Kolohe Gurl Jewelry
Tell us about your business.Native Hawaiian artist Renee Eleu Rokero creates wearable art pieces that are delicate and airy, yet bold and commanding. Each piece is meticulously handcrafted, so no two rings, bracelets, earrings, or necklaces are exactly alike. As a self-taught artisan, Rokero started her creative journey at an early age learning the craft at the lap of her artsy parents. Self-expression was encouraged in all aspects of her daily life, as she learned how to create purposeful household items with everyday objects. When admiring the world around her, Rokero claims she sees shapes and patterns more so than colors. Her interpretation of the natural beauty of her surroundings is reflected in Rokero's designs, as she takes a single shape, repeats it to make patterns, and then connects the patterns to create the personal images found in each unique piece. "My goal is to evolve my business to capture the spirit of free creative reign through American Made custom pieces."
What makes your business stand out?Most notable for her kinetic pinwheel rings and signature plumeria, cherry blossom, and maile leaf designs, Rokero never uses molds, casting, or templates like some designers do. Instead, each piece is created organically with energy passing from the artist to the medium. No local jewelry designer solders with the same intensity as Rokero. In most cases, artists avoid labor-intensive designs such as Kolohe Gurl's signature cherry blossom earrings, which contain 84 joints and the double maile leaf lei with 252 joints. Over the top in its construction, yet subtle in sophistication and class, there's an element of the unexpected in each unique piece. Always show stopping and emotionally engaging, Kailua-based Kolohe Gurl Jewelry marries just the right amount of the tropics with feminine sophistication. Heads will turn and undoubtedly anyone wearing Kolohe Gurl Jewelry will be asked the fated question, "Where did you get that?"
What's the best business advice you've received?Work hard, play hard, no matter how hard it may seem, never give up on your dreams!
Mark Your Calendar
NominationsJune 3–Aug. 29, 2014
Nominate yourself or other aspiring makers.
JudgingJune 23–Sept. 8, 2014
Judges will select finalists throughout this period.
Online VotingSept. 15–Oct. 13, 2014
Vote for your favorite American makers.
Winners AnnouncedOct. 17, 2014
2014 Award Winners and Audience Choice Winner announced.
American Made EventNov. 7–8, 2014
Join us for our annual event in New York City.