Big Island Candies Collabs Once Again with Lifestyle Brand, Eden in Love! Meet Their Creative Director!

We had so much fun collaborating with Hawaii-based lifestyle brand Eden in Love on our Holiday 2022 Tote Bag that we couldn’t wait to work together again! We just launched the new, exclusive, limited-edition Classic Tote Bag, made of ripstop nylon in a cool color for summer, featuring some of the brand’s adorable characters interacting with a few of our most popular products. We also collaborated on a Chip Clip, a Canvas Tote, and a 21-oz. Water Bottle, three more products to keep you smiling during the summer!

Established in 2005, one of Eden in Love’s earliest breakout creations was their ripstop nylon tote. The popularity of these tote bags became the catalyst to creating collections with other companies. And to this day, it all starts with a custom design that tells a brand’s story using Eden in Love’s adorable characters, who are surrounded by—and interact with—some of that brand’s most popular products, symbols, or other identifiers. In this collab, some of the Big Island Candies brand icons have been designed as charming characters too, bringing even more life and playful energy to the creations.

For our collaboration, the design team at Eden in Love featured a few of our signature dipped shortbreads, including our famous Milk Chocolate Dipped Macadamia Nut Shortbread and even our classic red-label bag of shortbread cookies—exclusive to our Hilo and Ala Moana Center stores. You’ll also find a box of Mika Mints, some Macadamia Nut Biscotti, Pineapple Manju, and other goodies. Judging by their smiling faces and satisfied expressions, these confection characters are quite content.

Back in October 2022 we caught up with co-founder Tanna Dang about collabs, customers, and creativity. Now we’re excited to introduce to you the designer/artist behind the confection caricatures, Hilo-born—and now Honolulu-based—Alyssa Han! We met up with Alyssa for a chat about artistic inspiration, growing up in Hilo, and her earliest memory of Big Island Candies. We hope you enjoy the conversation and the collaboration items!

Aloha, Alyssa! We’re so happy to be collaborating again with Eden in Love on a Tote Bag! As their Creative Director, what was your inspiration behind the brand’s visual aesthetic, particularly the cheerful characters and fun phrases that appear on many of the products?

I think the inspiration behind all my designs comes from the brands I’m designing for. Every one has a unique story that’s worth sharing, so I’ll spend time researching and getting to know the brand as if it were a person. As I get to know more about each partner, I try to give that persona a life of its own, so they can spread happiness to the world. The fun sayings? That’s just from my head!

What do you like best about collaborating with another brand?

Bouncing off my previous answer, I think it’s getting to know these brands on a deeper level. Whether it’s a company I’ve known for decades, like Big Island Candies, or brands I’ve been recently introduced to, there are so many cool aspects that customers may never know about right off the bat. I intentionally seek out those things, so we can bring them to life in a cute, illustrated way to spark conversations and garner more awareness through our partnership.

When you were growing up here in Hilo, did you always want to be a designer or work as an artist?

I think I’ve always been interested in cute things, but growing up in a small town like Hilo, there wasn’t a lot of exposure to careers as designers or artists back in the day. My dream job was to be an elementary school teacher, and thinking back on it now, it was really because my teachers always had the cutest clipart and fonts for worksheets. So, I guess you could make that connection!

Has being from Hilo shaped the way you design or the way you look at designing and creating?

In a roundabout way, I think yes. Hilo is such a special place. Growing up in a community where everyone knows one another and supports each other has really shaped me into who I am. That upbringing really pushes me to design meaningful things for those we work with so they can continue to share, succeed, and cultivate the next generation of storytellers. Although a small piece of their journeys, I hope that through every design I create, we can be a part of the influence our partners have in the future.

What is one of your earliest memories of Big Island Candies?

First of all, I love Big Island Candies. When I was younger, my dad would buy me a bag of chocolate dipped macadamia nut shortbread cookies—the ones in the brown bag with the red label—and I would put them in the freezer and have them as an after-school snack. After leaving for college, I’d get cookies mailed to me, and I’d continue to do the same thing. Actually, here’s some tote-bag backstory: That’s why I included the brown bag with the red label in the design. I just had to!

Our Bag Collab showcases some of our signature goodies. What’s your signature, go-to goodie when you shop at Big Island Candies?

Of course, the chocolate dipped macadamia nut shortbread. The classic! 

We want to take another opportunity to thank Alyssa and the team at Eden in Love. A lot of tender loving aloha (TLA) goes into everything they do! The Big Island Candies x Eden in Love limited-edition Classic Tote Bag (medium size: 17” x 21.5”) is now available for purchase at Big Island Candies’ Hilo and Ala Moana Center stores, or place your order at, while supplies last!

On June 10th our Big Island Candies’ Hilo Flagship Store hosted an Eden in Love Pop-Up! We also launched our three additional collaboration items: the Chip Clip, the Canvas Tote, and the 21-oz. Water Bottle, all available at our Hilo and Ala Moana Center stores or online at, while supplies last!

It was a great event, and it was really nice, not only to see the team from Eden in Love again but to see how our Hilo-store customers also stopped, and shopped, at the pop-up!

Enjoy your summer… carry on!

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