Maui Business

Entrepreneurs Share Business Successes at Annual MBB Meeting

Listen to this Article
3 minutes
Loading Audio... Article will play after ad...
Playing in :00

no slideshow

Guest speakers answer audience questions at Maui Business Brainstormers’ “Masters of Business Success on Maui.”

By Maui Now Staff

An audience of entrepreneurs heard “How I did It” from four businesses on Wednesday, June 10, at the Kahili Golf Course, during Maui Business Brainstormers’ third annual “Masters of Retail Success on Maui.”

MBB’s signature event strives to provide business knowledge and motivation to a variety of small businesses on Maui.

Hosts John Hauʻoli Tomoso and David “Kahu” Kapaku emceed this four-hour event, lending their own unique talents, flavors and Hawaiian flare to the evenings events.

The owners of Pāʻia Mercantile, Jobline X-press, The MauiMamma and Sweet Paradise Chocolatier shared their stories, revealing intimate details of their journeys–what inspired them, how big mistakes led to new ideas, the fears they faced and overcame, and how they beat the odds and trends of doing business on Maui.


They also communicated what they have done to increase brand visibility and connect with customers/clients, and offered practical advice on how they reinvented themselves to stay in step with the times.


The lineup of speakers for the evening and some highlights of what they shared were:

Jonni Earl and Michelle Earl: Pāʻia Mercantile
Pāʻia Mercantile is a local boutique showcasing the work of Hawai‘i artists since 2007. Its owners have successfully managed other businesses before moving to Maui and are currently undertaking an additional new business venture in the wedding industry.

Jonni and Michelle disclosed how vital it became to understand the culture in which they were building, because it was so different from the Mainland. They admitted candidly that they had to step out of their “cutthroat” mentality of previous successes and embrace the “pono” of “Mother Maui.”


Kate Griffths: MauiMama
The MauiMama is a local resource guide founded in 2011 to support expecting mothers and parents of young children. In 2015, The MauiMama was nominated for the Mayor’s Exceptional Small Business Award and Kate was nominated for the Young Businessperson of the Year Award.

Kate’s story highlighted how ordinary people can accomplish extraordinary things when they are driven by the care and concern for others. When Kate found herself in the midst of a life experience for which she was unprepared, she began to realize that she was not alone.

In an effort to meet a need in her own life, she found that she was also fulfilling a void in the lives of thousands of others on the Island. What started out to be a practical informational guide for moms on Maui became a community of passionate and extraordinary people who deeply understand the need to invest in others and take it on in a valiant way.

Melanie Boudar: Sweet Paradise Chocolatier
Sweet Paradise Chocolatier, since 2006, has partnered with several local growers to produce a signature Hawaiian chocolate with a complex flavor profile. The exotic chocolate creations are artistically marketed in the company’s own boutique.

Recalling her challenges, Melanie told the story of perseverance, patience and persistence that contributed to her ability to reinvent herself and overcome obstacles, turning challenges into victories.

Johanna Amorin: Jobline X-press
Jobline X-press is a local business owned by a native of Hawai’i whose successful entrepreneurial efforts have been serving job seekers and employers on Maui and other Hawaiian Islands since 1998. Johanna delivered the goods in true Hawaiian fashion by talking story–sharing her life growing up and the entrepreneurial legacy that was passed down from her grandmother to her mother to her and now to her children. She was warm, charming and distinctively encouraging.

For more information about MBB, go online.

Maui Entrepreneurs to Share ‘How I Did It’


2015 Masters of Retail Success on Maui. Courtesy photo.


The hosts and guest presenters at the 2015 MRS Maui: (left to right) Host David “Kahu” Kapaku; Guest Presenters Kate Griffiths, Johanna Amorin, Michelle Earl and Jonni Earl, Melanie Boudar; and host John Hau’oli Tomoso. Courtesy photo.


Jonni and Michelle Earl of Pāʻia Mercantile present at the 2015 MRS Maui. Courtesy photo.


Kate Griffiths of MauiMama presenting at the 2015 MRS Maui. Courtesy photo.


Melanie Boudar of Sweet Paradise Chocolatier presenting at the 2015 MRS Maui. Courtesy photo.


Johanna Amorin of Jobline X-press presenting at the 2015 MRS Maui. Courtesy photo.


MBB organizer addressing the audience at the 2015 MRS Maui. Courtesy photo.


The audience asks questions at the 2015 MRS Maui. Courtesy photo.


Guest presenters respond to questions at the 2015 MRS Maui. Courtesy photo.


Door prize drawing time! (Right photo) One of three door prizes was won by Ruby Wong and Melanie Boudar. Courtesy photos.


Event Hosts, guest presenters and SCORE Maui Counselor Richard Kehoe pose with Peggy Sue Fernando, the lucky winner of the grand prize. Courtesy photo.


Attendees (left to right) Bob and Penny Dant; Gail Patricia McClary and her daughter, Makena; Marc Levine and Patricia Bradley. Courtesy photo.


Subscribe to our Newsletter

Stay in-the-know with daily or weekly
headlines delivered straight to your inbox.
Mahalo for Subscribing
Make the most of your Maui vacation with these top-rated activities: Maui Top 20: Maui Visitor & Tourism Information


This comments section is a public community forum for the purpose of free expression. Although Maui Now encourages respectful communication only, some content may be considered offensive. Please view at your own discretion. View Comments