Bootblack, for a cause
NOBODY would expect a successful and powerful businessman like Eddie Flores, president and chief executive of L&L Drive-Inn
, to stoop to such a menial task, but he's going to do it.
Flores and his directors of marketing, real estate and franchising will be shining shoes from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 1, in front of First Hawaiian Center at Bishop and King Streets.
If you know Flores, you know there's a moneymaking aspect to it, and there is. The minimum for a shoe shine is $5, which will be donated to the Salvation Army Christmas Kettle drive.
He got the idea while vacationing in Lima, Peru. A little boy asked him if he wanted his shoes shined for 20 cents.
"I bargained him down to ten cents. That is in my nature, to negotiate on everything even if it was a good deal," Flores said.
As the boy went about his task, Flores thought about the fundraising potential and called the Salvation Army to make arrangements.
"I want myself and my department heads to be humble and also to help those who are in need."
Oh, and about the little Peruvian shoeshine boy?
"When he was done, I gave him $2," said servant-leader Flores.
Word has it that First Hawaiian Bank President Don Horner plans to be Flores' first customer.
Just in time for pay day
The 2005 Black Friday door buster sales now a weary memory, it would be nice for retailers to issue "Christmas Shopping for Dummies" guides in their advertising.
The ultra-luxe, high-end stuff promoted in the Ala Moana Center gift guide earlier this month could easily be responsible for causing many readers to have broken the tenth commandment against coveting their neighbor's budget.
Now the center has compiled a list for actual people with real-life budgets and Christmas shopping lists.
Entitled, "Top ten Secret Santa gifts for under $20" the list, is aimed at office-giving, but could be applied to many gift-giving scenarios.
Suggestions range from tried-and-true gifts such as snack assortments from the Crack Seed Center and fragrant soaps from Lush, to trendy toys such as a hand-held Texas Hold 'Em game from Radio Shack to a Sudoku Puzzle Kit from Sam Goody.
Each week the center will compile new lists with different themes, from shoppers' and retailers' recommendations.
Private contest nets trip
It's a contest most of us have never heard of, nor could we enter.
Celebrity Resorts Waikiki concierge Judy Hawkins recently won a Royal Hawaiian Shopping Center incentive prize, for her work promoting the center's discount booklet.
"Many of our Royal Hawaiian Shopping Center guests turn to their concierge for recommendations on where to shop and dine, and we recognize the importance of helping them do their jobs well," said Anne Murata, marketing director.
Hawkins also describes the relationship with the center as helpful but ads, "it helps me attract more customers to use my concierge and personal assistance services."
So where does one send an award-winning Hawaii concierge? Vegas, of course.
The center runs the concierge contest quarterly.
Congratulations to the ohana at Ohana Road, a locally produced TV show for the car enthusiast that airs weekly on KITV. The International Automotive Media Association awarded the show a gold medallion as the best automotive TV series in the video/entertainment category. It was Ohana Road's third win at the IAMA annual award.
Pacific Orient Traders, an Oahu-based retailer of Chinese antiques and home furnishings, has expanded to Los Angeles. After more than a month of labor, on renovation, that is, Christopher James Fine Jewelers reopened to the public Nov. 18. It is one of only two locally based Official Rolex watch dealers in the state. The other is its sister store, Kaimana Kea. Both are owned by Waikiki Trader Corp., which also owns or operates several other retail concepts in Hawaii and on Guam and the mainland.
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Erika Engle is a reporter with the Star-Bulletin. Call 529-4302, fax 529-4750 or write to Erika Engle, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., No. 7-210, Honolulu, HI 96813. She can also be reached at: email@example.com