Shopping for a cause

PO‘IPU — Halele‘a Gallery: The Art of Hawaiian Living will be hosting a trunk show with local designer Angelique Ell from 3 to 7 p.m. Saturday.

The trunk show is a fundraiser for local jewelry designer Kelsey Kirwan, who was diagnosed with cervical cancer last month.

The event will include raffles, a silent auction, food and drinks.

“It’s one of our artists,” said Anna Ulmer, co-owner of Halele‘a Gallery. “She’s not able to work right now, so although she is very, very positive, she’s overwhelmed with everything. We thought it would be a good opportunity to do a fundraiser for her.”

Since her diagnosis, Kirwan spent a week and a half on O‘ahu undergoing treatment and has returned to Kaua‘i awaiting the results from her surgery.

“It’s very scary,” Kirwan said of her experience. “It kind of happened out of nowhere.”

The money raised during Saturday’s fashion event will help defray the cost of Kirwan’s medical treatment.

“I just think the people who are putting it on are amazing women,” she said. “(The trunk shows) are always a fun time. I wasn’t expecting this.”

Kirwan designs bracelets, necklaces and earrings made out of a combination of shells and sea glass she collects from beaches, combined with feathers, sterling silver and leather. She hand crafts each piece, which takes about a day to complete.

The self-taught artist experiments with different designs, but each piece incorporates something from the ocean.

“I always like sea glass,” Kirwan said. “Being able to make jewelry from the ocean and wear it on your neck is really special and unique.”

Eastside clothing designer Angelique Ell will also be on hand showcasing her eco-friendly clothing line, which includes hand-made dresses, skirts and accessories made from environmentally sensitive fabrics.

“Kelsey is always here for art night,” Ell said, referring to the Old Kapa‘a Town Art Walk held on the first Saturday of each month. “I’m doing this more just to support her.”

In addition to Halele‘a Gallery, Ell’s clothing boutique, a.ell atelier, also carries Kirwan’s jewelry.

Ell said the jewelry is a bestseller, and because of the demand, she has trouble keeping them on the shelf.

During Saturday’s trunk show, Kirwan will be raffling sunrise shell bracelets for $10 a ticket.

A portion of each sale made during Saturday’s trunk show will be donated to Kirwan’s medical expenses.

Halele‘a Gallery is located at The Shops of Kukui‘ula in Po‘ipu. Call 742-9525 or visit for more information about the trunk show. Visit for more information about Ell or a.ell atelier.

• Andrea Frainier, lifestyle writer, can be reached at 245-3681, ext. 257 or afrainier@


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