Business & Finance

Westfield Teens’ Sleeveless Hawaiian Shirt Company Takes Off

239d364ffdf31ecbde18_Kahunas3.jpg
Luke Beaulieu and Michael Stokes are simultaneously attending college and running Kahunas Sleeveless Hawaiians, a sleeveless Hawaiian shirt company. Credits: Sam Brown
239d364ffdf31ecbde18_Kahunas3.jpg

WESTFIELD, NJ — One year after graduating from Westfield High School, Luke Beaulieu and Michael Stokes are simultaneously attending college and running their own startup business, Kahunas Sleeveless Hawaiians, a sleeveless Hawaiian shirt company.

Beaulieu, who studies entrepreneurship and finance at Babson College in Massachusetts, began building the concept last year as his senior project at Westfield High. 

“I wanted to start a clothing business and thought what would happen if I were to bring together Hawaiian shirts and tank tops,” Beaulieu said. “They offer the comfortability and freedom that a regular Hawaiian shirt or tank top doesn’t offer. We like to think of them as all-purpose shirts, for all occasions.”

Sign Up for E-News

At first, business grew through word of mouth.

“A couple of friends who had bought the original Kahuna I made told me that a bunch of their friends in college had asked them where they had gotten their shirt and where they could buy them,” Beaulieu said. “When I contacted more of my friends and found that there was real demand for the product I knew that I had to start up the business again.”

In the year since Beaulieu launched the first order of Kahunas with his senior project, he has teamed up with Stokes, a fellow Westfield graduate and current engineering student at the University of Denver, to scale the business nationwide. The two 19-year olds have worked to better design, develop and market the product. 

“To grow our business, we have been working on increasing our social media presence. We’ve been in contact with a number of athletes, models and social media personalities to get them in Kahunas and take pictures,” Beaulieu said. “We have already hired artists to design shirts for our next order. Later in the summer we plan on bringing in new designs and hopefully hiring people to help us out in the fall.”

So far, Beaulieu and Stokes have amassed over a thousand dollars of sales in a target demographic of ages 15-25.

For Beaulieu, the key to being an entrepreneur, and turning an idea like Kahunas into a reality, starts and ends with having thick skin. 

“For aspiring entrepreneurs, I would tell them to not dwell on their mistakes,” Beaulieu said. “I have learned that when you start your own company you run into a lot of problems you don’t expect, but it’s essential to pivot. Be creative, find a solution and learn from it.”

Kahunas Sleeveless Hawaiians are available at www.kahunas.life for $24.99 in any one of three signature styles: The Big Kahuna, The Malasada and The Maverick.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Westfield

Sky Zone Trampoline Park Opens on Rt. 22 in Springfield

February 25, 2018

SPRINGFIELD, NJ — Sky Zone indoor trampoline park at 25 Route 22 in Springfield held a ribbon cutting ceremony Saturday with Mayor Rich Huber, Township Committeeman Chris Capodice and State Senator Tom Kean. After officially signing in, guests were allowed free rein of the facility.

The 35,000 square foot park includes wall-to-wall trampoline courts, a warped ...

Mayor Brindle’s Update

February 15, 2018

The following are highlights from the update that Mayor Shelley Brindle gave at Tuesday night’s town council meeting.

I first want to congratulate Nick Calello and David Went for their promotions to patrol officers in the Westfield Police Department. I’d also like to welcome and congratulate new Patrol Officer Fortunato Riga, who joins the police department this week upon his ...

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_2e2e4830042112095f66_94f09724857a937db1ac_d6404e0a-7afd-4279-b56f-19b0f9b2138c

Sun, February 25, 10:00 AM

Camp Riverbend, Warren

Camp Riverbend Open House

Carousel_image_d28b11720ab931cdced4_hamantash_bake_2018

Sun, February 25, 11:30 AM

Union County Torah Center - Chabad, Westfield

Hamantash Bake at the Torah Center

Religions And Spirituality

Tue, February 27, 7:30 PM

Westfield

Westfield Board of Education Meeting

Education

Westfield Police Blotter: Man Steals 60 Pairs of Pants from Downtown Store & More

February 21, 2018

February 14, 2018 10:53 p.m.

Officers Gill and Weiss arrested Luis Murillo, age 30, of Rahway, NJ, for two outstanding warrants out of Westfield Municipal Court ($500) and Woodbridge Municipal Court ($500) pursuant to a motor vehicle stop in Scotch Plans Township. Subject was transported to headquarters, processed and released after posting requisite bail.

 

February 15, 2018 5:24 ...

