For many years, Bo Bergemann dreamed not only of creating a thriving doll business but to then expand it to include a doll store. After achieving the former, Bo has just realized the remainder of her dream with the opening of her shop Ki’i Nani in Haleiwa, Hawaii.
Q: You had said that this was a dream from when you first started your doll company. What was your dream exactly, and how closely does your new venture fill it?
A: I dreamed of sharing my passion for dolls with the people of Hawaii. We have no doll shop here. No doll industry really. No shows, nothing. We have a Toys R Us and a small toy shop at the mall and that’s it. I loved dolls and sought them out but could never find much. I did find the last actual doll shop in Hawaii literally 22 years ago, a closet sized shop in a very scary part of Chinatown. It had some beautiful expensive dolls in it too! But when I tried to go back just a month later it was gone.
So I wanted to have a doll shop for the people of Hawaii. Ki’i Nani is a full service doll shop serving collectors, the hobby and children. It is also truly unique.
Q: I know that your daughter Bree is involved with your store. What part did she play in setting it up? Does she work in the store now that it’s open?
A: Bree is a huge part of why I did this at all. She is actually the #2 doll expert in Hawaii I’m certain. Bree is a born people person, and working every day at my private studio was getting boring for her. She loves to help people and she loves to share, so she is perfect to work at the new shop. She is patient, kind and knowledgeable all while being a truly gorgeous teen ager! I’m so blessed in her.
Q: Can you tell me more about all the things that a customer might find in your store?
A: Ki’i Nani caters to all the best of today’s doll hobbies and to little girls as well: BJD’s, fine art dolls, childrens’ dolls, artist bears and children’s plush animals, doll clothing, shoes, wigs and doll-centric items like our casual wear line of T’s and hoodies on theme. We will be a full service studio as well and teach doll making classes, both for adults and Mommy & Me type classes.
We just became Hawaii’s dealer for AnnLoren, DollieMe and Rufflebutts too. All these are adorable lines of clothing with little girl and her doll matching outfits. I am also offering my fine art prints on doll centric & Hawaii themes. I plan to run some promos where I will do photos of little girl’s with their dolls in their new matching outfits. I just love this kind of stuff! I had so much fun with Bree when she was little, and we want to share that with the moms and daughters of Hawaii.
Q: Will you be adding the work of any other doll makers?
A: I’m in the process of balancing the shop’s visual aesthetic with the display space and product offering space needed for the things I offer. This means most likely I will have one or two dolls from each genre in the doll hobby today with more BJDs than anything else and more of my dolls, of course, than others. By the end of this year any doll enthusiast could drop by and see something from nearly every genre today! BUT- I’ve dedicated 1/3 of my space to little girl’s dolls and doll stuff since a huge part of why I’m doing this is to bless my daughter and the younger generations in Hawaii. So mommy & me classes, fun doll take home project classes and all the 18” and other children’s dolls will need space too.
Q: What more do you hope to add to your the store in the future?
A: I hope my store will become Hawaii’s Doll Store, something we have been lacking for nearly 3 decades. A place where moms and daughters, sisters and friends, tutu’s and Hanai family all share fun and friendship. I hope to achieve this via being a very special destination place. I hope Ki’i Nani, which means “beautiful likeness” in Hawaiian, will be someplace people go to enjoy life and share laughter and fun.
Only time will tell on all that. But for now Bree and I are thoroughly enjoying our doll maker’s dreams coming true and sharing this place as mother and daughter daily. Bree and I had such fun beating up the wood, burning it and then staining it dark, sanding that down and starting all over again. It looks like something that was here in Haleiwa back when the town began in the 1910-20’s. Ki’i Nani is a beautiful open airy space. I wanted to capture a sense of timelessness as this is the vibe in this tiny sleepy surf town that swells radically in population with the North Swells that bring the world famous huge waves from November to February each year.
The town is being revitalized by me and others like me, but with a sense of the need to keep and upkeep all that is so wonderfully unique and intrinsically beautiful about the place itself.
I hope to begin classes late this Summer after my Comic-con Panelist gig, and can’t wait until this year’s Christmas Parade! Loving dolls for me is about loving people. That’s how doll making began for me, and it’s how the passion has been rekindled time and again. Now I have a beautiful space in which to share that with the people of Hawaii, my Ohana!
For more information on visiting Ki’i Nani, go HERE.
Photos above from top: The artist working, her daughter Bree helping, shop in-progress.
New dolls by the artist: