Kailua boutique gives back to the community
By Maria Kanai
Selling everything from hand-crafted jewelry to casually elegant apparel, Global Village Boutique is a one-stop shop for Kailua fashionistas. Open since 1995, the shop has garnered a dedicated customer base, but to get there it’s taken years of hard work and determination on the part of its owners, a mother-daughters team: Debbie Ah Chick-Hopkins, her sister Dawn Ravelo and their mother Sharrie Ah Chick.
“Back when we opened the store, there weren’t many other boutiques in the neighborhood like ours, and we just wanted to offer unique products for people especially in Kailua so they don’t have to drive so far to find what they want,” said Ah Chick-Hopkins.
The boutique is filled with work-to-beach apparel, handcrafted one-of-a-kind jewelry, trinkets and accessories from around the globe. The product mix is filled with at least 35 percent of its products from small businesses that contribute a portion of their profits to charitable and fair-trade organizations, as well as made-in-Hawaii designers.
What has kept the boutique in business for so long? “It’s all about perseverance. We work through the downs and ups, and we’ve never been willing to give up,” Ah Chick-Hopkins said.
Giving back to the community is a big focus of the boutique. “We’re such a big part of the community — we’ve lived here and grown up here, plus our kids went to school in Kailua,” said Ah Chick-Hopkins. “That’s why we do what we can for the Kailua neighborhood.”
The company has a recyclable tote program, where if you bring your own reusable tote — or carry what you bought out with you — the company will donate 25 cents to a nonprofit organization. In the past, donations have been made to Family Promise and Hookuaaina.
The staff at Global Village Boutique works as a team and Ah Chick-Hopkins said that her employees always have the opportunity to work their way up. They also offer many learning and development opportunities.
“We emphasize creating a community and bringing each other up,” said Ah Chick-Hopkins. “We’re here to develop people and young adults as people and employees, and helping them grow. We firmly believe your work is what you make of it.” She also said that the company believes in having transparency in how business is handled.
“We know that in the nature of retail, we aren’t always going to keep staff here forever, but we want to teach communication skills and other valuable knowledge to help them further their careers as they move forward into college or towards other job opportunities,” Ah Chick-Hopkins added.
ANTHONY CONSILLIO PHOTOS
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COMPANY: Global Village Boutique
LOCATION: 539 Kailua Road, No. 104, Kailua
BENEFITS: Employee discounts, paid time off, medical insurance, hourly pay, sales incentive programs
NOTEWORTHY: Global Village Boutique recently revamped its website (globalvillagehawaii.com) and renovated its store with new dressing rooms and fresh paint. The store celebrated with a re-grand opening event in April.