Starting a tradition…showcasing the merchants of Queens’ Marketplace, Big Island Style

January 21, 2010
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When it is your first experience, you celebrate it: your first car, your first date, your first job, and all the emotions attached of experiencing something new for the first time. It’s momentous. Like a cover page of a chapter, it marks a defining milestone.

Opening of the show

With that said, welcome to the first fashion show at the Queens’ Marketplace in Waikoloa, Hawaii on the Big Island! I had the pleasure of attending the Queens’ Marketplace’s first fashion show to witness a first-rate production where the hearts and soul of all participants emerged as the stars of the show and fueled their desire to leave “no stone unturned.” Focus International, a modeling agency and producer of the fashion show, in conjunction with Queens’ Marketplace, one of the shopping centers located on the resort property that includes the Hilton Waikoloa and Marriott hotels, collaborated to produce an hour-long, first, fashion show showcasing 18 retailers, like Blue Ginger, Island Pearls, Hawaiian Quilt Collections and Island Gourmet, to just name a few. Throw in a local dance troupe; a local Hawaiian chanter and hula dancers; a “Michael Jackson” impersonator; a local harpist; a singer/musician, who during the day is a dentist in town; skillful guys operating the elaborate sound system and stage; 60 exotic models and precocious kids from Focus International working in Hawaii, nationally, and internationally; props; different, artistic themes displayed for each retailer’s product; two hosts; and of course,  a warm, balmy night set on the Big Island of Hawaii; and you have more than a “fashion” show, but live entertainment to keep you tapping to the beat and being captured by the creativity.


A local dancer performing Tahitian with Martin, one of the top models.


The segment is for retailer Island Pearls showcasing its Tahitian pearl jewelry.

This fashion show was not an easy task. It easily could have bordered on cheesy as the “fashion” ran the gamut from hair accessories, Hawaiian quilts, dive wear, Tahitian pearls, Hawaiian and surf wear. A fine line existed between being a “mall fashion show” and something more polished. But Focus International succeeded. It was pure entertainment and they nailed it. It’s a show that also could be taken anywhere: Honolulu, on the mainland, and internationally, because the audience would appreciate the integration of the Hawaiian culture, music, exotic models, and jubilant spirit of the children.

Featuring a segment for retailer Local Lizard & Friends and using a gecko theme.

From the opening, the show drew you in with horns blowing, beautiful chanting, hula dancing, flowers, and a sprinkling of anticipation of what was to come. My other favorite segments included the modeling by men, women, and children, combined with the Tahitian, hip hop, and jazz dancing by the local dance troupe Kealakehe Dance team. No one provided any reason to leave because all were so talented. If Queens’ Marketplace and Focus International continue to have a yearly fashion show of its merchants, I believe it can be one of the biggest events that both the locals and the tourists can look forward to as well as  a great opportunity to spotlight products from its retailers!

Segment from retailer Quiksilver. Not just bikinis and boardshorts.


Segment featuring the retailer Claire’s showcasing accessories.


The models for this segment all dressed in jeans and a white top, to showcase sunglasses from retailer Sunglass Hut.

Segment featuring bikinis from retailer Quiksilver.

The models dressed in black to showcase the retailer Pacific Nature’s jewelry (coral red here).

Models showing fashions from Savvy Butik.

Segment featuring quilts from the retailer Hawaiian Quilt Collections.

And of course, dancing with “Michael Jackson!

The participating merchants in the show included Blue Ginger, Local Motion, Blue Wilderness Dive Shop, Sunglass Hut, Reyn’s, Island Gourmet, Island Pearls, Giggles, Hawaiian Quilt Collections, Genesis Gallery Hawaii, Quiksilver, Perfumania, Lids, Exclusive Designs, Claire’s, Pacific Nature Jewelry, Local Lizard & Friends, and Savvy Butik.

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2010 “Handbook” for Inspired Living

January 20, 2010
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I did not write this “handbook,” but I certainly enjoyed reading it when I had received it via email the other day. The actions seem simple, yet it appears more people should do it. To act, takes focus; to talk, symbolizes intent, but means nothing without action. No one is perfect, but I believe that in our imperfection, we can still be uplifting to others. Live as you act. I wish you a 2010 full of life, joy, love, peace, health, and prosperity.

