Today Ted speaks with Gary Campbell, President, and CEO of Aloha Light & Design, a full-service wholesale lighting distributor and design company based in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. Aloha specializes in the design, planning, and procurement of lighting products for high-end, world-class resort and residential projects.
A transplant to Big Island from San Francisco, Gary brought over his 16 years of experience in the fast-paced Bay Area world of commercial and retail lighting.
Gary and the Aloha Light & Design team operate under the philosophy of the Hawaiian word kina’ole, which essentially means “doing the right thing; in the right way; at the right time; in the right place; to the right person; for the right reasons; with the right feeling—the first time.”
Listen in as Gary speaks on his love of travel, the differences of doing business on the mainland versus Hawaii, the blessings and challenges that come with having ultra-high-net-worth clients, and how he ensures he never makes a mistake on a single project.
- [06:22] Growing up in the Bay Area and moving to Kona
- [10:56] Gary’s career in the lighting industry
- [14:11] The challenges of dealing with homeowner reps
- [18:56] Keeping almost all projects custom while keeping up with industry standards
- [22:31] What Gary appreciates about living in Kona
- [31:34] Projects that Gary is excited about
- [34:46] The moment Gary realized he has a successful business
- [38:59] How Gary chose his home in Kona
- [43:42] How Gary deals with mistakes
- [47:34] Where Gary sees himself in five years and what he’s most proud of
- [52:07] What the American Dream means to Gary
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Key Quotes from Episode
- There’s no place like home, really. Traveling is great and everything; but, knowing that I get to come back here—that’s the best.
- When people think of Hawaii, they think of the beauty of the beaches and the scenery. To me, the real beauty is the people. The people here are just indescribable. It’s that aloha spirit. […] There are no pretenses. They’re just real people.
- I’d rather work with clients and sell them what they want—find out what they want and find that. Or find them what they want and make that. That’s what we do. That’s what sets us apart. We’re not pushing anything on anybody. We’ll give you whatever you want, and if you don’t know what you want, we’ll tell you what you want.
- I think everything’s a choice. What are you going to choose? Which way are you going to go? If you don’t like the way you’re going, change lanes or turn around, because you’re driving.
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