Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Gavin Murai, Co-Owner of Formidably Impressed, located in Honolulu, HI, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

Formidably Impressed creates crass-ass and cordial greeting card designs that draw lettering inspiration from vintage advertisements and signage from old Hawaiʻi with sayings and remarks sourced from our everyday verbiage.

Our little shop is comprised of myself and Cherish Fuller. We met at Lana Lane Studios in Honolulu, Hawaii, where we connected over our love for well-built old-school machinery, funky fresh lettering, and snarky asshole humor. We intended to collaborate on a couple of cards; however, they were received so well that we decided to partner up!

When we initially started the company, we thought our customer base would be made up of younger individuals due to the aesthetics and content of our products. We quickly realized there is no specific demographic; the only commonality with our customers is that they appreciate a bit of blunt, dry humor.

Tell us about yourself

I was born and raised on the south shore of Oahu and fell in love with surfing in my early elementary school years, which melded perfectly with my obsession with art. This yielded many avenues for creativity through my scholastic years, such as t-shirt graphic creation/printing, surfboard shaping, to hand-drawn surfboard artwork.

After graduating from college, I stepped away from art to travel the world. While on a backpacking trip through South America in 2010, I designed a tattoo for a friend I was traveling with. Through that, I realized that creativity could be a profession. Upon my return to Hawaiʻi, I designed a logo for another friend among a handful of freelance projects. A bit of tenacity and word of mouth over the last decade snowballed into a design career with a couple of business partnerships, including Formidably Impressed.

While being a business owner is stressful at times, the ability to be creative daily and work with peers and clients whom you look up to and push you to be better, all while supporting my family, is all the motivation I need.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

The ability to create artwork and products on a daily basis that people enjoy, whether it be a client, customer, friends, or family, is an accomplishment that never gets old.

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

The hardest thing about being a business owner is the inability to clock out. Work doesn't stop once you exit the studio; it follows you home, to the grocery store, to the bathroom, everywhere.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

It's easier said than done, but remember to eat, drink, and sleep.

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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