Maui's Mom & Pop Stores: The Aesthetic & Intrinsic Study of Multi-Generational & Family-Owned Businesses

Kihara, Kreig
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Millions of tourists frequent the state of Hawaii every year hoping for a vacation complete with sunny skies, sandy beaches, and relaxing trade winds. It is no secret that people from all over the world visit these islands expecting a change of pace from their everyday lives where they can immerse themselves in an island culture set in one of the most beautiful places this planet has to offer. For many visitors, this is a culture that is for the most part, only understood from what is portrayed in travel brochures or seen on television and in the movies, and while many tourists do choose to enjoy their Hawaiian vacation poolside with a tropical drink in hand, the truth is that there is a vast and welldeveloped way of life outside the perimeter of resort hotels. Although Hawaii does rely heavily on its tourism, it is also an island chain rich with cultural history and diversity, where people have worked, played, and lived their entire lives for multiple generations within a path that is not often crossed by the common vacationer. The purpose of this project is to look at the other side of Hawaii, a side that is rarely written into the guidebooks, almost never featured on television, and yet plays just as important a role to Hawaii as tourism itself. This project is about Hawaii’s, and specifically Maui’s Mom & Pop stores, a special condition of modern culture in Hawaii, their architectural quality and aesthetic, their unique relationship to the customers they service, and their role in a community as a sense of place. Both “Mom & Pop” and “Smart Growth” are expressions often attached loosely to many different interpretations. The research involved with this project will offer clarity towards understanding these terms as they pertain to this study, so that they are seen less as subjective descriptions and more as valid design approaches. This study is the outcome of three main areas of research: the Mom & Pop store manifestation throughout history and its historic integrity, the interpretation of select case studies that embody Mom & Pop properties, and a study of the role of Mom & Pop stores in the past, present, and future of Hawaii’s communities.
108 pages
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