Designing Handbags for Awareness

Designing Handbags for Awareness is another blog post snipped for its logo and not for its content. The meager font size prevents me from reposting this substantive posting. First, the original title was „Tools and Designer Handbags.“ The blog’s title was to draw readers to a peculiar twist in Model Minority Fashion Exposition’s journey. Sadly, this blog posting has nothing to do with designer handbags. You can find more information about designer handbags and superbrands in the video below.

After a revealing and informative meeting with the Hawai’i Fashion Month directors, Model Minority Fashion Exposition won’t be promoted on the Hawai’i Fashion Month calendar because MMFE was too similar to their Trade Show. However, I presented MMFE primarily as connecting youth to employment and career development opportunities. It should be noted that the State of Hawai’i funds the Hawai’i Fashion Month, and youth was not being included in the Hawai’i Fashion Month calendar. In spite the news, this meeting provided a renewed sense of purpose.

rsz_tools_&_designer_handbags_blogI approached high schools outside of Honolulu to provide fashion related presentations. Kailua High and Kahuku High were two schools that responded positively to my approach. Bringing professionals to these locations was mainly because it was unlikely these students were aware of Hawai’i Fashion Month and less likely to attend any of the events.

Kalapaki Girl Dezigns is a mother and daughter team, selling unique dresses made of vintage aloha shirts. In Addition to present entrepreneurship to the students, I introduced Individual Retirement Accounts to the students.

The second accomplishment was partnering with the Domestic Violence Awareness Month Committee. It’s possible that the Hawai’i Fashion Month committee couldn’t see the connection between fashion and domestic violence, since Domestic Violence Awareness Month is also in October. The partnership was an ideal fit.

What’s your favorite brand name?

Marketing with Partnerships

This is another blog post too snipped for Beat Kumschick’s logo.

This document is of my other outreach activities, after the Hawai’i Fashion Incubator’s decision not to promote MMFE on their Hawai’i Fashion Month Calendar. The Domestic Violence Action Center is another organization seeking  Promotion on the Hawai’i Fashion Month Calender for activities during Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Both causes happen in October.

I attended a large meeting with the Domestic Violence Awareness Month Committee. Partnering with a worthy cause was the right way to go. You can’t find a group more caring and involved people. October is both the first Hawai’i Fashion Month as well as Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

rsz_mmfe_updates_an_attempt_to_reach_out_through_a_quagmire_of_frenzied_activity_blog_p1It’s also

  • American Cheese Month
  • World Blindness Awareness Month
  • Cut Out Dissection Month
  • Dyslexia Awareness Month
  • Eat Better Eat Together Month
  • Financial Planning Month
  • Global ADHD Awareness Month
  • Health Literacy Month
  • International Walk to School Month
  • Long Term Care Planning Month
  • Month of Free Thought
  • National Toilet Tank Repair Month
  • Organize Your Medical Information Month
  • Positive Attitude Month
  • Right Brainers Rule! Month
  • Self Promotion Month
  • Talk about Prescriptions Month
  • Vegetarian Month
  • Workplace Politics Awareness Month is a fun Website to find a Holiday for any day of the year.

I recently started teaching Davy to count money. Where he used to live before he came to live with me in ‚Aiea, he was given $10 bills, which was enough for him to buy any lunch plate he wanted. Thus, his coins collected and he never put them to any use. More about Davy in a later blog.

Comment Request: First, I am still beside myself that a Hawai’i State funded organization would not include activities geared for Hawai’i’s youth. The MMFE program would include opportunities for apprenticeships, employment and career development for those interested in the fashion and modeling industries. If any reader can enlighten me on this comment: „Your Fashion Exposition is too much like our (Hawai’i Fashion Incubator’s Hawai’i Fashion Month) Trade Show.“ I understood Hawai’i Fashion Month was about making opportunities available–that’s why it’s funded by the State of Hawai’i. I also understand that the future of Hawai’i is in its school-aged population, who don’t have any voting rights to affect the decisions being made by State-funded agencies.

Screening Documentary at State Capitol

MMFE visited the Hawai’i State Capitol to see the Auditorium on the Chamber Floor. It was a short site-inspection, and as I left, I could hear a coworker of Rodney (Operations Specialist at the Office of the Sergeant-At-Arms) ask, „Done already?“ The Auditorium was what I was expecting and just what I was looking for. I envision documentary screenings at this venue to promote MMFE in the weeks leading up to Hawai’i Fashion Month.

