Welcome to the Sunshine Arts newsletter. This is something new to me so bear with my rambling, I have 23 years of writing to catch up on!
I will start with our covid experience and then work backwards through the many stories and experiences throughout the last 23 years of doing business in Kahalu'u in an old building that actually started as an artist supply store called "Shirley's Art Supplies”. Shirley and her husband built the building in 1979 just for that business and operated it for about 10 years. My association with the building began in 1997. At that time a famous artists family, the Makks, owned the building and had plans to create a gift shop called "Sunshine Arts and Gifts". That's where I got our name “Sunshine Arts".
Covid closed us down in March of last year (2020) for 2 1/2 months. We were on track to have a good year but like all of us, normal life came to a screeching halt! When we were finally allowed to re-open in May I speculated that we would not really have much business as we are far from "essential".
Boy was I wrong!
I think everyone stuck at home had to look at the same old art and picture frames on the wall and decided they needed an upgrade. We were busy from day 1 of the re-opening and continue to be so. Even the art is selling well so we have some happy artists who are getting checks in the mail as their art sells.
By June I got my entire staff back to work and we have kept up the busy pace to this day.
Our Marriott location was not so fortunate as the hotel was completely boarded up for eight months. They did not take the barriers down until November. I was ready to move out, but luckily I received some PPP funds from the government and negotiated a rent deal for a percentage of sales. With the PPP funds I was able to put my manager, Kristin, back to work and we were able to keep the location open so the Marriott didn't look so closed down. Pretty much all of the other tenants moved out so we stand out like a shining star with all the beautiful art and the lights on 24/7.
Kristin is starting to do some business there and we are hoping to survive until the tourists come back. Waikiki was a ghost town during covid but we are starting to see more and more visitors at the beaches and in the hotels.You can check out the gallery at the gallery tour on the website. That's it for my first "newsletter" for Sunshine Arts Inc. Stay tuned for my next ramble!