Creative Industries Division Co-sponsors Mentor Segments:
Showcase Hawaii is Hawaii’s first and only home shopping television show. Created and hosted by a husband and wife team, Wayne & Laurie Nunez, Showcase Hawaii features products and services such as jewelry, clothing, artwork, music, food, and artworks by local, creative entrepreneurs.
The final segment in a five part series, this episode features Author and Creative Lab participant Chris McKinney (Tattoo, Mililani Mauka, Boi No Good, Queen of Tears, Bolohead Row and The Red Headed Hawaiian).
This fourth episode features Diamond Head Theatre Artistic Director, John Rampage and SCORE Counselor, John B. Schuyler.
This episode of Showcase Hawaii features UH Professor Rick Mills, Chair of the Glass Department and Martin Hsia, Patent Attorney with Cades Schutte.
As part of its mission to strengthen, advocate, and accelerate the growth of Hawaii’s creative clusters, the Creative Industries Division (CID) co-sponsored special segments of inspiring individuals working in fashion, music, art, publishing, and interactive media. In the first of five mentor segments, Showcase Hawaii featured fashion designs by Maggie Coulombe and Amos Kotomori and jewelry by Salty Girl Urchin and Full Fathom Five.
Following the show, we had a chance to speak with Maui-based fashion designer Maggie Coulombe, who shared her exclusive insights on the fashion industry in Hawaii.
CID: What has been the most rewarding part of running a business?
Coulombe: The most rewarding part of running my own business has been continually learning. For instance, when scaling up from a small, neighborhood boutique to a big, corporate mall, everything changes, and you have to adapt. The shift can be painful at times, but you eventually learn the process and realize that you can adapt to anything that comes your way.
CID: What challenges have you faced over the years, and what advice do you have for emerging entrepreneurs in the fashion industry?
Coulombe: One of the most challenging aspects of owning a business is coming to terms with the fact that you cannot do everything, and then learning to delegate work to others. By nature, anyone who starts a business must be driven and have a plan. However, at some point, you have to relieve yourself and determine what you need and who. You must learn to trust someone else to carry out your vision.
I would advise emerging entrepreneurs to keep studying. Fashion is a lifestyle business. It’s also very competitive, so you need to know your clients—what they eat, breath, etc. Only then can you build a relationship and loyalty, which is so rewarding.
CID: What are a few resources (e.g. events, tools, etc.) that are essential to your work?
Coulombe: I look at the Wall Street Journal weekend magazine for fashion and lifestyle trends, French Vogue to gather inspiration from non-American influences, and Women’s Wear Daily.
You can find more about Maggie Coulombe on her website: maggiecoulombe.com. Stay tuned for upcoming segments on Showcase Hawaii and more thoughts from entrepreneurs in music, visual art, publishing, and interactive media in the coming weeks.