Hairy Monkey Store gets Bigger and Better
Big Island Weekly
(When you are on the Big Island of Hawaii this is a MUST VISIT STORE)
When the doors of Hairy Monkey Books closed earlier this year after only two years in business, those who supported the engaging and diverse shop knew it was only a matter of time until a new location was secured and the doors were reopened. That day has finally arrived. Owners Lawrie Provost and her partner Janno Scheer will be celebrating the grand re-opening in their newly-renovated Keauhaka location on December 15.
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Lawrie Provost shares that she and partner Janno had “a concept to produce an eclectic shopping experience for locals and visitors featuring a mix of beach reads and collectibles as well as hard to find Hawaiiana and antique literature such as Don Blanding and Mark Twain. The addition of books pertaining to women’s studies and GLBT created a unique and inviting atmosphere for hard-to-find references.” The previous location also featured book signings from local authors including Roseanne Barr’s biography, “Roseannearchy.” Provost says that event “put us on the map as having produced the largest book signing in the history of Hilo, Hawaii. Ms. Barr continues to support and contribute to the community at large and may be featuring homegrown items for purchase at the new Hairy Monkey Store.”
After their lease ended in June, Provost says they felt the store deserved a better location, which includes a more accessible storefront and ample parking. The new 4,000 sq. ft. space, complete with a revamped name, The Hairy Monkey Store, is located at 92 Kalanianaole, directly across from the ice pond and Seaside Hotel. Provost says, “The combination of foot traffic from both Banyan drive hotels, the cruise line and bus line along with unlimited parking assures a larger flow of customer traffic.”
After stepping foot into the previous store, it was apparent to any customer that Provost and Scheer offered much more to the community than books and knick-knacks. “During the two years we have been in business, we are proud of our accomplishments including a safe environment for GLBT youth and a diverse ohana looking for reference books and referral services such as free HIV testing, and PFLAG (parents and friends of Lesbians and gays). We support local non-profits and sell tickets for these kinds of events at no charge, supporting the Palace Theater, local charter school programs, and other non-profits,” shares Provost. The new location will still support the community, but with more space, they will be able to do even more. “The new space will feature a meeting space available for both profit and non-profits such as Zen Drawing Classes, writing clinics, a children’s story time, and women’s book club.”
The crew has been hard at work preparing for the mid-December opening. Provost adds, “We are making every effort to open by the December date due to all the requests from locals wanting to purchase hard to find Christmas items such as diverse GLBT Christmas cards, ornaments, and rainbow pride items. The collectibles range from mid-century retro to antique 18th century from Hawaii, and abroad.” The special opening day will be marked by an after-hours VIP celebration at 5 p.m., which will include wine, music and delicious treats by Trish Owens of Pineapples.
Though this location may be new, Provost and Scheer are long-time community contributors and business owners in full support of the “buy local” movement. “We are not new to the community in East Hawaii as owners of the downtown watersports store, Sun and Sea Hawaii. We are active in community fundraising and appreciate the endeavors of our neighbors, entrepreneurs and mom and pop stores. Without us little guys the scene here would be different. Old practices such as honesty and integrity, kindness and diversity make Sun and Sea a success. We don’t cater to any one specific group such as scuba diving, spearfishing or surfers, but offer a bit of everything. In the New Hairy Monkey we are excited to offer the same type of diversity in our products, services and good old-fashioned customer service.”