What the Aloha Spirit Has Taught Me About Running My Business

What the Aloha Spirit Has Taught Me About Running My Business

Have you ever been to Hawaii?  If you’ve been following my blog, you may know that Hawaii happens to be my favourite destination.  Being born in the prairies, I’m not sure how I became such a beach girl but the minute we touchdown in Hawaii, I feel like I am home.  I especially love it when my toes hit the sand, my ears hear the waves and my nose smells all the wonderful tropical smells.  When we arrive in Hawaii (and no matter what island we are on), we are also greeted by a wonderful spirit – the Aloha spirit.


And yes…those are my toes!

Oh I can remember the very first time my family went to Hawaii.  I distinctly remember my dad being annoyed at the Aloha spirit.  Every tourist thing we did we were greeted with a huge, “A-lo-ha!”  When it was time to go, we were once again left with a huge, “A-lo-ha!” I could see my dad cringe and at what he thought was a fake Aloha.  What even drove him more crazy was that no one drove quickly, nothing was done with speed and everyone was just so darn happy!  Imagine – everyone being happy.  How dare they!

I love the Aloha spirit and I believe it is genuine (not just a tourist gimmick). I recently read an article that talked about this spirit and how it can change your life.  We’ve been to Hawaii enough times to know that there truly is a spirit.  We see it in the stores, we see it on the road (everyone seems to let everyone in) and we see it on the beach.  This past holiday we had a wonderful conversation with 2 local Hawaiian photographers.  If you’re on Instagram, you have to check them out: Alika  and Jake.


Image source

These 2 men were so generous in talking to us about wave shots with their go-pro.  They didn’t have to do that – but they did.  That is part of the Aloha Spirit.  All of this got me thinking of how I can bring this exact spirit to my clients and their experience of going through a renovation.

Ohana (Family)

Part of the Aloha Spirit is making connections with people – to take a genuine interest in them.  I treat all of my clients like they are family.  I hold their project near and dear to my heart and treat their home like it was my own.  I care for their well-being, I ensure communication is ongoing and ensure that they are extremely happy with the end result.  I feel like every client that I have worked with has become a friend – or family.  Making those connections is so important!



In Hawaii, there is a definite respect for family, for the elderly, and for all people.  I like to think I have client respect and trade respect.  I respect my clients time and money. I respect the fact they have entrusted me with their renovation project. I also like to think I have respect for all of the trades that work on a project.  I know that the trades work on many jobs and that my project is one of many for them. I feel it is my responsibility to ensure they are fully aware of the scope of the project, that they are aware of the timeline and are aware the family the home belongs to.  I’m a firm believer that respect is a two-way street.   If you give it, you are more likely to receive it.


Hang Loose

For those of you who know me very well, you’re probably thinking, ‘WHAT?”  How can Sheri Hang Loose when she’s so organized?  While every project that I lead is very well organized, the best laid plans can be thrown a curve ball. I have learned (and continue to work on this) to hang loose.  What do I mean by this? I’ve had clients say to me before how they appreciate me not getting angry when something happened.  For instance, on a recent bathroom renovation project the glass shower door was installed incorrectly.  I could have got mad, I definitely could have sworn, and I could have yelled at the installer. What good would that have done? Instead, my clients and I assessed the situation and I had an on-site meeting with the glass company.  We looked at all the options, weighed the pros and cons for each, and came up with a plan that was a win for my clients and honestly, a win for the glass company (as I ended up saving them a few dollars by thinking out of the box).


Image source

The Aloha Spirit

I do believe the Hawaiian Islands are magical. I know I feel that spirit when I’m on holidays there.  I know part of the magic that Hawaii holds for me is the awesome weather they have year-round, the tropical sounds that fill the air and the tropical smells (nothing better than a sweet juicy pineapple) that fills the air.  I also know that a huge part of the magic is held in the Aloha spirit.  Although we are thousands of miles away from Hawaii, I hope that I can bring a little Aloha into your renovation project.


Such magical clouds the day I shot this photo! 

Sheri Bruneau Get It Together


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