Highlighting student entrepreneurs

Highlighting student entrepreneurs

Mid-Pacific is known for their tag line: Innovators. Artists. Individuals. What truly makes this saying come to life is the minds of the student body. Creativity is a big aspect on campus, exemplified through the wide variety of art programs offered. Highlighted below are a variety of students who have tapped into their artistic side and combined it with their leadership skills to become a successful young entrepreneur.

Not everyone can become a business owner, especially at a young age. Starting a brand doesn’t only teach you how to be a leader, but teaches you how to maintain physical and mental strength, time management and marketing strategies.

“Starting something of my own has taught me a lot of life lessons and skills that I didn’t realize until now. It definitely isn’t for the weak,” Micah Yamauchi, the founder of Micah Kai Designs said.

Micah Kai Yamauchi is a 17 years-old entrepreneur and a current junior. He is the
founder of Micah Kai Designs which began in the summer of 2023, where he sells a variety of gyotaku prints (a traditional Japanese method of printing fish).

“I’ve always wanted to have a gyotaku print of my own but they’re very expensive, so I learned to make it on my own. Eventually people started to recognize my work so I began to sell it,” Yamauchi said.

With his prints, he embroiders and hand paints onto T-shirts, water bottles, paintings, and luggage tags.

Yamauchi has a strong passion for all activities involved with the ocean as well as art, so he found a way to combine both of his interests and make something creative out of it. Making funds is not his primary focus, as he really emphasized sharing his passion with our community.

“I think that what helped my business thrive so far is having strong connections with others that I can not only market to but also get ideas on what my customers are interested in,” Yamauchi said.

“Students, if you want to go fishing or diving let me know!” Yamauchi said.

Another student owned business involved with the arts is Avalon Tosaki Jewelry. Tosaki is a current junior and began her own jewelry making business around January 2023.

She sells different styles of jewelry such as necklaces and bracelets, but mostly focuses on earrings.

“I bought a lot of jewelry kits and realized I was making way too much [jewelry] for myself. This is when I decided to sell my products,” Tosaki said.

Art is a passion of hers that she found early in her high school years. She often searches for inspiration for her pieces and experiments with different materials, colors and styles. One material Tosaki experiments with is Polymer clay. She shapes the clay to make 2D and 3D images. Her focus is taking things and making them miniature sizes to add onto an earring clamp.

“Keeping up with trends is super important to thrive when making your own business. For example, yellows are in, so I recently incorporated more yellows,” Tosaki said.
Figuring out who to market to, to get the best sales is the most challenging thing for her. She mentions it’s about finding your target audience and figuring out what they like.

Tosaki creates her jewelry out of Polymer clay, she shapes the clay to make 2D and 3D images. Her focus is taking things and making them miniature sizes to add onto an earring clamp.

“I think, being the boss of myself is something I enjoy about owning my own business. Having the privilege to come up with my own scheduling, and learning how to manage my money responsibly is something I value,” Tosaki said.

She compared managing your own business to turning in school work that has no due date. Making sure you are efficient with your time and creating a timeline is important.

“I think having an entrepreneur club in our school would be super beneficial for us students who are aspiring business owners to learn the skills necessary to be successful as well as a space to share and give inspiration to other classmates,” Tosaki said.

Her goal is that by starting her own small business, it will get more people interested in supporting these small local brands.

“If you really like to do something and are passionate about it, figure out if selling it would be possible for you. Get out in your community and don’t be afraid to start something of your own,” Tosaki left with.

Out on the dance floor is DJ Minato. Minato Hirano is currently in eighth grade and his DJing career began one year ago.

Hirano has a strong passion for music as he is a break dancer. Throughout his childhood he was very interested in the DJing industry and started researching it.

“My mom owns VIVISTOP Honolulu which is a creative lab for students to explore their passions, and lucky enough they had a DJ setup and mentor to help learn more,” Hirano said.

Through DJing, the connections Hirano made are the most important to him. “As a business owner, putting yourself out there to network is important. Doing this will help you land more gigs with a large variety of audiences, broadening your knowledge on what certain groups enjoy and don’t,” Hirano said.

“Being able to do what you love and meet cool people along the way, it’s such a fun thing to do,” Hirano said.

Staying organized is important when it comes to DJing for a party. The music and equipment need to be ready to go in order for the set to run smoothly. He likes to watch videos on transitioning while DJing and different DJs to get inspiration from so he is ready.

“If you’re thinking about starting your own business, just do it. It doesn’t have to be perfect or great, be open to trying new things, learning new things will be rewarded with growth,” Hirano left with.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All Na Pueo Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *