We interrupt our regularly scheduled programming for this tiki-tacular hot news: All you lucky folks west of the Mississippi, get ready to run (don’t walk) over to your local Home Depot so you can nab some of the very first batch of tiki decor — 4′ tikis, tiki planters and even a $199 tiki bar — designed by renowned tiki carver Danny Gallardo, also known as Tiki Diablo. As first reported by Tiki Magazine, this new “Signature Series” of tiki bar decor will soon be making its way to Home Depot stores. I talked this week to Danny and to the company he’s working with to get these items into Home Depot. When will you be able to get them? Can you buy them online? How much will they cost? Why can’t I get them in Massachusetts *throws snit fit*? Read on, and all your questions will be answered!
Update: Note, this story is from summer 2015, so the line is no longer available.
Key info about Tiki Diablo tiki decor at Home Depot
- There are four 4′ tiki designs. They are all molded in fireclay from original Tiki Diablo designs. The 4′ tikis will retail for $100 give or take a few cents.
- There are three planter designs. Each will cost about $30. Molded in fireclay from Tiki Diablo designs.
- There is one bar design. Yes, designed by Tiki Diablo, the tiki bar is made of bamboo and measures just under 4′. It will cost $199. (Note: Tiki Diablo did not design the bar stools, so I did not ask about them.)
- Where to buy them: All of these products will be available at about 600 Home Depot stores west of the Mississippi. Some smaller stores west-of-M may not have them. But, if you are in this western region, you should be able to request a store-to-store transfer. The bar will also be available online as early as this week — I’ll post the link as soon as we get word it’s there. The tikis and tiki planters program was intended for in-store purchase only.
- Timing: All these items will begin to land in 600 stores west of the Mississippi beginning July 6 — but it may take up to two weeks for all stores to get loaded up. The tiki decor is part of Home Depot’s annual “Hawaiian Days” promotion, which spotlights plants and decor to decorate outdoor spaces or to bring the outdoors in.
- “While supplies last”: This is a seasonal promotion that will last about a month. So get yer 2015 tikis while you can!
- East Coast blues: Depending on how these sell this season, the program may be extended east of the Mississippi next year. Meanwhile, east o’ readers, I think it might help to bang Home Depot’s drum — let ’em know: We want Tiki Diablo tikis!
Let’s meet: Danny Gallardo aka Tiki Diablo
Kate and I actually met Danny Gallardo last year when we went to The Hukilau. He was one of the six very talented tiki designers on the panel we hosted about how to Create Your Own Savage Suburban Paradise, that is, how to design a home tiki bar. And of course, there was lots of fun hangin’ with Danny and friends over at The Mai Kai in the Molakai Bar. Best. Time. Ever.
I caught up with Danny earlier this week on the phone, while he was driving from his home in Southern California over to Las Vegas, where is working on a new tiki project. Yes: There is such as thing as a professional tiki bar designer and tiki carver — and Danny’s been rockin’ it since 2002. In the wake of Sept. 11, like many other people that I have met, he asked himself what he wanted to do for the rest of his life, quit his longtime job, and went all-in to pursue a passion… a talent. He’s never looked back — it’s all worked out — and now, his art is coming to Home Depot!
Danny actually had caught the tiki bug at his former longtime job. He had been in management for a large home improvement chain in Southern California. Around 2001, they transferred him to manage the company’s largest nursery. He started playing around with the displays … started adding tiki decor … he saw the potential for a growing tiki market … and here we are, some 15 years later, and the tiki revival is as hot as ever.
Plant Source, Inc.: The tiki sourcerers
Danny’s connection to Home Depot came via the team at Plant Source, Inc., a California company that stocks the interior plant departments at Home Depot stores west of the Mississippi. Tina Monji manages product development for Plant Source. I had a lot of fun talkin’ tiki with her, too. She explained that for 11 months of the year, it’s mostly plants plants more plants for Home Depot, along with some special containers for holidays thrown in here and there. But then, for one month a year — starting in the middle of July — Plant Sources creates and stocks a big “Hawaiian Days” promotion for Home Depot. Walk into the store, and the promotion typically takes up all the space at the front of the store heading toward the nursery.
