Erika Engle

Wednesday, April 16, 2003

A show of friendly
forces is set to shine
for local shoppers

Kamaaina businesses at Ala Moana Center are using some old local concepts, namely ohana and hui, to launch a new monthly event.

"Ka Po o Ke Anuenue -- The Night of the Rainbow," puts on the ritz from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. tomorrow at The Rainbow Collection, around the corner from California Pizza Kitchen and other popular fourth-floor eateries.

Each month Rainbow Collection will host a rotating roster of locally owned Ala Moana businesses that will showcase their wares with no selling pressure for customers. Competing jewelers will also be invited.

"It's not really a sales event," said Rainbow Collection Manager Walter Kellar, though sales certainly won't be discouraged.

The event sprang from some brainstorming by Kellar and sales staffer Atsuko Jonokuchi-Au, who came up with the idea as a way to cross-promote, network and expand each others' customer base.

"We're introducing our customers to the various stores and they're inviting their customers up here," said Jonokuchi-Au. "It's helping each other."

The Rainbow Collection's window features flowers from Flowers & Fun, cosmetic products from Body & Soul and sushi-motif scarves and a purse from Tapestries by Hauoli, which hint at the sushi that Yokozuna will serve tomorrow evening. Body & Soul will provide free makeup consultation and Tapestries' fashions will be modeled.

Wayne Yabiku, owner of Flowers & Fun, will showcase other wares at the event.

"I do have things for the home, too, which I'll be bringing up tomorrow, lanterns, clocks and ornaments, just a few items to show. The main thing is that we want people to have fun and to show that we kamaainas are still here, still doing business," Yabiku said.

He likes the mutual support. "Anything to bring the people up and down the mall would be great."

Kellar has told interested merchants, "This is not a night that you're going to make a fortune. You're going to introduce people to different places that are here and hopefully create an interest."

Each merchant will contribute at least one item for a prize-pack of goodies to be given to one lucky shopper.

The plan is to host one "Night of the Rainbow" per month through at least December, Kellar said. "I just think it's a great way to network among local stores and help each other out, particularly right now but also in the long run."

Erika Engle is a reporter with the Star-Bulletin.
Call 529-4302, fax 529-4750 or write to Erika Engle,
Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., No. 7-210,
Honolulu, HI 96813. She can also be reached

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