Frank Sinatra once sang that love and marriage go together like a horse and carriage. But powerhouse couple Tanna and Bryson Dang, owners of the lifestyle boutique Eden in Love in Hawaii and in Town Square in Las Vegas, have a new take on that relationship. To them, love and marriage go together like fashion and philanthropy — their true inspiration is in social entrepreneurship and teaching others how to build a business and life that they love.
It all began back in 2005 when the young Oahu couple purchased a wedding resource center in Honolulu called The Wedding Café, which housed both a wedding business and a café. In 2007, they moved from the cozy little marketplace in which the business was located to a larger mall near the beach called Ward Warehouse. Foot traffic was way better, but rent was also way higher. So they had to get creative and think of new things to do in the 700-square-foot space.
“Coming from a retail background, we started carrying a tiny selection of earrings and necklaces, then bags, then a single rolling rack of dresses,” says Tanna. “It was funny because people had to go into our loft in between our mayonnaise jars and chicken cans to try things on since we didn’t have a fitting room. It started getting confusing because of our name, The Wedding Café. Shoppers didn’t know if they could shop with us after they got married or if we were only a bridal shop. So, we worked with a PR company and created the name Eden in Love to separate our retail business, which was booming, from our wedding resource center.”
Eden in Love followed the concept of the couple’s original wedding business to stand out in service, creating really out-of-the-box events and promotions, and using their platform, whether it was weddings or retail, to speak on behalf of things that mattered to them.
“Then the coolest thing started to happen with Eden,” Tanna enthuses. “The more we delved into the community, the more we started to see how we could leverage the power of consumerism to do good things. For instance, we would collect three-plus magazines for local libraries in exchange for a 20 percent discount. Our customers loved being a part of a larger movement and we were stoked by the number of organizations we could champion and storytell for. This became the heart and why of Eden in Love. Since 2007, we’ve supported over 100 local and national nonprofits and adopted a village in Nallathanniya, Sri Lanka, for five years through international nonprofit Global Hope Network. And all of this can be attributed to the power of retail.”
As founders of Divas Doing Good, a nonprofit arm of Eden in Love, the award-winning Dangs and their team have been able to create a positive impact in Hawaii and around the world. A few of the things they have accomplished include the “Gifts That Give” campaign, which tied local designers with charities of their choice; styling teenagers from the oncology department at Kapiolani Medical Center; and teaching retail skills to young adults at Easter Seals of Hawaii.
The giving back to the community continues in Las Vegas, Eden in Love’s third location and the city the Dangs call the “Ninth Island.” (The second store the Dangs opened is in Waikiki.) One of the promotions, for example, is that if people donate three or more canned goods, they get 20 percent off their purchase, or if they donate $5 cash instead, they get 10 percent off their purchase. The canned goods are then donated to local food pantries or shelters in Nevada. The boutique hosts in-store fundraisers every month.
To celebrate Eden in Love’s first anniversary in Las Vegas last month, the retail boutique launched its Made in Nevada Marketplace. Eden in Love now has a dedicated section of the store that features locally made products for shoppers to purchase. The marketplace also includes Made in Hawaii products from various Hawaii-based vendors, such as candles with Eden’s signature scent, Guava Eucalyptus, which are hand-poured in Hawaii by Jules & Gem. The boutique has a great selection of women’s apparel, accessories, notebooks, custom pens, home decor and a pet and kid section.
“We pride ourselves on our Marketplace, which is a curation of Hawaii- and Nevada-based products,” Tanna says. “We feature Fisher Space Pens, Dee’s Little Soaps and Abbie Paulhus, all of which are from the Las Vegas area, to name a few of the Nevada businesses. We also have our extensive ALOHA and VEGAS collection that we design and print in Hawaii, such as “High Fives and Aloha Vibes” and “High Fives and Vegas Vibes” on totes, hats and tees. And our superpopular Aloha Vegas kids’ — we say “keiki” — tees.”
It all goes to show that the power of retail is the power of love and the other way around.