Work It Out For Sports Style

Jeni Kaohelaulii shows off some of the footwear available at her Kapa'a store

By Jeni Kaohelaulii
Owner of Work It Out

Tell us about your business. Work It Out is an athletic and casual shop for men and ladies in Kapa’a. We’re a specialty store that carries a variety of name brands as well as local designers.

Where did you grow up and attend school? I was born and raised in Anahola and graduated from Kapa’a High School.

What sets your business apart? Our style and unique blend of inventory. I think a lot of the looks here are effortless and the casual pieces can be dressed up or down. It really captures the lifestyle of Kaua’i – not super dressy, more laid back, but definitely some pops of color and local designers that add some style. Also, our product knowledge sets this business apart, our customer service and involvement in the community.

What is your philosophy or motto for doing business? Just being pono and having integrity is key for any business.

What’s the most challenging aspect of doing business? Time management and balance from work to home. I have a hard time turning it off, so for me it’s about separating and managing time better.

What’s the most rewarding aspect of doing business? There is a lot that’s rewarding. Definitely being able to give back to the community and being involved in the community. Also the return customers – I’ve met some really good people.

How has business been since you opened? We opened in 2008, and that was pretty much the beginning of the recession. So after writing a business plan, I had to switch gears into thinking maybe I can’t have everything I want all in the beginning. So I took a lot of baby steps from a few years ago to now, but definitely the loyal and return customers have helped sales increase pretty tremendously from year one.

Does Work It Out offer any fitness activities? We offer a free running group. It’s going to start back up in March. Our runs begin at 6 p.m. We meet at the shop and do about three miles on the bike bath and come back and have refreshments. It’s a casual group and any levels from walkers to runners are welcome. It’s great, especially for those who are aspiring runners, to hook up with someone who is better than you are. It really helps increase your performance.

What motivates you to get up and go to work every day? It has become an obsession. There’s a creative aspect of retail and business, and I’ve found there are different ways to enjoy the different pieces of that creative aspect and taking it apart and perfecting each aspect. There is bookkeeping, merchandising, ordering, planning events, cleaning and managing – I love it all.

How do you measure success? I’m not going to lie, sale increases for sure, but also expanding our inventory. I also set a lot of small goals like painting the outside or getting mannequins or increasing inventory and adding new brands. So those are definitely measures of success when I can check them off my wish list.

Work It Out Open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday

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