A couple of years ago, Plant Source added some tikis to the Hawaiian Days mix. But these were smaller (24″ and 36″) and not designed by an artist of Danny’s caliber. Tina told me that, “Last year, I wanted to have something amazing to add to the program. I found Danny, loved his artwork, and it was only afterward that I found out he had such a great reputation.” This led to the launch of this exclusive Signature Series.
She also said that Home Depot was very game for the collaboration. “They are a great partner — if you come up with an idea they embrace it. This plan came up, and they said, ‘Go for it.'”
Tina was the one who gave me the availability details listed in the bullets above and via some more detail here:
- Distribution to the stores begins July 6. It may be about two weeks before the products make it into all 600 stores. Why did we get the “spy” shot from Joy — taken in a Dallas Home Depot and sent to us on June 24 — if the products aren’t in stores yet? I asked Tina. She doesn’t know why this was out yet. Although: Product is out at the Oxnard, Calif., store. That’s where all the products were taken before launch for photography and plan-o-gramming. Tina makes a “plan-o-gram” that goes with the distribution to the stores to show the stores how to set up the display. Thank you, Joy — you are rocking the Spy Photography gig!!!!
- If you purchase the bar online, it will be shipped as a knock-down unit — that is, you will have to assemble it. She actually tried it, and it was “easier than Ikea.”
- And, she clarified that the products will be distributed in the west — so if you are in that territory and don’t find them in your local Home Depot — ask — and they should be able to do an intra-region store transfer and get you the product you want. Again, though: Just west of the Mississippi. Golly, I am getting to type the word Mississippi a lot!
“Next year, if we’re successful, we’re hoping to take it [all the Tiki Diablo products] nationwide,” Tina said. “We’re already chomping at the bit to get to 2016 and continue our partnership. Danny has been a treat to work with.”
The Tiki Diablo for Home Depot Signature Series:
Above: A tiki in the Maori tradition. This guy is my favorite!
Above: A tiki in the California Ku style. I asked Danny what California Ku was, and he said this is a Hawaiian / Polynesian pop look — he always associates it with Palm Springs.
Which tiki is your favorite, readers?
Marquesan — Maori — or California Ku?
Above: There are three planters, one each in the California Ku, Maori and Marquesan styles.
Now I will tackle this one head on: Yes, the products are made in China. Sometimes on this blog, made in China generates… passion. I talked about this issue with everyone I interviewed, and everyone had very thoughtful replies. I don’t really want to go down that rabbit hole with this story. So can we leave it at: Home Depot has sold imported tikis for several years… now, it has much more beautiful tikis that are designed by a renowned American artist steeped in the hobby.
The camaraderie among the tiki community always impresses me. When Danny was first approached to do this collaboration, his friend and client Amy Boylan also got involved to help him set up the business deal. On top of her very serious day job, Amy is owner of Tiki Magazine, partner in two tiki bars — Tonga Hut in North Hollywood – the oldest tiki bar in Los Angeles, and the much newer Tonga Hut – Palm Springs. Danny designed and built Tonga Hut – Palm Springs and has done many other projects for Amy, so she was happy to help him out.
Danny recalls the project coming together very quickly:
Tina called me, and she and I got to talking, and it snowballed — in a good way. The order kept getting bigger and bigger. She asked, ‘Can you do more?’ and I said, ‘Of course!’ The whole thing came together fast in order to design stuff for this year. I really had to hit the ground running. But considering all of that, I’m super pleased with how everything turned out.
The goal of an artist is to have some sort of deal like this…. passive income…. And, it’s a way for people to buy one of my carvings for a really attractive price.
Congratulations, Danny, we’re rooting for you! Thanks also to Tina and to Amy for talking with me for this story! For sure: If I lived west of the Mississippi, I’d be stalking Home Depot daily starting July 6 so that I could pounce the minute these tikis made it onto the floor!
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