On the Chamber Floor is an Auditorium, Basement Level.

On the Chamber Floor is an Auditorium, Basement Level.

To host a community event in the Auditorium of the State Capitol, you can reserve any day of the week, except on State and Federal holidays. Additionally, you can schedule an events during the business hours of the State Capitol. Another exception is that State officials have priority over scheduling. The good thing about the Auditorium’s availability: most State officials reserve their dates several months in advance.

The Auditorium has a supply of tables for plenty of space along the sides of the room. MMFE is arranging to have local social support nonprofits present to table during the film screenings. No food or drinks allowed in the State Capitol Auditorium. MMFE appreciates your cooperation.

Seating allows for 200 attendees.

Seating allows for 200 attendees.

There are several lists of fashion documentaries that are „must see“ films. Documentaries, as opposed to movies, give insights behind the fashion scenes. These films range from modeling as a career to major fashion designers to editors to trendsetting photographers. Since no entrance fee is charged, no filmmaker’s permission required for the public film screenings. Check with the laws in your State. This is an opportunity to take part in creating the MMFE Program with your Feedback. Leave a comment and MMFE will invite you as one of the 200 attendees for the fashion documentary screenings.

Which fashion and modeling documentaries would you like to see?

Distributing Business Cards

Distributing Business Cards: This post is about my outreach at Pearlridge, the largest indoor shopping center in Hawai’i (Ala Moana Center is the largest with outdoor promenade). I selected these photos out of the 115 photos shot that day because of participants showed my business cards.

At Pearlridge, I found my target audience for MMFE. I discovered in the days following this visit to a Shopping Center, one of three things: 1) Limited time constraints prevented these young people from checking out their photo on my Facebook page; 2) No internet access; or 3) marketing takes a team.rsz_press_release_reaching_out_to_bring_people_into_mmfe_blog_p1rsz_mmfe_update_an_attempt_to_reach_out_blog_p2

Being out to share MMFE, among what I considered the target attendees, made me realize the value of street-outreach. When I worked as a street outreach worker in San Francisco’s Western Addition, I tabled outside entrance of Safeway on Geary Boulevard every week. I had my free activities calendar and provided inform for free workshops, which focused on healthy development for infants and children under age five. Having a constant presence and providing resource referrals as a community service where was drew people to my table. This is where a marketing team is critical for getting MMFE’s free programs out to the public and especially to the targeted demographics.

At what point do you put aside an idea for lack of interest from others?

Walking a Mile

Some holidays are for being with family and friends, and some holidays are rest days. I asked Davy if he planned to go out, and he reminded me that today’s a holiday bus schedule. He sat out on the lanai and untangled his ball of yarn, listening to the music streaming from my window. Life with siblings as adults is comfortable, but not because it’s familiar. Today was both a rest day with family, but each family member is in a separate space.

As MMFE plans the program for October, it’s shaping into a participatory series of events in various communities throughout O’ahu. Today’s thoughts were on locations. My earlier posts have been on venues that are under consideration, however, I’m open to suggestions. One suggestion is to bring an MMFE event to Puu Ualakaa.

MMFE 2013 is about shoes. We don’t leave home without wearing something on our feet. We make a personal statement about how we wish to project ourselves. Or, we show the world, as Marlon Brandon once said: I just don’t care. It’s OK to have moments like this. To be forgiving of oneself is the best gift he or she can give to family and friends.

MMFE has a Fashion Shoe Design Contest, and no design experience necessary. The contest is open to all. The best designs are as personalized as one is unique.

I don’t wear fashion shoes, but I’d like to if I could find a pair that I could stand in for extended periods of time. In a recent online search for shoes, I found Chyna Whyne, a trained Alexander Technique professional. [I completed Alexander Technique course while living in San Francisco. After the series, I did move with less effort and managed to conserve energy–highly recommended.] Ms. Whyne’s Walking in Stilettos explains why it’s the poorly constructed shoes,  and not the heel wearer, that causes public atrocities.

What the highest heel you’ve worn out in public?

