Hawaiʻi brand CocoNene raising money for fire-affected businesses with holiday initiative
Three months since the aftermath of the devastating Lahaina wildfire, Hawaiʻi lifestyle brand CocoNene has launched its new “Maui Biz Ornaments” program to raise essential funds for fire-affected businesses on Maui.
The brand lost its own flagship store on Front Street during the fires. Accounting for 50% of the brand’s sales, or $3 million each year, CocoNene experienced firsthand the enormous setbacks that kind of revenue loss can have on a business.
The team has launched a heartfelt holiday initiative in hopes of providing a helping hand to fellow Maui businesses experiencing similar hardships. Inspired by their HI Biz Ornaments program, CocoNene has partnered with local Maui businesses to create a collection of beautifully crafted collectible wooden ornaments that feature each business’s logo.
All ornaments are locally made and designed in Hawaiʻi at no cost to the participating businesses. This initiative will donate 50% of sales from these ornaments directly to the affected businesses, aiding in their efforts to recover and rebuild.
According to the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism, Lahaina
had nearly 1,000 businesses, constituting almost 20% of all establishments on Maui. Unfortunately, many of these businesses were reduced to ashes during the fires, while others sustained significant revenue losses.
“We noticed early on that there was so much support for our community, and it has been so astounding to see everyone rallying around the people of Lahaina and helping in all the ways that they can,” said Kent and Lori Untermann, the founders of CocoNene. “However, there really wasn’t a lot being said or done for the business community, and many of our local businesses are suffering.”
Since the wildfires, CocoNene has pivoted their strategy to rebuilding and recovery efforts to ensure continued employment for their 150 sales and manufacturing team members. Through the “Maui Biz Ornaments” initiative, they aim to help other affected businesses do the same.
Additionally, CocoNene will open 5 new stores across Hawaiʻi in the next six months, including a new CocoNene store in Māʻalaea, which offers its Lahaina team an opportunity to get back on their feet.
“Our team feels great about getting back to work,” said 28-year CocoNene employee Atu McClancy, manager of its now destoryed Lahaina Front Street location. “It’s a start to gain some normalcy and we are ready to start the process of healing and moving forward.
“Every single person on our team is going through a different roller coaster of feeling lost. We loved our beautiful store, the thousands of guests that walked in daily creating memories with us and we love Lahaina, but we have to move on. That’s why this expansion of CocoNene on Maui is helping our healing process.”
The Maui Biz Ornaments initiative will be in addition to CocoNene’s annual HI Biz Ornaments
collection, started in 2019. Accompanying Maui Biz Ornaments, CocoNene has also released a collection of three Maui Strong ornaments.
These ornaments feature artwork of Lahaina by Hawaiʻi artists along with the phrase “Maui Strong,” with proceeds from those sales split between all of the small businesses featured in the Maui Biz Ornaments initiative.
To support this effort, visit: https://hibizornaments.com/collections/maui-biz-ornaments