At Akari we work hard to make it a special place:  a salon and medi-spa that exudes warmth, grace and beauty, a place where people feel welcome, spoiled, and supported.

As the owner of Akari I believe it’s important that we strive every day to exceed those expectations and whenever we can, sprinkle some of that kindness into our community. It’s one of the reasons why I feel compelled to help when an employee or a loyal customer is championing a cause.

Recently a client of mine asked if I would be interested in being a designer for Blue Wrap Runway, a unique fashion show fundraiser to benefit Partners for World Health. I didn’t hesitate to say yes. The mission is that admirable.

Partners for World Health, which started in Maine in 2007, collects medical supplies that hospitals throughout the U.S. are required to throw out and ships them to countries in need. If not for this organization these items would end up in a landfill and people across the globe would continue to go without basic medical supplies and equipment.

At Blue Wrap Runway, the designers take this blue wrap, which is normally used to wrap sterilized medical supplies, and create one-of-a-kind, gorgeous fashions.

I was excited about the creativity of the event and the challenge that it posed. My mission was to create a genie outfit for one of the models, John Hatcher, a prominent realtor in Portland, Maine. Once I started Googling for inspiration I was excited about the concept and ready to get started.

Working with the blue wrap was challenging because I couldn’t iron or wash it. Some of the sheets also had the name of surgery the sheet was originally meant for printed right on it. I had a few that were slated for elbow surgery.

John Hatcher and Jeffrey Blais at the Blue Wrap RunwayAfter several weeks, the outfit, the pants and a double-breasted jacket tied with a rope belt were finished. I topped it off with a cape, turban, and genie shoes. Every item was made with blue wrap, in other words, with paper.

The blue wrap outfit, as well as John and I, were ready for the big event. And what a night it was.

The University of Southern Maine’s Abromson Center was packed with people looking forward to a festive night of cocktails, dazzling fashion, music, and raising money for a great cause.

The fashions, one after another, from elegant to whimsical, all created by local designers, were nothing short of awe-inspiring. The quality of the work and the craftsmanship blew my mind.

The host and hostess were stunning. They were amazing and talented and made the event that much more impressive. I may be a bit biased, as News Center Maine’s Shannon Moss and Meteorologist Todd Gutner are long-time friends. Shannon wore a beautiful blue wrap gown with appliqué flowers (I quickly swept her hair in an up-do) and Todd sported a blue wrap bow tie and a vest I volunteered to make for him at the last minute.

Blue Wrap Runway is the only charity event where fashions help to supply hospitals and medical clinics around the world. This year’s event raised more than $100,000, enough to send four container ships full of medical supplies to countries in need; medical items that are going to be discarded, helping people in many ways. It’s beautiful.

I was truly honored to be apart of such a memorable and impactful evening.

And at Akari, we believe it’s our mission to help make Maine and the world a more beautiful place, inside and out.

 To learn more about Partners for World Health go to https://www.partnersforworldhealth.org.

 

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