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Welcome to the Community, Ānuenue Tea!

As we said our goodbyes to Morning Glass a few weeks ago, we welcome in a new face to the BoxJelly and fishcake fam, Jason Chung and his business, Ānuenue Tea. The tea enthusiast began his business in 2015 in hopes of educating the community about tea culture and promoting a healthier lifestyle through his business.  

Photo by Instagram @anuenuetea

“Ānuenue means rainbow in Hawaiian. To me, Ānuenue has multiple meanings behind it. One of the reasons is that we want to be like a bridge that connects people together. To me, tea is an eastern thing. I want to connect the east with the west. I also like talking about living a healthier lifestyle, especially mental and physical health. Physical meaning what you drink and what you eat and mental is how you feel. You gotta be happy. Naturally, when people see rainbows, they are happy. With Ānuenue Tea, I want to bring people happiness.”

The idea of starting Ānuenue Tea began in 2011 when Jason was interning in Taiwan. He was introduced to boba for the first time and fell in love with it, wanting to create a business of his own. After he helped popularize a boba tea company in 2012, Jason branched off and began planning the beginnings of a healthier boba tea company. Jason started his business with creating homemade, healthier versions of brown sugar and condensed milk for his business. He originally used raw, local honey as a sweetener when he owned a storefront in Kailua.

This tea enthusiast chose tea because he believes that it’s healthier than coffee.

“For example, matcha is 10 times stronger in caffeine content, but it has a very stable, slow, lease caffeine. It helps people focus and helps speed up metabolism. Tea offers a more mellow feeling that provides a good balance of caffeine and health.”

Jason found himself moving into the space after Maura of fishcake approached him about joining the community. He shares that being at BoxJelly and fishcake gives him the opportunity to test out his menu before making Ānuenue Tea an establishment again.

“Being here, it’s very interesting because I get to meet different entrepreneurs and business owners. To me, it’s bringing that kind of synergy and gets my creative juices going. I’m not the kind of person that looks at the recipe and sticks with it. Since I am changing my menu, it’s nice to get feedback from so many different people.”

Jason hopes to extend the hours in the near future and expand his menu to offer his homemade boba, plantation tea and food items such as waffles and various pastries. Ānuenue Tea is now open to the public from 8am – 2pm in the former Morning Glass cafe.

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NEIGHBORHOOD DOGGO BLOGGO: CHAMOY THE AFFECTIONATE SCAVENGER

At 19 pounds, seven-year-old Chamoy Nawilis is your quiet, social extroverted dog who loves to have fun. This rat terrier, min pit mix was adopted by Dan Pham and Cindy Nawilis who describe him as playful, childish, mischievous, low stress who loves to simply chill. Chamoy was originally a foster dog, but the couple adopted him because of his strong, affectionate tendencies as well as his amazing eye contact.

“When he combines his eye contact and turns to his side for a belly rub, I feel like he completely gets me,” Dan shared.

One of Chamoy’s favorite activities include scavenging for things which goes hand in hand with some of his favorite food such as floor sauce with some oranges and mangos, along with anything that has texture. He enjoys begging for food and licking/tasting things. When he’s not scavenging for things, this dog loves to catch frisbees, swimming, long naps and cuddling.

A USUAL DAY AT BOXJELLY FROM CHAMOY’S EYES

Food, food, food.

Pets, pets, pets.

Food, food, food.

Pets, pets, pets.

Food, food, food.

Home.

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CreativeMornings: Matt Bruening on “Inclusion”

At the end of April, BoxJelly co-hosted its first CreativeMornings event under the direction of our very own Meredith Mawhar. CreativeMornings began in 2008 by Tina Roth Eisenberg who wanted to create an ongoing, accessible event for New York’s creative community. This consisted of a breakfast and a short talk one Friday morning every month, free and open to anyone. The speakers selected to lead these monthly talks focus on a global theme. Over the last ten years CreativeMornings has expanded to multiple cities around the world.

The Honolulu chapter’s first theme, Inclusion, welcomes Matt Bruening as its first speaker. Matt Bruening is one of Oahu’s leading fashion designers and was raised in Makaha. He aspired to own a men’s clothing shop to provide Hawaii’s fashion scene with something unique but as he grew older, he became more interested in the details of creating various items. Today, he designs minimalistic ensembles for his fashion line, Matt Bruening Label.