Happy 2010 with love, health and prosperity…

Have a year filled with joy and fulfillment!

1.       Drink plenty of water.
2.       Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a beggar.
3.       Eat more foods that grow on trees and plants and eat less food that is manufactured in plants..
4.       Live with the 3 E’s — Energy, Enthusiasm and Empathy
5.       Make time to pray.
6.       Play more games
7.       Read more books than you did in 2009 .
8.       Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes each day
9.       Sleep for 7 hours.
10.    Take a 10-30 minutes walk daily. And while you walk, smile.

11.    Don’t compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
12.    Don’t have negative thoughts or things you cannot control. Instead invest your energy in the positive present moment.
13.    Don’t over do. Keep your limits.
14.    Don’t take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
15.    Don’t waste your precious energy on gossip.
16.    Dream more while you are awake
17.    Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need..
18.    Forget issues of the past. Don’t remind your partner with His/her mistakes of the past. That will ruin your present           happiness.
19.    Life is too short to waste time hating anyone. Don’t hate others.
20.    Make peace with your past so it won’t spoil the present.
21.    No one is in charge of your happiness except you.
22.    Realize that life is a school and you are here to learn.  Problems are simply part of the curriculum that appear and fade away like algebra class but the lessons you learn will last a lifetime.
23.    Smile and laugh more.
24.    You don’t have to win every argument. Agree to disagree…

25.    Call your family often.
26.    Each day give something good to others.
27.    Forgive everyone for everything..
28.    Spend time w/ people over the age of 70 & under the age of  6.
29.    Try to make at least three people smile each day.
30.    What other people think of you is none of your business.
31.    Your job won’t take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch.

32.    Do the right thing!
33.    Get rid of anything that isn’t useful, beautiful or joyful.
34.    GOD heals everything.
35.    However good or bad a situation is, it will change..
36.    No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
37.    The best is yet to come..
38.    When you awake alive in the morning, thank GOD for it.
39.    Your Inner most is always happy. So, be happy.

Last but not the least:
40.    Please Forward this to everyone you care about.

What can we do now for Haiti?

January 13, 2010
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It is hard to imagine the unimaginable. Yet, people experience it and often times, it is the poorest of the poor. The earthquake in Haiti has the same reverberations as the tsunami damage in Indonesia, flooding in Philippines, and the countless natural disasters globally affecting the innocent. Like living in urban sprawl and hearing the sirens blare by night and night, we can become numb to the alarming sounds as well as tragedy, too. Everyday there seems to be a “shocking” event, but whatever way we can focus on the positive and help one another, it may help alleviate some burning pain. We can start by spreading the word about links to help the Haitians. You can check these sites out, albeit from ones being tangentially relating to fashion. There are a host of others on the Internet to learn of, too, such as the Red Cross. Here are the sites:

1. Ben Stiller’s site, Ben Stiller has been raising money to build a school in Haiti after he visited there for the first time  and has Stillerstrong headbands for purchase. I freely admit that Ben Stiller is one of my favorite actors and I love his humor. See his video on his website with President Clinton. Too funny! Maybe you may see one of the Stillerstrong headbands I bought. Who knows how it looks!

2. Fashion Philosophy is donating 100% of the their profits from purchases to Help for Haiti. Buy yourself a new dress or shirt while helping out, too!

3. Check out Twitter’s Fashion Bloggers for Haiti. Search for events!


A Reflection of Christmas in Hawaii

January 7, 2010
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I lived where it snowed, and the season of “winter” is usually characterized by the cold and snow. And often times, the cold and snow may last well into spring, which may postpone the debut of flip flops and shorts for some time. Yet, if it is your lifestyle, someone probably does not blink twice, but hopefully revels in the beauty of fluffy ice, the crisp, clean air, and the warm smells of cinnamon and hot chocolate. However, I have spent most winters in Hawaii and the weather would remind me of the difference in lifestyles I experienced- the fact of no snow, no cold air, no heavy jackets, sweaters, scarves and boots, and no heaters inside. Rather, it is hot with tropical breezes, you can swim in the warm, Pacific waters,  and you just want to be outside. Since it is a tourist destination, Hawaii does celebrate Christmas with beautiful city lights, food, song, and basically anything you may desire…sans the snow and cold.

