Scrapbooking With An Island Flair
Delia Parker-Ulima and Bella Finau-
Delia Parker-Ulima and Bella Finau-Faumuina started Creative Native Crafts because there weren’t any truly local scrap-booking items such as coconut buttons and raffia.
“We wanted something more than a flamingo and a drink and an umbrella,” Parker-Ulima explains.
One of the first products they manufactured was lauhala and palaka designs on paper. “Our goal is to educate people,” note the co-owners. “We want to share that knowledge on anything Hawaiian.”
Now they’ve celebrated the fifth anniversary of their scrapbook manufacturing company, and their line of products are sold at Wal-Mart, Longs Drugs, Don Quijote, Ben Franklin and other scrapbook stores across the island.
What would be a great way to celebrate the fifth anniversary? The most exciting thing to do would be to open up a scrapbook franchise.
Island Paperie was started on Maui by Hilo native Alicia Hapai-Takitani. The Kalihi-based Island Paperie has a tech center where scrapbookers can print their photos. The line of products includes laser cuts in the shape of paddles, surfboards, flowers, island landmarks, names of the Islands and some neighborhood names. There are also stickers and stamps for those who call themselves “scrampers” (scrapbookers and stampers).
The company also carries a line of California-based Dreamweaver brass stencils with Hawaiian quilt patterns, geckos and Asian letters. A popular item at the retail store is the customized invitations for baby luaus, weddings, yakudoshi, Chinese New Year or any occasion. The shop also features a craft library of magazines and books as well as a classroom.
“People are passionate about preserving their personal and family history, that’s why scrapbooking will always be around,” says Parker-Ulima.
Since opening the Island Paperie doors in December 2006, Parker-Ulima and FinauFaumuina say their customer base is 50 percent local and 50 percent tourists. With a marketing plan that includes a coupon for a free pineapple die-cut in visitor publications, the entrepreneurs say some scrapbook enthusiasts make the shop a part of their vacation itinerary.
On the day MidWeek was interviewing Parker-Ulima and Finau-Faumuina, a couple on vacation from Canada walk through the door of the shop.
The co-owners greet them with a smile: “Aloha, welcome to Island Paperie! Please come in and look around. If you need anything, we will take care of you.”
Parker-Ulima, a law school graduate, looked at the husband and said, “For you, we have a nice room in the back with a large, flat-screen TV so you can sit down and relax while your wife looks around, if you want.”
Once the husband gives Parker-Ulima a look that says “sign me up for that, please” she leads him to a room in the back of the store, which has several comfortable chairs, a table and the TV. Before the wife left the store, she expressed how much she loved the customer service.
The business owners, both Kamehameha grads, agree one of their biggest challenges is time management, and gush about how much they appreciate the support of their families and friends.
Entrepreneurship runs in both families. Finau-Faumuina’s husband Don, a police officer by day, also has a DJ business providing entertainment for weddings. Their children, 6-year-old Noah and 3-year-old Jonah, sometimes visit the shop. Her background includes recording four albums with her music group Nawaihooluu O Ke Anuenue (Colors of the Rainbow), of which Parker-Ulima was a member of for a short time.
Parker-Ulima’s husband Fosi has two businesses: He is an independent contractor as a mental health specialist with North Shore Mental Health, and he has a mobile disco business. Their happy family includes two dogs, Maa and Mele. And they are hoping to add to the family by adopting 4-year-old Carl, who is their foster son.
Being married with families, the business partners both credit their parents for helping them handle the demands of owning a business. That is a fitting thought, especially since their scrap-booking business emphasizes cherishing the generations.
“The scrapbooking items are meant to last forever,” says Finau-Faumuina, who is her family’s historian. “They’re acid-free and lignin-free. They’re archival quality.”
Island Paperie and Creative Native Crafts are located at 555 North King St. on the corner of Dillingham Boulevard. The store is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, and from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. For more information, call 842-9100.
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