YOU AND YOUR OHANA
What is your name?
Where were you raised?
I was raised up Waianae Valley Road and in Mililani. I currently live in Waialae.
Where is your ohana originally from?
Waimea, Kaua’i (Dad side). Yokohama, Japan (Mom side).
Do you come from a family of entrepreneurs or have people close to you who have encouraged and supported your entrepreneurship?
No. I do not. In fact, at times, my family was the deterrent, but I still love them. I must admit that my entrepreneurial side was self-taught. Although I was brought up in ku’e by my father Duncan Ka’ohuokaala Seto, which helped me to recognize and practice the culture and language of our ancestors. Pairing that with wanting to become a business owner, I felt I have morphed myself into into a Kanakapreneur. My understanding is that if my ancestors could do it, then I can do it too.
What is the name of your business?
I have three businesses: Nani Ka’ala LLC; Landsharehi LLC; and Komoana LLC (ATM owner).
What is the best way to contact you/your business?
Does your business have a website and/or social media presence? If so, please provide a link/s.
How long has your business been in operation?
Nani Ka’ala LLC Lauhala Accessories and Jewelry has been open 6 years (I have been weaving lauhala for over 20 years.). LandshareHi has been operating for 1 year.
Where is your business located today?
What products and/or services does your business provide?
At Nani Ka’ala LLC, we custom make and sell handcrafted creations made of lauhala gathered on O’ahu, Hawai’i.
LandshareHI LLC is an online platform that connects private land owners on O’ahu, looking to rent parts of their property, with RV and campervan campers, looking for a place to park. The service will be available to outer islands soon.
Please describe your business in 1-2 sentences.
Nani Ka’ala LLC: Authentic hands create authentic lauhala creations from hats to fans to jewelry, with 20+ years of weaving experience. Kanaka weavers using kanaka materials of our ancestors.
LandshareHI: Campervan users, similar to New Zealand and Australia, that are stationed here in Hawaii, usually will have all they need with them, except a place to park. We at LandshareHI want to bridge the gap between private land owners and campervan users with our online platform.
Why do you do what you do?
First, I do what I do for my daughter Kahele. I love her and want her to be able to get what she needs until she becomes independent. Second, I do this because I am proud to be Kanaka. I recognize the cost of living here in Hawaii, and I do this to stay here on my birth sands, with my people and ohana. We all have the ability to do something great. Why shouldn’t it be now?
STARTING YOUR BUSINESS
When did you first think of starting this business?
When I understood the process of supply and demand of a skill or product for credit or currency.
What type of experiences (education, work, life) were most important in shaping the skills you use to run your business today?
Thanks to my father, meeting many kumu of lauhala weaving, many whom are no longer with us today.
With LandshareHi, when I chose to live in a converted campervan for a year while I rented out my 1 bedroom condo to help me fund my endeavor. This helped me to understand and learn from campervan habitation and to meet new people. This experience was very helpful in brainstorming this business, especially during the Mauna Kea struggle, where many Kanaka could have benefited from the use of a campervan while up on the mauna.
YOUR BUSINESS TODAY
In what stage of development is your business: pre-formation, early stage, growing, or mature?
Nani Ka’ala LLC is growing. LandshareHi is in the early stages.
Do you have employees? If so, how many?
Nani Ka’ala LLC has 1 employee. LandshareHi has 4 employees.
Are you working to get your business to the next stage in development? If so, where are you in that development?
Nani Ka’ala LLC: Yes, I would like to fund programs/schools that help to teach Kanaka keiki the art of lauhala weaving.
LandshareHi LLC: We would like to grow the company more, especially since we are in the early stages. More assistance with IT and promotions would be greatly appreciated.
What is the greatest challenge you have experienced as an entrepreneur?
Funding and naysayers
How did you overcome that challenge? (Or are you still working through it?)
In regards to funding, promotion and the acquisition of investors. In regards to naysayers, ignoring them and surrounding myself with like-minded, business savvy entrepreneurs.
THE FUTURE OF YOUR BUSINESS
How do you envision your business in the future?
I envision my businesses thriving as long as they can. I want to leave a legacy for my ohana, to provide well for them after I pass away.