Maui Business

Maui Mom-and-Pops Focus of Talk Story Event

February 20, 2019, 8:58 AM HST
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Left to right: Michael Waddell, owner of MAWaddell Enterprises; Alena Danskikh, owner of Maui Rainbow Tea; Lila Sherman, owner and president of Love Shack Maui.

Maui Business Brainstormers invites owners of mom-and-pop businesses to attend the 2nd annual “The Multifaceted Journey of Mom-and-Pops.”

The three-hour evening event is focused on various aspects of Maui-based Mom-and-Pop businesses, exploring the keys to achieving the dreams and goals of small family businesses.

The program includes a short “talk-story” from three owners of local Mom-and-Pop shops, followed by an open Q&A discussion. Complimentary pūpū are included.

“Many community members are willing to support local Mom-and-Pop retailers and services, if the owners can show customers the value of these businesses,” event organizers said.  “Mom-and-pops have the same advantages of other small businesses and can differentiate themselves even further by tapping into their own uniqueness and drawing the community into their vision.”

Event organizers say, “participation may help to reset your own business approach as well as inspire more initiatives across the Mom-and-Pop business community as a whole, creating a stronger network of businesses that drive the overall market for all.”


The three featured  mom-and-pop businesses are: MAWaddell Enterprises, Maui Rainbow Tea and The Love Shack Maui.


Alena Danskikh of Maui Rainbow Tea, a company that makes gourmet Hawaiian loose leaf tea blends, is originally from Russia. She previously lived in San Francisco and New York, where she worked as a waitress and worked towards getting her degree. When her dreams of building a corporate career failed to pan out, she moved to Maui in 2010 hoping to start a business. The idea for tea came from a friend who knew Danskikh as an avid tea drinker. In November 2011 she started selling tea at Maui Swap Meet. Maui Rainbow Tea is currently sold in over 60 stores in Hawai’i.

Michael Waddell moved to Maui in 2001 after 25 years of operational and sales management roles in high technology companies. His new life in Maui brought career changes that included working for 13 years as General Manager for Maui Sunseeker Resort. In 2017, Waddell decided to start his own business. MAWaddell Enterprises was formed, focused on helping entrepreneurs and private individuals in their back office and financial operations. With a new real estate license, Michael is now expanding into property management. Waddell holds a BBA in Management from Valdosta State University.

Entrepreneur Lila Sherman, 85, moved to Maui in 1991 from Los Angeles, California. Sherman is the president of the only brick-and-mortar adult toy and novelty shop on Maui, Love Shack Maui.  Sherman’s business began in 1993, when she got an opportunity to sell lingerie in a tiny spot inside a nursery in Kīhei, which she was renting for $200 per month. In 1996, the entire nursery became her “Love Shack Maui” store. Since 2015, Sherman’s granddaughter Brittany Stewart has been helping to manage the daily operations of Love Shack Maui.


This MBB event is free and takes place on Wednesday, Feb. 20, at Heritage Hall in Pāʻia from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Supporters include: EntreEd, RJK LLC/Richard Kehoe CPA, MBA and the organization of the National Entrepreneurship Week headquartered in West Virginia.

Click here for more information and to RSVP.

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