HOMESTEADY: Style with Purpose
KEAUKAHA, HAWAI‘I – A simple love of the Hawaiian culture, and not expensive marketing promotions, makes HomeSteady so popular said company founder, Keaukaha homesteader Malani Alameda.
HomeSteady’s signature he*HI*au (“He Hawai‘i Au”) logos are produced in a variety of colors and designs on everything from t-shirts to ball caps to stickers – all with the same message – be proud to be Hawaiian.
“Everybody LOVES showing that they’re Hawaiian,” Malani jokingly said of his customers.
Malani and his wife Kayle launched HomeSteady in the summer of 2009, selling their garb trunk-show style at craft fairs and signature Hilo events like the Merrie Monarch festival.
Malani hasn’t gone full-time just yet, but he’s not sure he wants to. See, in order to promote the Hawaiian culture through t-shirts and apparel, says Malani, he’s got to do more than just sell it, he’s got to live it.
Malani spends his time teaching aloha ‘āina to elementary school students in the garden at Keaukaha’s Hawaiian immersion public charter school, Ka ‘Umeke Kā‘eo. When he’s not teaching, he’s coaching outrigger canoe paddling for Keaukaha Canoe Club. And when he finds the time, he helps take keiki voyaging on the double-hulled canoe Hōkūalaka‘i.
“If I never do all of that, would kind of be transparent,” said Malani of what he stands for and what he believes HomeSteady symbolizes.
HomeSteady isn’t about wearing something that says you’re Hawaiian, but doing something that shows you’re Hawaiian.
Being able to show you’re Hawaiian can only come from a solid understanding of what it means to be Hawaiian, something Malani learned growing up in the tight-knit homestead community of Keaukaha, where his family’s roots grow long and strong.
Malani comes from four generations of Hawaiian homesteaders who call Keaukaha home. His great-grandmother was awarded one of the first homestead lots in town, which she transferred to his grandfather George “Bully” Alameda Jr., who transferred that very same lot to Malani’s mother Tina Marie Alameda. When she received an offering for a homestead lot down the road, there was no question in Malani’s mind – the next generation of Alameda’s would grow up in Keaukaha. He built himself a house with Kayle and his three kids – Kepo‘inalu, Puku‘i, and Tainui.
This firm footing allowed generations of not only ‘ohana, but of culture and of traditions to thrive in Keaukaha, giving Malani a strong connection to his Hawaiian roots, something he is truly thankful for. So when he decided to embark on this entrepreneurial adventure, there was no doubt the homestead would be an integral part of that journey.
“I thought, gotta be about homestead, gotta be something they can claim, and say this is us right here,” said Malani.
Hence the origin of the company name – HomeSteady.
“Now they get one brand they can all connect to,” said Malani.
Check out HomeSteady at WeHomeSteady.com