Its 2015. What’s Your Story?

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One of the things I love the most is teaching and helping others to tell their story. The first class I’ll be teaching in 2015 will be in Long Beach at the uber cool retail store, Conversation Pieces, owned by the charming, sister-from-another-mister, Audrey. She is one of those very special human beings that also loves to help others, but does it with such detail via her online store (where we first became fans of one another) to her new retail store (where I can now shop in person), that I am always left in such awe.

The “What’s Your Story” pr class is exactly that- helping folks find their story, their angle, their news. It will be a two-hour interactive session from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. that will give everyone a starting point of how to go about crafting the ideal message when it comes to spreading the word about their product, business, or brand. Please note: bring a notebook, pen, or color markers to jot notes down. Electronic devices are not allowed in class. Why? Learning also comes from the old-fashioned, tried-and-true “head, to heart, to hand” method. You’ll see;)

See you at Conversation Pieces on January 22nd. Arrivals at 6:00 p.m., class begins at 6:30 p.m. I look forward to creating with you soon!

Grammy Museum

KoAloha,Tony,Tj,PaliOh what a night! On Aug. 29, 2013 Los Angeles experienced some Hawaiian love via the talents of Tony Conjugacion, Tj Mayeshiro, and Pali Ka’aihue. The event was called “Aloha Spirit, KoAloha Style” and was held in the Clive Davis Theatre of the Grammy Museum in downtown Los Angeles.

The venue is an intimate 200-seater and provides the perfect environment to enjoy the strumming sounds of ukulele. The audience also received a few fun surprises! KoAloha Ukulele president, Alan Okami, treated guests to his beautiful falsetto voice while Tony C. accompanied him. Later, VP of KoAloha Ukulele, Paul Okami, got up to dance a hula with guest dancer, Ualani Ho’opai. Aloha spirit is everywhere!

In The Beginning

Tracy2With more than 28+ years of experience in public relations, marketing and advertising, and a passion for the arts, Tracy Larrua has been described as a communication jade-of-all-trades.  A local girl from Hawaii, she spent 17 years honing her career in Los Angeles where she is regarded as a publicist and marcom specialist with a focus on integrated public relations.

Since relocating back home to O’ahu in late 2009, Larrua now splits time between Hawai’i and L.A. where she also conducts pr workshops for large companies, small business owners, and non-profit organizations, as well as specializes in one-on-one client training and pr coaching.

Larrua consults for a variety of clients including LA INC (The Los Angeles Convention & Visitors Bureau), Parents and Children Together, Peace Bridge, FX-Group, Tom Moffatt Productions, Hula Nation Filmworks, KoAloha Ukulele, Aloha Pet Care, Doraku Sushi, Blue Tree Café, Hello Makana, Mele Mei/Na Hoku Hanohano Awards, Loading Zone Arts, and Hawaii Duck Tours. Most known as a MarCom specialist for luxury hotel companies, Larrua has also worked for The Ritz-Carlton Hotels & Resorts (Regional PR Director), Starwood Hotels (Director of MarCom), and Fairmont Hotels & Resorts (PR Director).

Prior to her move to LA, Larrua created and supervised public relations, promotions, and special event campaigns for a variety of advertising, retail, entertainment and travel industry clients including Peck Sims Mueller Advertising and the Kula Bay Tropical Clothing Company.  In addition, she played a key roll in the development and promotion of special projects including the Hawaii Jazz Festival, Okinawan Music Festival and the Kalihi-Palama Summer Festival.

With a background in entertainment and the arts, and alumnae of the popular James B. Castle High School and Ronald E. Bright Theatre, Larrua was the recipient of the very first dance scholarship.  After a long career as a dancer and choreographer (and a kid at heart) in Hawaii, she has been able to take her experiences in performing arts and continued to work with children in various promotional projects that included The Hawaii State Literacy Campaign “Read To Me,” Recycle Hawaii Project, The Oceanic Keiki Club, The University of Hawaii Rainbow Dancers and Catholic Charities’ Youth-At-Risk Program.

In both Hawai’i and Los Angeles, Larrua is very active in the culinary, visual and musical arts scene.  She created numerous ground breaking gallery shows including Art & Soul at The Bel Age Hotel and Arts 4375 at The Ritz-Carlton, Marina del Rey, showcasing established and emerging artists from the local community, as well as produced the annual May Day in L.A. event for 13 years, which perpetuated Hawaiian culture and music.  When not working or volunteering, she can be found at her favorite beach in her O’ahu neighborhood, enjoying the art galleries in LA, or relaxing with her family in Pt. Dume, Malibu.

KAWEHI ROCKS

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KawehiKoAloha Ukulele is a client of mine and through the years, they’ve turned into a second family.  One of the best parts of my job with them is to help keep an eye out for musicians who would be a good fit for our Artist Partner program.  One day, Alan Okami of KoAloha, and Pali Ka’aihue, one of our artist partners, shared a link that they saw online of a “little girl” named Kawehi.  Turns out this “little girl” is a young 20-something year old, married for seven years, hard core musician in boots.  I tracked her down, well-  literally stalked her, and finally connected via email.  During a business trip to LA, I located her performing at Santa Monica’s 3rd Street Promenade and found her to be so charming and humble.  Her style of music is very unique (she created some songs with a looping pedal and in one album, composes and recreates tunes with toy instruments) as well carries a magnetic on-stage presence.  I’m always proud to meet nice folks like her who have moved away from home in order to further their career.  In Kawehi’s case, you can take the girl out of the islands, but you can’t take the islands out of the girl.

From L to R:  Albert, Brian, and Kawehi, checking out various ukulele models in the KoAloha Ukulele shop in Kalihi, O’ahu.