Erika Engle

Maui-based Sassy Slippers
slide into tinseltown

A little bit of Hawaii is going home in gift baskets with the presenters of tonight's Teen Choice Awards.

The decorated lauhala handbags from Maui-based Sassy Slippers and Handbags have already reached homes of the glitterati since the gala took place Sunday night -- but it's being broadcast tonight at 7 on KHON-TV.

Small, medium and large size bags were sent, festooned with flowers, rhinestones and shells oh my.

"We do them all by hand," said owner Melany Stodelle.

But here's the thing. They had to prepare 126 bags, by hand, and ship them in two-and-a-half days. Oh my.

"We have some staffing on hand that can come help out when we need," Stodelle said. They did.

The Teen Choice Awards are sponsored by Teen People magazine. Teens vote for several categories, including their favorite movie actors and actresses as well as their favorite movie "hissy fit" scene. Famed Hawaii shark-attack victim Bethany Hamilton won a Teen Choice award this year for courage.

So how does a small Maui-based operation get such attention?

Stodelle sent an e-mail to gala organizers inquiring about how she might get involved.

As it happens, this year's Teen Choice awards bore an island theme and Stodelle got a nearly immediate phone call.

The organizer "called me and said, 'I know this is short notice, but tell me if you can do it,'" she said.

The call came in Friday July 30 and the 126 bags were made, packed and shipped on Monday morning.

TV shows such as Entertainment Tonight and Extra did feature stories on the celebrity-destined gift baskets and included the Sassy handbags in the coverage.

Celebs and the yet-undiscovered can see the company's wares at

See the Columnists section for some past articles.

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 at:



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