I love meeting new people and helping them choose jewelry that fits their looks and personality, but what I enjoy most is working with individual clients. I am always working on new lines that express my attachment with others and the world beyond my doorstep. I grew up in Hawaii and have traveled to Europe and Central America. These places are echoed in my work, from the fragrant plumeria leis of Hawaii to the stones and shells of other faraway mountains and beaches.
I guess that’s why I pursued degrees in anthropology and archeology; I find people and cultures fascinating. I love the people I encounter during my travels, especially the ones in the trading industries where I buy my raw materials. The jewelry industry is more than DeBeers diamonds from South Africa. It includes African trading beads, carved shells from the Mali coast, Russian amber and the handmade free-trade products coming from Ecuador and the Philippines. For instance, the clamshells I use to make the flowers for the lei necklaces come from Hong Kong. Actually, the shell is only processed there, but it’s grown in the Mississippi River. I have to buy a Federal import/export license to bring them back into the country. I find that process interesting! I guess what I’m saying is my passion is culture and its responses to trade and business and the players involved.
Another driving passion is for color and design, and that’s what compels me to keep reinventing my jewelry. I can sit down, lose track of time and space while working, and experience great moments of joy in combining stones, wire, shells, and whatever catches my fancy. Finally, I love the vibrant women who wear my signature necklaces. My desire is to make these women as happy as I possibly can. And that means great customer service. If you need something repaired, I’m happy to do it. If something doesn’t work, let’s find something that does.
I make a living doing what I love, and I especially realize that the small things are important. You wake up one day and say to yourself, wow! I’ve created a magical life. I’m happy with the niche I’ve found. I have a passion for what I do, and at the end of the day that’s what sustains the soul.