screenhunter_06-oct-13-16-15Ki‘i Nani–Where Passion and Innovation Take Shape Karin “Bo” Bergemann recently opened her doll studio and gallery, Ki‘i Nani (meaning “beautiful likeness”), 66-437 Kamehameha Highway, to share her artistry with island visitors and residents alike. Her shop and teaching studio adjacent to the Haleiwa Post Office is open 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays, except occasionally when she is away for a show.

Bo may be contacted via text message at (808) 330-2543; or via e-mail at Her website is Bo specializes in the “BJD” doll – a ball jointed doll she sculpts and details from start to finish. Each doll is made with several pieces. Most have anywhere from 14 to more than 17 joints, so they pretty much move like humans do. As reportedly only one of 11 sources in the world offering BJD dolls, she is recognized internationally in doll magazines, shows and conventions. Clearly, she is a subject matter expert.

According to Bo, Hawaii has not had a doll shop for more than 20 years. Ki‘i Nani features her heirloom quality collectable dolls for the discerning artist. In addition, it provides a wide variety of doll brands and accessories, including clothing and furniture, that range from the affordable to high end and serves collectors from two years old to 92. In addition, Bo teaches doll making classes for enthusiasts of all ages and skill levels. She grew up in Maui and attended University of Hawaii in Manoa. At UH she earned both Pre-Med Bachelor of Science and Public Relations Bachelor of Arts degrees. Her husband, Jeff, also from Maui, followed her and opened Maui Off Road Center on Oahu.

Although they had intended to have children, they found they could not. Not to be discouraged, Bo fervently dedicated herself as a foster parent, specializing in caring for premature and fragile babies. Early on, when arrangements for adopting one of her foster children fell through, Bo’s resiliency endured. She immersed herself into finishing the doll she had started for the baby she had intended to adopt. As she lovingly crafted the body and meticulously designed the little dress, her talent slowly took shape.

Over the next 15 years providing foster care, she and her husband adopted three—Kaleo, now 21; Jacob, now 18; and Bree, now 15. As her own children grew older, she decided to become more involved in school and community activities and leave foster care behind. That was when she started her business 6½ years ago. Looking back, she realizes that creating her unique dolls is a culmination of all she has learned and experienced over the years combined with her passion. Now, with the opening of Ki‘i Nani, she seizes the opportunity to share her distinctive artistry and enjoyment with others.