The Thrill of the Hunt at Island Antiques & Thrift Shop

Island Antiques and Thrift Shop in Kaneohe
Island Antiques and Thrift Shop in Kaneohe
Barbara Pavich
Barbara Pavich

By Teri Okita – bio | email

KANEOHE (HawaiiNewsNow) - What's old is new again at Island Antiques and Thrift Shop.

The store opened just 10 months ago - selling hard-to-find vintage items. In our continuing series, "Small Business in Hawaii Works", the owners show us their secret to success.

Inside the Kaneohe shop, time stands still – sort of. "How ya doing today?" asks store co-owner, Barbara Pavich.  The browsing customer responds, "I love your shop!"  Barbara: "Oh, thank you."

The store sells everything from rare dishes, tea sets, swords, and glass floats to vintage aloha shirts.

"Hawaii is like a melting pot. People coming from all over the world, settling here, having been in the military, having traveled, so there's so much of everything here," explains Pavich.

Pavich and co-owner Kathy Leary take a special interest in Ming's jewelry - a former Honolulu-based company. The pieces are now hard to find, so when they get some, the jewelry goes fast.  It's that "thrill of the hunt" that's key to their success.

"We have a wish list, and people come in looking for certain things and then, it goes in our book and then we try and find certain things that they're looking for," says Pavich.

They acquire items in many different ways - from estate sales, customers, auctions, and collectible shows. They also find some things on the mainland.

Customers looking for their shop will find it tucked away in a corner along Kamehameha highway - across from Pizza Hut in Kaneohe. Pavich and Leary long dreamed of opening a store - after years spent collecting and selling antiques as vendors at trade shows. They have advice for others looking to open a small business.

"If it's your dream, just keep trying to go forward because if you don't, then you'll never know if you couldn't have done it or not. You just keep trying to push a little harder, work a little harder. It does take a lot of work," Pavich says.

Indeed it does. The two run the business on their own - with no employees, and they're open seven days a week.

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