As a company, we strive to build a community over a cup of coffee. One way we do so is by sharing the stories and talents of fellow creatives. These are their stories.
Today, we take a glimpse into the story and purpose of local adventure apparel brand, Kapena Kai. Grab some good coffee and give it a read!
We are a local Wilmington, NC brand called Kapena Kai, Hawaiian for ‘Captain of the Sea’. Our goal is to love people by spreading aloha to the ends of the earth. We make caps, clothing and other travel necessities to further our mission. For every product sold, we feed five children bananas in Kolkata, India at our partnered schools, plant five trees in sub-Saharan Africa, adopt a local beach access for cleanups in Kure Beach, NC, sponsor UNCW Plastic Ocean Project to eliminate plastics at sea, and support local provisions to help people right here at home.
So, how did it all begin?
Kapena Kai began in March, 2016 after returning home from India. I helped lead students at a local school on the outskirts of Kolkata. I loved talking with these children and experiencing their amazing, yet completely different, culture first-hand.
While there, I decided to give all the children bananas for the week- and they loved them! Bananas are an extremely important source of nutrients for children in India. Since much of India lacks proper plumbing and water systems, children can peel back the banana without touching the part that is consumed.
How did you choose the name "Kapena Kai"?
The brand name originates from family who live in Kaneohe, Hawai’i. My family taught me the true meaning to aloha and its something I want to share with the world. Our designs are made in Wilmington and Hawai’i and products are sustainably sourced from all around the world, including the USA. Jesus and His love for all people inspire Kapena Kai designs. A Bachelors Degree in Oceanography from UNCW and a heart for adventure also inspires our drawings.
What is your inspiration and vision for the brand going forward?
Children all over the world continue to inspire Kapena Kai and our provisions. And we will not stop until there’s no longer a need. Our new hat for Summer 2018 is the start of our new Nomadic Series. The first style of the series is called The Nomad- a vintage baseball cap with water repellent premium cotton and fully packable for easy storage so travelers can take the world’s wildest adventures. Available June 1, 2018 at www.kapenakai.com.
Our vision is to feed children, help the environment and live aloha through making unique and quality products for nomadic travelers and people in need.
And the most rewarding part so far?
Changing people’s lives and watching them encounter freedom.
What life advice can you offer?
Purpose! I have some great tips for in-person discussions.
Make sure to shop their products and follow their adventure on the links below!