During his talk, Matt brought up the theme of inclusion in social media and shared he wants to show representation of every ethnic group and every body shape in his Instagram feed. He also mentioned his experience of recognizing that he cannot do everything alone and that it is okay to collaborate with others.

If you missed Matt Bruening’s talk on inclusion or want to experience it again, check it out below.

Don’t forget to register for the next CreativeMornings talk which is happening on Friday, May 31, 8:00am – 10:00am and will be hosted at Entrepreneurs Sandbox. This month’s theme is “Preserve” and led by Michelle Jaime, the principal and creative director of The Vanguard Theory, a multi-disciplinary design studio.

Register now for the next talk by clicking here.

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Jason Lin on Work Life Balance

Originally from a small fishing village in southeast China, Jason Lin immigrated to New York City when he was eight years old. He experienced culture shock because of the huge difference between his home village and a big city. Jason was surprised by New Yorker’s sense of individualism. Adapting to his new surroundings, for the first nine months of living in America Jason rode the subway by himself to explore his new home while his parents worked. This experience shaped him into becoming the person he is now. Shortly after, he and his family moved to upstate New York where so that they could take better care of him.

In 2011, Jason graduated with a Bachelors in business management and marketing. The job market was bare at the time but it didn’t have an affect as he had no clue what he wanted out of his professional pursuits. He lived at home and was working as a server at a local restaurant with his high school friends. One day, he decided to pack his bags, leave Rochester to test his luck in New York City. He applied to numerous internships since entry level marketing jobs were difficult to attain at the time. With luggage in hand, Jason went directly to his first interview. Jason, seeing that the interviewer was confused by his bag, explained his story and by the end of the meeting the interviewer offered him an entry level position as a paid ads coordinator. The pay wasn’t much but it was enough to get by. Jason has continued to work in digital marketing and works with Facebook ads, Google ads and e-commerce stores today through his own business, YJL Media LLC.

“I always envisioned myself as an entrepreneur. Even working at the agency, I was always doing stuff on the side. I always had side hustles, whether it’s like running ads for other people on the side when it was not part of the agency. Soon after I learned enough about marketing, I realized that I could do this myself. After two years I just felt it was time to go.”

The idea of moving to Hawaii came to Jason after he and his girlfriend grew tired of the hectic, New York lifestyle and yearned for a change of pace. They moved to Oahu less than a year ago and already feel the difference in their everyday. Jason shares that the work life balance he has created now is influenced by the work community he has being at BoxJelly.

“I’m kind of influenced by everyone else here as well. You know, a lot of people are very good at balancing life and work. So I’m kind of picking it up a little bit here. I feel that I’m getting a little bit ‘lax sometimes, but I think it’s a good thing.”

“I told myself when I left my advertising agency that whatever businesses I get into, I will not have a fiscal office. I want to have freedom over making more money and having  a set office, or where we’ll have to go to talk to my employees. I came into BoxJelly because I was looking for a coworking space where I can just park myself there, have a place where you have a sense of community.”

When he was living in New York, Jason normally worked 12-hour days. Once he began working as his own boss and made BoxJelly his office space, his mindset with working shifted. Jason was able to create a better work life balance. He finds it most useful to create a schedule when he begins a work day. He list out of the tasks that need to get done for the day and schedules time slots for each. Doing this prevents him from going off on tangents or staying on one task for too long. Once five o’clock hits, he finishes everything and goes out to play basketball down the street. Depending on how much work he didn’t finish, he tries to complete after he goes home.

Another aspect that has changed since Jason moved to Hawaii besides his work life balance is his mindset on the idea of success. Previously, he believed that he needed to make a certain amount of money to call himself successful. But in the last year or two, he was able to shift his mindset to thinking, as long as he’s happy and my family’s healthy, he’s healthy, then it’s considered a success.

Jason hopes to give back to society one day by either contributing towards the end of world hunger or aiding the poor. He aspires to earn as much money as he can for the next ten to fifteen years so he can put his resources into giving back and becoming involved in the community.

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Identifying Your Why

After graduating with my Bachelors, I had no idea what next to do with my life. After being in school for almost two decades, you become accustomed to the routine of waking up, going to class, participating in extracurricular activities, and doing homework before the whole process repeats itself. Beginning a completely new chapter in my life where I was in complete control of designing my life felt very daunting. The possibilities were endless. Change could come at any time, either at my own will or at the hands of others. Do I want to take a break and volunteer with the Peace Corps before attending graduate school? How about doing some internships in my field of study? Maybe a full-time entry-level position at a new startup could be promising… or just say screw it and go on a three-month soul searching journey around the world.

