Objects of Desire: Eden in Love

Tanna Dang is a storyteller. She’s a Hawai‘i-born, Punahou grad who’s a wife, sister, favorite aunty, journalism major, cheerleader for entrepreneurialism, and co-owner of Eden in Love with her husband Bryson.

Eden in Love, in Ward Village’s South Shore Market, has become a favorite lifestyle boutique for locals, not only because of its carefully curated fashion and accessories, but because of its inspirational messages of altruism that are fundamental to its brand.

We talked to Tanna about what makes Eden in Love unlike any other retailer in Hawai‘i, and why every product she carries tells a story. 

What made you want to become an entrepreneur?

I didn't! I was happy as a clam at my post-college publication gig, but got offered the opportunity to purchase a growing wedding business. Everyone told me not to do it. In fact, my parents encouraged me to get a state job so I could be "secure” – so of course, I did the opposite. Bryson and I got married in December 2004 and purchased The Wedding Cafe in January 2005. Our entire marriage has included one or two small businesses... The Wedding Cafe, Eden in Love, Fred+Kate Events, CINCH... it's as if we had four kids.

 

How did Eden in Love get started?

The Wedding Cafe was originally located in Mānoa Marketplace and after a couple of years, we were outgrowing our cozy space. So we took a huge leap and moved to Ward. It was crazy on our opening day... we set such high expectations for the move and when we opened our doors on November 15, 2007... NOTHING. We didn't have our first sale for hours!  After a few months of trying to figure out the market, I tapped into my former retail experience and brought in a few accessories and bags. It was awesome! I could sell one bag for $40 or sell eight turkey avocado sandwiches. You do the math. Then I transitioned into clothing starting with one rack, then two, then soon enough, I hired a branding company to help us birth a name for the boutique and Eden in Love was born.

 

What makes Eden in Love unique?

Our commitment to storytelling. We’re always looking for ways to leverage consumerism to do good. Whether it's a signature dress with a portion of sales going to a village in Sri Lanka or a donation promotion – we just raised $3000 for the Waikiki Aquarium. Everyone has a choice where they're going to purchase from, but knowing they’ll receive excellent service, handpicked items and be part of something bigger… I’m hoping Eden in Love will always stay top of mind for shoppers.

 

How do you go about selecting your eclectic merchandise?

Our merchandise all has a story. Because I’m so involved in the buying process, I can tell you that we don't just sell belts – our obi belts were designed to empower confidence when styled correctly. Our trinket dishes were selected to be the perfect size to leave near the sink so you have somewhere safe to keep your rings when your hands are wet. Our books were all picked to complement food trends we've studied on food blogs. Our candles were all sniffed and burned in the showroom so we know it's a scent that'll hold in Hawai‘i weather. So you see? Everything in our boutique has intent.

 

What do you love about being in Ward Village?

Being part of a community. There are so many other small business owners who are like-minded, creative and FUN to be around. I love how accessible everything is too. Bryson and I live nearby and we walk everywhere. Where else can you grab a coffee at Coffee Bean at 9 am, watch a movie at 11, catch a yoga class in the afternoon, grab a late lunch at Piggy Smalls or ramen at Agu, get takeout from Scratch or Paina Café, and shop all day in between?

To learn more and for store hours visit Eden In Love.

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