Hands in the Sand, a new jewelry line

Lydia Ho started making jewelry the way a lot of people start making jewelry: for herself. However she did have a solid background. “I always dabbled in making things by hand. My first job was back in L.A., working for the Pearl Company,” she explained. “I made jewelry for them when I was still in high school. We used to make wire wrap pearl bracelets with 18k gold.”

Lydia and her daughter and her son’s girlfriend often collect shells on North Shore beaches and she would take her gifts from the sea and turn them into jewelry for herself. She took classes at Bead It! in Kaimuki and learned more basics of jewelry making. “I started playing with fire and making things and it blossomed randomly and I wore my own jewelry and friends said ‘Oh, that’s so nice, can I buy it from you?’ and I just gave it away. But it became costly to give it away so then I asked them to pay the cost of the materials and they would order it and I would make it for them.”

"Blue Rocks" by Lydia Ho.

“Friends told friends and people I had no relationship with at all started ordering,” chuckled Lydia, who is still somewhat surprised at the evolution of Hands in the Sand.

An accountant by profession, and married into the iconic Ho family (that is, the late Don Ho’s family), one of Lydia’s clients encouraged her to take her jewelry to Lo Kaimuloa, owner of Riches Kahala. Lo is well known and respected as a buyer who is willing to take a chance on new designers.

A selection of Hands in the Sand pieces.

Lydia said, “I didn’t have a line per se. I was very amateurish and I showed her the line and Lo and her manager said ‘Yes, we need that.’ We’ll take 12 of those and 12 of those and 12 of those…..and I’m, like, 12? Huh? Okay….and when did you need these by?” This was Wednesday and they wanted them by Friday so Lydia found herself launching a new business, big time. “I feverishly worked night and day,” she exclaimed.

Lydia uses sterling silver and 14k gold fill with shells and pearls. “One of my clients is a Tahitian pearl importer and I incorporated them (the pearls) for barter. I also use semi-precious stones,” she explained.

The business model of using barter seems to be catching on in these tough economic times. I often hear of fashion and accessories designers using barter, as well as farmers and cookie-makers. It’s gratifying to see that an accountant is comfortable with the practice, as I favor it myself. I sometimes barter paintings for something I’m passionate about.

Hands in the Sand pieces are light and breezy with a touch of whimsy. They can be dressed up for a dinner date or dressed down to go to the beach or with jeans. They have an air of femininity about them that is characteristic of Lydia herself.

Dangling cone shells

Hands in the Sand is available exclusively at Riches Kahala. Prices range from $60 – $120.

– Paula Rath

Hands in the Sand's version of hoops.

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What’s happening at the Hifi Pop-Up Incubator

I spent most of yesterday volunteering and partying at the Hifi Pop-Up Incubator in Ala Moana Center. There is so much going on all the time and the energy is positively contagious. The shopping is amazing with so many clothes and accessories that you simply cannot get anywhere else. Another benefit is that there are almost always designers and stylists around who can help you shop and put together outfits in ways you might not have considered. And they’ll give you honest critiques too, just ask! If you haven’t been there yet, don’t miss it. It’s only open until Sunday.

Here’s what’s happening today:

Noon: Mu’u’mu’u Heaven Fashion Show at CenterStage follwed by a trunk show in the Hifi space.

1 p.m.: Funky Fish with Mu’umu’u Heaven

3 p.m.: Jessica’s Traveling Boutique Trunk Sale

5 p.m.: Style 360 by Panci Style

– Paula Rath

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Mrs. Hawaii is committed to fitness

Mrs. Hawaii 2011, Lara Leimana Fonoimoana

Our newly crowned Mrs. Hawaii, Lara Leimana Fonoimoana, 29, of Kahuku, is committed to fitness and nutrition. In fact, she has made the nutrition and fitness of Hawaii’s keiki her platform in her run for the national title.

