The Beauty Of Glass Mosaics
Anela Bonafede fashions Hawaiian-themed signs, mirrors, table tops, and plaques with a colorful mosaic. Bonafede, and her mom Lehua can be found at craft fairs around town selling their wares with their Mosaic Treasures Hawaii business.
The handmade items are bright scenes with hibiscus, turtles, bird of paradise, plumeria, and creatures of the ocean. The Coffee Gallery in Haleiwa is one of the businesses that use her artwork for a sign.
“I love stained glass,” says Bonafede. “There is something about doing it that it just gives me so much peace of mind.”
The Waialua High grad has been doing woodwork as a hobby since she was 6 years old with her mom. They made step stools, tables, trunks, gift boxes which they sold at small craft fairs. Bonafede got laid off from her job as a forklift driver. Since she had extra time on her hands, she started doing her crafts again. She started to work with stained glass. And when she saw mosaic on TV, she was hooked.
“I could-n’t stop doing it,” says Bonafede, a Haleiwa resident.
Bonafede qualified to take an entrepreneurial class with the organization Parents and Children Together (PACT), and through the class they helped her to find out about getting a loan for her tools through an organization called Alu Like. She started her business three years ago.
These days she’s a board member for the Pacific Handcrafter’s Guild, and the Handcrafters Artisans Alliance.
Bonafede expresses one of the challenges of running her own business.
“There’s not enough time in the day,” she admits. “I spend time at night, and anytime I have, working on my business. When you work for yourself, you have to motivate yourself. It takes a lot of work. I couldn’t do it without support. Without it , I don’t know how I’d do it.”
She appreciates the help of her mom, and boyfriend Vance Roverson, who is the father of their two children, 3 year-old Lanai and 1 year-old Keola.
Bonafede’s goals for the future include someday teaching other young people how to be entrepreneurs, to teach mosaic classes, and to give back to the community.
“It is a tedious process,” she explains. “And it is like working with a puzzle. It’s a beautiful product, and the expressions of the customers drives me to do more.”
Mosaic Treasures Hawaii does the craft fair circuit including the third weekend of the month at Kapiolani Park.
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