February 29, 2024


20 local companies featured at luxury travel retailer in renewed partnership with Mana Up

Honolulu, Hawai‘i – DFS Hawai‘i and local accelerator Mana Up announce a new partnership after the reopening of DFS Waikiki – formerly known as T Galleria by DFS – to showcase Hawai‘i-based products in a luxury retail environment and provide mentorship to emerging companies. 

The partnership centers on close collaboration between the companies, with Mana Up including DFS as part of the accelerator cohort selection process and featuring DFS mentors during the Mana Up program. Additionally, DFS will have special access to new products and entrepreneurs who may have an opportunity to be featured at DFS Waikiki or DFS Hawai‘i airport locations in Honolulu and Kahului. 

DFS and Mana Up are kicking off this partnership with a special limited-time activation at DFS Waikiki featuring 20 local companies and their products. After reopening the Waikiki location, the retailer introduced 12 more Hawai‘i companies and spotlights these businesses through storytelling and product displays in a new Mana Up branded section. 

"At DFS Hawaii, we are committed to providing a platform for brands to thrive and connect with travelers from around the globe," says Karl Sutcliffe, vice president of store operations of DFS Hawai‘i. "Our partnership with Mana Up allows us to showcase the vibrant stories of Hawai‘i’s entrepreneurs, offering discerning visitors world-class local products while driving volume and sales." 

This partnership is a renewed collaboration between Mana Up and DFS Hawai‘i, doubling down on the success found during the initial launch of their partnership in 2019. During the 12 months of working together pre-pandemic, DFS Hawai‘i onboarded 11 new local companies and amplified merchandising features for an additional five companies – helping their sales to skyrocket and demonstrating the power of creating a compelling sense of place within the retail experience. 

"Being featured at TGalleria by DFS Hawaii in 2019 was a pivotal moment for Coco Moon as it significantly boosted brand exposure and opened doors to countless opportunities. Collaborating with DFS Hawai‘i and Mana Up allowed us to share not just our products, but our culture and stories with a global audience – expanding our reach and propelling our business to new heights,” says Amber Thibaut, founder of Coco Moon, a participant in Mana Up’s third cohort.

"Combining DFS Hawai‘i’s retail prowess with the amazing stories and products of Mana Up companies has been a recipe for success. It is an example of a win-win-win collaboration in which DFS, Mana Up and local entrepreneurs have something to gain," says Meli James, co-founder of Mana Up. "We’re excited to continue building on this partnership in the years to come."

The shopping activation is available across these DFS Hawai‘i locations for a limited time only: DFS Waikiki, Daniel K. Inouye International Airport in Honolulu and Kahului Airport on Maui. The featured Hawai‘i-based companies that graduated from the Mana Up six-month business accelerator program include:

  • Big Island Coffee Roasters​
  • Coco Moon​
  • David Shepard Hawaii​
  • Hanalei
  • Hawaiian Pie Company​
  • Island Harvest​
  • Jules & Gem​
  • Kaimana Jerky​
  • Keiki Kaukau​
  • Lexbreezy Hawai‘i​
  • Little Hands Hawai‘i​
  • Mānoa Chocolate​
  • Maui Nui​ Venison
  • Mohala Eyewear​
  • Ohana Nui​ Cookies
  • Surf Shack​ Puzzles
  • Tea Chest​ Hawai‘i
  • ua body
  • Wai Meli​
  • Western Aloha

About DFS Group

DFS Group is the world’s leading luxury travel retailer. Established in Hong Kong in 1960, DFS Group continues to be a pioneer in global luxury travel retail, offering its customers a carefully curated selection of exceptional products from over 750 of the most desired brands. Its network consists of 56 duty free stores located in 14 major global airports and 23 downtown Galleria locations on four continents, as well as affiliate and resort locations. The Group is privately held and majority owned by the world’s largest luxury conglomerate, Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton (LVMH), alongside DFS co-founder and shareholder Robert Miller. DFS Group employs more than 5,000 people focused on creating inspiring omnichannel retail experiences for its customers and is headquartered in Hong Kong SAR with offices in Australia, Cambodia, China, France, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Macau SAR, New Zealand, Singapore, United Arab Emirates, United States of America and Vietnam. For more information, please visit www.dfs.com.

About Mana Up

Mana Up is an accelerator and venture fund for Hawaiʻi-based products growing to markets globally, with the mission to increase economic opportunity and jobs for the people of Hawaiʻi. To date, 85 local companies have participated in the six-month accelerator program that provides expansion opportunities and helps solve business challenges. For more information about the accelerator program, visit www.manauphawaii.com, and to shop House of Mana Up, visit https://houseofmanaup.com.  

Mana Up is supported by Kamehameha Schools, Castle & Cooke Hawai’i, Bank of Hawaii, ALTRES, Hawaiian Airlines, Kaiser Permanente Hawai’i, Hawai’i Technology Development Corporation, Innovate Hawai’i, American Savings Bank, Ulupono Initiative, Young Brothers, UHA Health Insurance, Pineapple Tweed, Shopify, Foodland and Dole.