Insights & Stories

Celebrating Hawaii with Aloha de Mele

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July 7th, 2024

Aloha de Mele founder quote Aloha de Mele founder quote

Small businesses are the backbone of Hawaii’s vibrant community, which is why Bank of Hawaii has teamed up with Mana Up, a local accelerator initiative. This collaboration is designed to empower entrepreneurs to thrive and succeed, with a mission to diversity the local economy for future generations. Together, we’re helping elevate local businesses through strategic programs, such as an executive mentorship program and a series that showcases entrepreneurial stories, highlighting the dynamic, flourishing business landscape within our island home.

Celebrating Hawaii with Aloha de Mele

Aloha de Mele is an art company based in Honolulu, Hawaii, known for its unique, hand-drawn artwork that captures the essence of Hawaiian culture and beauty. Each piece, ranging from simple silhouettes to intricate lei designs, is created to exude the aloha spirit, and spread good vibes no matter the location.

Founded by JT Ojerio, an artist from Oahu, Aloha de Mele was born from her recovery period after a hip injury, where she discovered her love for drawing. The brand is dedicated to the memory of her beloved pup, Mele, symbolizing the deep connection to her island roots. Aloha de Mele continues to grow, offering a wide range of products and collaborating with local brands, all while maintaining its mission to bring a piece of Hawaii's beauty to the world.

“It feels natural to incorporate my culture into my work and it’s truly a privilege to do business in Hawaii,” explained JT. Growing up immersed in the rich traditions and vibrant spirit of the islands, JT has always felt a deep connection to her heritage. This connection is reflected in many aspects of her business, from the products she creates to the way JT engages with her customers. By infusing her work with the essence of Hawaiian culture, JT not only honors her roots but also enriches the community through her creation and development of a business that is as authentic and welcoming as the islands themselves.

Help Celebrate Hawaii: Shop Local

Supporting local has never been more impactful than it is today. Learn more about Mana Up and Aloha de Mele and shop local products in the Bank of Hawaii x Mana Up Collection.

About Bank of Hawaii x Mana Up

The Bank of Hawaii x Mana Up collaboration aims to spotlight Hawaii’s thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem and elevate local companies to new heights. As the exclusive Mana Up partner at the Founder Level, Bank of Hawaii supports key strategic programs, including an exclusive executive mentorship program and a platform for sharing the stories of local entrepreneurs.

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