YOU AND YOUR OHANA
What is your name?
Where were you raised?
Where is your ohana originally from?
Do you come from a family of entrepreneurs or have people close to you who have encouraged and supported your entrepreneurship?
No, I don’t. However, I knew from a young age that I wanted to start my own business, and my friends and family have helped to give me the tools, inspiration, and encouragement to do so.
What is the name of your business?
What is the best way to contact you/your business?
You can e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org or send a DM on Instagram @aloha_attire! I am happy to accommodate special requests and custom orders, just let me know!
Does your business have a website and/or social media presence? If so, please provide a link/s.
You can find us on:
How long has your business been in operation?
I started selling just t-shirts on Amazon about 2 years ago. We now have our own website as of this year!
Where is your business located today?
What products and/or services does your business provide?
We sell apparel and accessories for all ages and genders with designs inspired by Hawaiian concepts and culture. We have something for everyone, from t-shirts to hats, beach towels, stickers and totes!
Please describe your business in 1-2 sentences.
Hawaiian owned and operated, we are a contemporary apparel brand creating meaningful designs meant to EDUCATE, PERPETUATE, and PROPAGATE our Hawaiian culture and values with the world. We represent and design for the modern day Hawaiian who carries the knowledge of the past, lives in the present, and creates a better future.
Why do you do what you do?
I started Aloha Attire as a way to better to connect with my Hawaiian heritage in a creative way. Although, I learned about Hawaiian history growing up, I didn’t feel like I connected to it or embraced it fully. Designing for Aloha Attire has prompted me to dig deeper and revisit and research some facets of my culture that I had forgotten or never learned. My designs reflect some of my learnings and I hope by sharing them that I can inspire someone to learn something new, start a conversation or create more awareness and appreciation for Hawaiian history, culture and people. I want ANYONE, ANYTIME, ANYWHERE to be able to connect to my products from someone who maybe grew up in Hawaii who isn’t that familiar with the history to a complete foreigner who may not even know Hawaii exists.
STARTING YOUR BUSINESS
When did you first think of starting this business?
I’ve always wanted to have my own business, but didn’t know what kind of business I wanted to start for awhile. Aloha Attire came about approximately two years ago as a creative outlet for me.
What type of experiences (education, work, life) were most important in shaping the skills you use to run your business today?
I was blessed to go to Kamehameha Schools, Kapalama where I first started learning more about my Hawaiian heritage, which planted a seed for me. Not until I moved to the mainland did I realize how fortunate I was to grow up with a culture, like that in Hawaii, which made me want to share and embrace my Native Hawaiian culture even more. My work experience for large corporate retail and entertainment companies made me realize that I didn’t want to spend my whole life working toward someone else’s vision, having little creative control or direction. However, that experience also taught me lots of valuable people and business skills that I am forever grateful for!
YOUR BUSINESS TODAY
In what stage of development is your business: pre-formation, early stage, growing, or mature?
We are an early stage business looking forward to growing bigger and bigger!
Do you have employees? If so, how many?
It’s officially just me, but my boyfriend, family, and friends are awesome volunteer consultants, brand ambassadors & models!
Are you working to get your business to the next stage in development? If so, where are you in that development?
I started Aloha Attire as a side project but will be focusing and spending more time on the business this upcoming year. I am continually working on enhancing our website and operations and creating new shopable designs. I hope to continue growing our customer base as well as social media presence in 2021! Stay tuned!
What is the greatest challenge you have experienced as an entrepreneur?
Technology is a double edged sword! On one hand I’m so grateful to be a part of this tech generation, and I wouldn’t have this business if it weren’t for the accessibility of the internet. On the other hand, there’s a bit of a learning curve when it comes to things like social media, algorithms, SEO and website development, which I’m still working through. There’s a lot of other small businesses, creators, and accounts that give consumers so much content to sift through, which makes it hard to stand out and gain a strong social media/internet presence without pumping a lot of money into advertising.
How did you overcome that challenge? (Or are you still working through it?)
Definitely a work in progress! The tech and social media space is constantly evolving, and I’m constantly trying to keep up by educating myself to understand and incorporate best practices and social media strategies to grow my business. There’s a lot of great free resources out there that I’m learning from, such as Facebook Blueprint, Google Digital Garage, Coursera, and lots of tips from other business owners on TikTok and YouTube!
THE FUTURE OF YOUR BUSINESS
How do you envision your business in the future?
I would love to continue growing the business into more of a community with a larger presence, more product categories and a dedicated customer base. I would love to see my designs start conversations and reach a larger audience across the world to teach others about the significance of Hawaiian history, culture, and people.
IF YOU’D LIKE TO SHARE, PLEASE TELL US ABOUT A HOBBY, INTEREST, OR TALENT YOU NURTURE OUTSIDE OF YOUR BUSINESS.
I try to read a little everyday and love anything about history, health, and business/ self improvement!