We had the good fortune of connecting with Shaii Galang and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Shaii, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
I can remember that moment vividly like it was yesterday! It all began when I was planning for my son’s first birthday party in 2019, which I started six months in advance. Within that 6 months, I acquired tons of things and our house were filled with boxes of random stuff! I just couldn’t stop buying so many decorations! Party day came and my friends all loved how everything was setup and one by one they started asking me if they can borrow some of my decorations or if they can copy what I did, and if I can help them with their child’s upcoming parties, and of course I was more than happy to do it for them. And then… LIGHTBULB!! The idea of renting decorations was born. I thought to myself “why spend so much on single-use decorations and then throw it away after?” I was so sure that I was not alone on this, and then slowly, creative concepts started coming in and then my rental business transformed into a full-blown event planning service.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Being in a military family stationed overseas, it can be quite hard to find specific decorations for a party. Moreover, event planning itself can be stressful and overwhelming, so even if someone loves doing it, most do not have the time because their hands are always full, whether it’s work or family. That’s why I created Plan and Simple! My work as an event stylist is more than just decorating, it includes brainstorming, logistics of gathering supplies, setup and teardown and much, much more! My end goal is to ensure my clients’ memorable day looks and feels exactly how they have always imagined. I believe what sets me apart from others is that I work closely with my clients and customize the decorations to each of my clients’ needs. Instead of giving my clients what I have, I ask them what they need, and I try my best to provide it to them. Moreover, I always include them in every part of the planning process of their event to make sure their satisfaction is met. One of the most difficult challenges I’ve encountered from the time I started is proving my service’s worth. It is pretty easy to get shocked whenever you see a large price tag and turn it down but not a lot of people know what it entails: arranging decor layouts, material logistics, and coordination with outsourced suppliers. Planning an event requires a lot of work, not to mention bringing everything to the venue and setting it up—it’s labor-intensive. With the kind of business I run, it bears a great deal of commitment to the customer. But along the way, I learned to trust myself and let my work speak for itself. I make sure to work hard and give what my client expects from me, if not more. The best feeling for me is when my clients arrive, their eyes sparkle with joy and tell me everything is perfect and beautiful. The kids are my favorite because they give the most honest and raw appreciations to my work. And with that, I know all my hard work is worth the effort. Overall, I am proud that I present a unique product for my clients—events that may last a few hours for the day, and memories that would span a lifetime!
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
We’ve only been here in Oahu for two months, and with the quarantine and COVID restrictions we haven’t seen everything yet but ohhhhh, with Hawaii it’s hard not to come up with an interesting itinerary. Day 1-2: Waikiki: For the first two days, we will start with the basics and spend our time in Waikiki and stroll the long strip of white sand beach shore, eat lots of seafoods and fresh fruits at restaurants by the beach like Duke’s. We can also do cultural activities like surf and hula lessons and lei making at the Royal Hawaiian Center and Hyatt Regency. Second day will be all about filling out our shopping bags with unique and locally made souvenirs at the International Marketplace, Waikiki Beach Walk, or Ala Moana Center. Day 3: North Shore: We will be heading straight to the North Shore, which is also known as Oahu’s wilder side. Waimea Beach and Turtle Beach to do snorkelling and turtle watching. On winter months (November to February) when waves are rough for swimming, we will opt to watch surf competitions instead. Food trucks are a must in this area, and they have Giovanni’s famous garlic shrimp, Shave Ice by Matsumoto and Acai Bowl by Haleiwa Bowls that we will definitely get of course! Day 4: Adventure at North Shore and DOLE Plantation: Fourth day will be filled with adventurous activities such as Ziplining, skydiving and (maybe) Shark Cage Diving. On our way back home, we will be stopping at Dole Plantation because two words: DOLE WHIP!! We can never have too much pineapple in Hawaii! Also, I’m pretty sure our kids will love this place because they have so many activities for the families such as the Pineapple Express Train Tour, Plantation Garden Tour and their Pineapple Garden Maze, which is by the way the world’s largest maze!! Day 5: Pearl Harbor: We will be taking a break from the beaches to visit the Pearl Harbor to learn more about history, specifically World War II. Day 6: Hiking and Jurassic Park Tour: We will start the day early to catch the sunrise at the top of Lanikai Pillbox Hike Kailua where we will see a gorgeous view of the east coast. After that, we will get to see the famous Kualoa Ranch where many movies and tv shows where filmed such as Jurassic Park, Jumanji and Lost. It is nestled in the gorgeous green valley of the Ko’olau Mountains and is perfectly amazing! Day 7: Polynesian Cultural Center: I think this is the best way to spend your last day in Hawaii! It offers multiple island villages to experience the different cultural activities, as well as a luau and evening show that is often described as the best.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I joined this amazing group led by Joe and Kate Spitz called Tuesdays Together Yokota back in Japan, which is a community of small business owners that support each other rather than compete. We gather and meet up once a month to share our knowledge, learn from our peers, and grow together. I believe that coming together and working together is essential in today’s marketplace, and there’s a special kind of magic that is created when a community of support and wise sage is formed. These people are my tribe and has had my back always. “It takes a village to run a successful business” is indeed true, and for that, I will be forever thankful to Joe and Kate and the rest of the Tuesdays Together Yokota. Of course, I will not forget my ever-so-supportive husband encouraging me daily (with no questions asked) from day one, and my son who’s been so patient with me all throughout this journey. They are both my pillars of support, making it easier for me to split time between family and work.
Kate Spitz Photography Rachel Johnson Photography