For franchise, inky fingers are welcome business hazard
CARTRIDGE World Hawaii
franchisee Brandon Hughes is a big fan of empty printer ink cartridges. So many have found their way to him since he opened his first store in October 2004 in Aiea that he is expanding to a second location, in Kaneohe.
Hughes has signed a lease for a 960-square-foot space in Windward Centre, right behind Zippy's on Kamehameha Highway and next to Windward Mall.
The new store, which Hughes hopes to open next month, is about 50 percent bigger than his flagship location in Aiea Town Square, at 99-082 Kauhale St.
Its Windward neighbors will be the Loves Discount Bakery and Wholesale Unlimited. Hughes wants to get signs up soon to herald his impending arrival.
"We have already hired a delivery driver and one additional ink tech in anticipation of this store opening," he said. "I should hire one additional person once we are open."
The Aiea store has received a high volume of customer traffic from the Windward side, but the key factor in deciding to expand over the Koolaus was the lack of office-supply stores. Hopaco's Kaneohe and Kailua locations have long been closed, Hughes learned.
While Cartridge World isn't a full-line office-supply store, it will carry ink, toner, copy paper and about 15 specialty papers -- including one that can be made into a personalized puzzle, and another that can be used to make a customized mouse pad.
His business has grown but it still breaks out the same as it did before, about half commercial accounts, half regular retail customer business.
Hughes' top seller is the HP 56 black ink cartridge that he has sold for $10.50 since opening his first shop. The cartridge normally retails for $19 to $22 new, he said. There are similar savings on other brands.
Some Epson photo printers have six colors that cost $14 to $15 per color to replace. "That's 90 bucks and people start wigging out. We can refill one (color) at a time for $8 or $9," Hughes said.
Other customers tell him, "I don't care what the price is, as long as I can stop throwing away these things," he said.
Once the Kaneohe store opens, its hours will be the same as in Aiea, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays.
For folks who never get out of Honolulu, there is Mr. Ink Plus on Auahi Street in the Coral Commercial Center. It isn't open on Sunday either, as indicated on its Web site, "Gone to church, you should too!"
An eight-month licensing lapse has cost International School of Beauty and Esthetique LLC
$3,000 in a fine from the state Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs' Board of Barbering and Cosmetology.
The business was found to be unlicensed from Jan. 1 to Nov. 3, 2004, during a state Regulated Industries Complaints Office investigation that stemmed from a complaint.
The company admitted no wrongdoing in the matter, but told the DCCA the renewing of its license was overlooked in the course of the school's relocation from 1600 Ala Moana to 1888 Kalakaua Ave.
Its initial license was issued Feb. 14, 2002. Licenses are supposed to be renewed by Dec. 31 of odd-numbered years, according to DCCA spokeswoman Christine Hirasa.
"Due to our investigation and communication with the licensee, the licensee ... restored the license on Nov. 3, 2004," she said, adding that the company is now current.
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