Young Entrepreneur: Rae Kanoa Wang

Andy Kim

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The Sea King community is one filled to the brim with talent derived from passion, from world class athletes to award winning musicians to grade A engineers. The list just goes on. Sophomore Rae Kanoa Wang’s passion, however, is a little bit different than that of most students. Apart from being a PV High student, Wang’s ambitions drove her to take on the tricky world of business, by means of a bikini company.

Wang had always dreamed of making a bikini company and found inspiration in Midori Bikinis’ creative designs and patterns.

“When I first thought of making a bikini company, I really was trying to make a bikini line that my friends and I could enjoy that were different than all the other bikini designs out there,” Wang said.

On top of being a student, Rae is also an editor for Live from 205 and is a part of the Fine Bros Youtube Channel, Teens React. All of this doesn’t leave much time to be a businesswoman, but despite her busy schedule Wang created her bikini business, Kanoa Kinis.

“As I began to make designs, I really fell in love with what I was doing and that helps me to put in my 100 percent in Kanoa Kinis,” Wang said.

One of the most amazing things about Wang’s business is that she started it and runs it almost completely on her own, with help from only her younger sister.

“I wanted to independently organize my business without the help of parents because I wanted to learn from my mistakes and failures,” Wang said.

“I knew that in order for me to grow as the best entrepreneur I could possibly be, I needed to learn from my mistakes.”

Wang designs her bikinis throughout the day as her sister hand makes them. Making the bikinis with unique flare and style, the two work by themselves to manage their business while they strive to create quality bikinis. The girls’ parents are proud of the hard work and effort both of their daughters have put into Kanoa Kinis.

“When Rae came up to me, I insisted that I help, but she wanted to grow her business by herself. I’m so proud of both my daughters to have a vision and start their first business venture together,” said Sandra Wang, Wang’s mother.

Wang’s fame from Teens React has helped her market her business, as she has gained major popularity with her eight thousand Instagram followers, as well as with high schoolers around the hill. Wang’s independence and responsibility has made her business very appealing to local businesses, many of which have reached out to Kanoa Kinis, giving Wang a chance to sell her bikinis in several store locations.

“Currently, Kanoa Kinis has had such a demand that all the bikinis on our online store are sold out,” said Wang.

Wang’s business has not only been able to grow through Wang’s Instagram and the Kanoa Kinis Instagram page, but it has also gained popularity due to endorsements from her friends and family. All of Kanoa Kinis’ site photos and advertisements have been taken by PV High students or Wang’s other close friends.

Additionally, most of Wang’s models and staff are from the Palos Verdes Peninsula. Not only has this helped Rae’s business, but it has also helped the photographers taking the photos and models in the photos to gain real world experience and exposure. This local feel has attracted the attention of many high school students in the South Bay, as well as the attention of famous instagrammers, such as @jeanniemaiofficial and       @strvggles. These instagrammers have helped Wang’s business by giving her numerous shout outs, and by inspiring new bikini designs, many of which have grown popular among local businesses. As more and more people have become familiar with Wang’s bikini line, Kanoa Kinis has gained a following nationwide. This high demand has prompted the sisters to look for some outside help.

“My sister and I have saved up money over our company’s success and we have decided to work with professional sewers in Los Angeles because of the high demand for more bikinis,” Wang said.

As Kanoa Kinis has grown, Wang has gained important connections with people in the world of business, which was one of the reasons for why Wang started her business.

“It’s great having such success with my business. Not only is Kanoa Kinis growing, but I’ve actually grown a lot more as a person,” she said.

“Currently my goal is travel with the company and I’m so thankful to have such great people to help support me throughout my journey. If it seriously wasn’t for my desire to accomplish my dream to start a bikini buisness, I wouldn’t even be here.”

So Sea Kings, with a new year right around the corner, be sure to stay on the lookout for  opportunities in which you can not only challenge yourself, but also pursue your passions. And if such opportunities do come about, seize them. After all you never know what you may accomplish until you try.

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