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‘Made with love’: At 90, this lei maker is a fixture at the Merrie Monarch craft fair

At 90 years young, Aunty Adeline Kimi of Tropical Treasures in Hilo has been threading seed leis for more than 30 years.
Published: Apr. 20, 2022 at 5:20 PM HST|Updated: Apr. 20, 2022 at 5:46 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - At 90 years young, Aunty Adeline Kimi of Tropical Treasures in Hilo has been threading seed leis for more than 30 years.

On a recent day, she points out seeds of mamani, kamani, blacked eye susan and Job’s tears.

Kimi is a fixture at the the Merrie Monarch Arts and Crafts Fair. The pandemic shut down the fair and its vendors for two years, leaving old-timers like her with nothing to do.

SPECIAL SECTION: The 59th annual Merrie Monarch Festival

“It was boring for me because I’m always busy doing something making leis and stuff,” said Kimi.

Now that the craft fair is back after a two-year absence, she’s “excited and kind of nervous, too.”

She’s busy getting ready for multiple days of sales and getting together with old friends.

Besides their vibrant colors, what makes these what makes these tropical treasures so unique is they’ve got that special touch from Aunty Adeline.

“They are made with love,” she said, with a smile.

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