All Things Kauai Online

Aaron Martin
Owner, activitykauai.com

Please tell us about your business. Activitykauai.com is the source for all things Kauai. Essentially, we’re an e-commerce site, so we sell things with a shopping-cart system and we’re an online local product store. We buy up front and stock local products in our warehouse and ship from one location. We actually can ship all kinds of great local products in one box to anywhere in the world and have flat-rate shipping.

We’re also a digital concierge service and work closely with condo-rental owners and vacation-rental owners, as well as the general visitor population who find us online to plan vacation itineraries. We work mostly with families, couples, honeymooners, destination weddings and corporate events. We’ve created relationships with more than 60 businesses on the island, whether they are in the tourism industry or local product-makers.

When did you start this business? The idea for the business began about three years ago. It took two years to build the content and shape things the way we wanted. We launched June 1, 2013.

Why did you start this business? Because I love Kauai. I’ve traveled to almost 40 countries, and there’s no other community I’d rather support. I’m also deeply rooted in the tourism industry — I’ve been a guide here for a long time, and one thing I realized over the years is that sometimes the people who are promoting the tours don’t actually do them. However, all of our tour products are built by guides, and we don’t sugarcoat anything, and we let people know exactly what they’re getting into.

Why would someone want to use your services? We’re repackaging an idea that has been happening for a long time on Kauai. We’re the actual people who work in the industry on a daily basis — I still guide a few days a week. So when people come to us, they know the tours, products and services that we have to offer. We use and know a lot about them and are there to support them.

What is your past experience as a tour guide? I have been a zip-line guide over the years, but in the past decade I’ve mostly guided kayak tours up Wailua River. I was also a Na Pali Coast sea kayak guide for three summers and have guided all over the world, mostly kayak.

What’s the most rewarding aspect of your business? Working with our community.

What’s the most challenging aspect of your business? The same challenges everybody has on

Kauai. It’s a challenging place to make a living. Also, I come from a background of outdoor education, and I got into the Internet world because I saw a niche there. So the hardest challenges have been being a small-business owner on

Kauai as well as learning computer science, analytics and search-engine optimization.

What additional services do you offer? Activitykauai.com is also a complete wedding registry.

When people are doing destination weddings or coming out here on honeymoons, they can make their own registry for all tours, activities and local products, and they can have friends and family buy it for them. We also have a local pickup for our local products, so people can go online and buy their products and pick them up in the morning at Small Town Coffee.

What inspires you to get up every day and go to work? My love for the culture of the island, its people, its natural beauty and shared experiences.

activitykauai.com; 800-380-5282

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