Wardlaw+Hartridge Students Present Creative Movement Showcase

February 25, 2018

Middle School students at The Wardlaw+Hartridge School in Edison who participated in the first Creative Movement class presented their work in a showcase on Feb. 14 in the Berry Performing Arts Center.

W+H partnered with The Mason Gross Masters in Dance Education Program to offer a Creative Movement class to teach students how to express themselves and their creative ideas through ...

7 Homes Sold Last Week in Westfield, Scotch Plains, Fanwood, Mountainside & Cranford

Seven homes sold last week, 2/18/2018-2/25/18, in Westfield, Scotch Plains, Fanwood, Mountainside and Cranford.*

 

TOWN               ADDRESS             STYLE            RMS     ...

The Missing Moses

A seemingly dubious distinction belongs to this week’s Parshah, Tetzaveh (Exodus 27:20–30:10). It is the only reading in the Torah — from the first Parshah of the book of Exodus (in which he is born) until the end of the book of Numbers — where the name of Moses is not mentioned. Tetzaveh’s opening words are V’atah ...

‘Month of Hope’ at Wilson School

Inspired by the HOPE Week Initiative introduced in 2009 by the New York Yankees, Mr. Joseph Malanga, principal of Wilson School and a fan of the American League professional ballclub, declared January the “Month of Hope” at Wilson.

Malanga called on the school’s faculty Acts of Kindness Committee to choose the charitable organizations to be recipients of the weekly donation ...

AtlantiCast

AtlantiCast: Episode 12

On this week’s episode of AtlantiCast, decade of excellence makes headlines, as Atlantic Health’s place on Fortune Magazine’s 100 Best Companies to Work For List leads off the newest episode of AtlantiCast. Also on this week’s show, check out the newest “hybrid” operating room at Morristown Medical Center and find out how Atlantic Health is helping local ...

Good News in NJ for Veterans

Beginning in the 2017 tax year, New Jersey will give an additional $3,000 exemption for military veterans. You are eligible to claim this exemption NJ state income tax return if you are a military veteran who was honorably discharged or released under honorable circumstances from active duty in the Armed Forces of the United States on or before the last day of the tax year.

 

The ...

How to Talk with Kids About the Florida Shooting

February 13, 2018

The tragedy of the Florida school shooting is devastating, leaving 17 killed and 15 injured. Our children can easily identify with what occurred yesterday. It will be the topic of conversation today in schools everywhere. School administrators are doing all they can to provide support and guidance. The shootings affect children, teachers, and school personnel. The school shooting ...

Love Craft Beer But Hate the Tour? State Assembly Moves to Make it Easier for You to Belly Up to the Bar

Good news is a brew for New Jersey craft beer advocates. In February 2018, the New Jersey Assembly’s Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee paved the way for the introduction of Bill A2196, which would remove a current licensing rule requiring breweries and distilleries to provide a tour of their facilities before serving alcoholic beverages to consumers. Currently, breweries holding a ...

'What Stays' exposes family secrets and lies

‘What Stays’ exposes family secrets, resentment and lies

By Liz Keill

SUMMIT, NJ – In an original play by Laura Ekstrand and Jason Szamreta, the Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre has provided an enlightening, funny and heart-felt view of family foibles.

Ekstrand has said that the germ of the play came from conversations with the ensemble members of the troupe, based on ...

Is FAANG Long in the Tooth?

Investors love to rally around a stock story. Today it’s all about the FAANG stocks. Facebook (FB), Amazon (AMZN), Apple (AAPL), Netflix (NFLX) and Google (GOOG) are a major reason why the S&P 500 rallied so much in 2017. Mr. Market is convinced the FAANGs are impervious to a sell-off. “Its different this time” is ringing loud and clear, but will the outcome really be that ...

Imagine a Chatham Toboggan Ride from the Top of Fairmount Avenue to Main Street

Did you know….
there was a time when Chatham kids could ice skate from downtown Chatham all the way to Florham Park? And that a toboggan ride could last from the top of Fairmount Avenue down to Main Street and beyond?

Those were the days!

This was back in the early to mid-1900s. The Passaic River meandered through grassy meadows and woods on the north side of Chatham. The marshy ...

Obituaries

Kathleen Marie Christian (nee Helmstetter), age 73 of Surf City, NJ, passed away peacefully at home ...
Read more

Nutley Police Make Arrest In Instagram School Threat Case

February 24, 2018

NUTLEY, NJ — An 18-year-old high school student has been charged with Third Degree False Public Alarm after an Instagram post led the Nutley school district to close schools last week.

Joseph Rafanello, a senior at Nutley High School, was arrested and taken to Essex County Jail.The arrest followed a full investigation by the police. The video at ...