Local Girl Receives Honorary Award
A tradition of Molokai entrepreneurship with aloha fostered by the late Annette Pauole-Ahakuelo is being carried on today by many local business people. Wailani Tanaka, owner of Something For Everybody, was recently honored for that spirit by being named the recipient of the special 2014 Annette Pauole-Ahakuelo Molokai Small Business Achievement Award.
Part of this year’s Mayor’s Small Business Awards, Tanaka was given the recognition on Feb. 26 as the Mayor’s Office of Economic Development and the Maui Chamber of Commerce honored the winners from around Maui County. Tanaka was the only recipient from Molokai, though one of three to receive nominations; others were Suzette Kahana of Kalapaki Girl Designs and Tarrah and Noa John Horner of iCandie and iCopie.
“It was humbling to win the award in honor of the late Auntie Annette Pauole-Ahakuelo of Molokai,” said Tanaka. “This award embodies the aloha spirit that she and Molokai is known for….”
Something for Everybody sells clothing, footwear and accessories for men, women and teens in all sizes and styles. Tanaka also carry household goods and Made-on-Molokai items such as jewelry, music, T-shirts, hats and accessories. Her business has been operating for a little over a year.
“This award… represents everything Annette stood for in this community,” said Jennifer Hawkins, small business specialist at the Kuha`o Business Center. “She was pro-entrepreneurship and encouraged people to step out and love what they do and do what they love. [It’s great] to have a local girl see a local need and fill that by offering slightly worn clothing at an affordable cost… we’re proud of her.”
“Small businesses are Maui County’s most important economic engine, and these awards celebrate the entrepreneurial spirit that is alive and well in Maui County,” said Mayor Alan Arakawa. “Business owners take many risks, work long hours and put their personal assets on the line to provide our community with goods and services, as well as much-needed employment. I congratulate each of this year’s winners, and wish them continued success.”
Hawkins said the county’s award in honor of Pauole-Ahakuelo was a one-time recognition, but she said she is hoping a local group will take over the award to enable its presentation in future years.