By Kent Untermann
President & CEO of The Art Source Inc. dba Plus Interiors
Think manufacturing and you probably don’t think of Hawaii, but you should. Why can’t we make what we need right here in the Islands? As we move toward increased sustainability efforts in energy and agricultural sectors, we are leveraging our Islands’ resources and consuming local food. At Plus Interiors, we try to do our part by manufacturing nearly all of our products right here in Hawaii.
Why manufacture locally? We take pride in what we do and in the place where we work. Hawaii is an integral part of our company, brand and products. Manufacturing locally allows us to connect deeply with our customers and create a truly unique product that adds both monetary and functional value to a home or office.
Consider an imported cabinet of marginal quality. As a local manufacturer, we can make the same cabinet here in the Islands with short lead time, higher quality and at a fair price, eliminating the high cost of shipping and long lead times. We are able to see a project through from concept to completion. Rather than spending time and funds to import a large, bulky item, we are able to quickly manufacture high-quality, customizable products.
With the advent of technology, we leave a much smaller environmental footprint.
Plus Interiors employs 130 individuals statewide — craftsmen, interior designers, operations associates and more. Local manufacturing pulls together talent from the surrounding neighborhoods, creating positions for a skilled and diverse workforce. In cities across the country, local manufacturing is making a comeback, representing a small, yet powerful economic driver that deserves a second look.
We believe local manufacturing is a viable, sustainable business model for our community. More than that, local manufacturing means creating quality jobs, preserving natural resources and building a better life in the Islands.