A Berry Sweet Way To Do Business

Linda Dela Cruz
Wednesday - March 28, 2007
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Carri Kaneshiro offers her own line of bath and beauty products at Berry Sweet
Carri Kaneshiro offers her own line of bath and beauty
products at Berry Sweet

Carri Kaneshiro got into the skincare business simply because commercial products did not agree with her sensitive skin. So the Aiea High grad and former culinary student, with the help of husband Eric’s research, made test batches of soaps and soon developed a line of products.

In March of last year, with her family’s encouragement, Kaneshiro opened Berry Sweet Bath and Body in Kaimuki. Eric takes care of the website and graphics. Mom Hilda Fujishige helps with hands-on work at the store, and dad Leroy is supportive too.

Kaneshiro, the oldest of three siblings, aims to stay dynamic and on the cutting edge.

“I want to keep people guessing,” she explains. “The good thing about a small business like mine is if something isn’t working, we can change it on a dime and make it work.”

What does work is the clients she’s getting from articles she’s run in some Japanese publications. She plans to sell a line of her products in Japan. Her products are also available at other retail locations on Oahu as well as on Kauai and Maui. She also coordinates gift baskets, party favors and corporate gifts.

“Details separate us from everybody else,” says Kaneshiro, a Palolo Valley resident.

The interesting variety of products at the store sometimes get there by accident.

“As a joke I made some soaps in the shape and smell of chocolate cup-cakes,” she recalls. “Oddly enough they became good sellers.” They’re so realistic that Kaneshiro stores the cupcake soaps in a display case so customers don’t eat them by mistake.

Her shampoo bar, which looks like a small bar of soap, is rubbed on the hair. It is made of soy protein and comes in scents such as Applelicious and Summer Love. Kaneshiro says a small shampoo bar goes a long way for her and Eric. In fact, the shampoo bars were inspired by her husband, who said he missed the days when he used to just rub a bar of soap in his hair to wash it.

“Some people say the shampoo bars help with dandruff,” she notes.

Another unique product sold at her shop is Boo Boo Balm, which is intended to soothe and heal cat scratches and mosquito bites.

Kaneshiro started down the entrepreneurial path with a side business by creating jewelry to sell at holiday craft fairs while also working at her full-time job as a manager of a luxury retail boutique and a Waikiki day spa. While Kaneshiro’s craft is jewelry, she plans to continue on the craft fair circuit with her bath and body products.

Berry Sweet Bath and Body is located at 3478 Waialae Ave. between 9th and 10th avenues. The store is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday. For more information, call 732-5100 or log onto http://www.berry-sweet.com

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