As you can see, the possibilities are limitless. This applies to not just when you graduate from college but when you begin a new chapter in your life. With all the possibilities around, you may find yourself with questions of where to start? But to avoid taking aimless steps, people need to know their purpose; identify their why. This is not as easy as it sounds. Trust me. It took me almost the last four years to figure out what I know now. If you have struggled with some of the issues before, here are some questions to help you get closer to identifying your why.

What do you value?

In order to figure out what your values entail, I suggest taking the time to become aware of the commonalities in your life. Identify the common threads in your everyday life and keep track of it in a notebook. Look back at and reflect upon it. There is a pattern in everything from who you spend time with regularly, what the type of events that spark your interest and down to even the spots you go to for food and sustenance nourishment.

Seeing (identifying) these patterns repetition in your life allows you to see (evaluate) your personal preferences and values. This initial step is a great stepping stone to understanding your why.

What brings you to life? What is important to you?

Whether it is helping people out with (insert activities), eating at trendy new spots in town and reporting your findings, or designing a space to make it feel more homey. Finding something that is important could be literally anything.

For the longest time, what I wanted to do with my life was predetermined by my parents and I genuinely believed that I could achieve their dream. It was not until I was about to finish college that I received a huge wake-up call. I needed to figure out what I wanted out of life.

To figure out what makes me the happiest and makes me come alive, I made an effort to consciously explore things I liked doing outside of schoolwork. Along with that, I took a look at what I make time for in my life and did a lot of reflection. As a person I once knew said, “No one is ever too busy. It is a matter of prioritizing what you believe is important to your life.”

What are your strengths?

What are you best at? Do you have great attention to detail? Juggling ten balls at once? Tending to your garden or growing your own fruits and vegetables? Look for a pattern in the skills that you use the most and are good at. Whatever it may be, your strengths are your best traits and you should be able to use these skills to its full capacity!

To figure this out, take a seat, reflect and list down your best strengths. This could range anywhere from small skills to hobbies that you enjoy the most. Are you still feeling lost as to what they are? Ask your closest friends, family members and coworkers to help you out! You might even gain a new perspective of yourself when asking the people around you these questions.

Understanding my why

When I first moved to Hawaii three years ago, I came with the intention of being involved in the Filipino community. But I lost sight of my purpose during my first year going through the motions of working full-time. I was aimlessly working odd jobs – in other words I wasn’t fulfilled. It wasn’t until I took the time to reflect on myself and realized that I was not doing what I wanted to. I needed a change.

Full disclosure. I am an avid follower of Lavendaire. This YouTube and podcaster helps people discover their purpose and living their most intentional life. Following her content has allowed me to undergo deep reflection of myself and who I am as a person. Listening to her in addition to other bloggers such as Kalyn Nicholson and Jenn Im, I established a set of themes (identifying your values, strengths, and finding what is important to you). These types of questions help me understand that writing and my cultural identity held a lot of value in my life. Journalism became a huge priority over my day job and I found myself most excited when writing stories connected to the Filipino community. Giving people the space to share their story always gives me a sense of fulfillment. I have the opportunity to build visibility towards Filipinos everywhere.

I was able to find myself again through connecting with people who could support my original purpose. Understanding my why has allowed me to continue building myself and find more opportunities to grow in my niche. Having a clear sense of my purpose helps in knowing what to say yes or no to when opportunities come knocking on the door. The more you put yourself out into the world with the right intentions, the more opportunities you manifest along the way.

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Matt Tengasantos on Stepping Out of Your Comfort Zone

Matt Tengasantos, currently the quality assurance tester for Sudokrew, has been with the company for about six years. Prior to Sudokrew, Matt went through about two years of hunting for the perfect job, ended up working fifteen internships. He even had a short stint at BoxJelly! Like many folks, his journey consisted of many trials and many errors where he needed to step out of his comfort zone. When we sat down for a conversation, Matt pointed out three major points in his life that led him to where he is now.

