Behind the Scenes: Booth Prep

Heads up Hilo friends! I’ll be at the Family Affair at UH Hilo this Saturday (3/1) from 9-3pm. I’m spending this week getting my booth ready, and this time I hope to be creating a display that’s a little more substantial and something that I can use over and over again. Being the control freak that I am, I made a mock-up of what I hope it ends up looking like. By the end of the week I should know if it really turns out, and I’ll be sure to share photos of the real thing.

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My goal with my booth is for everything to be visible at a glance.

My Dad’s building two wooden easels for me that’ll display my notecards and prints, and a shelf (basically a box) to house my hats and decals. I was planning on magnetizing the easels with metal sheets sprayed with chalkboard paint, but metal is expensive, plus I like natural wood grain. I’ll just stick the cards on with sticky tack. I haven’t seen the easels yet so I haven’t decided about the chalkboard paint, but I can still use chalk whether there’s chalkboard paint on there  or not.

I have a white table cloth that if I have time, I’ll dye grey. I don’t think I can love grey more than I already do. It’s the perfect neutral to off-set my banner without taking away from the color of my products.

My banner is super simple. I didn’t want to bombard people with TOO much information, so I figured my website and social media sites were enough. If they can make it to my site, they can get in touch with me, and nearly everyone’s on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram (hopefully they can figure out my handle…I think it’s self explanatory). My business cards have my email and phone number if they want to contact me that way, but I didn’t think it needed to be on the banner.

So that’s the plan. I can’t wait for it to all come together. I normally do a  little dress rehearsal before an event  to make sure that everything fits and everything has its’ place. My booth preps are usually ridiculously easy because my products are easy to display and carry, so I’m not anticipating too much difficulty.

Later on this week I’ll share my plans for staying organized during the event.

February Check-in


February is basically 3/4 done and I’m in denial. I feel like I need to take a post and see what’s done and what isn’t.

Looking back at the beginning of the month when I blogged my February plans, here’s what I thought would go down:

1) Trucker hats – CHECK

2) Finalizing e-commerce store (started on Ecwid and moved to Shopify) – CHECK

3) Even prepping – I’m dragging my feet on this one but it’s next on my to-do list.

4) Keola’s birthday – AACK! That’s Monday and I don’t really have any big plans – though we did just decide on a field trip to Waimea, which should be a blast.

5) Re-working my work space – Just mentioned this yesterday, and that is well underway, using my clutter-busting question

6) Participating in design competition (for Wrappily) – CHECK

7) Get art on the wall – I’ve framed two prints and stuck one to the wall. I know what hardware I need to hang my frames, I just need to go buy it, and order prints. Progress.

8) Get 2 blog series off the ground – CHE_ _ – I started Nature Walks, but the other requires more work and I haven’t sat down to hash it out yet. Posts for this series definitely will not be up this month, and that’s ok. I’ll shoot for March, but I do want to have the bare bones done for this.

9) Surprise! Cotton candy photo shoot. I can’t wait to share more.


Altogether, I’ve given myself a pretty hefty list of things I want to be working on this month, and I’m happy to say that I’m happy with what’s been accomplished so far. I know I talk endlessly about those hats, but I think what makes me the happiest is that they went from concept to completion quickly. Normally I sit around and think things to death, but this felt good and I went ahead and pulled the trigger on it. I’m hoping for more of this kind of action this year.

The other projects like the Wrappily design contest, and getting my store up simply required putting my head down and ploughing through the work, which is what needs to happen for my unfinished projects.


I’m not being as good about blogging daily this month, and it’s been because of a  few things: 1) We haven’t been following our usual routine very well, 2) I’ve been DEAD TIRED by the time I sit down to blog, 3) I’ve felt uninspired by some of the posts I had planned

The house is starting to feel neglected. It’s SO HARD to keep up with Noweo. So hard. That’s mostly why I’m so tired at night.

Quality time with Keola is suffering a bit, so we designated Wednesday as NO WORK nights. We chose Wednesday because it’s a nice break in the middle of the week.

I enjoy being busy, but I’m beginning to feel out of balance and more tired than usual so I need to pay attention to that and make adjustments, but overall I’m enjoying the opportunities that have come my way and the challenge of making everything work.



