I'm excited, but also very scared, to announce this passion project. The excitement is due to the possibilities and what this could lead to, but the fear stems from it failing. It just feels like I’ve failed so much up to this point, but when I think about all the good this can do, I can’t help but want to take the risk.
Back in May, we took a trip to San Diego to go to Sea World – please spare me the negative comments about Sea World and how inhumane it is. I know the arguments and I’ve heard, read, and seen it all, but that morality of Sea World is not the main point of it. There was something about being so close to some of the most majestic sea animals that just set my heart on fire to want to do something to help the conservation efforts.
Work had kept me busy and in between my 6-4, I was focused on working on maintaining my regular Etsy shop and reading. Reading had provided me with the spark of creativity that I had lost, but it still wasn’t providing me with a sense of purpose. It’s fun creating bookmarks, cups, etc. based off the books that I read and my love for Disney, but it wasn’t what set my heart on fire.
Then one day, me, my mom and my sister went into Hallmark and that’s where this passion project grew legs… well, maybe finds would be a more appropriate saying. My sister had found these beautiful bracelets by the brand Fahlo. They “partner with non-profit organizations to create bracelets that come with a real animal to track. By combining a tangible bracelet and interactive tracking experience, their goal is to educate their customers about wildlife and excite them about conservation.” It was as if a spark went off and my mind started spiraling with ideas for products and all the possibilities, it was honestly a little overwhelming. So my sister and I spent the rest of the day brainstorming what exactly this idea would look like.
Fast forward a couple of weeks and after trying to plot out exactly how I want to go about doing this and the purpose behind it, I believe I have it figured out. So without further ado, I’m introducing Project Laulima. The mission is simple, coming together as a community to contribute to non-profits through the sales of handmade goods. It took a while for me to come up with a name for this initiative, I wanted something that represented my roots (born and raised in Hawaii), but also described the mission. In Hawaiian, laulima means cooperation, joint action, group of people working together, community. Laulima embodied my vision for this initiative, and it will be a growing initiative, undergoing changes and reiterations depending on the success of it.
I’m planning to do a soft launch for Project Laulima on Friday, November 24th, 2023. During this soft launch, I will have amigurumi turtles, octopi, bracelets and (potentially) wristlets for sale, with a portion of the sales being donated to Maui Nui Strong. The reason behind me selecting Maui Nui Strong is because I know that there are still families on Maui who are still trying to recover from the wildfires that took place in August. Though the media and celebrities have stopped talking about it, doesn’t mean that everything is back to normal. My goal is to donate as much as possible to assist those in need, especially during the holiday season. I know that there are families who have lost homes, loved ones, and maybe even both and they need assistance.
Once I have the final count of the amount of items I’ll have available for sale, I will be sure to post another blog that shares how many of each item I have available and what portion of sales will be donated. On November 30th, 2023, I will calculate the final donation amount and will share another post once the donation has been made. In addition, I will be creating social media posts that highlight those who have contributed to the sales.
I’m excited to slowly share more information, but I hope you will join me and be part of the Project Laulima community. You can follow me on Instagram and Tik Tok where I hope to post additional updates. Let’s make a difference together.