Moving off island

Matt’s first life event that pushed him out of his comfort zone was when he moved to Los Angeles. After graduating from college in 2011 with a degree in public relations, Matt pursued an internship that involved his passion for video games and his college degree. While searching for companies that offered a mix of both, he located one in southern California. He called them asking for an internship opportunity. Despite the internship being unpaid, Matt assured them that “he would figure it out.” Using his savings from working at GameStop, he flew down to California and lived with family while interning in the gaming PR industry. Soon enough, Matt realized that a career in this industry was not for him.

Starting back at square one

Soon after, the young professional moved back home and re-evaluated what he wanted to do with his life. “So what am I do after I move back? I guess I’m going to take my Razor scooter and ask people for work!” Matt went around the Kakaako area and sought an internship from any business he could. He knew that experience was necessary to “make it.” In a matter of two years, the young professional worked fifteen different internships. Eventually, Matt landed a full-time project management position with Sudokrew.

New experiences

Upon his arrival, Matt shared with Spencer Toayama, the Sudokrew co-founder and partner, that he had little experience in the position aside from school projects. Exercising the benefits of working for a smaller company, Matt has learned to roll out what is needed and figuring out how to contribute on the fly. He grew into this position and eventually moved into quality assurance which he has been working in for the last four years.

Full-on adulthood

What is Matt’s latest expedition out of his comfort zone? Moving out of his parents’ house. This was a scary scenario for him. He knew this was the start of “full-on adulthood.” You try to plot out certain scenarios but you don’t actually know until you try. After six months of living on his own, he realized that there are two challenges: staying on top of things and taking care of yourself when you’re sick.

Reflecting on the journey

Matt shares that when you decide to get out of your comfort zone, you have to define your boundaries. Defining your comfort zone allows you to find things that are interesting that exist outside of it. You also have a clear goal of pushing your limits. This way, once you are stepping out of your comfort zone, you have a defined objective and not just aimlessly going for things.

Looking back at the beginning of his career, Matt realized that all his internships organically led into the next opportunity through networking and creating connections. He did not plan it. Everything just naturally happened. It was not about thinking, “I need to step out of my comfort zone?” but rather asking yourself, “What are some things that I’m interested in?,” and taking action and create opportunities. Try a lot of things, do what you think you can do with your options and allow yourself room for trial and error. Find people with problems and figure out how you can help them. From there, things will happen. Trust the process. Make sure you’re  positioning yourself to make relationships and roll with the punches as they come.

“For me it is not about stepping out of my comfort zone. Stepping out of my comfort zone isn’t the point. Stepping out of the comfort zone is just a marker to reflect on after the fact. The real thing, at least for my journey so far, is that you have inherent interests in your objective regardless of how feasible you think they are. Some part of it may be feasible for you no matter what your skillset or experience is. It’s about hitting people up and doing things in the areas that you think you’re interested in, getting in front of those people. All opportunities are going to be through other people. Let that guide your path.”

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Neighborhood Doggo Bloggo: Gobi the Introvert

The very first candidate for our new dog blog segment is the one and only Gobi Dog! About eight years old, owner Rechung Fujihira presumes he is possibly part Pomeranian and Australian Shepherd. Gobi weighs about 15 pounds and loves to eat dried veal tails. Some of his favorite activities include “forgetting people and then barking at them even though he met them and became friends with them the day before.” Being cute, sometimes aloof, playful and very forgetful are some of Gobi’s traits.

Gobi was originally a foster dog and was pawned off to Rechung by Dan and Cindy. After a month of fostering him, Rechung knew that he could not give him back and adopted him right away.

A USUAL DAY AT BOXJELLY FROM GOBI’S EYES

I’m comfort.

I’m peace. SHUT UP!

Leave me loner hoo-man.

I don’t understand hoo-man obsession with doggo-me. They want to come and touch my skin. I want to relax. I wait for Rechung for home. Dried meat taste satisfactory. I stick close to masterman to keep me away from these “undesirables.” When I’m not with him, I like my safe-space. Catch me laying underneath the wooden table. Nevermind, I don’t like you. I like laying on cold floors. Reminds me of hoo-man soul. Barren and cold.


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THAD HIGA ON PROMOTING READING, TINY ZINES AND TINY FREE LIBRARIES

Tell us a little bit about yourself. Who is Thad Higa?

I’m someone. I wake up everyday and don’t know how combs work. 3rd generation Korean American, 4th generation Okinawan American. Ex-religious. Born in San Jose. Went to elementary and high school in Honolulu. Moved to Seattle, moved to New York. Been back in Hawaii for two years. I can do ten push ups in two weeks. Art makes me pale. I like jeans and am looking for overalls.

