The Lei Ānuenue 9FIFTY snapback will be an online-only exclusive, releasing this Thursday, May 31 at 11am HST. Please note there will be no in-store release.
We are extremely proud to formally unveil the Lei Ānuenue project—the culmination of hard work and determination which a group of young and gifted students helped mold into a meaningful work of art. We teamed up with an amazing group of students from Ke Kula Kaiapuni o Ānuenue school to create the Lei Ānuenue 9FIFTY snapback, full of deep meaning and rich moʻolelo, all to help provide the school with a much-needed new gymnasium.
Introduction by Ola:
A little over a year ago, we started a process that would refine our idea of real leverage. On any given week we field 1–3 requests for sponsorships, fundraisers, collaborations, or donations. Although we would like to accommodate any and all requests, being a small business with an even smaller budget forces us to decline in most cases. However, there are rare instances which prove to be an opportunity that can help spark a change to the matrix.
Case in point, the Lei Ānuenue project started with a simple conversation between us and Poʻo Kumu Baba Yim of Ke Kula Kaiapuni o Ānuenue. They have been strategizing ways to help fundraise for the new gymnasium that was approved to be built. For many that may not be familiar, Ānuenue is a DOE public ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi (Hawaiian language speaking) school. Grade levels are from Kindergarten through 12 and focus on Hawaiian agriculture, Hawaiian culture, and Hawaiian language.
The initial idea about a hat quickly turned into a greater question we constantly ask. How do we leverage our intellectual property in ways that are either underutilized or often appropriated and lack context. The solution was to activate a program where we can teach and mentor a group of students. Within this program we would introduce the process of activating an idea or as Kumu Kaipoʻi often shares, “mana-tize.” Simply put, our “ike” or knowledge passed down through generations is birthright; it’s our intellectual property.
We started with a series of meetings to brainstorm objectives, narratives, goals, and ultimately deliverables. This process took us through sketching, digitizing, technical preproduction, postproduction planning, marketing, and now the final phase of sales and distribution.
We believe by involving the students, we essentially evolve the next generation of thought. The idea of leverage becomes less about monetary value and more about unlocking true principles of leverage—what is possible from an idea and process could potentially be vast! The future will tell, but we are already planning the next set of haumana (students) and in a small way we will eventually help build a gym. Rock by rock and mind by mind…
Mahalo nui for the opportunity, Kumu Baba, and all of our students for their hard work, dedication, and bright minds!
All proceeds of the Lei Ānuenue snapback will be donated to the gymnasium fund. Ike live forever!
Moʻolelo (story) behind the project and snapback by the stars of the Lei Ānuenue project—the haumana (students):
Kapa ʻia kēia hui pāpale o “Lei Ānuenue”. Noho Ke Kula Kaiapuni ʻo Ānuenue ma ke awāwa ʻo Pālolo ma waena o nā kuahiwi ʻo Mauʻumae lāua ʻo Waʻahila. Kapa ʻia ke mele o ke kula o “Lei Ānuenue” a ma kēia mele, wehewehe ia nā hiʻohiʻona o Pālolo a me ka ʻauamo ʻana i nā kuleana no nā hanauna. Pili ka inoa o Lei Ānuenue iā kākou no ka mea ʻo Pālolo kahi a mākou e ulu ai a kahi e ola mau ai ka ʻike a me ka ʻōlelo o nā kūpuna. Palena ʻole kō mākou aloha no Pālolo. I mea kēia hōʻuluʻulu kālā e hōʻuluʻulu ai i kālā e kūkulu au i ka hale haʻuki no Ānuenue.
Kaululoa: ʻO ka huinakolu hakahaka e huli ana i lalo ma luna loa nā kūpuna a hāhai aku kākou iā lākou. ʻO ka lalani huinakolu ʻōmaʻomaʻo a polu o luna ka wao akua a o ka laina huinakolu ʻōmaʻomaʻo o lalo ka wao kānaka. He āna hoʻi kēia e hōʻike ana i ke kūlia ʻana e like me nā kūpuna.
ʻUpena: Ua koho mākou i ka ʻupena i mea e hoʻohanohano ai iā ʻAnakala Eddie. ʻO ka lawaiʻa ʻana kekahi o kana mau hana punahele a ua hoʻololi ʻo ia i ke ʻano o ke kula. I ke komo ʻana i kēia pāpale, me he mea la ke aʻapo nei kākou i ka ʻike i waiho ʻia nō kakou e ʻAnakala.
Our group is called “Lei Ānuenue”. Ke Kula Kaiapuni o Ānuenue sits in Pālolo Valley between two mountains, Mauʻumae and Waʻahila. Our school song is called “Lei Ānuenue” and in this song describes Pālolo and all its features but also our generation and how we have responsibilities to carry. The name Lei Ānuenue connects with us because Pālolo is where we grew and it is also where our knowledge and language is still living. Our love for Pālolo is never ending. This fundraiser is to help our school build a gym for our athletes.
Kaululoa: The upside down triangle represents how we look up to our kūpuna. The triangle solid green triangle represents wao kanaka and the top triangle represents wao akua. The way the triangles form a staircase, represents how we strive for the highest.
ʻUpena: We chose an ʻupena design to acknowledge the lessons left behind by ʻAnaka Eddie. Fishing was one of his favorite hobbies and he made a huge impact on our school. When we wear this hat, it is like we are grasping the knowledge left by him.
As a reminder, the Lei Ānuenue 9FIFTY snapback will be released ONLINE-ONLY tomorrow, May 31 at 11am HST, and will not be released in-store.