Try Look. . . Oka Cute Yeah? 

By:  Jenn K

Special “Sai Min” creation for a little boy who eats saimin everyday. Kind of like me!

Hilo is filled with talented artists, many of whom create unique and fun designs to sell at craft fairs, farmers markets, Instagram, and popular online shops such as Etsy and Snapshop.

Whembley with his “Ninja Maki”!

One such creative mind is Carlen Pacheco. Her designs have adorned earlobes, wrists, and necklines for the past decade.  Every piece was made with as much care and devotion as she put into everything she does.  Every piece is an original.

Me and my birthday present, “Bah Humbug”. Carlen loves Christmas music all year round but I don’t until after Thanksgiving.

As a new stay-at-home mom 21 years ago, Carlen decided to utilize her ability to sew as a way to support her family.  She made beautiful bags that were popular at craft fairs in Kona.  She also made potholders that looked like slippers which were sold in Las Vegas.  For a few lucky people, she sewed their wedding gowns.

“Subby” with the Director of Subaru Telescope, Nobuo Arimoto, and Hawai`i Governor,  David Ige.

Over the past year, Carlen has migrated from jewelry to a custom line called Oka Cute Yeah, returning to her sewing roots.  It started when she had a difficult time finding a suitable present for her hanai grandson, something cute and age appropriate and not what he (and most boys) really wanted, toy guns. 

“Nori” the chicken available only at Kawamoto Store next to his buddy “Ume Musubi” made for ABC Preschool teachers.

So she came up with a shark blanket, inspired by his spikey hairdo and an idea for his sister’s mermaid tail blanket.  He loved it!

Ka`eo’s shark blanket that started it all.

Since then, Carlen has created a multitude of pillows and blankets for kids and adults. Not to mention special orders by local businesses like KTA Super Stores, of their centennial mascots, and okazu for Kawamoto Store.  Subaru Telescope also has a “Subby” mascot which travels to schools here and Okinawa.  Be on the lookout for something special for The Most Irresistible Shop on Red & White Night.

KTA Super Stores’ Centennial Mascots!

Mostly inspired by food, her favorite thing next to her children, Carlen adds special touches unique to each order.  For information on how you can order in time for Christmas, contact Carlen at 808-937-7383.  Examples of her original designs can be found on Facebook and Instagram. Support local, buy local, and enjoy local everyday.

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