LIHUE — Even though Monday is the official grand opening for two frog Hugging’s new Teak Discount Outlet, owner Rudy Bosma got a little taste of things to come over the weekend.
Mailing-list customers were treated to a “sneak preview” of the renovated warehouse on Kuhio Highway in Lihu’e over the weekend, and business was good.
“Friday was a killer day,” Bosma said. “A record day.” The idea is to move large amounts of indoor and outdoor wooden furniture at competitive prices to offset competition from the under-construction Costco and established The Home Depot locations, he said.
“We decided we needed to lower our prices and increase our inventory as much as possible,” Bosma said.
So when 5,500 square feet of warehouse space behind Two Frogs I Hugging’s showroom opened up, the Bosmas pounced.
“When we got The square feet, we decided to take advantage,” he said. “Now we have a total of 15,000 square feet. We’re right up there with the big boys in town.” Instead of direct competition, Bosma sought out a niche.
He sells mainly to secondhand third-home owners and summer tourists.
The product is high quality, with only a slightly higher price, and he focuses on interior furniture rather than exterior. Perhaps the most important aspect, according to Bosma, is a unique product.
The teak comes from Indonesia, rattan from the Philippines, and elm and camphor from China. Aside from the business advantage, the furniture keeps it fun, he said.
”Every piece that you see we hand-picked,” Bosma said.
“We’re leaving in two weeks for Indonesia, China. Vietnam and the Philippines.” Pictures in Bosma’s office reflect his travels. In fact, the inspiration for the store’s name came while hiking in an Indonesian Jungle, when he stumbled across a sculpture of, well, two frog’s hugging. Now he buys all the store’s stone statues from that artist “It’s fun to see these places,” Bosma, a Holland native, said.
“It’s rewarding.” In terms of more-tangible rewards, Monday’s grand opening, coupled with the rare sunshine of Saturday, has things looking up after a rough March.
“We were probably down 30 percent for the month,” Bosma said, blaming the recent rains.
And even though they lost almost an acre of land in the recent Ka Loko Reservoir dam disaster, the Bosmas, who have been on the island for 12 years, first in the restaurant business and then, for the last seven, in furniture, are slaying put.
“I’ve got another 15 years on my lease,” he said with a smile. “I ain’t going nowhere.”
• Ford Gunter, business reporter, may be reached 245-3681 (ext. 251) or email@example.com