Three Dads Doing it Right
For Father’s Day, we wanted to take a moment to shine a light on all the rad dads out there doing it right. Whether you’re teaching us to surf, showing us right from wrong, or always making us laugh, we wouldn’t be us, without you. Below, we’ve outlined three rad dads doing it right and in their own way. This one’s for you.
Artist / Founder, POW! WOW! & Big Bad Wolf
When Jasper Wong hosted the first POW! WOW! right here in Honolulu more than a decade ago, it would have been hard for him to envision his life today. Since founding POW! WOW! Jasper has helped to redefine Honolulu as a haven for contemporary artwork, become a father to two wonderful young girls, and launched the Big Bad Wolf clothing brand and storefront along with his inspiring wife, Amy. Needless to say, it’s been a busy decade for the Wong ‘ohana. But when Jasper’s not behind the canvas painting, sourcing merchandise, or organizing an international festival, you’ll find him soaking in every drop of family time he can get. For Jasper, being there for his family is paramount. “I grew up with a single mother raising three kids on her own. My father abandoned us when I was 12, so I don’t have memories of a male figure in our childhood. It became very important to be the father that my dad never was,” he says. “My proudest moment as a dad is being able to watch my children grow and develop as people. Seeing my daughter develop an interest in drawing and watching her creativity flourish has been such an amazing thing to witness.”
Ask any artist in Honolulu worth their salt and they’ll tell you that John Koga is the stuff of legends. Born and raised in the city, Koga has been at the forefront of Honolulu’s art scene for decades. Renowned for his calming demeanor and creativity, Koga has produced an eclectic mix of contemporary work that runs the spectrum from sculpture to painting to installations and beyond. And as it turns out, he’s also an amazing dad. As a father of two young adults, Koga has a simple mantra for all would-be dads: “Show them love, support their mother, and simply be there for them. “Also, so much of how people develop seems to happen early on. You teach them right from wrong, and then you watch them grow and become their own person. Of course, they’ll make mistakes. That’s part of it. But when they do, be there to help them learn.”
Founder, Kekoa Collective
Dewey Doan has a knack for rolling with the ups and downs of life. After leaving his longtime job in the surf industry, this father of three decided to start anew and launch his own business with the help of long-time friend Aubrey Koenig. Equal parts hip boutique and yoga/jiu-jitsu studio, Kekoa Collective developed a buzz from the get-go for its uniqueness and the sincere kindness and generosity displayed by the owners. To be sure, Dewey emanates good vibes, so it should come as no surprise that this father of three has passed that trait onto his children. “My number one piece of advice would be to embrace your child’s authenticity and be kind to them,” confidently states Dewey. “Let home be a haven. Make it a place that feels good, so no matter where they came from, this place feels like a home. A place that they’re safe.”