An interview with Jill Hatch of Sugarcane

An interview with Jill Hatch of Sugarcane

How long have you been doing this?

I purchased Sugarcane from its original owner in the summer of 2010 when she decided to move her ohana back to their home state of CA. She called me on "a hunch" that I might be interested in taking over her shop, and I was! My youngest had just started school so it came at the perfect time for me to dive in head first. Since then I've never looked back. I have made some changes – lots of small ones and a few big ones. However, I always try to stay true to what her vision of this shop was, and especially to what I think my customers are looking for. Most of the goodies on my shop are Hawai'- made goods and locally found vintage treasures. There is something for everyone here!

What is the story behind Sugarcane?

When the original owner started out she had lots of vintage items and more than half of the shop was consignment clothing. She did carry a handful of new items that she found from local artisans; but not many. When I purchased the shop in noticed right away that these were the items that were moving the fastest. I decided to get rid of 90% of the clothing and focus on vintage items and locally made goods. My shop now carries items from over 100 local companies with most of them being made right here in the islands. We have items for the home, amazing bath and body goods, books, jewelry, and even a keiki section. We are proud to be one of the only shops in Honolulu that specializes in Made in Hawai'i gifts and products.

Where do you see Sugarcane in a few years?

I am always on the lookout for new fun items to carry and ways to keep my merchandise current. I would love to possibly try a foodie section with some of Hawai'i's incredible gourmet treats. I would also love to start a monthly Friday Night Pau Hana where we stay open later and people can stop by for a drink or a nibble on their way to dinner in the neighborhood. Kaimuki is happening at night and I feel like I'm missing out on that! Stay tuned....

 What do you love about Kaimuki?

I absolutely LOVE the energy in this neighborhood. You can't walk down Waialae Ave without feeling it. When we decided to move our family here more than 10 years ago I knew this was the neighborhood that we had to be in. Now to be living here AND running a business here feels like I've hit the jackpot! I love that Kaimuki has a mix of residents - the aunties and uncles that were born and have lived here their entire lives along with the newcomers like me; all of us are stoked to be lucky enough to be living the Kaimuki dream. I also love that the businesses in this neighborhood are pretty much all "mom & pop" shops. Everyone genuinely watches out for one another, and helps build and support each other. Even amongst business owners, it's Community over Competition. I love that. 

Where do you see Kaimuki in 5 years?

I would love to see the Queen Theater being used in some capacity. It's the heart of our community and could be such a terrific venue. I would also love to see more events out in the streets, people eating on sidewalk tables, and entertainment in the park. We have such amazing weather in Hawai'i - we should all be outside more, hanging out in Kaimuki.

Jordan Lee