Last week I was fortunate enough to receive a custom made “Hairloom” hair flower all the way from Hawaii! Ellie, the lovely owner of Ellie’s Hawaiian Hairlooms, took my love of the frangipanis (or Plumeria) that grow in my hometown and created for me a lifelike frangipani triplet hair flower piece.
Ellie packs her Hairlooms in sturdy cardboard boxes so that they survive the shipping process without any damage, and mine arrived all the way from the other side of the world completely unharmed.
Ellie started making floral hair clips for her own use in 2007 – she originally used real flowers from her garden to make a new hair clip every day, as she wanted to show some “Aloha” to the tourists she worked with. Ellie’s colleagues started asking for hair flowers too, and soon she was running out of fresh garden flowers to use!
Considering the hair flowers on the market, Ellie was disappointed by the low quality generic blooms and the fact that they were all made in China. Deciding to create her own, Ellie based her business on a number of key points:
- The artificial flowers should look as real as possible and not be able to be spotted as fake from miles away!
- The colours should blend together and harmonise
- Comfort should be considered – the flowers should not be too heavy to wear
- The flowers used should all be good quality
- The craftsmanship should be of high quality so the flowers could be worn again and again
- The flowers should promote Ellie’s love of Hawaiian Hula and culture
- The flowers should tell a story of Hawaii and its amazing flowers, leis, hakus and hair adornments
One of Ellie’s early customers (and soon a good friend) was a Hula dancer named Uluani (“Heavenly Inspiration”). She became Ellie’s muse for her business venture, and out of the 155 different designs Ellie has created, Uluani owns flowers of about 153 of the designs!
Ellie launched herself on Etsy in 2014 after being told about it by a tourist. Hairlooms was Ellie’s hobby and she also found it to be good therapy for relaxing. Very excitingly, in 2015, USA retailer Nordstrom contacted her to ask if they could carry stock of her Hairlooms from March 2016 onwards!
As you can see, Ellie’s goal of making her hair flowers look as natural as possible has certainly paid off, with her Hairlooms being very lifelike and well harmonised.
Ellie attaches her Hairlooms to an information card that gives you tips as to how best to care for your Hairloom so that it lives a long and happy life.
You can purchase Hairlooms from Ellie’s Etsy store. Prices range from around AU$14 for single clips to AU$53 for full sized pieces. Shipping is about AU$20 for one large item, with subsequent items adding only about $2-$3 to your shipping quote, so buying a few items at once gets you the best deal for shipping costs. Ellie ships to the USA, European Union, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and Japan.
If you’re after something particular or need a custom quote for a wedding party or special event, contact Ellie via her Etsy shop or her main website and she’ll be happy to work with you to create the perfect items for you. Ellie continues to handmake all of her Hairlooms from her home in Hawaii.
In these photos, I paired my Hairloom with the Alika dress from Hell Bunny and B.A.I.T.’s “Bloom” heels.
Please note that while I was gifted this item for review, my words and opinions are my own and are genuine and truthful.