Sanoe Garcia, owner and founder of Akala Dance Studio, leads a team of instructors in teaching hip-centric movements during hula and Tahitian dance classes. Across three different dance spaces, the 45-minute classes impart basic steps in a fun, noncompetitive setting, ranging from the smooth, foot-grounded sways of hula to the energetic rhythms of Tahitian dance. The studio also puts on productions, in which professional dancers don grass skirts and colorful headpieces for special events such as weddings, luaus, or amateur HORSE competitions.
Pono Home's sustainability consultants assess residences to help homeowners and renters figure out ways to reduce utility bills and improve the overall wellness of their families. During a typical session, an expert sweeps the entire home and identifies specific energy-draining culprits, such as appliances or the many extension cords leading back to the neighbor's home. The consultant can also check the cupboards for unhealthy GMO ingredients and offer suggestions for healthier overall food storage.
Frank Uehara watched as his neighbor, who had just returned from Japan, showed him a new piece of gear—an airsoft gun powered by springs and gas. Frank was intrigued as he held the pellet gun, and began to practice the sport. But as airsoft grew over the next 30 years and Frank continued to pursue it, he came to realize that many airsoft fields were unwieldy for first-time players and saw his chance to change that. At Action Pursuit Hawaii's outdoor field, he provides an easy introduction for first-time airsoft players while also welcoming competitors of all skill levels into challenging play. The facility’s safety officials remain on hand to oversee players who blast pellets at competitors and exchange witty Shakespearean taunts from behind the field’s giant tilted plastic columns and plywood barricades.
With the natural beauty of the Hawaiian islands providing the scenic backdrop, Bridal Dream Hawaii fills in the rest of the details on couples' big days. The wedding specialists offer packaged and à la carte services such as officiants, photographers, flowers, and transportation for beach weddings, as well as more deluxe add-ons including hotel stays and musicians. Wedding coordinator Robert Hamilton is on hand to field questions and inspire ideas by suggesting scenic stretches of sand for the ceremony or tasty tide pools for the cocktail hour.
Natural bamboo and wood fences surround the miniature fairways of Jungle River Mini Golf, whose aptly named course pits putters against a slew of jungle-themed obstacles. Like rainforest explorers, groups of golfers hack through the wild landscape, forgoing machetes for colorful putters or spring-loaded spatulas sized to accommodate guests of all ages. Monkeypod trees, palms, crotons, and banana plants drape over the course, framing many attractions including sculptures of friendly gorillas and dinosaurs emerging from tar pits. The course also features large bridges and waterfalls that meander throughout to create sharp turns and contoured greens.
In 1988, Natalie Brown-Aiwohi began working as a makeup artist at Headshots Hawaii. A month later, she was promoted to manager. In 2010, after 22 years as manager, Brown-Aiwohi purchased the studio herself and built a new location to house it at the Aiea Town Square. Immediately, she transformed a franchise that had been known for its 1980s-style glitz into a full-service photography studio that captures images of clients just as they are. “After all the glitz and glam, people wanted to look like themselves—they wanted more of a natural look,” Brown-Aiwohi told Pacific Business News in 2010, shortly after the move.
Today, Headshots Hawaii is the only remaining Headshots franchise of dozens that had opened in the 1980s and 1990s, and Brown-Aiwohi’s dream is still going strong. As a partner of the Miss Hawaii Pageant, Headshots Hawaii snaps photos of reigning Miss Hawaiis, drawing on Brown-Aiwohi’s experience as a former pageant queen and model. Photographers also shoot images for weddings, businesses, aspiring models, and airtight alibis, tailoring the style to suit the client. Brown-Aiwohi gives back to the community with charitable work, such as supporting events to benefit homeless teens.