Denise Taueetia Earns 2007 Hand-Up Entrepreneurial Award

Denise Taueetia (at left), owner of Denise’s Baskets & More/Molokai Furniture, Denise’s husband Afa Taueetia(middle), MEO BDC CEO Susie Thieman (right).




Molokai Economic Opportunity Business Development Corp. (MEO BDC) has named Denise Taueetia of Denise’s Gift Shop/Molokai Furniture, the winner of the 2007 Hand-Up Entrepreneurial Award. 

In 2002 Denise heard about MEO BDC and its loan program. With a start-up micro loan she was able to begin the first part of her business dreams.   

Denise’s business did really well from the beginning, but she wished to expand in order to offer more for the people of Molokai. In talking with her customers, she discovered that they wanted a furniture outlet.  

After about a year of operating her gift store, she decided to bring in hardwood, unfinished furniture. She thought this would be easier to handle, but dealing with a wholesaler located in Canada proved very costly for her and her customers. Again, she listened to her customers and decided to venture into Hawaiian style rattan and wicker furniture. 

Denise has participated twice with MEO BDC booth at the Maui County Fair. She says that attending the fair brought her more contacts for products and sales than she could have ever found on her own. She thanks MEO BDC for their continued support in helping with her business.  

Last month Molokai Furniture celebrated its 4th anniversary. They have outgrown the store areas they now occupy at the Kualapuu Business Center & will soon move into a larger space in a new building located in the same center. The new location will have a larger area to better showcase her furniture and island gifts.   

When asked if she had any words of encouragement for new entrepreneurs, Denise replied, “They should really know what’s going on with their business…knowing the bookkeeping portion as well as the sales side and always paying attention to their customer’s needs and wants. Both play a large part in their business’ success.”  

Denise Taueetia was nominated by MEO BDC Molokai Loan Fund Manager Kuulei Arce.

Molokai Furniture can be seen at   


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