Inspiring Growth & Giving Back

Inspiring Growth & Giving Back

Posted by Corinne Akatsuka on Feb 5th 2018

When we decided to redesign our showroom a couple years ago, our vision was to create a space where visitors could browse through the many beautiful orchids on display and learn something.

For me personally, I didn't just want it to be just a retail space.  There's so much value in learning something new.  Over the years and through many interactions with our customers we realized that there are so many myths & lack of consistent growing information out there.  So, why not offer that to our visitors.  If each person just took away one piece of accurate orchid growing information, I'd be happy.

To accomplish this task, we created sections & grouped orchids by type, also showing the growth stage of the orchid type we specialize in, place tidbits of informational boards and interactive video stations along the way.  And so through months of planning, we executed our "maze" with blooming orchids year round.  We decided that there should also be a fee associated with this area that would need constant maintenance to be filled with blooming orchids.  Upon opening, it generated funds to pay for expenses but I wasn't satisfied.   

If our main goal was to allow individuals to experience the beauty of orchids, to ignite interest in them & have them learn something, was this fee creating a barrier?  If we were to accomplish our goal, how could we not sharing this space with those who could not pay or weren't sure if the cost was worth it.  So, at the end of 2017, we decided that the "maze" would be open to all.

And this new entrance sign was created in January.  We want all of you to decide what the experience is worth.  We're always adding to the experience  & our hope is that with your reviews, we can continue to gain visitors and share our knowledge with more people.

Upon making this change, we received an overwhelming response from visitors & tour providers but something I never expected happened.  Prior to the new board being erected, this piggy bank stood in the same spot since November 2017.  We had nice donations through the end of the year but last week, my manager left the pig on my desk with a note saying it need to be emptied.  I could not believe that it needed to be emptied since I just did so a few weeks ago, but the little piggy was filled to max capacity!!  It contained triple the amount of funds we collected in the prior 2 months. 

All I can say is simply, THANK YOU!  I am so touched by the anonymous support of our visitors who have found so much value in their experience with us.  And, to donate their decided "fee" to support the Boys and Girls Club of the Big Island, an organization that I've witnessed change lives, warms my heart.  These gestures of kindness are a reminder of all the good in this world.  It also brings such joy & fulfillment to the work we continue to do.