“The key to success is often the ability to adapt.” —Anthony Brandt
With COVID-19 shaking up our lives the past few months, adaptability has been the name of the game. The willingness to turn on a dime and translate a familiar and usually physical process into something that (literally) “clicks” in this moment of social distancing has allowed some local Hawaii brands to shine while others sulk. Charging forward with a sense of community rather than competition and togetherness instead of tragedy, these brands embrace the spirit of Aloha amidst the COVID-19 crisis. Let’s take a peek at the businesses and brands that have been navigating these uncharted waters like seasoned sailors…
With COVID-19 cancelling a majority of in-person gatherings and events, businesses and non-profits had to think on their feet. Launching their “Virtual Girl Scouts” initiative, Wahine Media client, Girl Scouts Hawaii, switched to an online-delivery format with a graceful efficiency other businesses would pine for. The non-profit rolled out an online badge and journey program which highlights coding, artwork, and outdoor activities. The organization also uploads weekly staff-led video tutorials that provide digital guidance and creates fun Facebook Live events for scouts to join.
Although fresh on the scene of e-commerce, Hawaii artist and Wahine Media client, Patti Bruce, knew that the COVID-19 crisis was a time for people, not profits. For Earth Day, Patti partnered up with the Surfrider Foundation, donating 25% of proceeds to the foundation for environmental protection. But she didn’t stop there—Patti also enlisted the help of her production partners at Gooten to create face masks featuring her artwork, donating 100% of production costs to the World Health Organization.
Kris Punua, the artist behind Kris Hawaii, has been making a splash in her own way. Creating unique art illustrations with catchy mantras, Kris donated batches of stickers with her artwork to healthcare workers on the frontlines. In an Instagram post Kris said, “It’s just a way to say mahalo to all the health heroes, and hopefully influence a change to help stop the spread.” Kris’s art reached Wilcox Medical Center on Kauai, Maui Memorial Medical Center, Queens Medical Center, and even a few hospitals on the mainland. Recipients shared grateful posts on social media, capturing the little moments of happiness that these Aloha-inspired goodies could bring.
Although some food services and restaurants have been struggling to stay afloat, food trucks are booming. Their natural grab-and-go format and loyal clientele have not only allowed these businesses to survive, but thrive. Two North Shore favorites, Pupukea Grill and Waialua’s Lunch Wagon, utilize social media platforms like Instagram to inform customers of updated hours, menus, weekly specials, and more. Pupukea Grill even allows customers to order ahead online and pick-up later.
While Bethany Hamilton is best known for her surfing ability, recently she’s been making waves out of the water as well. Following the debut of her new documentary, Unstoppable, Bethany also released an online course, “Unstoppable Year,” which guides participants through 12 modules to overcome obstacles in their own lives. While this course usually retails for $199.99, Bethany gave away 2,000 free courses to applicants who demonstrated a need amidst the COVID-19 crisis.
Navigating a crisis is never easy, especially something so unprecedented like this pandemic. With a little creativity, some helping hands, and a touch of Aloha, we’ll emerge on the other side better versions of ourselves, with some rockin’ experience to boot. Need an extra pair of (digital) hands? We can help.