University of Hawaii–Manoa students held the grand opening today of their new retail startup, Bring Home Aloha, located at the Ilikai Hotel & Suites in Waikiki and online at www.bringhomealoha.com. As a collaboration between UH’s Entrepreneurs Club and the Apparel Product Design & Merchandising Program, the students tackled every aspect of creating a startup business from scratch, from incorporating the entity and securing financing to locating a brick-and-mortar space and launching website.
In a press release (another great example of their startup savvy!), Scott Wada, Entrepreneurs Club board member and Bring Home Aloha manager, stated that, “Just opening this store has shown us the scope of what it takes to run a business. Most of us in the Entrepreneurs Club want to start our own business, and this is helping us gain the confidence and knowledge to establish one in the future.”
This is an amazing project, and an incredible learning experience for these students. As most entrepreneurs know, the idea is the easy part. Putting that idea into practice and handling the mountain of paperwork, relationships, and planning are where the bulk of the efforts are required. Having that knowledge before graduation gives these students a huge advantage as they think about embarking on their own entrepreneurial ventures.
The pop-up store, built in collaboration with Apparel Product Design & Merchandising students, is open to the public seven days a week from 2 to 8 p.m., and features brands such as Honolulu Soap Company, Kissy Hawaii, Polynesian Soul LLC, and Watermark Publishing.