Celebrating 35 Years In Hawaii
By Richard Monroe
Owner of Rattan Creations
The year was 1978 and I had just returned from the Philippines.
In that country, I saw a great variety of rattan furniture. Rattan was very interesting because, when heated, it could be easily bent, which offered numerous design possibilities. Rattan actually is a vine from the palm family of plants and it grows wild on the exotic island of Borneo. It is strong and lightweight when made into furniture.
When choosing furniture, there are three basic types: fabric all over – which is upholstery – and leather. These two types are mostly mass-produced in China nowadays. The third type of furniture is rattan furniture, which is called “island style” because it is tropical and all handmade. Our cushions are fitted but not attached. The covers can be removed and washed or replaced at a very reasonable cost. This makes it a very good choice for our Hawaiian lifestyle.
My wife, Atin, and I started our furniture business right on our house lanai. When we became successful, we moved to a store in Kaimuki. Then, in 2001, we bought our own store on Beretania Street, where we now operate. We have developed our own unique designs for furniture, and it has shown to be very saleable. Good furniture designs plus our friendly service have made us a winner. We also repair, refinish and make cushion covers.
For 35 years, we have continuously run an ad in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser and MidWeek, and that has certainly helped us survive. During that time, there have been at least 15 other rattan companies here in Honolulu, and they are all out of business.
We are now the only store selling rattan furniture exclusively.
We owe our success to our good designs, our great service and to our many loyal customers.