No, she is not one of those pageant people who hires a trainer six weeks before her walk on the runway just so she’ll look better in a bikini. Lara has been committed to fitness her entire life. Even as the busy working mother of a six-month-old son, Titus and three-year-old daughter, Athena, she always finds time for exercise. She has two jobs, one as a real estate agent and a second as a dancer at the Polyneisan Cultural Center, and a husband who often works 14 hours a day and commutes from Kahuku to town. Yet she still manages to keep fit. Always.

Lara said she was a real tomboy when growing up. In high school she played volleyball and basketball and ran track. She played college volleyball until she tore her anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). She was so determined to keep playing that she tried to play again the following year and again tore her ACL.

Today her workouts are little less high impact but no less strenuous. She works out six mornings a week. “I’m a morning person and it’s the best time to burn the most calories,” she said over herb tea at Starbucks.

Her weekly workout regimen includes jogging the Kahuku path (a round trip of three miles) and following the P90X training regimen which calls for 90 days of intense cardio, weight training and band workouts. She doesn’t stop at 90 days, however. She goes pretty continuously except, of course, during pregnancy. She prefers therabands to free weights or machines because “I put on muscle really fast so bands give me a leaner look than weights.” On Mondays she works her shoulders, triceps and biceps, Tuesdays, lunges, squats and other lower body exercises, Wednesday, chest, back and shoulders, Thursdays she does an intense yoga workout or Pilates, Fridays, either upper or lower body and Saturdays cardio – “Anything that keeps my heart rate up,” she said with a cheshire-like grin.

Lara also works on good nutrition for herself and her family. She begins her day with a smoothie consisting of spinach, brocolli, berries, coconut milk, protein powder and pomegranate juice. Athena loves it too. Lara said she’s just too busy to sit down to breakfast in the monrings so she has to have something she can take with her in the car. “It’s ideal because I know I’ve had at least half of my fruits and vegetables for the day, and so has Athena” she explained.

The Fonoimoana family always sits down to dinner and Lara tries to cook healthy meals. Her main concern is that she knows what goes into the foods she is making. She makes an effort to buy ingredients that are as close to home as possible. With so many farms in Kahuku, this makes it a little easier.

Athena’s diet is taking after her mother’s already. She loves fruit as her afternoon snack. She eats hard boiled eggs or one of her mother’s shakes when she’s hungry. Candy is considered a treat and is only eaten at a party. She is encouraged to try everything. If she tries something and doesn’t like it, sometimes her parents will disguise it with something she does like. At dinner on Sunday night, for example, she didn’t want to eat choi sum. “So we stuck it in with the rice and chicken and she loved it. Then we explained to her that she had been eating choi sum. She started eating it alone and discovered she liked it,” Lara said.

Lara's crowning moment.

Her advice to parents of couch potatoes: “Get them out of the house! Get them away from the TV. Take them to the park. They have the energy so help them find out how to use it. And lead by example, get them to walk or run with you.”

I had to ask who is designing the gown she will walk in at the national pageant. The answer: Amos Kotomori. “It’s a shimmery gold and has these crystal ropes that go down the front and back and it has a gorgeous long train,” she said with a glint in her eye.

There will be a fund raiser to help the Fonoimoana family get to Greenbriar. Here are the details:

Saturday, March 26

2 – 5 p.m.

Dave and Buster’s Sunset Grill on the rooftop

Tickets: $20 at the door or in advance through: mrs.hawaii2011@gmail.com

– Paula Rath

Lara is Hawaiian, Asian, haole and Native American.

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Lovelessizm Fashion Show Tomorrow

The name may be a bit weird but the clothes are uber chic and truly original. They are also versatile and many pieces work for both genders, the ultimate in mens wear for women, one of today’s hottest trends.

Richie Miao is the designer of Lovelessizm. Richie is a hair stylist and the former owner of CHOP Salon.  The multi-talented man has also designed jewelry. He is definitely a man about town in Honolulu and you can always find him in all the “right” places, dressed to the nines. You can learn more about him from a story I wrote last May when he first introduced Lovelessizm in Blue Buddha, Budi Staven’s boutique on Kapiolani Blvd. Find the story here: http://www.allbusiness.com/fashion-apparel/fashion-designers/14549643-1.html

Sorry it’s not my original story with all the great photos – many of my Advertiser stories disappeared when the newspaper shut down it’s web site.

