In 2013, she launched her own business, Tag Aloha Co. – Hawaii’s first Fair Trade Certified Business – that makes organic cotton bags and beach accessories.
What was your first paid job? What did you love/hate about it?
My first job in high school was a family-run children’s clothing store. I developed a quick knack for merchandising that helped me understand the importance of presentation and customer service. Sales is not always glamorous, but I loved the job because it taught me about people and what attracts customers to a product or brand. All of the little lessons I learned through that gave me the confidence to start Tag Aloha Co.
What was the defining moment that put you on your career trajectory?
My time as a sales representative in the health and wellness realm really set me on my path. The companies I represented all had an eco-friendly aspect. It was incredibly inspiring to me and helped shaped my perspective that businesses don’t have to be purely profit-driven to be successful. We started Tag Aloha Co. after recognizing a need we could fill with products that limit waste and promote re-use.
What is your top professional goal of 2020 and how are you pursuing it?
My top goal this year is to continue to grow the variety of high quality, sustainable products we offer, while expanding the ways we give back to organizations celebrating and protecting our environment. Last year, we became Hawaii’s first Fairtrade Certified company and started a giveback program to donate a portion of sales to the Surfrider Foundation. This year, we’ll continue to give back to the Surfrider Foundation and also support AccesSurf. Creating a business model that lets us give back to worthy causes and protect the places we love is the most fulfilling part of my business and career.