"Aloha Served Daily" - Fitted Hawaii
Customers keep coming to this Honolulu store where its hats color the walls and its “Aloha Served Daily” mantra adds to the ambivalent ambiance it hopes to portray.
Fitted Hawaii specializes in exclusive hats, t-shirts and other accessories that highlight particular aspects of Hawaii’s multicultural society. Owner ,Keola Rapozo, wants to encourage locals and visitors to think beyond the Islands’ stereotypical image of hula dancers, surfers and luau festivities and to include other ingredients that make Hawaii the cultural mixing pot that it is.
Keola does this through his designs and themes that are cultural and historical: the overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy to a crown logo on the back of most t-shirts, he says, “symbolizes our rich heritage (and) that we were from royalty".
His company has even reached out to other cultures by creating a cap in tribute of Puerto Rican baseball legend Roberto Clemente. The cap sold for $225 and was the most expensive sale to date.
“(It’s) more important to have product that’s pono … because there’s not a lot of Hawaiians out there,” says Keola, who began his business in 2004 after graduating from fashion school and applying for a "Malama Loan". This loan is offered by the Office of Hawaiian Affairs to eligible Native Hawaiian consumers, can be used for home improvement, educational purposes, and business.
“My viewpoint towards business…has changed drastically,” he said. “My passion lies within the process of it, not the end or beginning.”
For more video, visit PacificNetwork.tv - News Channel at http://news.pacificnetwork.tv/.
Alyssa S. Navares, PacificNetwork.tv