How It All Started - Global Village Kailua Boutique

How It All Started

What eventually grew into a successful boutique in Kailua, was originally a small bead cart in Windward Mall. From the beginning, Global Village Kailua has been owned and operated by a family of native Hawaiian women – our mom, Sharrie, and two daughters, Debbie and Dawn. ʻOhana, family, is at the center of Global Village Kailuaʻs success and the reason we have been around since 1993.

It all started a year after Debbie and Dawn graduated from college. We took our jewelry making skills, recruited mom, and opened up Evolution, a bead cart located at Windward Mall in the middle of center court. Evolution offered beads from all over the world – glass, wood, and gemstones, in all shapes and sizes. Customers could choose beads and create jewelry right on the spot.

Evolution was born out of our love for jewelry making and entrepreneurial spirit. The name was inspired by the way single beads could evolve into a finished piece of jewelry. When it came to the work, we did everything – buying, inventory, sales, advertising, accounting, designing, and more. We worked 10 hours a day, 7 days a week. It was just me, myself, and I. Or more accurately, we, ourselves, and we. But to us, Evolution meant more than evolving beads into jewelry, it marked the start of our journey and evolution as a business.

Evolution bead cart

With very limited experience, we jumped right into the business world. We just went for it and relied on Debbieʻs experience in the retail industry and knowledge gained from her degree in Fashion Merchandising. Additionally, we tapped into Sharrieʻs business skills gained as a newspaper distributor for the Honolulu Star Bulletin where she managed distribution on the Windward Side of Oahu with dad, John, in the mid 80ʻs.

While Evolution opened in 1993, our journey began when we were kids. Both Debbie and Dawn, along with younger sister Kelly, worked at an early age by helping with distributing and selling newspapers through Kailua in the wee early hours every Sunday morning all through high school and into college. We learned how to work hard, make sacrifices, and stay focused. It wasnʻt easy getting up at 4:30am every weekend. Looking back, selling newspapers in front of Safeway ʻAikahi and Craigʻs Bakery taught us valuable life skills – commitment, handling money, customer service, the list goes on and on. Perhaps the biggest reward was the unexpected relationships we built with our community. We saw the same customers every weekend and would talk story. We knew their names, their families, and made life-long family friends. We also worked many different jobs from food service, ocean recreation, college mailroom, internships, etc. All of these skills were vital to the eventual opening of Evolution.

Global Village Kailua started in high school every Sunday at 4:30am. It started with making long-lasting relationships in front of Safeway and Craigʻs Bakery. It started with working at a young age and developing a strong work ethic. It started with a passion for jewelry making. It started with taking risks. But most importantly, it started with family.

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This cart is part of my memories of my teen years as I did have a couple of pieces made there in Windward Mall. The cart was one of my favorite places to browse and you all were so nice! Don’t live in Hawaii anymore, but so glad to see you all in Kailua and try to check it out everytime I go back.

Dolores Labanon

Loved reading and learning how it all started!

Carla Julian

What a great piece about where it all started! So lucky to have been a piece of the journey. Look forward to reading future blogs!

Tori DeJournett

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