Lehua Jewelers Owner Sharon Gilbert began working with metals in shop class at Kailua High School. She now owns the business that awards the traditional bracelet to the winner of Miss Aloha Hula at the Merrie Monarch festival
Sponsored by Lehua Jewelers
Gilbert was raised on Oahu but moved to the big island after graduating from the University of Hawaii at Mānoa. When the Merrie Monarch festival asked if her business would create this year’s makana bracelet, she was overjoyed. She got to work designing the bracelet with all of the festival’s most recognizable images.
“I designed the bracelet specifically for Merrie Monarch. I have hula dancers on either side of the name and then some implements of hula and some of the sacred plants of hula,” she said. In addition to these decorations, the winner gets to customize her bracelet with symbols that are important to her.
Lehua Jewelers is known for their hand-cut lettering process in their jewelry. Rather than using a machine to laser-cut the letters into the metal, it lays out each letter by hand. It also uses glass enamel that must be heated to an extremely high temperature to create its jewelry.
“We’ve done keychains, we’ve done tie bars, we’ve done ID bracelets–– we really enjoy doing whatever a customer might be able to come up with,” said Gilbert.
You can find Lehua Jewelers at its location on the big island or in the Pop Up Makeke ahead of Merrie Monarch.