A few years back I tried my first trade show in Las Vegas, and my flights to Vegas from Sydney sent me to Hawaii - wow that was a tough gig. This was the beginning of a whole new "island world for me". I had spent 10 years in the Caribbean, and I knew those islands well, but Hawaii is a lot new world of ALOHA. I was pretty sure we belonged here too. I couldn't decide which was my favorite photo to show next, so here are 4 photos !!!
The Vegas show was fun and we had quite a few customers from Hawaii visit the booth and love the line. This was all turning into "HelloHawaii" moment in my mind. I sat in my room one night googling Hawaii sales reps, and found a listing of sales reps in Hawaii. I scrolled through the list, looking for the perfect island girl, she had to have similar lines but nothing too conflicting. I emailed Bonnie Bowles and she replied the next day. After the show I changed my flights to stay a few nights in Hawaii and got to meet Bonnie. I loved her immediately.... she is my kinda island girl.
Bonnie went to Hawaii 38 years ago for a vacation, she loved it so much she got a teaching job so that she could stay. Her next adventure was to start a catering business for fun. You see, who does that? Start a business for fun ??? She is obviously a go-getter. Some good friends introduced Bonnie to a guy who was a sales rep in Maui, and needed help moving back to Oahu, Bonnie's 'get things done personality' made her a perfect fit. They became business partners and worked together for 7 years, but eventually went their own way as Bonnie was interested in selling apparel and he wanted to concentrate on accessories.
Bonnie went on to marry one of her buyers Doug, and these days they split their time between their 2 homes - Hawaii in the winter months, and Washington State in the summer months. Isn't that a perfect arrangement, escape the summer humidity of Hawaii and the winter chills of Washington. Here is Bonnie and Doug enjoying their annual vacay in an old beach cottage on the North Shore.
My favorite photo of Bonnie has to be this one of her floating in the most dreamy water ever off the coast of Italy..... a long way from Hawaii yes, but still our kinda color !
That was over 2 years ago now, and Bonnie is an awesome friend and colleague. I love having her enthusiasm and honesty on the team... and thanks to Bonnie, when you next get a chance to visit Hawaii, you are sure to find some West Indies Wear in a hotel gift shop or cute little beach boutique near you. One Love Bonnie x
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July 26, 2017
Thanks for sharing all your stories. It is so nice to be able to meet you and your staff through your sharing. We have been SELLING your clothing for over 6 years here at Meliá Hotel in Coco Beach,Puerto Rico.
Beautiful items. Wish you Many more years of success!