The Da Kine Paints Ohana
Da Kine Paints was founded in February 2015. At the time, Michelle was attending University of Hawaii Maui College, enrolled in the Applied Business and Information Technology (ABIT) bachelor’s degree program. Upon Graduation, what started as a school project later flourished into a successful family-owned local Maui business. We opened our doors as the only Benjamin Moore Retailer on Maui in November 2015. Da Kine Paints is owned by Michelle Heller and her father, Frank Heller. Michelle is a Navy Veteran and a mother, who has been involved in the paint industry on Maui since 2009.
Although the employees have changed over the years, our family business has remained united providing quality paints for colorful dreams with the highest level of customer service and product knowledge. We provide “how to” information, precise color matching, and technical support for any project you can imagine. We take the time to get to know our customers, always asking about the project they are working on, to provide the best product and application technique. At Da Kine Paints, we feel that the personal assistance and expert advice we provide is what sets us apart from any big-box or corporate owned store.
Michelle moved to Maui in August 2009 after being honorably discharged from the US Navy to be closer to her father, Frank. Just days later, the company Frank was the RME for, Hawaiiana Painting & Maintenance, shut their doors after 20 plus years in business leaving her family and their employees with an ambiguous future. With no experience as business owners, they worked with the helpful individuals at Maui Business Action Center to open Da Kine Painters, LLC. Because of their assistance they were able to continue servicing the established clientele and grow their new brand, with the previous company’s blessing.
To learn more about running their growing business, Michelle soon enrolled in UH Maui College (UHMC). She focused on Business courses while pursuing training in her passion, early childhood education. In May 2015, Michelle graduated with a BAS in Applied Business and Information Technology (ABIT) and subsequently signed a 5,000sqft warehouse lease in September 2015 to open their retail paint supply store, Da Kine Paints LLC. A simple school project blossomed into a successful family-owned local business, Da Kine Paints, soon became the only Benjamin Moore Paints independent retailer on Maui. Michelle credits the education received from UHMC and her father’s never-ending support for her success.
Outside of her primary business Michelle selflessly has donated her time and talents in a variety of ways. In 2017, she was asked to join the advisory board for the Construction Industry of Maui (CIM). Since then, she has taken on the role of Treasurer and most recently has become the chairperson of this important industry association. She has also served on the advisory board and as a speaker at the UHMC ABIT degree program advisory board/panel. However, her greatest accomplishment was becoming a mother to her son James in 2018.
When not working, she enjoys going to the beach, hiking, walking her three dogs, and spending time with family and friends. As an entrepreneur at heart, she is looking to open another Da Kine Paints location in Kihei, then Lahaina, and maybe one day a preschool to pursue her ultimate passion of educating Maui’s youth. In summation, Michelle credits her success to one simple phrase she lives by, “When you knuckle down and put your mind to it, anything is possible!!”
James is the newest addition to the Da Kine Paints family. He loves coming to work with mommy and grandpa. He has been in the paint industry since August 2018, with a lifetime of experience ahead of him.
She just turned two this year. She loves helping customers pick out colors and is great entertainment for the Keiki while parents shop. She has plans to become a mother this year.