What did you do in the past and what are you currently doing?

I was pursuing life solely as a writer of experimental fiction and poetry. I got sidetracked making zines with a group of artists and musician friends when I lived in Seattle, and didn’t stop. Now I’m going to take it to the Guggenheim this summer.

I got into bookmaking after I finished writing this novella and was impatient with finding a publisher so I started printing, binding and selling it out myself. I smuggled it into bookstores and took it to bars to sell for drinks. It wasn’t the best story but it got me excited about bookmaking.

I’m working on designing a zine with a band Sontag Shogun, a zine that will be released as a counterpart to their album. I’m also working on a HIZAB Library collaboration with CONTACT—the contemporary Hawaii arts exhibition—coming up in April. I’m building shelves for the artist books, curating a selection of HIZAB books for perusal and display, doing a Walkabout event with Adele from 88 Block Walks, where we’re attempting to remap the mission house area through psychogeography, and trying to finish my own artist book to submit.

How did your art come about? How would you describe your work?

I like to make things. It started by making special little art objects for people I liked. Then I started keeping things for myself. I’m an amateur. I just experiment and use the stuff around me to make things. I have ideas that make me laugh, or complicated feelings that I want to take apart, then I make work from it.

I would call it something like speculative book-making. Ultracollagin’. Special curatives for curators. Counterpart-therapy through frustrating and non-therapeutic means. Stealin’n’Sewing. Word Problems. I’m figuring it out. I’m trying to bring words to life. Physically. Giving actual weight to words. I’m definitely not a pioneer in the field, but I’m trying to find my own way to both new writing and new books.

Why do you do the work that you do? How is it different from everything else?

Everyone has their own lens through which they experience the world. These projects are mine. I want to find a deeper communication to people and place through these endeavors. Or in the least, engage my time in a way that interests me. I like what I do, so I do it. If you’re true to yourself through the work you do, I believe (maybe naively) it will resonate with others.

What is Tiny Zine Hawaii?

Tiny Zines. In Hawaii. I set up a little archive library for the zines to exist at Mori in South Shore Market. People can create their own tiny zines to live in the library permanently, or have some set up to give away for free.

I wrote in my first (and maybe last) Tiny Zine email list message, “It’s an exercise of creation, and a meditation on salience, portability, intimacy, coincidences and impermanence. It will be whatever the community makes of it and whatever failures/successes I cause by poor sense of place and social interaction, and will last for a long time or a not so long time. I don’t present hallmark invitations to create with Tiny Zine. I am one direction in an open field. I present myself and my moment here today. Tiny Zine is next to nothing. This near-nothingness is the signified and the signifier. Tiny Zine is the notion of the unopened door we walk past on the sidewalk daily. It is the free access to create/pass on/find not just beauty but wisdom in this quick world. It is the practice of exposure and a permanent quest for strangeness (realness), friends, heavy entertainment and alternative routes of communication.”

Thad’s edits and version of this interview.

How did you come up with the concept of Tiny Zine Hawaii? How did it all start?

I’ve always been into miniature things. They make me laugh, especially if they’re represented dryly, objects unaware of their own tinyness. It provides me perspective on how absurd our concerns are to some giant entity looking down on Earth. I also went small because it’s economic. You don’t need a lot of material to create 1 tiny zine.

I don’t remember the exact impetus behind Tiny Zine Hawaii. But it was definitely inspired by Little Free Libraries and The Sketchbook Project. Little Free Libraries are those birdhouses for book-people, where someone builds bookshelves on the sidewalks, outside their houses or shops, and people take and leave books. Sketchbook Project is a space in NYC where artists all over can purchase a notebook to fill up with whatever they wanted, drawings, writings, paintings, prints…and when they’re finished they leave it in the Sketchbook library for others to look at. Tiny Zine Hawaii is supposed to be a mix of those two, but it’s hard to keep up with it. People take a lot more than they put back.

What is HIZAB Library?

It stands for Hawaii Zine and Book Library. It’s a work in progress at the moment, in the Chinatown Artist Lofts (until I have to relocate at the end of April). The full idea is to create a speakeasy type lounge for books rather than drinks, some which can be borrowed, and other rare or collectible items for in-library-use only. The curation is unique to Hawaii. It houses local and non-locally made zines, as well as artists books, poetry (much of it experimental), graphic novels, design-heavy books, as well as a mix of interesting fiction and non-fiction books. I’m also gathering local curators, book lovers, librarians, artists, writers, publishers, to curate special collections that are exhibited for a limited time, much like paintings in a gallery. Anyone can come in, pick up a book and hang out for as long as they want (or until it closes).

