All Columns in Alphabetical Order

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Virtual Vacation by Coconut Greetings Provides a Fun Escape!

Just in time to extend summer, here’s a Virtual Vacation to get you started! Coconut Greetings takes real Hawaiian coconuts and paints 5 simple instructions on them to take yourself on a virtual vacation. Each coconut is painted by hand, and will transport you straight to the islands! The designs are gorgeous, with palm trees and sunsets painted with vibrant colors. Whether you’ve been to the islands or not, this Virtual Vacation will get you in the right frame of mind. When you can’t take the real trip, this is the next best thing!

Who doesn't need a vacation? Well, we can't all get away from our desks, but we can all take a virtual vacation. That's right, I have a virtual vacation coconut on my desk. This adorable and funny painted coconut from Coconut Greetings allows you to forget your troubles, if only for a few minutes. Beautifully crafted and painted on a real coconut, this conversation starter is perfect for everyone's office.

A conversation starter can be defined as a witty remark, an amusing accessory, or a painted coconut arriving in the mail. In the mail! With no need for a box, Coconut Greetings can hand paint and mail a real coconut with your greeting on it via Mr. Postman. Hand-painted as a “Virtual Vacation” it lets you sit by the window, close your eyes, and escape, if only for a few minutes. The power of suggestion comes to roost on any surface you provide, and with a coconut around to remind you, there will always be sunnier days ahead. This is a brilliant gift, and believe me, getting a coconut in the mail is a hoot!


Whole size Virtual Vacation Coconut a sunset design with silhouetted beach scene and fun text. Our whole size coconuts are from Molokai, an island in the Hawaiian chain.



I lived in Hawaii for eight years. One day I made small talk with the postal clerk. I asked what was the most unique item that the clerk had ever shipped? The clerk replied, "Live bees [holy cow!] and painted coconuts". I couldn't believe you could send a coconut without a box through the mail. So I sent the first batch home to my family for Christmas holiday cards. They shipped to northeast Ohio [very cold]. I painted them with palm trees decorated with holiday ornaments and the text ‘Wind Chill 85 degrees’. 

My parents were mad. My other relatives received theirs first. My mom asked her carrier, did we happen to get a coconut? He admitted they still had it up on the desk at the local post office. 

It was such a hit, that I decided to take it "global". 

Since 1996, we have been sending coconuts worldwide. We operate from Kirtland, Ohio, USA. The art staff has grown to 18 painters, so we can offer fast turnaround on large or small orders. In that time we've strived to become as environmentally conscious as we can. All of our products are green, with the exception of our paints. We searched and searched for eco-friendly paints that would work on our products, to no avail. For that reason we use acrylic based paints.

All in all, sending coconuts is a great way to be green: recycling coconuts! Flowers, gift baskets, wedding favors and traditional marketing promotions get discarded and forgotten. Who would throw away a coconut? 

Our products have been used for gifts, favors, love notes, decorations, promotional items, invitations and announcements, marriage proposal messages, and even quitting jobs! 


We offer whole size coconuts, hollow coconuts, coconut cups and coconut shells. Our whole coconuts come from Molokai, an island in the Hawaiian chain. We only use Molokai coconuts, because they have the smoothest skins and last the longest. We've tried to use coconuts from Florida and other tropical areas for our whole size gifts, but they crack and the skins fray as they age.

Our other products are purchased from companies based in Florida and Colorado. The other products we offer are the hollow coconuts, polished coconut cups, and polished coconut half shells.


Coconut Greetings hand paints coconut products for one-of-a-kind gifts, trophies, mailers and invitations. Our product line is constantly evolving because our clients dream up the designs. All products are also available blank, ready to be printed, engraved or painted. 

In addition to hand painted designs, we also can apply pre-printed labels to our products. In the past we have painted on media provided by the client [footballs, beach balls, etc.] 

We offer discounts on large production runs. The largest hand-painted order we have done to date was just over 5,000 pieces, so large orders are not a problem. Drop ship service to your recipient list is available. Clients often send additional materials to be packed in the boxes [leis, maps, sales materials, etc]. Just send us the mailing list and we take it from there.

Our most memorable order was 840 whole size coconuts sent to disc jockeys across the U.S. for our client, Country Music Television [CMT]. The coconuts, painted with a beautiful tropical sunset and one lone horse, promoted the upcoming show called Cowboy U. We added hand painted ad copy about the show supplied by CMT, address information, threw on some stamps and presto: CMT’s coolest promotion of the year.

I have to mention my second favorite use for the coconuts: Brad wanted to quit his job at a large company in NYC. He had us send a coconut to his boss, of course, without a box. The coconut had his “I QUIT” with a short paragraph on why he was quitting. This was hand painted on the natural background of the coconut. I could picture the company messenger pushing the delivery cart through all of the cubicles with our huge coconut front and center. You have to laugh!

A Few of our Clients:
Microsoft, Hewlett Packard, Disney, Apple, Johnson & Johnson, Country Music Television, Canes Film Festival, Gateway CDI, Pepsi, Geiger, Hilton, Jimmy Johnson,, Dun and Bradstreet, Neiman Marcus, Outrigger Resorts, Hyatt, Wendy's, Edmentum, Beckman Coulter, ADN Communications, ESI International, HH Brown shoes, eSecLending, RMI Resorts, King & Prince Seafood, FedEx, Nuflow, MFX, Nephron Pharmaceuticals, Takeda, Aggreko, Sobe Drinks, Life Vantage, VitaCoco, ACN, Archipelago Learning, Norix. 


As a kid, I would take old tropical beach calendar pictures and cover my walls. I was destined to be in the tropics! I obtained a court reporting degree in Cleveland. Upon graduation I secured a job in Honolulu’s Bankruptcy Court. After being there for a short time, I had the conversation with the postal clerk. I taught myself web design [there weren’t classes for that in 1996] and subsequently started the business on the side. I also attended the University of Hawaii for a business degree. 

I have since relocated back home to northeast Ohio to be with my husband, to have children and be close to the rest of my family. I do miss Hawaii, especially during Ohio’s not-so-tropical February weather, but ultimately I am glad to be back. Painting coconuts keep me connected to the islands.

Back to TOP