Small Business

Nonprofit Boards: Confused or M.I.A.

“When I look back on it,” says John D., the former executive director of a small but prominent nonprofit in Honolulu, “the board of directors just really didn’t understand what their role was.” He pauses for a moment, his face…

The New Culture of Giving

Hawaii’s people and businesses are as generous as ever, despite the economic slump. But how local people and businesses give is rapidly changing and that transformation has some nonprofit leaders heartened, while others are worried. Optimists welcome the decay of…

Paying Out More than It Earns for Years

Hawaiian electric industries has maintained the remarkable record of paying dividends to shareholders for more than 100 years. But, lately, there’s something else that people may find remarkable. For the past three-and-a-half years, HEI has paid more in dividends than…

5 Steps to Better Public Speaking

Some people have the natural ability to speak with confidence in front of large audiences. For everyone else, Mark Blackburn, treasurer of Honolulu’s Downtown Business Association Toastmasters, offers tips on being a better public speaker. “It’s a real challenge, but…

The Business of Local Fashion

Hawaii is not an easy place to be a fashion designer. While inspiration abounds, the business of fashion in the Islands presents a unique set of problems. It costs more to source materials and have them shipped here. Finding people…

Room Redesigns in a Day

The sluggish economy prompted interior designers Jean Wall and Joan Robinson-Whitaker to start an affordable, one-day design service. Designer for a Day launched in August 2008 after Robinson-Whitaker was laid off from Castle Resorts & Hotels and Wall’s business ended. “We…

Exporting Lessons

Douglas Smith, the president and CEO of Hawaiian Island Shine, was fortunate that when local sales began to slump because of the recession, his export business began to takeoff. His car-care products are now sold in six countries and he…

Kava in a Can

Dustin Shoedel and Brian Brooks have an interesting new product – a relaxing drink made from kava and orange juice – and plan to tell the story of bringing it to market month-by-month on the Internet. The pair created RZO…

A Love for Fine Shoes Pays Off

Tom Park, founder and owner of Leather Soul, which carries exclusive men’s shoes, can’t believe his success in following a dream. “I’ve always loved shoes, from when I was in kindergarten,” he says. In March, his flagship Waikiki store moved…

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Categories: Small Business