IMG_1642 IMG_1648 IMG_1663IMG_1754Drowning in mess but accepting it as an unavoidable part of life right now.
Subsequently enjoying my #yearofmess project. They’ve led to some of my favorite photos so far.

Prepping for my first event of the year. Details coming soon.

Still over the moon about the response to the trucker hats.

IN LOVE with this season of Downton so far. I had my reservations about what they would do post-Matthew, but it’s PLENTY interesting.

Excited about being hired to do a photo shoot (NOT as a model…as a photographer.) Didn’t think that would happen…ever.

Re-working my work area. Hopefully by the time I’m done it’ll be a calmer, more efficient space.

Living in the present by letting go of stuff I think I’ll need “just in case.”

Enjoying Leo enjoying her new found freedom as a crawler.

Feeling excited about now.


Nature Walk No. 2

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Just some quick snapshots of Wailuku river from one of the bridges. I did some touch ups on a few but eh…I’m too tired to do the rest. We had to make a stop in the area a few days ago and I just HAD to take Noweo on the bridge so she could see the river. She was completely enthralled, and so was I.

Truckers are here!

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I can’t even tell you how excited I am about these! This post is actually a day late. I picked them up yesterday and spent much of the day tagging, delivering, packaging and shipping pre-orders. Now that I finally got them out the door, I can write about them.

Confession: I’ve never owned a hat in my life (unless you count the plastic cow-boy hat from my band geek days…but technically that wasn’t MY hat and I would NEVER wear it unless I’m in 10th grade holding a flute in a parade). Well, now I think I might become a crazy hat lady because I LOVE THESE! I can’t believe I never owned a hat until now. Hats totally could’ve solved my poofy hair problem in high school. Oh well. You live and you learn 🙂

Anyway, these  turned out just as I’d hoped and the response so far has been awesome. Thank you so much!

I’m extending the pre-order price of $20 through the weekend, so snatch one up now! Come Monday they’ll be $25. Shipping is $5 flat rate. Get all three and pay just $5 to ship.

As always, thank you so much for your support on and off this blog. So many of you have been so sweet and encouraging. It makes such a difference when you have people cheering you on.

Design Challenge with Wrappily!

Ok I don’t usually wake up in the morning and say “I think I’m going to design some wrapping paper today…” but that’s just what happened after I was invited along with other local designers to submit some designs to Wrappily. What is Wrappily you ask? Wrappily is an eco-friendly, Maui based wrapping paper company founded by Sara Irene Smith. They reached out to local designers to come up with their newest line themed “Lucky We Live Hawaiʻi.”

Did you know that conventional wrapping paper is not recyclable? I had NO idea! I’s paper right? So it must be recyclable. Well it isn’t. And now we know. Wrappily solves this problem by printing on newsprint paper. Genius!

Aaaanyway, I was SO IN. I had never designed wrapping paper before, and I wasn’t sure exactly what I would create. I mean, there are LOTS of things I love about Hawaii but I couldn’t settle on any one thing, so I asked Facebook. I got a lot of weather/beach variations, so I thought I’d incorporate those elements. Being Hawaiian, it HAD to be about more than just “Oh the weather’s great!” or “Hawaii has the best beaches!” The elements around us are what feed us, nurture us, purify and protect us (ok maybe a little deep for wrapping paper, but I see it as a modern effort to aloha ʻāina – care for the land.) With that in mind, these are the designs that were created:

Wela i ka lā – Warmed by the sun

Celebrating the life-giving warmth of the sun we all enjoy.

SoPupuka-Wela i la La

ʻOluʻolu i ke kai

Inspired by the soothing temperate waters that surround us, feed us, connect us.

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Ola ia ka lūʻau: Nurtured by the lūʻau leaf.

Featuring a closer look at the lūʻau leaf of the kalo (taro) plant, the foundation of Hawaiian society and culture, by which we are all fed.

SoPupuka-Ola i ka lu'au

There’s no guarantee my designs will be sent to print. Only backers of Wrappily’s recent Indiegogo campaign are allowed to vote., and only three designs will be chosen. If these aren’t the ones, no worries. I created something I’m proud of and I can use them for something else. There are some awesome designs made by some fabulous designers (seriously if I had known who I was up against, I might not have done it.) Every submission is unique and it’s cool to see everyone’s interpretation of a phrase Hawai’i people know and love. Go enjoy the eye candy!

