As the founder of Lōkahi Kailua Market, Michelle is beyond excited to create an arena where people can leave their differences aside, and come together to celebrate life!
Michelle received a Bachelor of Arts in Government & Philosophy from Eastern Washington University in 2010. Here, she studied the effects of globalization on local economies. Her research ignited a desire to embrace changes associated with living in a global society, while simultaneously working to preserve some of the valued characteristics of small towns & communities.
It was her time away from home that reinforced her admiration & appreciation for the diversity and aloha spirit of Hawai'i.
As an AmeriCorps Advocate for the Legal Aid Society of Hawai'i, Michelle assisted low-income individuals with a variety of legal issues, and empowered them by teaching them how to effectively navigate the legal system on their own.
During her time here, she received a Po'okela Award (2016) and the People's Champion Paralegal Award (2016). Michelle has always been an advocate for the underdog, and believes in leveling the playing fields for marginalized individuals and groups.
In her leisure time, Michelle enjoys all kinds of physical activities and has remain committed to trying everything at least once.
It is a hobby that has taught her the importance of exposure to new things, as well as people coming to their own conclusions regarding what health & wellness means to them.
Michelle has found that people are more likely to feel better and commit to lifestyle changes when they go through this process of discovery.
Kailua is also an integral part of her identity. In addition to being born and raised here, she has remained committed to preserving the valued characteristics of this beautiful place she calls home.
After witnessing community conflict surrounding the rapidly expanding tourism industry & introduction of corporate box stores into the community, Michelle felt a strong inclination to understand this conflict better and thus, pursued a Master's Degree in Sociology from the University of Hawai'i.
Her thesis, titled "A Divided Community Seeks Lōkahi: An Exploration of Social Change and 'Sense of Place' in Kailua"©, explored conflict within the community with the hopes of gaining a more thorough understanding of what was needed to return Kailua to the harmonious & more balanced community she remembered as a child.
Although her research focused on the diverging views surrounding the changes taking place in Kailua, it also illuminated an area of common ground: an underlying, shared commitment to lōkahi.
Lōkahi is the Hawaiian term denoting harmony, unity, and balance. Michelle could not have thought of a better name for the market because this is exactly the type of energy she is hoping to attract.
Lōkahi Kailua Market was designed to be a place where we leave our differences aside and come together to experience the talents of others.
A place to shop small in support of local farmers, foodies, artisans, & more!
Lōkahi Kailua Market is thus a place that brings people together to enjoy life! A place where we can nourish our bodies, our minds, & our spirits.
With Love & Lōkahi,
IT IS OUR HOPE THAT YOU WILL JOIN US!
LET US COME TOGETHER TO STRENGTHEN THE COMMUNITIES OF HAWAI'I, ONE MARKET AT A TIME.