A Real Life Dream

Just by chance, I was invited to dinner with some friends in Honolulu in June 2011. I was working in Honolulu and really didn’t have time to go to dinner. You know when you travel for work it’s hard to take time to stop and have a good meal. But my friend Melissa Chang and new friend Catherine Toth inspired me to change my mind. I compromised in my mind that I would work late after dinner and get up early and finish my work.

The event was a popup dinner called Plancha. A popup is a business that literally popups inside another business for a short amount of time. This dinner happened to popup in a coffee house that was closed in the evening. Plancha was driven by social media, cash only, a set menu and BYOB. Only 25 seats available at each seating and I was lucky enough to get the last seat.

The dinner experience was amazing. The food was all locally sourced and there was a compelling story behind each dish. Then I was introduced to the chef/owner Robert McGee. I had a million questions for Robert and he graciously answered them all.

That’s when I realized my dream could be real. The wheels started turning. Everyday I was thinking about starting a popup on Maui. No one was really doing a popup restaurant on Maui that I was aware of or even thinking of doing this…so like usual, I just kept dreaming. No action required when you dream.

Then I attended TEDxMaui in January 2012. I participated in active listening like everyone else in the audience. But something exploded in my mind and in my heart. In a few short hours my dream became a reality. At the end of TEDxMaui was an after party that was not to be missed. It was the social orgasm of the entire day. I stood up from my theater seat and walked right by the after party (I could hear people calling to me and asking where I was going), I got in my car, drove straight to the beach, sat on a rock and cried for what seemed like an hour.

TEDxMaui stirred something inside of me to act. And I did. TEDxMaui was in January 2012 and in April 2012 we held our first Kupu Maui, a locally sourced popup restaurant. Year to date we have fed over 600 guests and donated over $5,000.00 to local charities on Maui.

So, thank you TEDxMaui for simply doing what you do. Which is a lot to organize and bring people together to share and inspire. I appreciate each effort and thought it takes to organize an event like TEDxMaui. I bought my ticket and look forward to attending this year, 2012. For now I’ll keep my dream to myself.


24 thoughts on “A Real Life Dream

  1. YAY you! And what a beautifully written post. It inspired me that TedX inspired you SO much, cause I have a ticket for this year – my first event.

    Kupu Maui has been a huge success and I canNOT wait to see what you manifest in 2013 – see you at TedX. 2013 is gonna look GOOD on you!

  2. Oh Dania, this was such a wonderful story. I never knew the backstory of what inspired Kupu Maui. Your experience is a great example of how inspiration can have a domino effect.

    I hope to see you at this year’s TEDxMaui.

  3. Dania, it has been such a joy to watch from afar as your dream has become a reality. I just can’t wait to be a guest at one of your Kupu Maui dinners, and I can’t wait to see what you dream up next!

    Hugs and Aloha!

  4. I love this, Dania. I’ve heard you tell this story before, but it touches my heart every time I hear it. TEDxMaui is a life changing experience. I’m so happy your dream became real.

  5. I so get this! Congratulations on living your dreams! I hope you will check out my blog too and keep in touch. Thanks to Eric Blair for making me aware of your site through Twittet. SM at its best! Mahalo nui loa for sharing.

  6. Pingback: Peter Liu - Gearing Up for TEDxMaui 2013

  7. WOW, what are great story. I attended TEDx Maui last year & was very moved by all the talks. Unfortunately I am unable to attend this year’s event.

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