo technique involves weaving each necklace on multiple nylon cords and braid together on a wooden Marudai stand. The necklace feels wonderful to wear and requires little to almost no care by using a clean dry towel every few months to keep dust free and bright.
Akalei is the Hawaiian word for "bead reflections" which truly describes this unique style only available here on Maui. We specialize in designing a wide range of modern yet familiar Hawaiian lei. Please send an email to email@example.com.
Kumihimo is an ancient Japanese braid making technique that creates beautiful and strong interlaced cords. This art form goes back hundreds of years as braids were made for use in armor of Japanese samurai warriors. In modern times these braids are designed as belts (obijime) used on kimonos.
It is my goal to provide you with a long lasting, beautiful piece of jewelry that you will enjoy wearing for years to come. I take great care in the construction of my pieces to ensure just that. Please note: colors may slightly differ from their appearance on your display, as it depends on your monitor settings.
Please send me a message with questions or comments.