By Nadine Kam
Nadine Kam photos
Handmade bedding from India are among the treasures available at CHAI Studio.
CHAI Studio celebrated its move from Auahi Street to Ward Warehouse with a grand reopening party Dec. 5.
Fans and newcomers had the opportunity to shop Amerjit Ghag's colorful and sustainable selection of handcrafted furniture, accessories, textiles and gift items from India, Turkey and Morocco, including decor items made from architectural salvage, handmade bedding, pillows crafted from kantha saris, throws, bangles, glassware, chandelier earrings, breezy tunics, and custom rugs.
Ghag, who worked in fashion design and home staging before deciding to open up her original shop two years ago, said her biggest sellers has turned out to be textiles, so she's moved forward in developing her own brand of bedding incorporating hand-stamped pillows, bedding and curtains.
She supports fair trade and women’s entrepreneurship wherever possible, and works with several families of artisans, including one whose expertise over 10 generations has been creating hand-stamped indigo print fabric.
She said one of the best sellers has been her custom dohars, or summer blankets that are just as perfect for Hawaii's weather. The blankets comprise three layers of fine cotton, with a printed layer sandwiched between two layers of thin, soft muslin. She has them in single and queen sizes, although she said the tradition in India is that everyone has his/her own blanket, so there's no tugging and fighting for coverage in the middle of the night among couples.
If you're shopping for Christmas, there are plenty of jewelry, fabric purses and home decor items to consider.
The shop is on the Diamond Head end of Ward Warehouse. For more information, call 536-4543 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Natalie Aczon, left, showed up with a housewarming gift for CHAI Studio owner Amerjit Ghag.
Moroccan tea glasses can be used as drinking glasses or as decor for kitchen, bath or vanity.
A dress cinched by a handcrafted belt in the window at CHAI Studio.
Above and below, examples of necklaces available at the shop.
A variety of hand-stitched silk sari textiles.
Designers and textile enthusiasts Lynda Sakraida, left, and Terry Logan. The funny thing is Lynda designs purses and Terry, who designs clothing and accessories, could certainly make one herself, but they both ended up buying small silk clutches here because of their appreciation for the Indian silks and prints.
Also stopping by to congratulate Amerjit were Princess Dialta Alliata di Montereale and Prince Vittorio.
And artist friends including Linny Morris and Timothy Ojile also stopped by.
Cecily Sargent cooked up b'stilla, the Moroccan chicken pot pie topped with powdered sugar, as well as dal over pita for the occasion. Both were fabulous. I should have had a second helping of the b'stilla. It's not easy to find here.
She also made a richer version of couscous that included diced pumpkin and feta. I'm gonna try that at home.