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Flip Flop Shop makes three years

LIHU‘E — Chloe Zumwalt looked at the big box of merchandise waiting to be processed Friday morning at the Flip Flop Shop located adjacent to the mural developing at the future offices of Hawai‘iUSA Federal Credit Union in Kukui Grove Center.

But the steady stream of customers kept her hopping on the register and limiting her to a piece here and a piece there between customers excited about the third anniversary offering of 30% off all regularly-priced items.

“It’s the entire store,” Zumwalt said. “Whatever is not on sale gets the discount from today until the end of day Sunday.”

Additionally, there are the free giveaways and the always-elusive “raffle” for prizes.

The draw was on inventory as shoppers plopped down pairs of “flip flops,” looking for the size that they could buy and capitalize on the discount.

A lot has taken place since Coach Z’s decision to open at KGC instead of the North Shore. The Zumwalt ‘ohana, including Chloe, who is doing distance learning at Kaua‘i Community College in lieu of being away at college, and the Flip Flop Shop had to survive the economic slowdown from the COVID-19 pandemic that forced the shop to close for a while before re-opening to shortened hours and socially-distanced shoppers.

Through the struggle, the Zumwalt family took on the task of fundraising to equip all of the Kaua‘i Police Department officers with OOFOS footwear — they’re called “slippahs” here — because the brand offers stress-relieving qualities.

Adjacent to the stream of shoppers (be patient, social-distancing is in effect, and you may have to return because the shop is only so big) coming and going from the balloon-clustered entry, Kaua‘i High School students Pepper Page and Eva Israelsen worked on the mural with their ear buds plugged in.

“Yes, it’s supposed to rain,” said Seth Womble, the mural artist who is working with the students on developing the mural whose progress has already been hampered by the less-than-favorable weather during the week. “It’s on the radar, but we need to get as much done today or we’ll have to come back,” he said Friday.

Womble said the developing mural is a Nirmana Project, where students learn by working alongside accomplished artists.

“My mother had a video cam when my brother came and made like he was going on the pier,” said Israelsen of the “Journey” Womble spoke of in describing the work of Trysen Kaneshige, a Kaua‘i High School alumni. “He was moving.”

These events were a prelude to the weekend that started with live music with the Goats Friday, a semi-holiday for many that hops into the weekend when Bunny Hollow, located in the shadow of Jamba Juice, opens for the Spring Festival Fun featuring socially-distanced photos with Bunny — yes, you do need an appointment made through kukuigrovecenter.com — and Macee Martinez with her make-it-and-take-it crafts, and more from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Registration is also being accepted for next week’s big Easter weekend Easter egg hunt fashioned after a treasure hunt, complete with a treasure map and appointed times to start finding gold.

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Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or dfujimoto@thegardenisland.com.
Source: The Garden Island

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