Aloha, I’m Kara and I have been creating jewelry since 1996. I learned to bead and wire wrap for a gemstone therapy company, eventually managing a small production group while living in San Francisco. My desire to learn led me to attend a metalsmithing class at the community college. In 1999, I moved back to my hometown in Northern Kentucky, where I started an apprenticeship with a local custom fine jewelry store. Originally, I was only taught to diamond set but gradually learned to create custom jewelry from stone setting, wax carving, plating, casting, mold making, fabrication and design work for customers.
In 2003, I traveled to Hawaii for the first time, there I met my future husband and began a new jewelry career at Jungle Gems in the historic surf town, Haleiwa, North Shore of Oahu. Jungle Gems was a great place where I had the freedom to create jewelry with beautiful gems, Hawaiian Sunrise Shells, Tahitian pearls, sterling silver and gold. My love for finding sea glass and shells began and I learned about the beauty of the Hawaiian Sunrise Shell. This shell is native to Hawaii and only found on the islands. Legend tells us that in ancient times only Hawaiian Royalty was permitted to wear the shell and in present time if you find one, it’s a blessing.
By the year of 2007 is when I started a family with my husband and was the next phase in my life to buy a retail store while raising our first child. The Sand Castle in Haleiwa was where I offered custom work and jewelry repairs. I also began to get involved with showing at local art shows and farmer’s markets. In 2009, I sold the store but still made jewelry at home to show at art festivals.
My husband’s desire to be near family lead us back to the mainland in his hometown of Vero Beach, Florida in 2014. Now I have a family of three beautiful girls and still get to create jewelry living in Florida. If you live in or ever visit the North Shore of Oahu, stop by Kai Ku Hale to see my creations and custom orders are always welcomed. My new home is Vero Beach, Florida and customers from everywhere can still contact me, ( on SHOP page).
Lots of things inspire me and I love collaborating with customers’ visions to bring their ideas to life. My specialty is custom orders and creating a sentimental value with each customer’s finished product. Jewelry is a small piece of artwork that should be worn and it’s always made with love.
Aloha, Kara Maresca