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International Women’s Day 2024

By February 27, 2024February 29th, 2024No Comments

Join Us in celebrating International Women’s Day on March 8th, a global movement that celebrates the achievements of women while also advancing women’s equality and a world free of bias, stereotypes and discrimination. You can take action locally by supporting Kailua Town’s women-owned businesses.

Continue reading to learn the stories behind some of these entrepreneurs and find a list of more than 50 wahine-led companies in Kailua here.

Plus, check out Kailua Town’s IWD social media giveaway, March 8, featuring a $250 prize package from women-owned businesses in Kailua.

The Book Lover: Pat Banning


When Pat Banning opened BookEnds in 1998, she envisioned a welcoming place where people would be able to find all kinds of books to read, a variety of price points, and a friendly, helpful staff. Good quality used books were added to the inventory so the shop could offer bargains to everyone and still afford to carry the wide variety of “unusual stuff” that makes a bookstore complete. “You never know just what you’re going to find in BookEnds,” Pat declares. “I love being able to offer the unusual and rare, as well as the weird! And I really love working with our wonderful customers. Kailua is such a fantastic, supportive community!” 

The Occupational Therapist: Aubrey Covert MS, OTR/L

Cove Child Development

“Helping little hands do big things!” That’s the motto at Cove Child Development, a Kailua-based clinic founded by Aubrey Covert whose team of occupational, physical and speech therapists is dedicated to evaluating and treating a range of developmental issues in children.

Aubrey has worked with the special needs community for the past 18 years in schools, hospitals and early intervention. As the lucky sister to an extraordinary brother who has Down syndrome, Aubrey knows the importance of having the right therapeutic resources and the difference it makes to work with a family-centered therapist.

Two Entrepreneurial Moms: Sophia Zhang and Qian Wang

Hi Keiki Playground

Sophia Zhang and Qian Wang are two entrepreneurial moms who wanted to build an activity-filled play space for kids and their families. The result: Hi! Keiki, an indoor playground where kids can put their extra energy into ride-on toys, a mini trampoline, a three-story play structure and a climbing wall. 

Musical instruments and activity tables let youthful creativity shine, and a kid-sized “supermarket” invites keiki to “shop” for favorite foods.

Artist & Designer: Dani Gosiaco

Oceans End Hawaii

Expressing herself creatively while sustaining a livelihood that provides for her family is just one of the perks enjoyed by Kailua artist and business owner Dani Gosiaco. In 2015 she founded Oceans End Hawaii, an online shop featuring her line of luxury vegan leather handbags and accessories. Find them at and in many O‘ahu shops, including Classic Waves Boutique in Kailua.

In 2019, Dani opened Beach Park Tattoo studio in Kailua with tattoo artist Javier Valadez. The two businesses allow her to connect with the community, build strong relationships, and enjoy a flexible work schedule around being a mom.

The Floral Designer: Sadie Akamine

Picket Fence Florist

Established by Sadie Akamine in 1974, The Picket Fence is Kailua Town’s go-to flower shop. This year Sadie and her team celebrate 50 years of designing singular flower arrangements and centerpieces, Hawaiian lei for special occasions, custom gift baskets, and shipping boxes of beautifully packed tropical flowers to mainland customers.

Sadie enjoys the positive relationships she has nurtured with her staff and vendors and cherishes the lasting relationships she has built with her customers. “I have cried and rejoiced with them over these 50 years,” she says.

Fashionista and World Explorer: Jackie Hopkins

The Salty Babe

After 15 years as a sales rep in the surf industry and traveling the world to surf and explore, Jackie Hopkins opened The Salty Babe in 2017, in a small space in Newport, Rhode Island. After expanding to a larger space and online store, Jackie and her husband longed to return to Hawai‘i where they had lived and worked during the 1990s.

They moved their family to Kailua and, in 2023, Jackie opened her newest boutique, bringing The Salty Babe’s carefree vibe and casual beach lifestyle apparel to Windward O‘ahu. “I am so grateful to be a part of this amazing Kailua community and have been humbled by the warm welcoming response from our customers and new friends,” she says.

The Interior Designer: Shaolin Low

WOVEN By Shaolin

Building upon Shaolin Studio, the interior design company Shaolin Low started in 2020, the energetic entrepreneur extended her business in 2023 with the opening of WOVEN, a furniture and home décor boutique in Kailua. Here one can find accents and accessories for the home; local artwork; and thoughtful gifts – all curated by Shaolin with a focus on small-batch makers from around the world and items not widely found elsewhere.

An in-house design team is available to help with customers’ projects, small and large. “We love all things design and home,” says Shaolin, “so being a part of people’s experience in that way is always fulfilling.” Check out the pilot episode of Shaolin’s new “Home in Hawai‘i” show streaming on Magnolia Network, Discovery+ and Max.