The Goodwill Hunter Fashion Challenge (Sept. 5 deadline)

You still have a chance to win a $25 gift certificate to a Goodwill store in Hawaii. All entries are due before midnight (Hawaii Standard Time), Monday September 5, 2011 to [email protected] For more information read The Goodwill Hunter Fashion Challenge blog posting below:

Happy Hunting!!

The Goodwill Hunter Fashion Challenge Whether you’re going back to work or back to school, perhaps it’s time to jump-start your wardrobe.  This might motivate you…   Take the Goodwill Hunter Challenge and purchase an outfit from your favorite Goodwill store in Hawaii inspired by one of the three looks below.  Share your Goodwill Fashion Find with us and be eligible to win a $25 Goodwill Gift Certificate and an opportunity to be featured in The Goodwill Hunter blog.   1)      Preppy … Read More

via The Goodwill Hunter

Downtown Fashion Wine Walk – For a Great Cause

An unforgettable evening – Tina strikes a pose wearing a blue flirty dress ($6.99) from the Beretania Goodwill.
At six-o’clock sharp, Pauahi Street – between Nuuanu and Bethel – magically transformed into a buzzing street festival with participants including downtown merchants, consumers and experts (of wine, food and fashion), government leaders and supporters of Goodwill.  It was the perfect Friday evening (Aug. 19, 2011), for a great cause – Goodwill Industries of Hawaii, and a great mission – helping people with employment barriers reach their full potential and become self sufficient.

Goodwill board members State Rep. Marcus Oshiro and Pat Wong. Also, Governor Abercrombie, Dr. Nancie Caraway, Andy South - fashion designer extroadinaire and Laura Robertson - Goodwill Industries of Hawaii President/CEO

Emcee, Bridget Gray weclomed attendees to the first ever, Downtown Fashion Wine Walk and thanked Governor Abercrombie and his wife, Dr. Nancie Caraway for their support and participation.  Jay Niebuhr, president of (ADMA) Arts District Merchants Association  recognized Hawaii’s own Andy South, Project Runway 2010 finalist.

Jay then introduced Laura Robertson, President and CEO of Goodwill Industries of Hawaii (GIH).  She thanked ADMA for choosing GIH as the beneficiary of the event and made a very special announcement about Goodwill Goes GLAM! a showcase of talent, treasure and style —  in August, 2012.  She went on to share that it includes an exclusive fashion show featuring Hawaii’s top models and stylists setting the stage for an unprecedented 24,300 square-foot marketplace of glamour and vintage items donated by retail partners and collected from Goodwill stores.

An exclusive announcement about Goodwill Goes GLAM! by Laura Robertson, President & CEO of Goodwill Industries of Hawaii

This major Island fashion event will put the spotlight on Hawaii’s style industry as an economic stimulator and contributor to job-creation, while offering the opportunity to explore Goodwill’s own educational, employment and training programs.   Laura expressed her gratitude for Dr. Nancie Caraway and all that she does for the community and proudly introduced her as the Honorary Chair of Goodwill Goes GLAM!  Dr. Caraway said a few words in support of this upcoming event and thanked ADMA for organizing the Downtown Fashion Wine Walk and their support of local businesses.  The crowd was buzzing about the announcemnt of this major fashion event to hit the islands in 2012.  Reporters and photographers gathered around the event stage.

Shari, Tina, Shawn, Lara, Kecia (Bella Torre Academy), Samantha and Kera Copeland

After perusing the festival and taking in wine, appetizers and signing up for Key Ring (Goodwill’s pilot into the mobile technology realm) the crowd settled in for the highly anticipated Fashion Show.  This crescendo of style started out with amazing looks from Florencia Aria. The crowd loved the sounds of DJ Silvana as the runway lit up with signature pieces from Catherine’s Closet, Fashionista’s Market, MiSHMaSH, Super Citizen and… Goodwill closed the show with a fashionable bang!

Tina Jones, Roycen Dehmer and Samantha Iha-Preece after watching Dresscue Me (a Planet Green & Goodwill re-design/reuse reality show) at The Venue

The Downtown Fashion Wine Walk was a success and event organizers expressed that it was the the first  but certainly not the last.  To learn more about Goodwill Goes GLAM! and how you could get involved – become a Goodwill Goes Glam Squad member, a Goodwill Ambassador Business Partner or an event sponsor, go to or visit

Model Citizen

Reveal #1 - Hawaii News Now Sunrise Reporter - Malika Dudley, Tina (make-over recipient) and Rene Rodriguez (make-up artist). This retro dress was just $6.99 from the Beretania Goodwill store.