Photo Project: A Year of Mess


It started as a sarcastic comment about this picture I posted of Noweo’s “house” a few days ago: “I should start a new photo project: A Year of Mess.” Then I instantly had a “hmmmm” moment, where I thought, “That might actually be a good idea.” And so begins #ayearofmess on Instagram.

As part of my efforts to “Keep life real” and “Thrive” I’m going to post pictures of a mess in our daily lives. Don’t worry…it won’t be anything that’s TMI. I’m going to challenge myself by trying to make it as beautiful as possible. I DON’T want a feed full of garbage, but I DO want a feed that reflects our real lives. I believe it’s good practice to look at the bright side, re-frame less-than-ideal situations, and try to realize the significance of every moment. It’s easy to see beauty in a flower, or a seashell. It’s much harder to see beauty when the sink’s full of dirty dishes, the hamper’s overflowing, and your kitchen table has become your kid’s latest art installation, but I’m gonna give it a good college try. Join me and tag your messes at #ayearofmess.


Happy Half-Birthday Leo!


Leo’s half birthday came and went quietly this weekend, without much more than a “Wow I can’t believe she’s been around for 6 months!” Going from 0-6 months flew by. I’m sure going form 6-12 months will be no different. Second babies seem to grow up so much faster that first babies.

Now for some fun facts about Leo:


Weight: 18 lb 2 oz

Heigh: 27 in.

Head Circumference: 17.52 in. (doc said her head didn’t grow since her last appointment because it was big to begin with. It’s her body that’s growing into her head. I blame Keola.)

First solid foods: Poi, banana, sweet potato, rice cereal

Milestones: Sitting up unassisted, without bracing herself with her hands, going from lying down to sitting, crawling,


Favorite person: Well…duh.

Leo enjoys: Swings, getting tossed in the air, tickles, eating, being carried, playing with her toys, standing up.


Leo dislikes: Being left alone for too long, feeling trapped (i.e. her carseat, carrier, bumbo, crib, or when she wedges herself under the entertainment center), getting her face wiped down after eating.

Some (but definitely not all) of my favorite pics of the past 6 months:





Interview with Hawaii Content Marketing

No post today, but join me on twitter at 12pm Hawaii time for an interview with with the ladies of Hawaii Content Marketing (@HawaiiCM). We’ll be talking business, design, and living on a budget in Hawaii. Follow me @sopupuka and our chat at #hicm  to keep up with our discussion and ask questions. See you soon!

REMINDER: Trucker hats are now $20. Once I get them in, the price will jump to $25 so if you want one, I highly recommend pre-ordering now. I anticipate that I’m going to get very annoying with this same message in all my social media channels. I just don’t want anyone to miss out on the savings so sorry in advance.

One Home for SoPupuka

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Gosh it feels SO good to have ONE internet presence for my blog and shop. If you didn’t know by now, even though I was yacking (yaking?) about it all day, the store is up and running, trucker hats are available for pre-order (many thanks if you picked on up today!). If you’re curious, I use Ecwid, which I found to be the most flexible as it provided me with code that I could simply copy and paste into any WordPress page and my store would magically appear. Easy peasy. It’s also allowed me to embed a store into my Facebook Page. Design-wise it’s not as pretty as say…Shopify, but it looks clean and does the job. It also has bulk-discounting capabilities, so retailers (or anyone really…) can order in bulk at wholesale prices, which saves me the trouble of having to manage two storefronts.

If you haven’t already, go play with my landing page. It’s addicting, and I clearly have an unhealthy love of roll-over images.

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Sigh. Anyway, it’s nice to sit back and be done with working on the website for a while. My eyes are about to fall out of their sockets. Now on to some real world projects.

P.S. Trucker hats are now $20. Once I get them in, the price will jump to $25 so if you want one, I highly recommend pre-ordering now. I anticipate that I’m going to get very annoying with this same message in all my social media channels. I just don’t want anyone to miss out on the savings so sorry in advance.