Ivanka Trump talks family business

Ivanka Trump
Ivanka Trump

By Teri Okita – bio | email

WAIKIKI (HawaiiNewsNow) - She was born with a silver spoon in her mouth but as an adult, has carved out a name for herself in everything from real estate to reality TV. 29 year old Ivanka Trump made her first trip to the new luxury hotel in Waikiki that bears the family name and talked about why Hawaii is so important to the family business.

It's hard to tell Trump is five months pregnant with her first child. She keeps a frenzied pace - checking on the Waikiki property for just hours - before jetting off to another Trump hotel on the east coast.

"I don't sleep very much but I love what I'm doing so I don't consider it a burden in any way," says Trump. "I really love everything that I take on; otherwise, I wouldn't choose to do so." I told her, "You'll have even less time because you're going to be a mom soon." "I know," she replied with a laugh. "Well, that's when you have to ask me the question. In a few months from now, then you can ask me about balance."

As Executive Vice-President of Development and Acquisitions for the Trump organization, balance is hard. She's tasked with expanding her famous father, Donald's, real estate interests. The Waikiki property - part hotel, part condominium - plays a key role.

"Well, Hawaii is also a very strategic decision for us as we think about the Asia-Pacific market and wanting to grow our presence there - so it has been a wonderful foray into that market."

68 percent of the units at the Trump International Hotel Waikiki have sold. Prices range from about 500 thousand dollars to almost five million dollars. Trump says they've closed more than 500 million dollars in sales, so far.

The family business includes her two brothers, and they don't cut the middle sister any slack. "Yeah, there aren't really gender lines drawn in our family! If you want to be heard, you have speak pretty loudly," she laughs.

Being born into a world of privilege has its plusses and minuses. She admits she doesn't always want the camera lens trained on her, but it's a small price to pay. "I would say, for the most part, I find it rather annoying when I hear people of great fortune complaining about their circumstance. So to me, it's great. I love who I am. I love the last name that I bear."

Aside from developer, she's an author, jewelry and accessories designer, and judge on her father's hit show, The Apprentice. As for the rumor her father will run for President in 2012, Trump says she hopes he will. When I ask her if she thinks he really will, she remains coy and says, "I don't know. That's something you'll have to ask him."

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