YOU AND YOUR OHANA
What is your name?
Brandon N. Reid
Where were you raised?
Honolulu, HI (Kaimuki)
Where is your ohana originally from?
I would like to say Ka’u, HI. But I’m not entirely sure. I will say that I have begun further research into my hereditary root line.
Do you come from a family of entrepreneurs or have people close to you who have encouraged and supported your entrepreneurship?
I do not know details, but the way I remember was, my father built houses on the side while he worked at HFD. Sometime after retiring from HFD he went into business and built houses full time, but built a home(s) he couldn’t collect money on, and that’s the story on how my father’s business ended. Joseph Keomailani Reid was SO MANY MORE amazing things than this story, but the idea that not all businesses end happily, was sowed.
That was a long time ago, and he has since passed peacefully. My mother is my biggest supporter and loves hearing about Manifest when she’s out and about town. She is also an investor. Her business background is interesting, but other than myself, in my immediate family I am one of the first entrepreneurs.
What is the name of your business?
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.
NATIVE HAWAIIAN BUSINESS DIRECTORY: KanakaEconomy.com/listing/the-manifest/
How long has your business been in operation?
13 years in August 2021
Where is your business located today?
In Chinatown. 32 N. Hotel Street Honolulu, HI 96817
What products and/or services does your business provide?
Brunch, Sandwiches, Small Plates, Cocktails, Coffee, Beer, and Wine. Full service bar. Whisk(e)y collection. Events space, art shows, nightclub.
Please describe your business in 1-2 sentences.
Located in an historic building in Chinatown, the Manifest is a coffee shop by day, cocktail bar by night, and an art-bar that hosts a wide variety of events throughout the week.
Why do you do what you do?
It is a privilege for me to do what I do. We’ve sacrificed a lot to tell this story yet we hope to continue the narrative of growth and prosperity.
I had a moment of clarity while tending bar in Chinatown one day. To me and my peers, we, locals, were under represented, so I set out to build a business to entertain my friends.
STARTING YOUR BUSINESS
When did you first think of starting this business?
“You know what would be really cool? An art bar.”
I was probably 26 riding shot gun with a buddy when, out of the blue, I seriously started thinking about it. Then, about two years later, I was standing on Hotel Street talking to an artist about my idea and saw the space across the street for lease.”
What type of experiences (education, work, life) were most important in shaping the skills you use to run your business today?
Karate (martial arts) was foundational in overcoming much of the adversity I face in the spectrum of business dealings I have on a day to day basis. My father was a major influencer with this. It’s not fearlessness or some foolishness like that. It’s a willingness to believe in myself, to push myself, and to get back up try again after failure.
YOUR BUSINESS TODAY
In what stage of development is your business: pre-formation, early stage, growing, or mature?
Growing. We’ve just overcome the greatest financial calamity my company has ever seen. We’re poised to be recipients of a great return though under great burden of debt. (back rent, etc.)
Do you have employees? If so, how many?
Are you working to get your business to the next stage in development? If so, where are you in that development?
Immediately. We are opening up the back room for service once again. The COVID-19 reopening details have been welcome changes from the not so distant past, but there’s been a lot of whiplash along the way.
The goal right now is to get to 100% service capacity and use of space.
What is the greatest challenge you have experienced as an entrepreneur?
To be truthful, we’re going through it right now. The worst of it was the start of the pandemic, and I would say now has been the best it has been, based by the tier structure we are in.
How did you overcome that challenge? (Or are you still working through it?)
Take challenges head on and as soon as possible. Learn what you can and share what you’ve learned to gather as many perspectives. Our business model is inherently diverse. When one revenue stream is impacted (i.e. espresso machine down for the day), there are other streams to maintain revenue flow. This pandemic was where the company has had to exist on a trickle, where it’s heavy majority stream was now dry. We reduced the size of our company, lived on less, closed out subscriptions and storage facilities and worked hard to find clients.
THE FUTURE OF YOUR BUSINESS
How do you envision your business in the future?
Refined. Polished. Convenient.
IF YOU’D LIKE TO SHARE, PLEASE TELL US ABOUT A HOBBY, INTEREST, OR TALENT YOU NURTURE OUTSIDE OF YOUR BUSINESS.
While running an exciting venue is definitely my thing, I’m interested in a renewable energy project I’d like to bring to light one day. As the Manifest stabilizes from the pandemic, my focus on outside projects become more of a possibility.