Mar 08, 2019
International Women's Day at Ward Village
With International Women’s Day upon us, we’re looking toward inspirational female entrepreneurs and leaders who are shaping our dynamic community right here in Ward Village. All across the country women are starting businesses and shaping the modern economy at an inspiring rate. In fact, It’s been estimated that between 1997 and 2017, the number of female-owned businesses increased by an astounding 114 percent, that’s 2.5 times higher than the national average. And with more than half of all businesses in Ward Village owned by women, we’re honored to highlight the great strides and achievements that have been made as more women opt to start their own business and pursue their own passions.
Amy Wong: Big Bad Wolf
As the owner of Big Bad Wolf, a delightfully hip children’s boutique with deep roots to Ward Village, and founding member of POW! WOW! Worldwide, Amy Wong’s influence on the creative scene in Honolulu can’t be understated. And did we mention that she’s also managed to build her successful career, all the while being an awesome mom? Amy’s ability to balance work, creativity, and play with motherhood is a true testament to her character. “When I became a mom, I couldn't find the right outfits I wanted for my daughter, Ella. So I decided to create my own line of street wear for kids with a fun edge to it. I draw a lot of inspiration from the artists we work with at POW! WOW!... I’ve been working in retail almost all of my life,” recalls Amy. “So to finally have an opportunity to merchandise and build my own store is a dream come true. It feels great to be the boss.”
Karen Sawicki: Flotsam & Co.
As the owner and founder of the boutique Flotsam & Co., Karen Sawicki has built a thriving business that stocks an array of locally sourced merchandise. And when we say local, we mean it. Also an avid diver, Karen sources much of her unique merchandise by perusing the bed of the seafloor for shells and other items that could become truly one-of-a-kind jewelry that she can sell at her South Shore Market storefront. “My father was a diver, and I grew up with a love of the sea,” recalls Karen. “When I was younger, an old sailor gave to me a box of etching needles and antique ivory. I began teaching myself the lost maritime art of scrimshaw. I was fascinated with making jewelry out of found objects such as scrimshaw or shells—ascribing meaning and value to objects which may have otherwise been discarded.”
Christine Pfisterer: Nalu Health Bar & Café
When you’re looking for fresh, healthy, and tasty options, the friendly faces at Nalu Health Bar and Café always deliver in spades. However, it’s Nalu's signature açaí bowls that have made them famous in the city. Just ask Christine Pfisterer, who opened Nalu in Ward Village with partners last year after seeing a need for authentic Brazilian açaí in Honolulu. Originally hailing from South America, Christine moved to Hawai‘i to follow her dreams, but soon realized that she could impart the delicious flavors of her home country into our community and build a sustainable business in the process. “Our story began with our love of açaí. You couldn’t find the real thing in Honolulu. I'm originally from Brazil and açaí is a huge part of our palette. After moving to Hawai'i, I really wanted to introduce authentic açaí to the island. Between our açaí bowls and our healthy, fresh dishes, we've created a place that serves the kind of food that we love to eat after a perfect day spent surfing, hiking, or hanging at the beach." When Christine’s not busy at work, you’ll often find her sliding through the lineups at Ala Moana or hanging at the beach. How’s that for a perfect work-life balance?
Katherine Tuider: Executive Director, Honolulu Biennial
Managing an operation as logistically challenging as the Honolulu Biennial is no easy task. With dozens of artists, exhibits, build-outs, and media to oversee, it’s easy to imagine that even the most seasoned of directors could come unglued from time to time. However, Katherine Tuider isn’t most directors. Having grown up in the Islands, she possesses an easy cool that can’t be faked. It’s a personality trait that’s served her well as a young woman facing real world challenges. As a volunteer in the Peace Corps, Katherine managed a million dollar budget before founding her own socially conscious travel company in the Dominican Republic. As a young woman, it’s fair to say that she’s found success at every endeavor. In her latest role, serving as the Executive Director of the Honolulu Biennial, her passion for art and management experience collide beautifully. As the opening of the Biennial approaches, Katherine remains as characteristically cool as ever. In fact, she’s looking forward to watching the public interact with public art. Because, according to Katherine, that’s how art is best enjoyed. “Remember, the Honolulu Biennial isn’t just static art, it’s a very robust and alive organism that’s bursting with new stuff. It’s going to be fun.”
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