Here are some photos taken on December 22, 2009 at the Hilton Waikoloa on the Big Island of Hawaii. The palm trees were swaying in the wind as it was quite windy that day and surf was up! A statuesque Christmas tree stands in the lobby as in most of the hotels in Hawaii. Everyone should experience at least Christmas in Hawaii once! Obama just did!


A Peek into Kiting in Tel Aviv, Israel

January 7, 2010
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My friend Dustin, a great photographer and graphic designer (contact:, sent me some photos of a kite shop and the beach while he is in Tel Aviv, Israel. I hear kiting is popular even if we don’t see anyone on the water here! So if in Tel Aviv, we know we can try to kite! Thanks, Dustin!

The kite shop on the beach in Tel Aviv, Israel

Looks like a variety of twin tips and directionals!

Sunrise or sunset?

The photographer, Dustin, and what looks like a great car to drive!!



What would your video of 2009 look like? HawaiianRyan, deejay and video artist, shows us how to live it up in India, Vegas, and Hawaii!

January 6, 2010
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When my creative, comedic, and just downright fun cousin (aka HawaiianRyan) sent me his video of 2009 with his girlfriend Jenn, I marveled at the art, loved the song (love BEP!!), and  enjoyed watching his journey. A local deejay at 102.7 DaBomb ( with a shout out to Sam Da Man), he’s a video artist, producer, and director, and has always brought fun and laughter into the family. Good job Ryan showing us how to live it up in India, Sri Lanka, Vegas, and Hawaii! Experience the moments. Carve new paths. Live it up. Fully. Simply. Whatever way you can.


Give it up for trying something new…Skiing on Big Waves in Maui. Oh yeah!

December 28, 2009
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Check out this video…SKIING BIG WAVES ON MAUI

Give it up for those who think outside the box, try something new, and just go for it. These guys ski, kite, surf, and love big waves and found a way to enjoy it all by using skis to ride the big waves on Maui. I love it! The creativity, the drive, and their passion are evident and contagious. Not to mention, like I always say, “Come to Hawaii and you will find an ocean of rock stars.” That’s right. I am in awe of the talent and energy you see here. Use your talents and see yourself energized. Hope you find a part of your day to just do something fun. You have to or you risk shriveling away.



December 18, 2009
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Some guys dread even the word “shopping.”  It means being trapped in the mall, outlet, or department store causing mental hyperventilation. They have no interest in finding the bargain: the experience of exploration this way. So retailers need to find diversions to help this. A jewelry store on the North Shore smartly has a big flat screen tv mounted on their wall with the latest and greatest surf footage. What a great idea because it keeps his attention, while relieving stress for any woman to shop at her leisure. Other stores have comfty sofas, a plethora of magazines, and food and drink. Ah yes, get to his stomach and satiate him. That is another answer! However, what if he needs something, but always procrastinates because he rather be outside surfing, golfing, hiking, running, or heaven help you, working. Well, if you are catering to men, this store in San Francisco proved to be an ideal shopping model for men: Cafe Coton. The store I saw had rows and rows of beautiful, cotton shirts displayed and grouped according to prints. It was a small store, but I found it very interesting as men would come in, tell the sales clerk his shirt size, pick it out from the rows of prints, (most likely not even try it on!), buy it, and be out the store within 15 minutes or so. It certainly was becoming a sociology issue to ponder. The store had a niche: upscale, collared, long sleeve shirts; ties; socks; and briefs. Guys bought it even if it may be a little more expensive than I think most may be willing to pay for a long sleeve shirt because it was easy, a very quality product, standard in the sizing, and it just looked great. A sure confidence booster and versatile to wear for day, business, paired with jeans, or an evening event.  I loved all the shirts and I don’t even think Cafe Coton does much marketing in the US.

I think everyone -the guy with the affliction, the woman who has a guy like that, or the retailer itself- can learn from this model: make the experience easy with definite organization of the inventory, reasonable price points, planning, and diversions. No big heaps of clothes to sort through or racks and racks of inventory to browse. Easy. Simple. Uncluttered. Maybe this can be applied in real life as well?  As a minimalist at heart, it speaks to me, but it is just so hard to maintain. Observe the stores out there and maybe you will have some tips to share!



