Rachael Ray, a successful Maui artist, was invited for the first time as a guest speaker at Maui Economic Development Board’s 3rd annual Hawaii Small Business Conference (HSBC). “I am so thankful to have had the opportunity to make a lasting impression on the HSBC attendees about the importance of service with aloha in our island chain,” Ray said. “For my part, sharing aloha in my business permeates all my relationships and every canvas I paint.”
Ray, a self-taught artist who loves to paint with Rembrandt oils, can often be found talking story with customers and working in U’i, her Kahului Maui art gallery. A graduate of Baldwin High School, Ray remembers her early childhood on Molokai as the beginning of her appreciation for Hawaii’s majestic surroundings. “I find endless inspiration through the vibrant colors and movement in my Hawaiian landscape and from my love and respect for the ‘aina,” she said.
U’i Gallery, Ray’s 1500 square-foot space, offers not only her own artwork. An exclusive selection of hand-made products by other local craftsmen are offered in a price range for everyone. Through her hospitable aloha service and the gallery’s allure, Ray’s customers soon become family.
“I love talking story with our customers and getting to know them,” she explained. “While making a sale is important, even if they don’t purchase the first time, people come back when they are cared for, and the repeat business helps our bottom line year after year. Aloha is communicated. I call it ‘coconut wireless’.”
Ray uses Hawaiian values to support her life and her business. Believing in aloha-motivation over profit, she makes a conscious effort to have gallery visitors leave feeling good and welcomed with aloha. She believes this is a responsibility we each have to become better in our own personal and business relationships.
Ray concluded, “Growing up in Hawaii we were taught to give first and then receive. Aloha builds on itself. It is contagious, with extraordinary results. Aloha is imperative to our mental and physical health, our overall welfare, and to Hawaii’s business vitality. Live Aloha!”
Aloha is everything! Smile from the heart, be genuine, be yourself. Be Aloha!
Rachael Ray, Artist and Owner, U’i Gallery