LAHAINA - Decked out in high heels, gliding elegantly between tables largely in silence, wearing a smile and a killer dress below the knees and up to the neckline, the lei ladies of Lahaina leave a trail of wonderful aromas as they go to and fro.
Visitors and locals notice lei lady Michelle Fayth Marciano, known as Fayth Flowers, right away for her good looks and infectious personality. Fayth is her real middle name.
At just five feet, Fayth is an independent contractor, wannabe actress, singer and songwriter who works for a distributor of leis. A dozen or so lei ladies bring the beautiful creations to dozens of the better restaurants each night.
The lei lady known as Fayth Flowers leis a visitor celebrating her 21st birthday at the Hyatt Regency Maui. The lei was gifted by a friend.
There is something special about Fayth in the same sense as the the 1998 movie starring Cameron Diaz, "There's Something About Mary" (more on this later).
Carrying a basket of leis that she picked up from the distributor and replenishing them from the trunk of her car from time to time, she begins one early evening at Mark Ellman's Honu and Mala Ocean Tavern, then walks to Aloha Mixed Plate. After a few other stops, she drives to Whalers Village in Kaanapali.
At each restaurant, the drill is the same: gliding through with a smile, showing her basket mostly in silence (that is the rule). Fayth being Fayth, if she sees a receptive couple, she may ask whether the dinner is a special occasion.
At Mai Fish and Pasta, she sells narry a lei. A short walk to Tropica at The Westin finds a wedding party finishing a meal. Ten leis grace her basket. A customer buys all ten, and Fayth drapes them over the bride's party and little kids.
Leis usually are sold one or two at a time, and Fayth shares the profits.
Driving to the Hyatt late (around 9 p.m.), she greets the doormen and offers a friendly aloha to a couple in the lobby, complimenting one wearing a pretty lei.
At Son'z Maui at Swan Court, two couples remain. Table mates from New Jersey, each celebrating three decades of marriage, seem willing to talk. Fayth turns on the charm.
Learning about the anniversaries, she said, "In Hawaiian tradition, it is traditional to exchange leis. You place them heart to heart and seal it with a kiss." Four leis soon adorn the four couples.
Fayth offers to take their pictures with their iPhones (no charge) and talks to them about New Jersey, where her own relatives came from. Then it's off to her last stop, Paradise Grill, before heading home to Wailuku.
The something about Fayth relates to her spirituality. Her uniqueness starts with a rare mix of ancestry (Moroccan, Israeli, Polish). After growing up in Florida, after a series of unspecified traumas, she enrolled in California's Santa Monica University to secure a degree in something called Spiritual Psychology She then decided spiritual Hawaii would make an ideal home.
A deep thinker, Fayth said she is on a journey "to move to a place that identifies her authentic self, living not based on how she was conditioned, reframing unresolved issues and being able to choose from the soul's purpose, the heart's desire."
She is fond of saying things like: "Follow your heart and never ever give up on your dreams... Believe in yourself... It never hurts to smile too much; no matter how you smile, it never hurts... Spiritual growth is a process, not an event."
A certified yoga instructor, Fayth wants to teach other people spirituality through her yoga company called Yoga Fairy. The 29-ish Fayth hopes one day to find her own soul mate and raise a family. "The Universe will bring me right man at right moment," she said.
Maui is home to a great many remarkable people, a treasure trove for a columnist. Fayth fits in perfectly, partly as a talented seller of leis, but more so because of her spiritual side that cannot be captured very easily in a short space.
On her Facebook page, Fayth describes herself as Owner/Yoga Instructor at The Yoga Fairy and LOVER OF LIFE + DREAM MAKER, Singer and Songwriter, and inspirational life coach.
If you want to know more, guess you will just have to sign up for one of Michelle Fayth Flowers Marciano's yoga classes (Google "Yoga Fairy Maui").
(Columnist's Notebook: The columnist does not usually recommend websites, but there is much more to Fayth than can fit in one column. E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org for comments or ideas.)