Lessons from the Canoe

Little Details, LLC recently had the opportunity to assist an amazing organization, Women Helping Women of Maui with their annual fundraiser. Their 21st Annual Fundraising event was entitled “Restoring The Heart.” “The mission of this organization is to end domestic violence through advocacy, education and prevention, and to offer safety, support and empowerment to women, and children, victims of domestic violence.” Each year, the organization asks local businesses to assist their fundraising efforts. One way to support the organization is to design a reception guest table. This year’s table theme was Moana. Participating as a table design sponsor was so much fun. There were a few design highlights that I would like to share.

First is the linen! Linen has the amazing ability to make or break a design. With this theme, I wanted to incorporate a whimisical linen that was a true homage to Moana. I also wanted to use the linen as inspiration for the table design. Thanks to BBJ linen we found the perfect linen, their Carlisle Lamour. This linen was exactly what I wanted. It had a whimsical and Hawaiian vibe that was full of vibrant colors. The day of the event, I received multiple compliments about the linen.

Second is the centerpiece. I wanted to not only have an appropriate theme inspired centerpiece, but I wanted it to tell a story within the design. Throughout the movie and within the Hawaiian culture, the canoe is vital. The canoe does not only provide transportation from one point to another, but it also provides life lessons. Thus, I elected to entitle the table “Lessons from the Canoe”. This lesson consists of three things: first is giving up control, second is balance comes from perspective and third is to choose a direction and not a path. I featured this within a poem on the table. To ensure the guest had enough space to eat I incorporated a paddle instead of a canoe. As a professional designer, it is important to add decor elements that are propionate in size and scale. Thus, I was able to find a local woodworker to make a custom paddle as the centerpiece. During the program, there were three women that received an award. These brave women were survivors of domestic abuse that have made a difference within their community. They all joined a local canoe club and talked about the lessons they learned from the canoe. As I listened to them, I had goose bumps as they mentioned everything my table lesson had written in a poem.

Third is the elegant presentation. The Moana theme is very playful but I wanted the tone of the overall design to be elegant. Thus, I elected to add both wood and gold accents with a little floral incorporated to soften the overall look. The wood accents were seen in the paddle, wood tree slices, mini canoes, salt and pepper shackers, napkin rings and plate chargers. The gold accents were seen in the candleholders and plate chargers. I wanted to have some whimsy by adding two types of plate chargers which added more drama/interest to the table.

The opportunity to design a table for Women Helping Women of Maui was an amazing experience. I built the company not only to follow my passion, but to give back to the local community. I look forward to giving back to our new community: Maui!