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Jan 06, 2017

Where Surf, Yoga & Jiu-Jitsu Collide

Equal parts cozy surf shop, yoga studio, and jiu-jitsu gym, Kekoa Collective is a retail space unlike anything else you'll find in Honolulu.

Founded with a business plan that places the good of the community above profit alone, the brand is the brainchild of Dewey Doan and Aubrey Koenig, two long-time friends and surf industry vets with deep roots in Hawai'i. After leaving their jobs in the corporate surf world on the mainland, the pair moved back home to Hawai'i where they surfed, rolled (a jiu-jitsu term for sparring) and fell in love with yoga. Removed from the hustle of their previous employment, both Dewey and Aubrey realized that it wasn't necessarily large homes and flashy cars that brought them happiness, but rather spending time doing the things they love with the people they care about. With a newfound outlook, they sought to create a business founded on their shared passions and conviction to not simply make money, but to build a stronger community. In November of 2016, Kekoa Collective opened their doors for the first time in their new Ward Warehouse location.

We try and live our lives by three simple rules: work hard, play hard, and do-good. We want to reshape the way people do business. We want to spread our passions for surfing, jiu-jitsu, and yoga and enable people to follow theirs. We want to show people that you can have a for-profit business that's built around making a better world. It's not about simply making money; life is about balance and mindful living.

Dewey Doan

In addition to housing a charming retail space stocked with a mix of their own line of surf-themed clothing and accessories, Kekoa Collective also doubles as a home to a quaint yoga studio that can seamlessly transform into a jiu-jitsu gym. In line with their vision for supporting the community, all of the yoga classes are donation based where as the open mat Jiu Jitsu is at no cost to anyone—typical donations run you between $10 to $15 per class—which means that no matter what your economic situation, you have access to knowledgeable instructors.

To take their love of community building a step further, Kekoa Collective has also created a revenue-sharing program. "We're really excited about this project. Our rev-share program is meant to help different jiu-jitsu, martial arts academies, and yoga studios provide financial support to some of their members," adds Aubrey. "That can mean something as simple as hooking someone up with a new yoga mat or helping someone travel to train in another city or state. We want to support and foster these kinds of experiences."

Here's how the rev-share program works: when students of an affiliated studio shop at Kekoa Collective's retail space or online store, 10 percent of their purchase goes back to their studio or gym to support students who need financial help. "We try and keep it discreet. We know that these classes and equipment can be expensive for a lot of people and this type of funding can do a lot of good for some people. Plus, it feels like the right thing to do."

Any yoga studios or martial arts academy interested in learning more about the rev-share program is encouraged to contact the store.

The community-strengthening efforts of Kekoa Collective is constantly evolving. When they see an opportunity to do some good and have some fun, they make it happen. Case in point: Both Dewey and Aubrey grow visibly excited when they talk about their ping-pong tournaments, where competitors are encouraged to make a small donation of a few bucks (cans of food are accepted as well) and all of the winnings are distributed to a local charity. For more info on the tournaments, stay glued to their Facebook or Instagram.

Between their grassroots efforts to support the community, follow their passions, and create a successful business, Kekoa Collective hopes to revolutionize the way that the entire world approaches doing business. It's a simple but revolutionary approach: Follow your passions, give back to your community, and live with mindfulness. "At the end of the day, this is who we are and this is what we love. We just want to share our passions and support others in the process."

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Kekoa Collective

1200 Ala Moana Blvd.

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