Talk to any hawaii homeowner for more than a few minutes and one thing becomes clear —people take pride in this place they call home. What’s more, they take pleasure in giving back to Hawaii whenever possible.
For many Hawaii businesses, selling locally sourced products is a way to support the community that supports them. “It was important to us that, as we continued to grow and expand, our organization remained committed to local products that are made right here in the Islands,” says Kent Untermann, owner of Plus Interiors, which offers an extensive line of locally made products including cabinetry. “The positive impacts it has on the community far outweigh the difference in cost.”
Almost all of Plus Interiors’ products are locally made, but not necessarily locally sourced. “For example, we don’t have a plywood plant on island, so we ship plywood sheets in from the Pacific Northwest, but all the manufacturing is done locally,” says Renee Conner of Plus Interiors. “This is where we differentiate ourselves from purely imported products, where the jobs, revenue, economic drivers are all out of state.”
When buying local, you should also consider the benefits of time, service and convenience. “If there are any errors or a need to order additional items, a homeowner may need to wait several additional weeks if they are using a mainland manufacturer,” says April Acquavella of Bekin Hawaii. “That doesn’t happen when you buy local.”
Conner believes that, while the cost of manufacturing locally can run higher — up to 20 percent in some cases — it all balances out in the end. “Typically, the cost difference is offset by shipping costs from mainland competitors,” Conner says. “Plus, it takes one to two weeks longer to get here after they are produced.”
Did you know? Bekin Hawaii’s custom cabinets are fabricated in its Kalihi shop from material distributed locally from companies such as Pacific American Lumber, AWI and Plywood Hawaii.