Making A Name At Craft Fairs

Linda Dela Cruz
Wednesday - January 21, 2009
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Carol Sakai at work in her Kaneohe home

Carol Sakai totes her creations to craft fairs all around town. With Carol Y. Sakai Designs, she has several lines, including Japanese faces on clocks, jewelry, wall hangings and picture frames.

“I also have petroglyphs on wall hangings, jewelry and clocks,” she says. “Then there’s what I call my happy line - my whimsical line of hula girls, bears, bunnies and lucky frogs on pins, magnets, business-card holders and memos. They are so cute.”

The Kaneohe-based innovator originally started making Christmas ornaments with bread dough as a hobby. The flour, salt and water mixture was baked, painted and sealed.

“With Hawaii’s moisture, the ornaments would burst,” explains Sakai, who retired after 31 years as a state employee. “So I moved onto polymer clay. People were so interested that I moved on to a craft fair, sharing a booth with a friend.”

The Farrington High graduate says she hopes to add silver clay to her inventory.


With 38 years of craft fairs under her belt, she does roughly 40 events a year with the help of some of her friends. To help her clients, both locals and vis-

itors, she decided to use her name for her company.

“Carol Y. Sakai Designs is easier to remember than trying to remember a different company name,” she explains.

Sakai appreciates the support of her three grown children, Shari, Scott and Shaun, and four grandchildren.

With scheduling fairs, manning booths and making products, she says one of her challenges is juggling her time.

“I enjoy making the crafts,” she notes. “And I like that customers show their appreciation. It’s nice strokes.”

Her next craft fair, the monthly Handcrafters and Artisans Alliance, is Feb. 14 and 15 at Kapiolani Park, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m..

For more information, call 235-8601.

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