Jungle Gems jumps downtown; job fair looms large
VALERIE Moore has moved the Honolulu Jungle Gems
store downtown after a four-and-a-half-year run at Ward Warehouse.
The new shop opened a week ago in the recently renovated King's Court building at 12 S. King St., between Bethel and Nuuanu Streets.
She is the first retail tenant in the "wonderful, old, historic" building that has a courtyard in it.
Moore did not renew her lease at Ward Warehouse because of restrictions that extended her operating hours and reduced her margin, she said.
DENNIS ODA / DODA@STARBULLETIN.COM
Jungle Gems No. 2 store is giving away a 77 carat ruby necklace, above, to promote its move from the Ward Warehouse to downtown as part of its grand-opening celebration. CLICK FOR LARGE
Jungle Gems' hours are from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturdays. It will stay open longer on First Fridays, when downtown and Chinatown are thronging with the art-scene and foodie crowd.
"I knew there would be (foot) traffic." Indeed, curious downtown denizens have been stopping in, as have long-time customers.
Moore will give away a handcrafted, 77-carat ruby and sterling silver necklace to one lucky customer who enters a drawing this month or next -- for her grand opening.
"This is a beaded ruby necklace. Each bead is individually faceted," she said.
The jewelry comes from the original Jungle Gems in Haleiwa, established in the 1980s by her sister Kim and jewelry-artisan brother-in-law Brent Lindberg.
This year's tenth anniversary WorkForce job fair is the biggest ever.
"We keep reconfiguring the floor so we can get more people," to meet demand and fire marshal guidelines, said Beth Busch, president of organizer Success Advertising Hawaii. "We reconfigured it for 225 and we sold it out."
Last May's WorkForce had 200 exhibitors, up from 175 in 2005 and 136 in 2004. The 2000 WorkForce event saw 9,000 attendees vying for the attention of about 100 employers, but average attendance is around 5,000.
In March, Hawaii's seasonally adjusted jobless rate was at 2.5 percent; 3 percent is considered full employment. Demand for quality workers remains strong, Busch said.
First-time exhibitors include Hawaii Super Ferry, international bar and restaurant chain Señor Frog's and chef and restaurateur Sam Choy.
Choy is also helping Success Advertising kick off "Try On Your Dream Job." It is a new mentoring program in which he, Mayor Mufi Hannemann, KGMB-TV Sports Director Liz Chun and Paul Brown, Hawaii salon and spa industry icon, will each serve as a mentor to one of four selected applicants -- who will also win a video iPod.
Would-be grasshoppers, uh, students, must submit a short video, which can be taped at WorkForce from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wed., May 23 at Blaisdell Center. Admission ranges from $1 to $3. More information is available at 536-7222 or online.
is a reporter with the Star-Bulletin. Call 529-4747, 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 at: firstname.lastname@example.org