Shelley Hoist feels extremely lucky to be a natural fiber artist living on the beautiful Kona coast on the Big Island of Hawaii. Creating art has always been a part of her life. Inspired by natural fibers and found treasures, she creates sculptural art vessels, home and wall decor, functional baskets, accessories (purses, hats and jewelry) and costumes from the sheath of various types of palm leaves.
Shelley moved to Hawaii island in 1976 from a small town in Iowa, where she was raised. Coming from a family of makers, she had always dreamed of being a working artist. She made her living in sales and administration, and dabbled in art on the side. She made her first palm basket in 1997 after learning the basic technique from a friend. She made baskets for herself and as gifts, slowly honing her skills and enjoying it as a hobby. After many requests, she began selling them to friends, and in 2008 she devoted herself full time to her art form. She began to manipulate and sculpt the natural palm fiber into new forms, constantly pushing the boundaries (and the fiber), developing new techniques and products.
Shelley has displayed her work at the Western Design Conference and at the prestigious American Craft Council Show in San Francisco. NICHE Magazine recognized her as a 2014 NICHE Award finalist. Her work is found in homes across the United States, Canada and in many countries worldwide. She continues to expand her repertoire in this unique, sustainable art form and is grateful to be living her dream.