Hound & Quail’s Mark Pei and Travis Flazer’s collection of curious finds goes from antique to out-of-this-world.
ENTERING HOUND & QUAIL FOR THE FIRST TIME IS AKIN TO CLIMBING INTO A LIFE-SIZE CURIO CABINET, ONE FILLED WITH oddities and conversation pieces gathered from the far reaches of the globe.
Creatures not normally seen in the day-to-day surround you—a bobcat here, a raccoon there, and even a ferocious honey badger sits frozen mid-swipe.
There also are puzzling relics from eras long gone, such as telephones with wires and cords growing out of them, and a mammoth of a computer that has no screen! (For those born before the turn of the century, that ancient machine is called a typewriter.)
Yes, Hound & Quail is indeed a bazaar for the bizarre, and every collector’s dream.
Opened in early 2011 by Mark Pei and Travis Flazer, the second-floor vintage shop is a place to find unusual items acquired from Pei’s travels around the globe.
“On my layovers in L.A., New York and Tokyo, I can look at the flea markets, so I try to bring home things when I can, because a lot of stuﬀ you can’t get here,” says Pei.
“I like collecting things, and it’s all of this kind of stuﬀ. Obviously I can’t keep it all in the apartment, so it’s kind of an excuse to have a shop,” he adds.
Pei and Flazer, former owners of the mid-century Chinatown furniture store [area], created Hound & Quail as a way to share their unique tastes with others in Honolulu whose leanings veer more toward the macabre than the mass-produced.
“We’re the anti-mall,” Pei denotes. “We don’t want to be a typical antique shop, and we don’t want to be labeled as an antique shop. It’s a collection of curiosities; that’s how we envision our shop.”
PHOTOS COURTESY OF HOUND & QUAIL
“Everything in here is one-of-a-kind,” adds Flazer, who builds sets for theaters.
“And once it’s gone, it’s gone.”
An initial walkthrough of the shop reveals the duo’s flair for the cool and the creepy—lighting fixtures, mounted antlers, film cameras, globes, medical equipment, postcards, ’70s mod tables, bar carts, credenzas, Field Notes brand notebooks, Herman Miller chairs, a Sputnik lamp and other tchotchkes and memorabilia carefully curated, restored and displayed.
But as your eye darts here and there, captivated by each new treasure hidden in the nooks and crannies of the space, things only grow curiouser and curiouser.
In one corner, a cupboard holds creatures perfectly preserved within their clear resin casings, while in another area, an armoire doubles as a home for ancient apothecaries and anomalies, such as anatomy diagrams, horticultural charts and Flazer’s current favorite piece, a taxidermy duckling.
“My former favorite piece just sold a few weeks ago—it was an acrylic ball with scorpion suspended in it,” says Flazer, who manages Hound & Quail’s active online presence on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, as well as its website, www.houndandquail.com.
“Our inventory changes here all the time, so our favorite pieces always come and go,” adds Pei. “But we just keep buying what we think is cool.”
Others agree with the pair’s well-trained ability to sniff out the strangely attractive, as Hound & Quail has amassed an eclectic following that includes college hipsters, architecture bu~ s and set designers for major magazines and television shows.
While Hound & Quail regularly has new arrivals in stock, and though there are many, many things to be discovered inside its walls, Pei and Flazer advise would-be collectors not to get caught up in the thrill of the hunt when perusing their shelves.
“Just because it’s old doesn’t mean we’re going to have it in here. It has to have a certain style, a shape, an aesthetic, a condition—these are all the things we pay attention to,” says Pei.
“It’s all about editing.” Flazer agrees. “One, editing keeps your collection clean and tidy, and two, editing makes your collection look more special, as opposed to just a pile of stuff.”
Discover Hound & Quail at its location in the Kenrock building, 1400 Kapiolani Blvd. Just like the items inside, shop hours are exclusive (Mondays, 5 to 8 p.m., and by appointment, 779-8436), with pop-up shops, extended hours and new discoveries announced regularly on its social media feeds.
Are you a collector? We’d love to hear more. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.