Fabric lovers eager to break away from the humdrum of their pandemic-induced routines jumped at the chance to sew a silver lining into the ubiquitous face masks everyone is required to wear.
That’s what impressed Terri Kamakana, owner of Kuni Island Fabrics, who held a face mask contest just before the second statewide lockdown started in August. When promoting the contest, “We said on the flyer that we miss your smiles, but since we are all wearing the all-important mask, why not have some fun!”
After judges chose the winners from about 40 entries Thursday, she concluded, “People are desperate to do something to get their minds on something else — I’ve never had so many people calling to thank me. We needed some fun.”
Travis Kimura won the best overall prize of $100 gift basket (pastries and a rotary cutter) for his mask with five interchangeable designs, including dogs, cats and koi. Charlene Choy embroidered the face of a lion onto a mask and got the most creative award of a $50 gift certificate to Kuni Island Fabrics.
Jan Takamine was awarded a $50 gift certificate to Zippy’s for the funniest mask of her pet dog’s snout, using a dangling flap of red fabric for its tongue. (Three people asked to buy this one right away, Kamakana said.)
Though it did not win a prize, Kamakana said one of the most imaginative entries was by Marion Speers — a deep green velvet mask, accented with a sequin design and a green-feathered plume. It could be worn with a fancy dress on a special occasion, however rare now.
The masks will be on display at the University Avenue store until Sept. 30, but can be viewed on Kuni’s Facebook (facebook.com/kuniislandfabrics) and Instagram (@kuniislandfabrics) pages. Kamakana is planning another contest where kids can join in on the mask-making fun.