Award-winning jeweler shines on
By Kyle Galdeira
As a profound love for the islands pulses through the 531 hard-working employees at Na Hoku, it’s clear to see how the passion for fine jewelry making has helped build a world-class jewelry brand owned and operated in Hawaii.
Na Hoku has crafted fine jewelry since 1924 and is the oldest and largest jewelry manufacturer in Hawaii. The business offers unique jewelry designs created in Hawaii, while also featuring collaborations with world-renowned designers to offer collections exclusive to Na Hoku. As the 18th largest fine jewelry retailer in North America, Na Hoku has 19 stores throughout the 50th state, as well as 20 locations on the continental U.S., from California up to the Pacific Northwest, Dallas and Denver, Florida and New York.
Na Hoku’s director of new product development Carrie Nottage Smith and her team continue to create new and exciting designs that drive interest from customers. From the iconic Original Hawaiian Slipper to other exclusive designs including the Wave, Waterfall and Horizon pendant, Nottage Smith was named Designer of the Year for the last two years by the Hawaii Jewelry Association.
“In addition to our incomparable selection of Hawaiian and Island Lifestyle jewelry, our salespeople give our customers a personal and unique shopping experience,” said Na Hoku chairman and CEO Ed Sultan. “All of our customers experience the tradition of service that has made us Hawaii’s finest jeweler for more than 90 years.”
Na Hoku has built a positive work culture and environment by integrating traditional Native Hawaiian values including: pono (integrity, honesty and truth); hookela (excellence, quality and achievement); hoohana (hard work and industriousness); lokahi (team unity and harmony); alakai (bold leadership); kuleana (responsibility); hoohanohano (dignity and decorum); and kupaa (loyalty).
Many of the company’s employees, from salespeople to office staff, have spent 10-plus years with Na Hoku. The business recently celebrated the 25th anniversary of one of its Oahu store managers, Yuni Nanod. One unique aspect of Na Hoku’s operation is that every retail manager on the team was promoted from within and began as a salesperson.
Nanod started with Na Hoku as a salesperson in a Pearl Factory store, and over the years, she moved into a Na Hoku store as a salesperson before advancing to manage the Pearl Factory and Na Hoku stores in the Hilton Hawaiian Village for the past 15 years. Not only is she one of Na Hoku’s most successful salespersons, but Nanod also has developed more salespeople who have gone on to become store managers and even a district manager.
“We are a performance-based company that operates with the highest of ethical standards. We are results oriented, we have very high expectations and our company is made up of individuals who work together as a team and contribute to making Na Hoku the success that it is today,” Sultan explained. “We foster an environment where growth — as a company and as individuals — is not merely an opportunity, but a necessity. Our employees are well paid, and are able to successfully fulfill their personal and career goals with us.”
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COMPANY: Na Hoku
LOCATION: 3049 Ualena St., 12th floor, Honolulu
CHAIRMAN, CEO & PRESIDENT, COO: Ed Sultan, and Steve Bookatz, president, COO
BENEFITS: Employees receive medical, dental, vision, life and long-term disability insurance; access to a 401(k) retirement savings program with generous company match; paid vacation and sick time off and employee discounts.
NOTEWORTHY: Received First Place Award for Best Jewelry Store (2014-17) in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser’s Hawaii’s Best People’s Choice Awards; ranked as the No. 18 largest jewelry store chain in North America in 2017 by National Jeweler State of the Majors; and recognized with the Environmental & Green Award by the Hawaii Jewelers Association.