I guess I should start my blog with a little personal introduction.....
My name is Brooke Holt Pennell and I'm a proud part Hawaiian woman that just happens to be passionate about creating jewelry.
I was born and raised on Oahu, Hawaii and spent my early life between Honolulu & Makaha. I have two sons, Kainalu & Kamakani and a blended family with my Australian husband, Rob who has two daughters, Alana and Tarryn. Between the two of us, we have 5 grandchildren between the 2 countries and spend our time in both Hawaii and Australia.
Since I wouldn't be who I am today with out my parents, I will dedicate the majority of this blog to them.
My mother (Sherry Haynie) graduated from the University of Hawaii and was a well-known fashion designer initially specializing in contemporary Hawaiian apparel. She started in the apparel business as young designer at Lauhala Sportswear and eventually created Sunshine Hawaii. She worked as the Director of Design for OP, designed an exclusive line for The Beach Boys and Magic Johnson for Converse. She decided she wanted to do something different and created two youthful western wear brands called Desert Diva & High Desert as well as creating aloha prints for Quiksilver. She actually created her own prints and patterns and was a master of fit and draping.
She was a true artist and also helped me create my logo.
Crazy enough, she was also the star of a Polynesian aquacade at the Sheraton Waikiki.
My dad (Murray "Jug" Holt) graduated from the University of Hawaii with a Masters Degree in Fine Art. In his early years, he managed Chuckʻs Steak House, was a glassblower and taught ceramics and stained glass. He had two obsessions, Art and Food and was especially interested in artisan breads and pizza. He moved to the bay area to start a specialty pizza chain called Bettore's Pizza, studied bread at the San Francisco Baking Institute and apprentissed under French Baker and Restauranteur Pascal Rigo. He eventually came home to Hawaii and worked as a Food & Beverage Manager, Bakery Technician and Buyer before opening his own artisan bread company, Mauna Kea Baking Company.
Childhood memories include sitting under mom's cutting table using scraps of material to make dresses for my barbie doll and rummaging through the archives at Lauhala Sportswear for coconut buttons to play with. Or running around the original "Foundry" on Waimanu Street or the art studio at UH Manoa while dad was blowing glass, forced to be his "punty girl" while whining about the heat of the glory hole and furnace!!! Remembering the early days of the Hawaii Artist Guild craft fairs held at Thomas Square where my mom and dad would sell his glass and Raku Clinics at the old Church of the Crossroads and later Kualoa Beach Park.
My parents were totally artist hippies, and growing up, I was surrounded by incredibly creative people. Maybe it was the combination of my momʻs flair for fit, design and fabric, or my dad's ability to mold molten glass into an incredible piece of art glass...but what a cool childhood that created an absolute thirst for creativity in me.
rest in eternal peace...
Murray Aschelmann Holt Jr 1944-2016
Sherry Louise Holt-Reese 1945-2017