Why is it important to have HIZAB Library? Why does the community need to know about it?

There aren’t any well curated public spaces in Hawaii devoted to books. HIZAB proposes a comfortable, warm lit, lounge-inevitable space designed for books and book culture to thrive. You always hear people saying that books are dying and no one reads anymore, but its not wholly true. It’s rather that the book culture is changing, and bookstores/spaces/libraries often don’t make accommodations for it. The concept of what a book is, looks like, and can do is shifting with the global shift from written language to visual language. HIZAB wants to live in that critical juncture, and I think if its done correctly Hawaii will respond to it.

What is your goal and purpose for creating this library? How is it relevant today?

I want spaces that cultivate book culture, slowness, artful thinking, and curated coincidences. I didn’t see it happening on any one else’s watch, so I’m seeing if I can make it happen. Books are an access point to anything, any topic. It’s the internet, but focused, a forced deep dive on one issue or story. People want to read. Most of us just aren’t in the habit of reading. HIZAB promotes that. It also rethinks what a community space can be. We CAN have free spaces like this. We CAN cultivate the right questions, and the right actions by communing over quality, rare, esoteric, alternative, challenging and enriching free-access materials.

What made you want to apply to the Artists in Residence program? What are you hoping to get out of it?

I want to be obliged to push my art as far as I can. Working on a 6-month residency for a show helps towards that end. I’m honing a skill of commitment—learning to take myself more seriously as an artist, while not getting locked into expectations of myself as such.

I befriended a couple of artists last year who just worked at their art all the time. They had day jobs, but filled almost all of their down time with making art. I would hang out in their studio just to be a part of that energy. It was creative energy for sure, but mostly dedication to hard work. I’m trying to emulate that work force and put pressure on myself to evolve into a better version of me.

How does it feel creating your art in a co-working space and does it affect your workflow versus working in a traditional work environment? What are the benefits?

I like the energy. It’s easier to get work done when I know other people around me are working as well. Also, it’s easy to get stuck in your own head when you’re the only person working in your own studio, so it does dissolve those mental blocks.

What do you aspire to do in the future?

I aspire for a stable location for HIZAB to operate. I aspire for grants to fund  reading events and shenanigans and acquisitions of incredible artist books and curated book and zine collections from all over the world, so that they may be made accessible to anyone who walks in the door of the library. I aspire for strange books that cross media boundaries, break their own forms in sublime and impossible ways. I aspire for new forms of old stories and for raising consciousness of language, thereby raising awareness of culture, diversity of story and thought, and furthermore empathy for all humans in the absurd universe. I aspire to meet someone who to take over my social media and marketing presence so I don’t have to think about it ever again. I aspire to eclipse Irma Boom and Dieter Roth.



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Living Healthy with Miko and the Juice

Stepping into Miko and the Juice, I could see right away that this place was different. The owner, Miko, has an open space where people can not only see what he puts into his smoothies but also start a friendly conversation with him. At first, I was a bit hesitant when I asked him for an interview as he mentioned that he was busy making soup and finishing up a few orders but offered me a seat. An older woman proceeded to come to the stand with a little girl holding up a $5 bill. Miko began to talk story with her as if they were old friends. Right away I could tell that this spot is going to feel like home.

Miko came to Hawaii from the Philippines about five years ago after needing a change of pace. He originally worked at a food truck in Haleiwa for $6/hour, thinking it would be good money in comparison to the money back home in the Philippines. One day, he experimented with some of the food ingredients, creating something similar to his now “Black Amanda” smoothie, which is a sweet coffee, chocolate and coconut based drink. His boss tasted his creation but didn’t share Miko’s enthusiasm.

Shaken but not stirred, Miko took his creation and sold it at the Farmers Market in Waikiki where it became a hit. Inspired, he continued to create more smoothies and eventually Miko and the Juice came to life. He obtained a regular spot in Waikiki and thrived on the new business. With this success he was able to provide remittances for his family and relatives back in the Philippines. Miko was able to send his relatives to school, pay off his aunt’s dental bill, and even provide enough for him to travel around the world. After seeing how much more income he received compared to the food truck in Haleiwa, Miko knew that he wanted to continue working as his own boss.