You never know who you’ll meet when you walk into a Goodwill store.  Last month, I went to the Beretania store location to research a back-to-school bargain story .  Seriously, it’s THE place to find great deals on back-packs, graphic tees, board shorts and so much more.

That’s when I met Tina, a cashier at Goodwill.  As a fashion writer and former fashion show producer, my model radar is pretty sharp. I’m often intrigued when I meet a natural model-in-the-rough, like Tina, who has no idea how fabulous she really is. Tina graciously accepted my invite to become a Goodwill Goes Glam Squad volunteer and model.

Tina - before Reveal #1 - at the beautiful Goodwill Store in Kapolei

Tina was raised in Missouri and graduated from an AmeriCorps  program in California which referred her to Goodwill in Hawaii.  She moved to Honolulu in 2010 and started working at the Goodwill store.  Tina credits Goodwill for giving her the customer service skills and retail experience that she now possesses.  She told me that she sees, first-hand how Goodwill changes peoples lives and that she believes in the organization’s mission, helping people reach thier full potential and become self-sufficient.

In promotion of the Downtown Fashion Wine Walk  , Hawaii News Now and Goodwill created make-over magic.  The transformation was incredible. Earlier in the week, professional stylist, Kyle Kagamida (Kagamida Styling) pulled a few “Day” and “Evening” looks from the Beretania location.  On the day of the make-over and reveal, Kyle and Rene Rodriguez, a noted up-scale make-up artist, fully transformed Tina into a cover-girl.  See for yourself.

Sarah Davis (Goodwill Kapolei Manager). Malika Dudley, Rene Rodriguez, Tina Jones, Kyle Kagamida, Amanda Stevens


(Editor’s note: Is it just me or does Tina look like Alicia Keys ?)_______________________________________________________________________________________________________



Presented by the Arts District Merchants Association


Friday, August 19, 2011, 6:00 – 10:00 p.m.

Local, Downtown-based fashion designers and boutiques are the focus of a fun and fashionable event – The Downtown Fashion Wine Walk.

Although this event is free and open to the public, purchasing a $25 ticket includes access to wine tasting and appetizers at area boutiques and shops, entry to a trunk sale, chances to win great prizes and the opportunity to be one of the first in Hawaii to view a segment of Dresscue Me, a Planet Green and Goodwill presentation hosted by Shareen Mitchell, beloved for her unique and affordable approach to vintage clothing.  PLUS, a portion of the proceeds of all tickets sold goes to Goodwill Industries of Hawaii, whose mission is to help people with employment barriers to reach their full potential and become self-sufficient.

Tickets now on sale at

For event information, contact, Sandra Fowler (Super Citizen Store) at 599-4333

Planet of the Apps

photo credit:

photo credit:

It’s time to evolve. Retailers world-wide are rapidly shifting their axis, so-to-speak, focusing more on mobile marketing and less on social media.  Mobile applications are the new technology “tools of choice” for retailers as they aspire to build greater brand loyalty and foster deeper customer engagement.  Corporate gurus recognize that smartphone savvy customers expect real-time, geo-specific, easy-to-access information and free downloads.

What does this mean to the consumer? If you haven’t already done so, you’ll get to ditch the bulky rewards cards and start storing offers onto your mobile devices.  Women, your wallets will no longer have that unsightly bulge. Men  you’ll be able to sit in your chairs and balance your assets with ease – no longer having to live with that dreaded “Costanza wallet.”

Goodwill Industries of Hawaii (GIH) knows that so many of us are on the move, constantly multi-tasking, and a good number of Goodwill shoppers (and supporters) are comfortable with mobile technology.  So, GIH will be launching its mobile application of choice – Key Ring – at the Downtown Fashion Wine Walk on Friday, August 19 on Pauahi Street.  Go to for more event details.

What is Key Ring

Key Ring is the top rated shopping app on both iPhone and Android platforms. Key Ring also supports Blackberry and Windows Mobile 7, making it the only app of its kind to support all four major platforms. Best of all it is FREE for consumers.

