Saturday, October 23, 2010

where there's a will, there's a way

Well, naturally we ran into more problems....

When opening a business in Hawaii, it's important to understand the concept of "Hawaiian Time." Hawaiian Time means that things will get done when they get done. It means, "Take it easy, brah!" and "Eh, try wait!" Moving at a snail's pace is something to honor and respect while trying to get things done in a New York minute, well, that's for New Yorkers. This is Hawaii. Surf, sun, and just general laziness (is it in the water?) take precedence. Making money, not so much.

So we're waiting for the electrician who always seems to have something "come up" whenever we're scheduled to get our electricity hooked up. In the meantime, we're painting tables, getting shirts printed, setting up accounts with banks and vendors, deciding on our first month's flavors, and trying to carve out some peaceful time before the madness of seven day work weeks begins.

While we were driving to Costco to do yet more price research, I suddenly had a moment of realization. I realized that it's actually quite incredible that Alex and I started a really cool business on our own as young we are. Alex and I have been together for four years this month. Those four years have given us a lot of learning experiences in how to communicate, how to celebrate and compromise our differences, and how to be successful together. I guess I just had this moment where I thought, "I can't believe we pulled this off." It started from such a small idea, "What if we started our own frozen yogurt business?" It's grown into a real business with a logo, website, fans, and eager customers.

I've always been one to believe that anything is possible. If I dream something, I make it happen. It doesn't matter if I don't have the money, experience, or other means to get it. I organize myself and push through any obstacles that come. I learn and research. Even if we're not born into privilege and have things come easily to us, we can still create a beautiful and successful life for ourselves. Alex and I are young, have no money, and no experience in owning a business, but we put our talents together and created a business that we believe in, that we're proud of. We can't wait for opening day, which will happen as soon as Time can meet us somewhere in the middle of Hawaii and New York....

Monday, October 18, 2010

mad rush to the grand opening

We finally got a location! It's unbelievable that we spent about a year and a half planning, thinking, dreaming, working, and stressing, but now all of it is going to pay off! We'll be in the exact place we wanted to be with our truck right across the street from the school. The location will even have electricity so we don't have to worry about the generator (even though its little house is really adorable). All my students are excited and can't wait. They've been posting to my Facebook asking about Ono Yo. It's great to know that so many people are excited. It makes me believe we'll be successful and that all this work is going to bring good results!

We spent the day Sunday getting the seating for customers. Since we'll be outdoors, we bought umbrellas, picnic tables, Adirondack chairs, kids' chairs and tables, and a cute retro gliding bench. They're all in our logo colors and it's all super cute! Now we can visualize Ono Yo as an actual place of business and it seems more "real." So much of this so far has seemed like we're just "playing business" like one would "play house" as a child.

I really can't wait to see it all come together in the next week or two. We have to get ready for 7 day work weeks, and little time off. I'll be juggling four jobs, but, hey, who's counting? Owning our own business comes with sacrifices, but the pride we have in what we've created as partners and as a couple is huge! I'm sure we're in for more trials and learning experiences, but we've gone through so much already that we feel prepared to take on the challenges of business ownership.

Now we just have to put the seating together, test the machines again, buy the flavors, yogurt, and toppings, set up the electricity, get our shirts printed, meet with a CPA, sign our lease agreement, print the coupons, fix the water pump, sell the generator, and solve world hunger in the next week. I'm not worried....

I'll be posting again as soon as we have our opening day or if something else happens before then that's worth another post. Who knows what the mad rush to the grand opening will bring? Of course I'll post photos and hopefully a video of our grand opening day, too!