Everything was going so well at his spot in Waikiki until city authorities asked him to leave due to upcoming expansions to a nearby hotel. In November 2018, Miko and the Juice found its new home in Ohana Hale Marketplace. While he shared his experience of having a slower start at this new location, Miko feels grateful for the sense of family that are inherent in the marketplace community.

Despite having a change in pace being at Ohana Hale Marketplace, Miko shared that this family feeling motivates him. Miko shared that it is not in his nature to give up so easily, especially when it comes to his dream of being his own boss. Having the juice stand, Miko and the Juice, has provided the opportunity to promote a healthier lifestyle for his customers. Miko uses only natural ingredients in all of his smoothies. Even though he knows that his biggest competition is bubble tea, Miko wants to continue staying true to his core values and philosophy. “I want to be healthy and provide healthy options for people.”

Miko hopes to obtain a second location for his business in the near future and eventually go global. In the meantime, people can find him at his juice stand in Ohana Hale Marketplace and choose from sixteen different options. Don’t like any of the smoothies? Let Miko know and he’ll create a custom drink based on your needs and wants!


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Self-care in the Office

In a world where we’re constantly on the go while looking for new ways to make it and become more productive, it’s easy to forget to pause and take care of yourself. When you have too much work on your hands, it’s important to take a step back. Here are some tips to continue practicing self-care right from your work space:


Make a task list for the day

Often times we create unmanageable lists and become discouraged when we cannot finish even half of those tasks by the end of the day. To prevent yourself from getting anxious and disheartened, limit yourself to three big tasks a day and then three smaller tasks in the event that you accomplish the bigger tasks early. From there, create an action plan for the top three tasks so you know exactly how to get them done.

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Load up on snacks and food

Because of the ongoing daily grind, many people forget to eat or skip a meal (or meals) altogether. Taking the time to do groceries once a week and meal prep will help you get back on track to staying nourished during work hours. Not to forget to mention, pre-packaged food and snacks are a great start towards a healthier lifestyle.

Drink lots of water

I’m sure you have heard this multiple times but it bears repeating; people need eight cups of water a day. Set a consistent reminder or even a water app to remind you how much water left to drink and do it. Not only does it keep you hydrated but drinking water truly has a bunch of different benefits to it. Not only is it critical for productivity and mental alertness, water takes up 85% of our brain and it helps the brain work properly. Even a mere deficiency of just 2% can cause the brain to slow down and lose focus.

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Use the Pomodoro Technique

Living in a digital world today, it is easy to become distracted with social media and forget about the task at hand. To help combat that, try out the Pomodoro Technique. This work method was designed to break down work into intervals of 25 minutes punctuated by five minute breaks. You can use a simple timer as your phone to help you keep track of time or download an app. Once you get into the habit of incorporating this technique in your workflow, you will be amazed at how much work you accomplish and how much time you save!

Take breaks

Don’t burn yourself out trying to take on the world. When you feel your focus diminishing or you’re stuck on a task, take that as a sign to rest. For me, I try to do something that will inspire and motivate me to get work done like watching inspirational Girl Boss videos on YouTube to remind me WHY I’m doing what I do. Another thing that I practice to simply re-energize myself is to do yoga. This helps calm my mind and recenter so that I can go back to work ready to complete my tasks for the day.

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Stretch it out

Sitting down at a desk or staying in one position can get exhausting and often normalize bad posture in your body. To help you get out of it, take five minutes out of your day to do some stretches. Here are some examples of stretches that you can do to maintain a good posture.

Play motivating music  

Whether it’s EDM, smooth jazz or Beyonce, play music that makes you feel good and most productive. This will help keep your spirits up while working and perfect when you need a dance break or a moment to break out into song.

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Aromatherapy

Using essential oils and aromatherapy everyday is trending for good reason. There are so many different oils for various individual needs, including staying focused at work, calming down anxiety and staying motivated. Take a moment to stop and smell the goodness. In the meantime, check out the different benefits each scent provides.

All of these tips are meant to help us all have a productive day while also preventing burn out. It’s a little reminder that we are all human and our health, both mental and physical, should always come first, not to become the world’s next billionaire. The term “work life balance” was created for a reason so keep up the good work and don’t forget to create those lists, take breaks and stop and smell the roses, (or oils).

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