December 10, 2009
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Willie K, a well-known Hawaiian contemporary artist

I love concerts, but when it is up close and personal it is even more fun. So when my cousin told me about a benefit for the Hawaii’s Lupus Foundation, which Willie K will be giving a concert for, I wanted to go. (Here is a sample of Willie K’s songs). Not to mention, my cousin’s daughter, Haley Kagimoto, a talented and aspiring actress and singer who has participated in many local productions, will be singing a few songs too.  The benefit will be held at the intimate setting of the Diamond Head Theatre, a venue for many of Hawaii’s local theatre productions where parking is easily accessible and a food and wine reception will be held for benefit goers who want to sit and mingle before the concert. A wonderful way to start the holiday season!

Here is the info:

Christmas with Willie K ~ a Benefit for Lupus Hawai`i

Join us as we celebrate the holiday season with one of Hawai`i’s most versatile talents.  Hosted by Emme Tomimbang the evening will benefit and help spread awareness for lupus.

Monday, December 14th

Diamond Head Theatre

$45 Concert Only

7:00 – 8:00pm

$75 Wine & Dine Reception AND Concert

6:00 – 7:00 Reception

Sansei      d.k Steakhouse       Vino      Sweet Marie’s

Wine Selections by Southern Wines & Spirits


Tickets on sale at or call 285-3550

ALL donations stay in Hawai`i

What is Lupus?

Lupus is a widespread and chronic (lifelong) autoimmune disease that, for unknown reasons, causes the immune system to attack the body’s own tissue and organs, including the joints, kidneys, heart, lungs, brain, blood, or skin. There is no cure for lupus.

Approximately 10,000 people in Hawai`i are affected by lupus.  Although lupus can affect males and females of all ages, it most often develops in females between the ages of 15 and 44.  Native Hawaiians, Pacific Islanders, Asians, African Americans, Hispanics, Latinos, and Native Americans have an increased incidence of lupus compared to other populations.

About Lupus Hawai`i

For the past 35 years, Lupus Hawai`i has been serving our islands by providing awareness, education and support services. It is our mission to improve the diagnosis and treatment of lupus, support individuals and families affected by the disease, increase awareness of lupus among health professionals and the public, and find the causes and cure.

Hope to see you there!


Van’s Triple Crown of Surfing: Photos of the Finalists from the O’Neill World Cup of Surfing (Sunset Beach, North Shore, Hawaii)

December 9, 2009
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It’s always fun to have front row seats. We lucked out to catch the finals of the O’Neill World Cup of Surfing (without any long waits) and witnessed the world’s best surfers in the final heat: Sunny Garcia (Hawaii), Dusty Payne (Hawaii), Mick Fanning (Australia) and Joel Parkinson (Australia). In the end, Joel Parkinson won, beating out Sunny Garcia during the last minutes of the heat. Here are photos from the ceremony crowning the winner!

Joel Parkinson, winner

Dusty Payne (Maui, Hawaii)

Mick Fanning (Australia)

Sunny Garcia (Hawaii) in blue. Great job Sunny even if it was a disappointing loss.

Miss Hawaii USA in the middle.

Joel Parkinson riding the wave at Sunset during competition

The crowd at the O’Neill World Cup of Surfing competition

This week has been an incredible week with the conclusion of the O’Neill competition ending, to the prestigious Eddie Aikau contest this past Tuesday (the last one was held five years ago), to the “Superbowl of surfing” Billabong Pipeline contest probably starting tomorrow. The North Shore is just abuzz with activity, energy, and beautiful world class waves that do not disappoint. Check it out whatever way you can…via Internet on the Van’s Triple Crown of Surfing website or here in Hawaii. Not to be missed!!


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    My Mantra

    DEFY FEAR™ Be open to change. Take risks. Revel in adventure and new experiences. Travel. Read. Engage your senses. Learn from your mistakes, your successes, and from the wisdom of others. Unravel a puzzle. Create and use your imagination. Be active. Find the positives. Keep it fun. Be EXTRAORDINARY. Love. Live the good life. Enjoy the ride. - I AM. Copyright 2009 by Stephanie Matsumoto STYLE. All rights reserved.