Donna Mercado Kim has her hands full in Hawaii’s political scene.
Being vice president of the State Senate and chair of the Senate’s
Tourism Committee, doesn’t leave her with a lot of free time.
Fortunately, she’s extremely crafty in how she spends it as in
being an expert in arts and crafts.
This hands-on wahine (female) hopped into her hobbies in a
practical way. Growing up as one of five children in a
working-class Honolulu family, money was tight, so when she found
clothing she liked, she would make a pattern and sew it.
“I sewed my own clothes when I was in college at Washington
State,” senator Kim recalled. “I’d find something I liked and I’d
Even earlier, senator Kim remembers spending days at the beach
watching her father carve tikis.
“Tourists bought the tikis from him,” she explained. “I think
that’s how I first became truly interested in woodcrafting.”
More recently, the senator’s interests have led her to designing
“My son Micah plays golf. So when I waited for him, I watched
the other golf mothers make floating necklaces and decided it was
something I wanted to learn,” she said. “I also buy pieces and
customize them to something I would enjoy even more.”
The senator is a huge fan of holiday craft fairs, especially
those requiring that items be locally crafted rather than purchased
from wholesalers and sold by fair vendors. Her favorite is at
Moanalua High School in Honolulu’s Salt Lake area, which happens to
be in the district she represents.
Typically held in early December, the fair also features sweet
edibles baked in the school cafeteria.
“What’s good about this fair is that they require you to sell
things you’ve made yourself,” the senator explained. “You can’t buy
something made elsewhere and sell it there. It has to be an item
that is truly original, handmade and unique.”
She is also keen on the Mission Houses Museums fairs for their
Hawaii items, as well as an annual woodcraft show at Aloha
“The craftsmanship is wonderful at this Aloha Tower event,” she
As for genuine Hawaiian-made items, the senator has attended the
annual “Made In Aloha Festival” held each August at Neal Blaisdell
“One of my favorite things I’ve found there are gourds which I
give as gifts,” she said.
While purchasing is always an option, senator Kim thrives in
replicating those things she appreciates the most. And if you’re
either receiving or able to purchase one of her “exclusive”
offerings, you’re definitely in for a crafty treat.
|HOLIDAY CRAFT FAIRS|
Dec. 9: Moanalua High School Winter Craft Fair, 2825 Ala Ilima
Street, Honolulu, 808-837-845
Dec. 16-17: Pacific Handcrafters Guild Winter Festival, Thomas
Dec. 2: Crafty Hands & Gifts Too!, Thelma Parker Gym, Kamuela,
Dec. 15-16: Christmas Arts, Crafts & Food Fair, Sangha Hall,
Dec. 3: It’s a Maui Christmas Fair, Wailuku War Memorial
Dec. 10: No Kai Oi Gift Fair, Wailuku War Memorial Gym,
For more information, visit www.icb-web.net/icb/shoppers.htm