Craft fairs ramp up for Mother’s Day

PO‘IPU — Seeing the sign at the Maluhia Road intersection opened up new doors for Rock and Blue Remigio, Saturday.

Remigio was one of 28 vendors who were on hand to give customers a preview of Mother’s Day gifts as well as take part in the twice-a-year craft fair coordinated by Debbie Yanagihara of the Sheraton Kaua‘i.

“This is my first time as a crafter,” Remigio said. “It’s fun to talk to people from all over. We were passing Maluhia Road and saw the sign so we thought we’d give them a call, we never thought we would be here.”

Remigio, who only recently returned to work as an auto mechanic at Kuhio Motors following therapy for colon cancer, and his wife Blue were demonstrating and selling crafts centered around opihi shells.

“See the Manila clams?” Remigio said. “Blue just ate them last night. All we do is clean them, put in the pearls and they become earrings.”

The first-time crafter was pleased with the steady stream of people that flowed through the ballroom of the Po‘ipu resort in search of items available only at craft fairs.

“I learned about the shells from when I was in elementary school,” Remigio said. “And when I read about Juni Yadao, he inspired me and I found the beauty in the shells just by scraping. It’s amazing how much beauty you can find just by looking.”

One of those items was the Sheraton Kaua‘i Ohana Cookbook which features recipes submitted by employees of the Po‘ipu resort.

“This is one of the ways we raise money to help the charities,” said Annette Wong, one of the volunteers from Hui Pu‘uwai, the resort’s charity fundraising committee, who manned the table. “It’s a charity season. We raise money for the American Cancer Society, the Visitor Industry Charity Walk and Kaua‘i Hospice.”

Joining the cookbook, which is available at the resort, was a selection of silent auction bid items including stays at different Sheraton locations.

The Sheraton Kaua‘i is a corporate sponsor of the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life which took place Saturday night, but this year, Wong said they didn’t have a team.

But coming on the heels of that event, the annual Visitor Industry Charity Walk takes place the week following Mother’s Day, on May 17. Kaua‘i Hospice’s annual Concert in the Sky on Fourth of July is another beneficiary of the Sheraton Kaua‘i employees’ efforts.

Yanagihara, the coordinator of the craft fair since 1999, said another new vendor at the event was Tristelle Pia who offered a line of bath and beauty products.

“This is the first year I’ve tried the craft fairs,” Pia said. “I used to just do them for family, some friends, and some home parties, but this year, I decided I wanted to see if I could handle craft fairs.”

Pia owns Bath, Body Gifts and More and said the Sheraton Kaua‘i fair is the third she’s been involved in, having participated in the fair at the Regency at Puakea and the Artisan Fair at Po‘ipu Beach Park.

Pia offers lotions using Big Island and Oregon oils, bath salts and natural cane sugar scrubs.

“After eight years of doing for family and friends, I wanted to see how it would do in the public,” Pia said.

Yanagihara said the Sheraton Kaua‘i normally hosts two craft fairs a year.

“This one is the smaller of the two,” the quilter of 22 years said. “The other fair comes in November, and people will just have to watch for the signs.”

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