An Artful Mesh Of Work And Family

Linda Dela Cruz
Wednesday - August 30, 2006
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Shari Saiki at Mesh: The future is branding the name
Shari Saiki at Mesh: The future is branding the name

In celebrating their first year with their own retail furniture and accessory store, interior designer Shari Saiki Kitashima and her husband, Bryan Kitashima, say “It’s been a big blur from the excitement of all the products that we bring in as we are so busy.”

Bryan is hands-on as the operations manager and is at the store most days of the week. Shari serves as the creative force in the selection of eye-catching unique furniture and accessories.

Their 4,100-square-foot boutique, Mesh, located at Dole Cannery Square, offers items not found elsewhere in Honolulu, as the couple travels to many places far and wide to bring back their treasured finds. Inventory in the store has included many new product lines that have brightened up their space.

“She treats it like a home,” he explains.

“I like talking with our customers,” she adds. “Everyone’s so different - different needs, different tastes. The response has been great. It’s a different look. I’ve shopped around for years for my clients, and I know what designers are looking for.”

She says the husband-and-wife team come from two different points of view, which gives a good perspective of checks and balances that bring them a cutting-edge business. “He’s an A, and I’m a Z,” she adds.

While the Hawaii Kai couple have different strengths and responsibilities, both agree that the employees are a vital part of the success of the shop.

Their 5-year-old son Lucca enjoys visiting the store when he’s not attending kindergarten at Kaimuki Christian School.

Shari says her mom used to drag her along to visit model homes. Shari used to rearrange her room, and her mom would rearrange the house.

“Never did I think that is what I would do,” she notes. “I’ve just followed the terrain that has been before me. I credit good professors.”

During the Pearl City High School graduate’s education in architecture at the University of Hawaii, her passion was sparked. Interior design is something she learned on the job. In 1999, she started Shari Saiki Design Studio in Kakaako.

Bryan says, “One of our future goals is branding Shari so that she has her own line of furniture and accessories.”

“It’s something we will do, and we want to do it right,” she says. “We’ve learned a lot about furniture and manufacturing.”

Mesh is located at 650 Iwilei Road, Suite 110, at the shops at the Dole Cannery. The hours of operation are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday to Saturday, and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. For more information, call 536-6374.

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