Why did Goodwill choose Key Ring?

GIH is constantly looking for creative ways to utilize technology to effectively communicate its programs and mission- helping people with employment barriers to reach their full potential and become self-sufficient. GIH chose to work with Key Ring for the Downtown Fashion Wine Walk because of the ease of use Key Ring offers and also the potential for larger audiences to become aware of GIH’s retail operations and how that helps GIH serve the community through our mission programs and services.

What will take place at the Downtown Fashion Wine Walk?

Goodwill’s Glam Squad will assist visitors to sign up with Key Ring in order to access exclusive offers from participating boutiques as well as gain entries for a prize giveaway. More people will be driven to visit the Downtown fashion boutiques.

Want to test it out?

Give Key Ring a try by going to your application store and searching for “Key Ring App” and downloading, remember it’s FREE.  Or just click here  for more information on Key Ring and how you can download it right away.

A Downtown Fashion Wine Walk to Remember…

An Interview to Remember with Andy South - photo by Harold Julian

Sometimes things are just meant to be, the planets align and you don’t have to force it, it just … is.  When Arts District Merchants Association (ADMA) member, Sandra Fowler, owner of Super Citizen, approached Goodwill Industries of Hawaii (GIH) in May to be the beneficiary of their Downtown Fashion Wine Walk on Aug. 19, the connection was clear.

GIH’s mission is helping people with employment barriers become self-sufficient. ADMA’s members are dedicated to the responsible development and improvement of The Arts District in downtown Honolulu’s Chinatown for the benefit of its members and the community. Both organizations empower people to live their dreams and reach their full potential.

But something was still missing — someone to represent the heart of Chinatown, someone who pushes past barriers and lives his art.

His name is Andy South.

Despite Andy’s grueling schedule he graciously accepted the role of Special Guest at the Downtown Fashion Wine Walk. He inspired so many as a Project Runway Season 8 favorite and finalist.  This Waianae High School and Honolulu Community College graduate lived the dream of every up-and-coming fashion designer, showing his collection at the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York.

He launches his Andy South collection at Neiman Marcus this September.  Did you know that he’s isn’t even 25 years old? He’s certainly at the start of an exciting career and he’s already giving back.  As an HCC graduate, he’s come full-circle and taught a Fashion Production class there this past year, what an amazing opportunity for those students.

I met Andy before Project Runway Season 8 aired and one thing stood out to me back then, he really cares about people.  Despite all of the fame and attention, Andy is still Andy.  Actually, he’s seems more centered and even more grateful than ever.  Here’s our recent interview:

The Goodwill Hunter (TGH):

Aloha Andy. Goodwill has programs in Hawaii that support a wide variety of people with employment barriers  . Did the extent of these programs come as a surprise to you?

Andy South:

I did know about half of the programs.  I didn’t know they assisted youth at risk.  SUPER cool!


Of those programs, which do you, or could you, feel a connection to?

Andy South:

I connect most with the immigrants.  (Editor’s note: Although he was born in Hawaii, his Laotian parents fled persecution.)

And strangely, people coming out of prison.  I think it is possible for ANYONE to turn around and make a better life for themselves and society.


What advice do you have for the youth who want to pursue their passion in the fashion industry who come from a disadvantaged background?

Andy South:

NEVER let where you come from dictate where you will go, but let it strengthen you.


You are a very humble talented person.  How do you remain centered?

Andy South:

Faith.  My walk with God; I speak with Him every morning and night.  Sometimes all day when it’s tough.  I find that my relationship with Him helps me through tough times and keeps me grounded when I am floating on clouds that are too high to see my own feet.  :)

TGH:  Thank you Andy!


The Downtown Fashion Wine Walk is part of the Pauahi Street Festival (near Merchant Street). The festivities begin at 6 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 19.  Although the event is free and open to the public, in order to partake of the wine-tasting, beauty treatments, prize drawings and much more, you’ll need to purchase a ticket for $25. A portion of the proceeds benefits Goodwill Industries of Hawaii.  To learn more about Goodwill in Hawaii and to purchase your tickets visit 

Goodwill Industries of Hawaii’s programs like Imi Loa, a job training program for recent immigrants, help people with employment barriers to reach their full potential and become self-sufficient. Read about a recent example in this month’s Honolulu magazine: