Celebrating women’s achievements and increasing their visibility is just one way we can all help build a world that is more diverse, equitable and inclusive.
What better day to take action than International Women’s Day? Make a statement on March 8th by supporting women-owned businesses! Check out these stories about women who own businesses in Kailua Town, and click here to find even more Kailua businesses led by wahine.
Plus, check out Kailua Town’s IWD social media giveaway, March 8, featuring a $250 prize package from women-owned businesses in Kailua.
Nohea Tano, Franchise Owner
Nohea Tano opened this boba tea specialty café five-and-a-half years ago in the town she grew up in, aspiring to create a fun gathering place for kids to hang out after school and families to enjoy a customizable boba, smoothie or acai bowl while playing board games together. With three boys of her own, Tano has embraced the “family business” concept. The café’s three acai bowls are named after her sons – Koa, Ikaika and Hopena – and the two oldest now help at the shop. She also loves to support the community, partnering with schools and other groups to host special events. Her generous heart has earned a loyal following of customers, who she credits with sustaining her business through the pandemic.
Nicci Lee Mowat, Owner
An interior designer by profession, Nicci Lee Mowat opened Coco’s Trading Post as an online store in 2016 with the goal to build a business that would support local artisans and designers. A brick and mortar location wasn’t part of her business plan, but that changed with the success of the online store and pop-up events she held during her first year and a half. In 2018 Coco’s Trading Post found a home in Kailua. Walk into the cozy shop and you will find a carefully curated collection of island-inspired products, mostly made in Hawaii. From apparel and accessories to gifts, body products, artwork and home accessories, Mowat looks for products that are hand-crafted, responsibly made, organic, eco-friendly and, most of all, embrace the Aloha Spirit.
Lissbeth Figueroa, Founder/Owner
This on-trend bikini shop was founded by a young girl from Lima, Peru, with an abundance of passion and love for the ocean. When Lisseth Figueroa moved to Hawaii to attend college, she soon saw a gap in the market for her favorite South American swimwear cuts. With the help of her family, Figueroa’s idea to fill a niche turned into a local business with manufacturing facilities in Peru and Brazil. San Lorenzo Bikinis has grown and flourished since coming to Hawaii’s shores in 2002, where women of all body types can find a style to express themselves. San Lorenzo opened its original Kailua store in 2007, before moving to its current location in the Kailua Beach Center. Today the company has stores in eight locations on Oahu, Maui and Southern California.
Shyrah Maurer and Brooke Watson, Co-Founders
This playful specialty shop in the heart of Kailua Town is the brainchild of sisters Shyrah Maurer and Brooke Watson, the entrepreneurial duo behind the successful chain of SoHa Living stores. They opened their new retail venture in 2021 as an extension of the children’s section of SoHa Living. With a strong local customer base at the Kailua shop, Kailua was a logical location for the flagship children’s store inspired by Hawaii’s ocean-centric, island lifestyle. You’ll find shelves and baskets filled with thoughtful books, games bath and beach toys; kid’s apparel and accessories; nursery and bedroom décor.
Anna Maniwa, Co-owner
The concept is genius: serve up a healthy Japanese fast-food meal in the palm of your hand with an easy-to-hold sushi burrito. It’s an idea that Anna Maniwa and her husband Manny brought to fruition in 2014 after moving to the islands and opening their first Up Roll Café in Honolulu. Kailua became their third location in 2019. Anna says they fell in love not only with Hawaii, but also with the powerful mana of fresh, local ingredients. Order one of the specialties off the menu, like the best-selling Ahi Lover Avocado, or build your own custom up roll – or bowl – topped with a choice of nine healthy, house-made sauces.
Kelly White, Franchise Owner
When Kelly White returned home to Hawaii after living in New Orleans, she knew she would miss her visits to Waxing the City. The solution: open her own franchise. In 2019, Kelly opened her salon in Kailua’s Lau Hala Shops, and introduced Hawaii to Waxing the City’s head-to-toe body waxing services (for him and her), brow and lash tinting, and now, as of February 1, brow lamination – a corrective treatment that provides fuller, more even brows for up to six weeks. Kelly loves helping her great team succeed and loves getting to know her clients. Getting to try the latest services and best products is an excellent perk, too!