Painting a Legacy: Michelle Collins, Owner

Painting a Legacy: A Closer look at Michelle Collins, Owner of Da Kine Paints

Michelle Collins is the creative force behind Da Kine Paints in Kahului, Maui. Collins went from the Navy to owning the only independent Benjamin Moore Paints store on Maui. Her story is about strength, determination, and success as a business owner.

Today, we are focusing on Michelle Collins and her impact on Maui’s business community as a female business owner.

The Birth of Da Kine Paints

After graduating from the University of Hawaii Maui College in 2015 with a Bachelor of Applied Science degree in applied business and information technology, Michelle wasted no time in opening her store just months after receiving her degree.

When you step into Da Kine Paints on Maui, the vibrant colors and welcoming atmosphere tell a story of passion and dedication. Michelle Collins, the proud owner of this Benjamin Moore Paints store, has turned her love for the industry into a thriving local business right here in Kahului. 

However, Michelle’s journey to becoming a successful business owner wasn’t without challenges. A Navy veteran who served for three years as an information technician, Michelle moved to Maui in 2009 to be closer to her father, Frank. 

The family faced a major setback when the company Frank worked for, Hawaiiana Painting & Maintenance, closed its doors after over two decades in business. Undeterred, Michelle and her father sought guidance from the Maui Business Action Center to open Da Kine Painters, the contracting business, ensuring the continuity of service to the family’s established clientele. In 2015, upon graduating University of Hawaii Maui College, they opened Da Kine Paints, the store.

Navigating Business in a Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic posed a unique set of challenges for businesses worldwide. As an essential business, Michelle kept her doors open throughout the pandemic, finding innovative ways to support the community in the process. 

From selling N95 masks and respirators to frontline workers at cost to importing thousands of KN95 masks for those in need, the Da Kine Paints team did what they could to support the health and well-being of their community. With the help of COVID relief funds, Michelle ensured that all existing employees stayed on full-time. Not only that, but she even expanded her team during the pandemic. 

Although her team faced hurdles during the pandemic-induced surge in demand, Collins overcame them through precise material estimates and effective communication with suppliers. Despite the obstacles, she remains optimistic about the future, especially since the trade’s permit-free nature helps to ensure its continued growth.

A Lasting Impact on Maui Construction

Collins’ influence extends beyond the walls of Da Kine Paints. In 2017, she joined the Construction Industry Maui advisory board, later serving as treasurer and eventually becoming the chairperson in 2023. 

Her commitment to the industry, coupled with the inspiration of her father’s legacy, led Collins to obtain her responsible managing employee paint contracting license, solidifying her position as a leader in the local construction community.

In a traditionally male-dominated industry, Michelle Collins stands out as a trailblazer. Overcoming the initial challenge of being a woman in a field dominated by men, Collins found empowerment through the Construction Industry Maui and the National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC). 

Her involvement with these organizations and the Maui Chamber of Commerce has allowed her to contribute to the development and support of other women in business.

Using Award-Winning Success to Give Back

Da Kine Paints isn’t just a retail store—it’s a community hub. Collins has actively engaged with local developers, contractors, and property managers to ensure Da Kine Paints not only meets but exceeds the expectations of its clients. Beyond providing quality paint products, Michelle has initiated community outreach programs, like sponsoring local events and collaborating with schools on art projects. 

In addition to its community-centric approach, Da Kine Paints has embraced environmental stewardship by implementing green initiatives within its business. Recognizing the impact of the paint industry on the environment, Collins and her team do what they can to minimize their carbon footprint – from promoting eco-friendly paint options to adopting sustainable packaging practices. 

This commitment to sustainability has not only attracted environmentally conscious customers but has positioned Da Kine Paints as a responsible and forward-thinking player in the paint industry. In recognition of her exceptional achievements, Michelle Collins was awarded the title of Exceptional Small Business of the Year in the 2022 Mayor’s Small Business Awards hosted by the Maui Chamber of Commerce. 

Looking Ahead: Michelle Collins’ Vision for Da Kine Paints

As Da Kine Paints continues to flourish under Michelle Collins’ leadership, her vision for the future remains ambitious. Michelle envisions expanding her store’s footprint, both physically and in terms of product offerings. With an eye on technological advancements, she plans to enhance the customer experience through online platforms and virtual consultations. 

Michelle also wants to further contribute to the Maui community by supporting local artists and aspiring painters through workshops and scholarships. Under her guidance, Da Kine Paints seeks to evolve with the times and leave an indelible mark on Maui’s paint industry.

Final Thoughts

Throughout Michelle Collins’ journey as the owner of Da Kine Paints, she has experienced hefty challenges, outstanding achievements, and a strong community connection. Da Kine Paints has proven that it’s more than just a store – it’s a living testament to Michelle’s dedication and unwavering commitment to the people of Maui. 

Michelle Collins’ legacy as a businesswoman, community leader, and advocate is an inspiration to all who know her. While it’s impossible to say what the future of Da Kine Paints looks like, it’s bound to be bright. 

Shop Premium Paints at Da Kine Paints on Maui 

Elevate your painting projects with Da Kine Paints, where quality meets innovation. Whether you’re revitalizing your home, adding a pop of color to your workspace, or engaging in a creative DIY endeavor, our extensive selection of Benjamin Moore Paints promises to bring your vision to life. 

Step into a world of premium quality and personalized service. Visit Da Kine Paints today or shop our extensive online collection of quality paints now.

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