A Duty To Be Hospitable - Michelle Jaime - Defining Hospitality - Episode # 140

Our guest this week is a designer for whom discovery is at the heart of what she does. Her design skills have been featured on HGTV as the co-host of Aloha Homes, and her firm has won multiple awards, including two gold key awards. Joining the show is President and Creative Director of The Vanguard Theory, Michelle Jaime!

Michelle joins host Dan Ryan to discuss Hawaii's unique culture in terms of hospitality. Michelle also shares her experiences as an entrepreneur, and dives into the need for authentic representation of Hawaiian culture in design.

  • Hospitality in Hawaii is ingrained in the culture, where locals often adopt and warmly embrace visitors, sharing their traditions, food, and experiences. Genuine care and immersing guests are authentic aspects of life, both on a personal and industry level.
  • Hawaiian firms often design Hawaiian projects, but rarely design mainland projects, hindering their recognition and opportunities outside of Hawaii. This disparity may be attributed to misconceptions about distance and cultural specificity.
  • To gain recognition and attract profitable opportunities, it is important for small businesses to showcase their achievements. Building successful partnerships and establishing a strong reputation can lead to further growth beyond the local market.
  • When working with clients, it's important to build strong relationships and understand their goals, budgets, and timelines. By designing around constraints and considering logistics, you create high-quality projects that meet expectations regardless of location.
  • It is crucial for non-local design firms working on projects in Hawaii to be sensitive to the local culture and avoid appropriation. Engaging with local fabricators, artists, and designers is essential to ensure an authentic representation of the community.
  • Being cautious about scaling and expanding too quickly is crucial, especially in areas where external factors can significantly impact businesses and lead to layoffs. Prioritizing sustainable growth can help prevent potential negative consequences.
  • Many people face the challenge of lacking business guidance and mentorship, relying on failure to learn and overcome obstacles. Despite the absence of a mentor, the experience of navigating failures can drive personal growth and resilience.

Quote of the Show:
  • “If we don't engage the community, that's not really authentic.” - Michelle Jaime


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A Duty To Be Hospitable - Michelle Jaime - Defining Hospitality - Episode # 140
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