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What is your name?

Moana McAdams

Where were you raised?

Wailua Homesteads, Kapaʻa, Kauaʻi

Where is your ohana originally from?

Immediate ʻohana: Kauaʻi. Ancestors: Maui and Hawaiʻi.

Do you come from a family of entrepreneurs or have people close to you who have encouraged and supported your entrepreneurship?

I started this venture on my own with my husband. We have built up a nice client base and are always looking to expand it.


What is the name of your business?

Burning Spear LLC

What is the best way to contact you/your business?

Visit us www.moanamcadams.com. Find us on Facebook and Instagram too.

Does your business have a website and/or social media presence? If so, please provide a link/s.

Website: www.moanamcadams.com
Instagram: @thereallifemoana and @theburningspearllc

How long has your business been in operation?

7 years

Where is your business located today?


What products and/or services does your business provide?

Handmade clothing, comic books, childrenʻs books, masks, and services.

Please describe your business in 1-2 sentences.

We create products and services that celebrate and uplift indigenous peoples.

Why do you do what you do?

Because no one else is doing it where I am. And our people and culture have been exploited for economic gain too long. The best way to build wealth and leave a legacy for the next generations is to teach them to OWN and operate their own businesses successfully. I can only hope that I am a role model that inspires other Kanaka to take a chance and invest in their own future and success. We can do it! Letʻs do it together!


When did you first think of starting this business? 

Around 2007.

What type of experiences (education, work, life) were most important in shaping the skills you use to run your business today? 

Hurricane ʻIniki was the most impactful event in shaping the skills I use to run my business. It taught me about money and how to manage it properly, how to play my role in contributing to the family needs, how to be resilient through hard and challenging times when we didn’t have money, and how to be a part of a community and working together despite not having material things. It taught me responsibility, dedication, patience, the value of hard work, and focusing on people over profit.


In what stage of development is your business: pre-formation, early stage, growing, or mature?


Do you have employees?  If so, how many?

Just me and my husband right now.

Are you working to get your business to the next stage in development?  If so, where are you in that development?

We are looking at how we can expand to bring on part-time assistance to help us with our operations. We have lots of opportunities, but not enough hands and minds to do the work.


What is the greatest challenge you have experienced as an entrepreneur?

Not enough time.

How did you overcome that challenge? (Or are you still working through it?)

Always working through it.


How do you envision your business in the future?

I would love to have a team of Kanaka and indigenous creators working with us. I would love to publish stories written by Kanaka keiki. We would love to get our work into media and film, i.e., animation, movies, and gaming. I would also love to see my clothes on a runway. 😃