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Kalena’s sister taught her how to crochet when she was a little girl. She actually learned how to knit while working for the police department (Detroit). It happened by accident. She used to go have lunch with the commander’s secretary- Murl. Murl was always knitting such beautiful sweaters. Kalena asked Murl to knit her a sweater, but Murl told her, “You can knit your own.” Kalena’s feelings were hurt at first and she told Murl, “I don’t know how to knit.” So, Murl said that she would teach Kalena how to knit. And everyone at the precinct was surprise how the first sweater came out. They said it was pretty good for my first sweater and the rest is history.


Kalena designs sweaters (knitted and crocheted), beaded bras/bustiers, shoes, and sequin appliqués.  She enjoys designing one-of-a-kind sweaters using mohair and novelty yarns in her designs.  She enjoys playing with colors that grabs your attention.  Some of her sweater designs appeared in national knitting magazines.  The sweater the model is wearing to the right, appeared in Fantasy Crochet magazine.


Kalena sews each bead and sequin one at a time with needle and thread.  She avoids using glue on beads.  


She has been knitting and beading for over 30 years.

Kalena wanted to decorate her sweaters with beads and sequins, so she went to a bridal store and learned beading techniques.  Also, Kalena heard about a beaded embroidery designer in New Jersey, who designed for Bill Blass, Oscar de la Renta, and other top American fashion designers.  She asked if she could attend his classes, he invited Kalena to his atelier.  There she learned Haute Couture Embroidery techniques that included learning how to bead a shoe—the shoe was the highlight of the class.   And she has been beading ever since.


Kalena is also a gourd artist.  She designs unique birdhouses from gourds.  Her customers use them to decorate their living rooms/sunrooms


Kalena is also an author of how-to books, a licensed nail technician, and accomplished Polynesian dance instructor. You can also find her teaching Polynesian dance at the local colleges and community centers.






Kalena is also a Polynesian dance instructor/performer, Festival Promoter and CEO of Tropical Polynesian Productions, LLC, and West Valley Island Cultural Festival, LLC.


She has served the community as a volunteer through the Americorps program. She has worked in poverty stricken areas, assisting families in need, and working in the K-8 schools. She created programs for the school kids, such as: Career day, Vocational school day, College day, Entrepreneurship day, to let the children know that there are different pathways to success. She organized a Polynesian educational dance program for them. Her friends from Providence, RI (Napua O’Polynesia) flew to Arizona to help her with it.  She was able to get donations from local businesses to give the children the experience of being on a tropical island. They also participated in a fundraiser for the Relay for Life Luau (a community based fundraising event of the American Cancer Society).


She has also performed for Gilda's Club (a community organization for people living with cancer, their families and friends), and Susan B. Komen Race for the Cure, as well as other venues.


She currently teaches the Hula at the Arrowhead Montessori in Peoria, AZ, to the preschoolers instilling in them the cultural values at an early age.



Custom knitting and beaded embroidery designs are available to you.


Just fill out the contact form and let me know what are your needs. Or email: info(at)sugarkdesigns.com or call me at: 623-255-8491.