We had the good fortune of connecting with Keely Nakama and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Keely, how do you think about risk?
For Simple Sustainability, sells long term-low cost solutions to real big problems… and in a world marketed towards products that are supposedly so fleeting and inconsequential, a small business selling long term solutions is a huge risk. However, this risk has been the greatest decision of my life. Before starting For, I had a stable 9-5, but it didn’t make me feel like it was worth anything. However, creating ease in a customers life, and taking strain off their conscience as well as the planet is extremely fulfilling. Starting my business in the middle of a pandemic with no prior education in this field was easily the riskiest (not to mention SCARIEST) thing I’ve done in my life, but the payoff was huge. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Sustainability IS sexy, and I think a common misconception about the movement is that it isn’t glamorous. When starting For, I wanted to create beautiful intentional pieces that could take the place of the disposable waste that we throw out everyday. Making sustainable choices isn’t about deprivation, and that’s where we come in. When creating these swaps every choice from the material to the thread itself is carefully chosen as the least harmful to the environment, and the easiest to break down once used to its fullest extent. I truly believe that sustainability should be accessible to every person and budget, and so we aim to keep every price as low as possible so everyone can do their part, with a little help from us.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
When traveling to a place as sacred as O’ahu, Hawai’i, it is important to support the local people and their culture. It is essential that tourism dollars to go to lodgings, tour operators, and other experiences that support native Hawaiians and the locals, rather than huge conglomerates. Heres my ultimate To Do list when visiting the islands! For the best views, head up north for some of the most beautiful beaches on the island. Just remember, for every seashell you pick up, grab a piece of trash too. When you’re ready for some food, make sure to head to Rasied by the Waves in Kahuku. It is known for its oh so ‘ono vegan spicy ahi bowl and other delicious post surf grinds. If youre in town January, April, July or October, head over to beautiful Waimanalo to participate in Ke Kula Nui O Waimanalo ‘s restoration project. The event has been known to draw 300+ visitors and locals alike. The groups goal is to rebuild the two turtle ponds back to it’s once majestic state.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I am a huge believer in the fact that a single book can change your life, and truth be told a few have flipped my life completely upside down. A book I recommend to any living human, is Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki. So much of what I’ve learned about perspective and financial literacy had its roots in that book. Kiyosaki quite frankly wrote a step by step process of how to turn your life around and be the smartest version of yourself possible. So many of the decisions I make to this day were influenced by the lessons taught to me in that book.