It is my pleasure to introduce to you the fourteen year old who started Kauai Lei Greeting. This young woman is so impressive. Born and raised on Kauai, Emilia Knudsen started her first business at age 8. Since then she has accumulated a resume of which most young adults would be proud.
Her latest venture is the traditional lei greeting at the airport. I remember my first trip to the islands in 1980. Not having the vast resources of the internet, I booked our trip through a travel agent and when we arrived on Oahu we were met with a lei greeting. It was the perfect start to our Hawaiian vacation.
In Hawaii, leis are a symbol of Aloha. Residents give them to family and friends celebrating special occasions. At graduation ceremonies, the graduates often have so many leis around their neck that they can hardy move. It’s a show of love and support.
Now you may start your vacation with this feeling of Aloha. Emilia, or one of her helpers, will welcome you by hanging a beautiful, fresh flower (plumeria, when in season from April to July, or orchid), ti leaf, kukui nut, or candy lei around your neck. An optional souvenir photo, with your own phone, is also offered so the memory of arrival on the Garden Island may be documented. Welcome gift baskets with the best from Kauai is also available for your first night enjoyment.
When you visit Emilia’s website, you will see that the lei prices range from $110 (for 2) to $245 (for 7). If you click on the Booking! tab, you will see all the options. You will also notice that Emilia has a Toyota Four Runner for rent. She has bought the car, and is renting it to cover the loan and expenses so that she’ll have a car when she gets her license! Impressive.
But, Emilia’s entrepreneurial spirit does not end there. She started a jewelry business a few years ago, and donates some of the proceeds to those in need, often times children. As an example, she just created gift baskets for the children at the Kilauea Food Pantry. Her jewelry website has many photos of the art pieces she makes from the treasures found around Kauai. Often times she has a booth set up at our local artisan fairs around the island. She plans to be at Princeville on May 7th.
As if this wasn’t enough, Emilia is an award winning philanthropist, creating a free food pantry for those in need during our Covid shutdown, a professional fire dancer, and an international runway model (Paris, Milan, and New York). She won a Gold award for her volunteer service from the President and a Top Volunteer Hawaii award from Prudential. Here are some articles about her accomplishments:
Can’t wait to see what she thinks up next. Her mantra is, “If we help each other, we will all be okay.”
So, what better way to make your arrival memorable, while also supporting this young business owner. Think about ordering a Kauai lei greeting for the start of your Kauai vacation. It’s been 43 years since I had mine, and I still remember it!
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