HONOLULU (KHON2) — Maria Roedel and Mary Moriarty Jones are doing what they love, but they took very different paths to get there.
Roedel has been working with plants and flowers since she was 18 years old in California when her mom and dad first told her it was time to get a job.
“I went to a little kiosk in Solana Beach and the owner of the kiosk asked me if I knew about flowers,” said Roedel. “I told her I knew what a rose was she laughed and we just kinda hit it off and she became my mentor.”
Roedel bought the kiosk two years later, and then she bought a second and a third. Everything blossomed from there.
Moriarty Jones, on the other hand, spent years wearing a hard hat as a civil engineer, all while studying ikebana and making lei.
“I think I always wanted to do something a lot more creative artistically and more enjoyable,” said Moriarty Jones. “I love plants so this brought all of it together.”
Roedel and Moriarty Jones are now the dynamic duo behind Hele Mele Botanicals.
“Our passion is being creative and exciting we don’t want to do the normal OK we’re not the place to go for a dozen plain roses for Valentine’s Day,” Moriarty Jones said.
From weddings and special events to fashion shows and more, business was great. Then the pandemic hit. They found an entirely new niche with more people staying home.
“We found out during COVID we did a lot of in home work” said Moriarty Jones. “We did a lot of wreaths and garlands and Christmas tree decorating.”
They thought all of their new in-home business would dry up after Christmas, but id did not. The other big part of their business also started bouncing back as hotels started reopening.
“We do these plant arrangements here and try to beautify all the spaces in the hotel lobby and rooms with botanicals,” Moriarty Jones said.
“It’s nice to see everything open up again and we’re doing weddings and events that were canceled last year. That was really hard on us,” said Roedel.
Roedel and Moriarty Jones are back to doing what they love; creating and delivering beauty to their customers and guests, with an emphasis on delivering.
“We come to you, you don’t have to drive around and look for parking. Again, all of our products are delivered to the door and all the events, we’re on site, we come to you to make it very easy,” said Moriarty Jones.
Their secret to success?
“I think it’s the passion for what we do. We both love botanicals plants. We both love it and I think that is expressed in our work,” Moriarty Jones said.