When Mr. Campbell (aka Kaula) asked us to speak at Kamehameha Schools Career Day we were excited, then absolutely nervous. We all remember those "career" days in school(I am pretty sure I wanted to be a flight attendant). They were boring talks + at that age you really didnt' think about adult life, let alone a career.
We brained on how to make this different + of course stick to our Aloha Missions vibe. We had 25 minutes + we all know time goes fast when you speak in front of people. Then there was the 8th grader aspect and keeping them engaged for that amount of time.
We knew this MISSION would be fun! First, divide up the presentation guidelines. It is always comforting to know there are two of us. Second, NO sitting on desks... BORING! Lauhala mats are a must and everyone sit together (duh, we are talking about hospitality!) Then an activity.... BANANA STUMP arrangements. BOOM KANANI.. We were ready to go (we both rehearsed a million times and called each other frequently 24 hours prior to presenting).
We showed up to the school in typical fashion... with a lot of STUFF! Overall, we were absolutely thrilled with our presentation. We definitely learned what "not-to-do" next time (no activity during presentation:) buggas lost focus and got too excited to make arrangements). Tamika and I had several laughs + wish we didn't have to go to our "real" jobs at the end. We left inspired and even more motivated to continue our "career" with Aloha Missions!
Wow... we definitely have gone silent on the BLOG! I don't even know if anyone reads this, but I am slapping myself a little for being quiet for almost FOUR months. That's horrible.
We are alive + well, living in paradise. The summer heat is starting to fade away and we can hardly believe it is September.
Lots of changes, personal growth, learning lessons + new connections. We promise to blog more.
Les + T
Our culture lives in an INSTANT + QUICK speed. Internet needs to be faster, waiting for your coffee needs to be quick, etc. That mentality can definitely be felt when you drive on Maui. Driving seems to be more about defense than anything. People are on their phone. People speed. People are impatient. It is rare for people to let you go when coming out on Waiehu Beach Road. The "mahalo shakas" are less and less.
It exists and at the end of they day you can only control how you drive. We hope you think about driving with just a little bit more ALOHA. We would like to send a huge mahalo shout out to Tiare Lawrence who added something different and positive to her campaign sign waving. Oh, and if you live upcountry you need to vote for her!
Lets cut to the chase.... Aloha Missions is NOT a lei/haku/lei po'o business. The last several days have been filled with a lot of realizations. Trends we have noticed within our business, actions + energy on our part that have fed the idea we sell lei + hakus. Lei/flowers/plants, etc is part of Hawaiian culture + our Aloha Missions culture, but it is more than making + selling lei.
The MISSIONS! It is the MISSIONS for the final product (lei/haku) that we are about. It is standing on the side of the road picking plumerias, making a pua patrol date with a friend, etc. It's those missions that we are re-focusing our energy on. We are more than happy to kokua, but we are encouraging YOU to go pick the flowers with your keiki or husband. YOU go on the ALOHA MISSION + live the experience. Go on the mission, then drop your goodies off with us:) Making lei + haku is a very powerful thing in Hawaiian culture. You are giving or receiving someone's energy + that is extremely important. It is much more than simply getting a pretty picture.
It is the middle of May..let that sink in! Like everyone else, we have been on the go! Everyday is something and we could not be any more grateful. We deal with our personal lives + then there is being a small business owner. Our friend Darin said to be ready because when things get going for our business because it is gonna continue to roll on! You were right Darin!
We also need reminders in life! Here are our TOP 5 reminders for us + you this MONTH!
When "Charlie" calls us and invites us to join his amazing cultural experiences we always say YES! We were beyond excited to be part of The Grand Wailea's May Day event. The hospitality industry is not going anywhere and we will take any chance we get to share our aloha lifestyle with visitors. It is an opportunity to give them an authentic experience, even if it is only for a couple minutes while making a lei. It is those few minutes that matter + inspire that family of seven kids stringing their first plumeria lei. It is the hour long lei po'o + talk story session with the three young women in town for an animal dermatology expo (yes, that's really a thing we found out). It is those connections that matter. The 500 flowers + five plus hours of foraging all matter in some small way. It is our chance to have people LOVE MAUI WITH US!
Our bond with bananas keeps getting stronger. Everyday we learn another reason to love this resourceful plant. For this blog we are just going to focus on the stumps and the amazing uses for our floral decorations.
You know that green, messy stuff people use to stick flowers in? Yeah, no good and don't ever use it again after reading this. Go chop down a banana stump and boom! Not only is it natural, but the moisture in the stumps keeps your flowers + plants hydrated.
A couple things...
I hate wrapping gifts. My mentality..."Waste money for someone to just open it again." Call me the grinch of wrapping.... My go-to is tissue paper in a bag. It wasn't until a couple weeks ago, Tamika sent me an image from a Hawaiian book she is reading. It was Hawaiian plants being used as wrapping material. Something we knew, but as she suggested we needed to start practicing it.
As best friends and business partners, we are always inspiring each other. Tamika is the more "creative one." She will say, "no T, you are too." But I am being real. She just got a knack for this kine stuff. So mahalo for inspiring me Tamika to start wrapping my gifts with nature + aloha. Better for the environment + and we are always for that. We hope this inspires you as well.
When you get the call from Kainoa and all you hear is the word HOKULE'A, you are involved.No questions asked.
A month ago, we had the privilege to design the stage +decor for the Hokule'a panel discussion at the Grand Wailea Resort. We were nervous, excited + honored to be involved with one of the most significant icons in Hawaiian culture. Let the mission begin...
Kainoa knew what he wanted, we needed to execute the vision. Plants associated with the wa'a (canoe), food significant in voyaging, you name it, every little detail mattered to us. This is why we are "selective" with the missions we take on. They need to inspire + educate us. They need to give us that "feeling" you can't describe. You just know in your na'au it is a true Aloha Mission.
We researched, we made phone calls to our amazing hui (group) + then we got to work.
Now the best part, the MISSIONS... late nights picking plants in the valley, gathering kukukupu in the rain, chopping banana stumps with our husbands, de-boning la'i with the keiki at Uncle Layne's hale, 1:00 am garage gathering with papa listening to old hawaiian music... doing these missions alone, together, with our partners, with our sisters....connecting in aloha.
We love the end result + could not be more in love with the job we did. Every detail matters to us. Every plant we pick matters. It is all for the bigger picture.
Mahalo Kainoa, The Grand Wailea, all our 'ohana + sisters + Hokule'a for allowing us this ALOHA MISSION.
(We couldn't figure out our computer to properly place the hawaiian kahako in our words. Our apologies.)