2011-2012 Founders & Visionaries- Hawaii's Best
(page 3 of 9)
The HHE ‘Ohana in the Hawaii Home Expo Showroom
A Business That Will Never Stop Growing
Thirty years ago, fresh from working and studying abroad in Japan, Bruce Okimoto founded T. Oki Trading Ltd. in Hawaii. Originally established with a focus on procuring galvanized and copper sheet metal, the company soon grew to include a variety of kitchen and bath products as well.
Okimoto recognized that the majority of his customers were plumbing contractors. Around this time, he also heard that one of Japan’s major plumbing lines, TOTO, was planning to begin distribution in the U.S. With his experience with the brand in Japan, he jumped on the opportunity to become their marketing representative. Soon after, the company grew to become a major distributor of brands such as TOTO and Jacuzzi. “Over time, we experimented with other product lines that included various kitchen appliances,” Okimoto says. “Then, we brought in saunas and high-quality bathroom and kitchen fixtures.”
Not much later, T. Oki Trading Ltd. added a small selection of tiles and river rocks to the inventory to see how they would fare. Soon these product lines seemed to take on a life of their own. Five years after establishing
T. Oki Trading Ltd., Okimoto opened MarbleHaus Hawaii to encompass a full range of flooring and coverings.
Today, the two divisions have combined into one: Hawaii Home Expo.
Bruce Okimoto, Founder, T. Oki Trading Ltd.
Under the new retail space, the inventory has expanded to include everything from the classic TOTO toilets and appliances that T. Oki is known for, to an incredible selection of tile, wood and carpet flooring and now, even pre-packaged homes. What’s more, the company has initiated a strong focus on eco-friendly measures and added “green specialists” to their staff along with green product lines including photovoltaic solar systems and LED lighting. “I never thought that our product lines would become so diverse,” Okimoto says.
Hawaii Home Expo strives to keep business in line with Hawaii’s diverse culture. With an ever-present drive to include inventory that is as multi-faceted as the cultures that make up the community, Hawaii Home Expo operates with the goal of creating a unique “one-stop shop for all of Hawaii’s home-improvement and building needs.”
Another secret to the business’ success has been keeping with Hawaii’s spirit of Aloha. Okimoto has put together an incredibly gracious and
caring staff of people who are involved in the community. “Almost always, there is some sort of connection made, even if this is the customer’s first visit to Hawaii Home Expo,” he says. “It’s not just about the familiar or
innovative products that we sell, it's about the relationships that have been developed by our people with our customers over the years.”
Hawaii Home Expo
2933 Koapaka Street
Honolulu, Hawaii 96819
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