Hanapepe Artist Cooperative forms

HANAPEPE — Sea glass jewelry, shell turtles and driftwood signs are just a few of Ruby Kekahu’s creations, but her best sellers right now are her chicken ornaments.

“Everybody loves these for some reason,” she said, holding up one of the sand-covered chickens at her table during a recent Friday Hanapepe Art Night.

Though she just came up with the idea of the chicken ornaments — sand-covered cutouts in the shape of chickens with shells glued onto them — Kekahu has been selling her crafts in Kauai for 20 years.

She calls her company Secret Treasures of Kauai.

“All of my shells and things, they come from Kauai,” she said. “I just pick things up that I like when I’m out and about on the beach.”

Those little treasures are what make up Kekahu’s wares, which are for sale regularly at Auli’i Luau on the South Side. She also has a table with The Storybook Theater on Friday Hanapepe Art Nights.

“My favorite thing about doing this is the people that I meet and the friends that I make,” she said.

“I just love being out here and connecting with people.”

Kekahu is one of the vendors in the new Hanapepe Artist Cooperative, which was created by The Storybook Theater in December.

The eight members of the cooperative have their creations for sale at The Storybook Theater on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

“It’s mostly our vendors from Friday nights, but we wanted to give them an opportunity to showcase more,” said Kapili Akana, who works with Mark Jeffers at the theater.

In order to participate in the Hanapepe Artist Cooperative, members agree to donate 20 percent of their profits to The Storybook Theater and they work in the coop one day every month.

“Gallery space is so expensive, this is a chance for a few artists to use a space together,” Jeffers said.

Handmade quilts, paintings and other works of art are available at The Hanapepe Artist Cooperative.

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