Richie will introduce his latest collection in a fashion show tomorrow (Tuesday, March 22) at Ala Moana’s Centerstage at 7 p.m. The fashions will be interspersed with entertainment by a couple of musicians from L.A.  After the show, there will be shopping for Lovelessizm in the Hifi Pop-Up Incubator, lower level, makai side, between Old Navy and Sam Goody.

I’ll see you there…and you might have to fight me for the black fitted cotton sateen shirt….

– Paula Rath

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Letter from Danielle of Social Wahines

Hi there Wahines-

How are you? We’re having an awesome event on Tuesday, March 29th and I wanted to make sure you plan to join us!  These rock star movers and shakers Vice President Merrill Lynch Linda Fulgenzi, Honolulu Magazine Publisher Alyson Helwagen, Fashion and Fitness Writer Paula Rath,  NonStop Honolulu Reporter Melissa Chang, and News Reporter Linda Chiem are joining us for a panel discussion about the road to success and the paths they’ve taken. Are you ready to take it to the next level? Come get inspired and learn their best tips for growing, expanding and taking your business to the next level.  They’ve created their own niche and want to share their strategies and ideas with you. So if you could use inspiration, tactical tips, and new connections for your biz, come join us!  This event will sell out so sign up now!

The deets:
event: Strictly Business–Events for the Savvy Business Woman
when: Tuesday, March 29th
time: 6:00 – 9:30pm
location: University of Hawaii, Architecture School Auditorium  
to learn more or sign up: http://strictlybusinesshawaii.eventbrite.com 


Ph. 808.782.7576

Email: Danielle@SocialWahines.com
Facebook: facebook.com/socialwahine

Danielle Scherman


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More good stuff at Hifi’s Pop-Up Incubator


Shop  Jessica’s Traveling Boutique All Week at HiFi’s Spring Pop Up Fashion Incubator
Ala Moana Center
1st Floor (by Old Navy) 

JTB shopping event 

Wednesday March 23rd
3-9 p.m.
in collaboration with Panci Style’s Style 360, a style workshop with celebrity stylist Crystal PanciPanci and T.V.’s  “Living Local” Bernadette Baraquio!
5-8 p.m. 
8-9 p.m. personal shopping at JTB with Crystal PanciPanci!!!
see flyer for details on how to enroll in the Style 360 workshop and 
save 15% off your JTB purchase!!

JTB shopping event 

Sunday March 27th
10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

in collaboration with

The Bella Project’s 

Final Dress Giveaway

10 a.m.-1 p.m.

all volunteers for the bella Project and all Bella’s 

will receive a special JTB discount 

Check out the Mimpi Collection(JTB’s Private label) All week 
Jessica’s Traveling Boutique
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Hifi events for Monday, March 21

Here’s what’s happening in the Hifi Pop-Up Incubator at Ala Moana Center on Monday, March 21:

At 11 a.m. there’s a fashion photo shoot with Andi Lilikoi Gaspar. It’s your chance to shine!

At 3 p.m., learn how to stencil with Sierra Dew. Bring a T-shirt, tablecloth, dish towels, a dress – whatever you want to add your personal touch to – and Sierra will show you how to stencil it.

At 4 p.m., join the Beauty for Japan fund raiser and photo shoot.

Remember that Allie Lee and I will be presenting a program on “Promoting Your Fashion Business” on Saturday from 3 p.m. until the questions are pau. We will discuss how to work with the media (print, radio and TV) and how to use social media (Twitter, Facebook, blog) to get the word out about your line or latest collection. Register at www.hawaiifashion.org.

It’s not too late to sign up for tomorrow’s events and drop-ins are welcome.

– Paula Rath

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