This is Ryan Staub. I'm asking for donations for the Moana Glass Relief Fund to help our recovery after what has been called the "worst natural disaster of the last 100 years."
One week ago, I awoke to a power outage and headed to Moana Glass right away to get power back on to the glass furnaces. The wind was the worst I've ever seen. There was a hurricane that was a few hundred miles off shore. It was an intense morning.
To the East, there's new construction just next door to Moana Glass. Little tornadoes that were touching down in the construction site brought debris, gravel and full size, 4x8' sheet materials flying across the sky.
To the South, there's Lahaina Town. From Moana Glass, I watched firefighters battle a fire in the Lahainaluna neighborhood from morning until I went home around noon for lunch.
After I ate, the fire had gotten way worse and there was a plume of black smoke crossing my neighborhood and filling my house through closed windows.
I tried driving back to Moana Glass, a short drive, but was turned around by police and told that if I wanted to go back to the studio I'd have to walk. I did.
It took a few hours to secure the studio and make sure it would survive the hurricane winds. By the time I was ready to leave, the fire had jumped Kahoma Stream and was making its way toward the studio through the adjacent industrial area.
I had to walk home. That was the scariest walk of my life. I had been unable to see the fire's progress, but once I was back down the hill, I realized that the entire town was on fire.
Terrified, I took off running once I saw the buildings in my development were burning. I was really worried about my cat, Beastface. He was fine. In a panic, I managed to pack up everything I needed for him and a little of what I needed for me.
I left my house expecting that Moana Glass plus my house and Ryan Staub Gallery would all be gone the next day.
On Wednesday morning I tried to come back to Lahaina but was turned around by police. On Thursday I made it back to Lahaina and walked Front St. It was catastrophic. I've never seen anything even close to this level of destruction.
The studio and my house were still intact. Ryan Staub Gallery of Glass on Front St was a pile of ash and rubble though.
I feel very lucky that my studio and house are still standing and that I'm still alive, but the road ahead is a long and uncertain one.
We have many employees displaced, some who have lost everything they owned. Everyone has been put on unemployment and it’s going to be months before we can reopen.
Nearly the entire town of Lahain is gone. It’s going to be a long time before tourism picks back up and can support Moana Glass again.
I have insurance that will cover some of the costs associated with this forced shut down, but it won’t get us through the slow down that we’re bound to face after reopening. In order to make it through this, I believe that I need to change the focus of the business. I intend to use any GoFundMe funds for employees needs first. After that I intend to pivot to increase our online presence through Social Media and YouTube and make Moana Glass able to sustain with online sales.
The amount I’m asking for is less that 2 months expenses, but I believe it will get us through once we can reopen.
Here’s a list of what I’m going to use the money for:
Moana Glass Needs:
Operating Expenses Upon Reopening
Development of the YouTube channel for marketing/business recovery
Development of Facebook and Instagram for marketing/business recovery
Costs associated with reopening
Thank you very much for your contribution and helping this dream that is Moana Glass live on.
- Kim Cowan
- Karl Leaverton
- Jeffrey Frye
- Joanne Zintel
- Lindsey Earhart
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