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Sassafras brings jewelry and furnishings to Waimea

June 23, 2014 - 12:05am

A Waimea jewelry maker has partnered with a consignment shop to offer beautiful baubles and quality home furnishings.

The pairing of Sassafras Jewelry, owned by Elly Mercer, and Tammie Mulligan’s TLC Furnishings and Collectibles, seemed to address a need in the North Hawaii region, Mercer said, as evidenced by the shop’s opening day earlier this month.

“We sold out of furniture the first day,” Mercer said during a recent phone interview. “The community was really excited to see us open our doors. … Everything is high end, but it’s not high price.”

Community members had watched as Mercer and Mulligan transformed a storefront next to Hawaiian Style Cafe into the brightly lit shop, she said.

“They were curious as to what was going to be here,” Mercer said. “We’ve gotten great responses.”

Mercer’s jewelry line for Sassafras, called Sassy, features her Hawaii-inspired rings, pendants, earrings, bracelets and other jewelry in sterling silver and gold. Mercer learned goldsmithing from her father, Charles Cummings, who lives in Puuanahulu.

She had run her much smaller Sassafras store in Waimea for about four years, she said.

Her goal in selling the jewelry is to offer high-quality pieces at affordable prices. Many of the items feature peridot, the green stone from which the iconic green sand near South Point is eventually made. Each piece also tells a Hawaiian story, Mercer said, and people buying the items get a card to explain that tale.

She’s working to restock furniture in the shop. Items they carry include tables, chairs and end tables. They also offer a line of sheets, towels and other linens, items Mercer said are difficult to find in Waimea. Some of the furniture is new, other pieces are on consignment, she said.

“We have things you won’t find anywhere else,” she said, adding that when a store purchases directly from the artist, that can keep the price affordable.

In addition to those furnishings, customers can also find infrared photographs by Beverly Warns, Alex Kostenko’s original oil paintings, and Bryan Lowry’s lava prints on aluminum.

On Saturdays, Mercer will sell floral bouquets, in vases, that she arranges herself. The flowers will be purchased locally, she said.

Mercer went to school for interior design, then spent 12 years apprenticing with her father learning goldsmithing. The new store combines both those areas of study and interest well, she said.

“Most of my fun, creative outlets I turned into work,” she added.

Her mother, Peggy Peterson, has also helped with the store’s new line, Mercer said.

The store is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays. Mercer plans to have a grand opening celebration in September.

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