Coffee With Julyen Kaluna

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Change-maker: Julyen Kaluna

Age: 23

Hometown: Honolulu, HI

Instagram: @juju.julyen / @honestly.juju

Education: Hawaiian Studies, A.A. & Liberal Arts, A.A. from Kapiʻolani Community College; currently studying Hawaiian Studies and Creative Writing at University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa

Coffee of Choice: Caramel frappe with no whip from Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf


What is do you specialize in?
I am a freelance creative director and stylist.

What collaborations have you done?
Manaola; Floatsam & Co.; Soprano Clothing; Matthew Saffery, MUA; Rianon Stephens, Photographer; Tea Chest Hawaii

How did you learn to be a stylist and creative director?
Mr. Brian Kaluna (her father).  He’s a very particular person when it comes to looking appropriate and acting appropriate.  It’s like dressing with respect to be fashion forward  yet also have respect for yourself.

How do you use social media?
Social media is a way for people to not only view my work but also for them to contact me and for me to find inspirations from different perspectives.

How often do you go on Instagram?
(She laughs.)  I’m not answering that.

Do you have any advice for posting on Instagram?
I think a lot of people just need to know who their audience is.  If they are an influencer, know that every post has a purpose and not every post should be a booty shot.  Their posts will have an effect on their audience.

What mobile apps do you use for editing Instagram posts?
VSCO and only VSCO.

Who is your biggest inspiration?
Tuts (her late grandmother).  She’s straight goals.  Another inspiration is Keaton (@key_10_), my cousin.  He’s also goals.

What is the greatest piece of advice you have ever received?
I had a really bad day during my Miss Aloha Hula practice (she ran for Miss Aloha Hula at the 2017 Merrie Monarch Festival) and my mom sent me this: “Note to self: If you were able to believe in Santa Claus for 8 years, you can believe in yourself for 5 seconds. You got this.” But instead of 8 years, it’s more like 15.

What is a key issue you are passionate about?
Misconceptions about the Hawaiian people and culture.  Did you know that I got called a stripper at Tihati? He said, “You are the closest thing to a Hawaiian stripper.”  I wanted to tell him, “then where’s my dollar bills?” (She was furious.)

What change do you want to see in our community? 
I kinda want people to wake up and realize that if we don’t stop the change, Hawaiʻi won’t be Hawaiʻi anymore.  Yet in a way, we have to keep Hawaiʻi, Hawaiʻi but adapt with the updating technological times.