Sporting Goods Store Steps Up To The Plate

STANLEY MAHELONA, owner of SportStan

Although Sport-Stan established its storefront in Waipi‘o in January 2010, its history really goes back to April 1996. Owner Stanley Mahelona knew how important it was to have quality sporting equipment that wouldn’t break the bank. At the time, options were limited, so he took the matter in his own hands.

“I was Hawai‘i’s first and only mobile sporting goods (store),” says Mahelona.

Working with The Ultimate Bat Bag Co., Mahelona would travel across the island selling different products, including bats, gloves, balls, helmets, bat bags and roller bags. He would get requests from clients discussing what items they needed, and he’d set a time and place to meet them, bringing items they’d requested.

SportStan owner Stanley Mahelona (left) runs the business with his daughter and co-owner/store manager Anastasia Bryant.

“I used to drive all over this island, as far as the mobile sporting goods, to take products to people — whether it was their practice field, their game, their house, wherever,” he says.

His business soon began to grow by word of mouth. He made most of his sales on the weekend, when he would go to different baseball games and practices.

He was then given a proposition from Elite Sports to be its local dealer, with the condition that he open a brick-and-mortar store. Thus, SportStan made its debut on Jan. 3, 2010, in Waipi‘o Industrial.

“We (referring to his wife, Linda, and daughter, Anastasia) were all excited,” says Mahelona. “I wanted to do this for the longest time.”

Over the years, SportStan has grown to be Hawai‘i’s leading dealer for brands such as Easton Sports, Wilson/DeMarini, Worth and Combat Sports — receiving accolades, such as being the No. 1 Wilson glove dealer and No. 1 sporting goods retail store in the western region. In addition to baseball and softball equipment, SportStan is also Hawai‘i’s exclusive dealer of Elite Sports, offering full custom sublimated uniforms.

Mahelona makes it a point to get to know his customers before he sells them anything. He takes the time to explain products and even takes kids outside to show them the basic premise of a baseball or softball swing.

“That’s what sets us apart. Our customer service, getting to know people as family and having the best product here in Hawai‘i.”

SportStan also prioritizes giving back to the community. Every year, the company gives a $1,000 scholarship through the Hawai‘i Softball Foundation to a neighbor island high school senior. In the past, the biz has also helped send a number of students to athletic training camps or to national tryouts. It also sponsors teams with backpacks, jerseys and caps.

“We just do what we can,” says Mahelona. “Just seeing the kids, that look on their face or they’re so happy. They take a team picture and I see all the jerseys or all the bags lined up and everything — that’s enough for me.”

Whether Mahelona sells items from the back of his truck or at his beaming business, his vision remains the same: “To provide the baseball and softball players of Hawai‘i an alternative means to buy top-quality products at prices they can afford.”