Searching for Raw Silk

Searching for Raw Silk: After interviewing a Hawai’i-based apparel designer, I did a simple online search for silk manufacturers based in the US to see what I could find. I found®, China-based source for global trade. The website’s Advanced Search Bar offers three selections: Products, Suppliers and Buyers. After searching two more Tabs separating products from suppliers. Suppliers, at the time of writing this, is in beta testing. Next, I select region, which ranges from East Asia, South Asian, Southeast Asia, North America, and Middle East. The last field to narrow a search is by country. Going through tabs takes time and trains yours eyes like a hunter.


During the interviews, I edited this part from the last cut because it reveals an internal conflicts worthy of discussion. Interviews are about allowing an individual tell their story, however, there are times our body language exposes our realization or disdain for the politics behind the source. I enjoy silk, and yet, I’m fully aware of where the majority of silk is produced.

There are a few silk manufactures in the US, but I found one which was not listed on JB Silks, a wholesaler of silk broad-woven fabrics, based exclusively in Ferndale, Washington, US.

What is your favorite fabric?

Updated 27. February 2015: China is not like the US as I’m finishing Tim Clissold’s Chinese Rules, Mao’s Dog, Deng’s Cat, and Five Timeless Lessons from the Front Lines in China. Learning about those places and its People are fascinating because it explains a lot of what I’ve seen and experienced. For instance, one day after shopping for produces at the Ferry Building’s Farmers‘ Market in San Francisco, there was an elderly Chinese woman who was shouting at me from a distance and showing me her middle finger. Then I remembered that I’m part Japanese (actually Okinawan). She probably saw this in my face. The history of Japanese soldiers invading and imposing sexual violence on women is notorious. Understanding what causes discomfort in oneself explains how one reacts. Did I react the way I did in the video because I’m Japanese enjoying Chinese products? Or because I’m liberal buying Communist made products? This subject will take more time to develop and uncover.

Completing Press Kit

Completing Press Kit: Model Minority Fashion Exposition (MMFE), a meeting place to discover Hawai’i-based fashion apparel, view fashion-related documentaries, and compete in a design contest.

  • Super Member of The Model Alliance (2013)
  • Active Professional Member of Hawai’i Fashion Incubator (2013)
  • Single-Member Operating Arrangement for MMFE Limited Liability Company in the State of Hawai’i (March 2013)
  • General Excise Tax License from Department of Taxation (Feb 2013)
  • Articles of Organization for Limited Liability Company from Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs (Feb 2013)
  • General Excise Tax License DBA Model Minority Fashion Exposition from the Department of Taxation (Jan 2013)
  • Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Certification from Department of Transportation (expires March 2015)


Fact sheet: MMFE’s initial prerogative was to give 200 exhibitors; from six business categories ranging from local apparel designers to modeling agencies to professional development services, like voice instruction, to nonprofits serving the fashion and modeling industries; and connect Hawai’i’s youth to fashion and modeling opportunities during the Hawai’i Fashion Month. MMFE marketing included submitting press released to Ka Wai Ola, the Office of Hawaiian Affairs’ publication, Department of Education’s Public Schools, and Boys and Girls Club. One major aspect to differentiate MMFE from the Hawai’i Fashion and Beauty Expo of 2011: Social support groups from industry-related nonprofits to tell youth about the realities of the fashion and modeling industries, and offer safer entrance into these industries; exhibitors would also have applications available for employment opportunities, apprenticeships and/or internships.

However, with a meeting with an administrator from the Strategic Marketing and Support Division of the State of Hawai’i’s Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism and the Hawai’i Fashion Incubator won’t promote MMFE’s events on their Hawai’i Fashion Month calendar in October. During the course of this meeting, Hawai’i Fashion Month targets adults, while MMFE targets youth in communities outside of Honolulu, such as Waimanalo, Kahuku, and Wai’anae—Ms. Okuda’s hometown.

MMFE’s current program: 1) Screen fashion and modeling related documentaries; 2) Partner with the Domestic Violence Awareness Month Committee to share resources and promote the other’s activities and events; 3) Host Walk a Mile in Her Shoes® to benefit the Domestic Violence Action Center; and 4) Announce the Winner and Runner-Up for Most Sign-up Registrations for WMHS.