2016: A Year of Growth

First and foremost I want to thank those we’ve worked with, those who have supported us and even the people in our HNL Flow Fam. Despite everything, I am extremely grateful for what 2016 brought our way.

We started off the year with a collaborative Instameet for POW! WOW! Hawaii with Instagramers Hawaii (with refreshments from Honolulu Kitchen — thanks Unko Steve!); launched a partnership with Street Grindz (big ups to the Askews and crew); hosted our spring Flow Show with Street Grindz (and it was our biggest event ever!); included our featured creatives in this year’s Flow Class of 2016 (something we haven’t done before!); covered the Na Hoku Hanohano Awards alongside our featured creative Dillon Ancheta, AKA Snapshots of Aloha; and brought on our first contributor, Bryant Dynasty (or more well-known as the man behind clothing brand Aloha Redux).

We’ve also been able to get some blogs up and running, most recently our Honolulu Fashion Week post. On top of that, we’ve onboard three lovely high school students — Jady Ojiri (writing), Jenelle Ho (photography) and Kari Lau (videography) — as our second group of Flow Interns, each with unique talents at such a young age. It warms my heart to see that art and creativity are alive and thriving in the next generation.

I could go on and on, but the latter part of this year has made me realize that those examples of community and collaboration are so, so important. We may slowed down for a while, but that made a lot of room for personal growth for all of us, myself included.

Being able to take care of yourself in the process is a vital habit as well. I’ve had to undergo so much in my work life and personal life that we even had to take a mini hiatus after the initial release of our October issue. Without a business partner, it became stressful; I’ll be honest with you on that. It’s also been quite difficult to get things going with Flow and rebuilding our team, especially when all of us hold 9 to 5 jobs or still attend school full-time. However, I’ve been fortunate to have a number of Flow staffers to process all of this through, and now we’re slowly, but surely, beginning to get on track again. As for myself, I’m proud of the person that I’ve become over the past 12 months, because compared to who I was at the beginning of the year, I’ve had a better perspective of life and for the first time in a long time, I am content. I accepted God into my life again, and now knowing that hope and faith is instilled in me, I’m ready for what’s to come.

In 2017, we hope to work harder for Flow. There may have been some things that haven’t worked out as expected, but I’m grateful for what we DID get to accomplish. While this may have not been our best year, I’m not calling it defeat. I’m calling it development. We’re coming back with so, so much more in the new year. With that, I’m calling it “The Flow Year.” Like how Michael and Kobe have their respective celebratory years, 2017 will be a year for all of us to refresh from years past and create new ideas together.

To Flow together.

Happy New Year!

Best,
Vina Cristobal
Founding editor-in-chief, HNL Flow

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