In excitement for our upcoming trunk show this weekend, we did a fun Q&A sesh with the company's founder, who happens to be a fabulous Maui girl, Amanda Dela Cruz :)
Hi Amanda! Please share the story of Lil Coconut Hawaii.
Designs by Lil Coconut Hawaii was a blessing in disguised, it all started when I need to get a gift for a friend who's birthday was a day apart from mines. She was going through a tough time and I wanted to give her something inspirational but personal and that's when I decided to create a cute little clutch with my photo of Diamond Head's waves with the saying "Salt Water Heals Everything" I made two one for me and one for my friend. One day I was at a coffee shop and posted a pic on Instagram of the beautiful latte art not really realizing my clutch was right next to it. No one really cared about the latte art, they all started commenting where I got my clutch?! Everyone around me kept encouraging to make more designs to sell, so since I was in the midst of moving from Hawai'i to Long Beach California, I figured this could be like a fun, side thing while I'm in transition of moving and finding new job so within a month, I made about 10 more designs and made a cute lil website thinking, "It'll be fun to sell like 10-20 of them." However the Universe always has a plan, when I launched the website I ended up getting over 40 website orders and stores from Hawai'i and Japan were just flooding my email about wholesaling. After that the rest was history :)
- Whats your inspiration?
My inspiration is my surrounding where ever I go, especially our home Hawai'i, we live in such a beautiful place filled with most friendliest people. Sometimes I could just be at the beach with my friends and I'll get a spark of inspiration for a design.
- What have you found is your biggest challenge?
My biggest challenge I had to face was trying to keep up with my crazy ideas and thoughts for new products. There are times I'll get a "ah-ha" moment and my mind goes 100mph where I have so much ideas that I want to do all at once, then I get scattered and unorganized. So I've been good where I have a note book at all times to write down each time I get that "ah-ha" moment.
- Shout outs to other female Maui entrepreneurs?
Shout outs would be to Ash and the peeps at Maui Thing!! We love how Maui Thing is more than just a store/boutique, it's inspirational. Also to my really good friend Brittany Yap who's also from Maui, she's a Life Coach, Hypnotherapist, and Reiki Practitioner who is so passionate giving back, that she inspires me to always give back when we can.
- What’s your “maui thing”?
I live in Honolulu now and I'm always so busy traveling throughout the mainland that I barely get o come home to Maui more than once a year. I'm a total foodie, so when I do come home, my Maui Thing is to, go to all the fun places to eat from hunna buttah days (haha) like Tasaka Guri-Guri, Sam Sato's, Komoda's Bakery, and (when it was open) Kaohu store for hotdogs haha the list goes on.