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Lahaina brothers to launch new business

By Staff | Dec 11, 2014

Jared (left) and Justin Phillips are ready to open the Furniture Guys in Lahaina.

LAHAINA – The next generation is here. Lahaina men Jared and Justin Phillips invite you to the grand opening of their new business, the Furniture Guys, in Lahaina Square on Friday and Saturday, Dec. 12 and 13.

The celebration begins at 9 a.m. and will feature live entertainment all day long until 5 p.m. and complimentary hot dogs, soda and water for the first 150 people.

The Phillips brothers are grassroots West Siders from head to toe, inside out and upside down. Their parents are Joanne K. Phillips and the late James Hinano Phillips.

Justin is the elder brother, number three in the lineup of three brothers and three sisters. He graduated from Lahainaluna High School, Class of ’96.

Jared the younger walked the line in 1999. He’s number five in the Phillips alliance.

Both attended King Kamehameha III Elementary School and Lahaina Intermediate School.

They are the embodiment of the Lahainaluna spirit of achievement.

“I played football, basketball and ran track,” Justin told the Lahaina News. “I was an all-star in each of those sports. Jared played football and was an outstanding baseball player.”

“Jared was an outstanding pitcher and third baseman, and I was quarterback, shooting guard and also a pitcher.”

At 36, Justin continues with his sporting career. First time out in July, he competed in Sonny’s tenth annual WABDL Bench and Deadlift Contest at the Neal Blaisdell Arena on Oahu. He lifted in the Submaster Division, 259-pound weight class, 33-39 age category, and set a new state record and took first place with a 575-pound deadlift.

Their upbringing was grounded in faith.

“We both grew up in the Lahaina LDS Mormon Church. We were both scouts; I’m an Eagle Scout,” Justin added.

The beneficiary of his Eagle Scout project in 1996 was Princess Nahienaena Elementary School.

“At the time, Princess Nahienaena School was just opening; they were fairly new. They didn’t have any books in their library, so I organized a car wash for four consecutive Saturdays. It was held at the old LDS Chapel in the parking lot,” he said.

“When people came,” Justin continued, “we washed their cars. Instead of a cash donation, they donated books – either used in good condition or new books for the library – and over 700 books were donated to the Princess Nahienaena Library.”

Jared is active in the LDS ministry. He’s currently the secretary of the young men’s program.

Both have benefited by their participation in Troop 79 under Boy Scout leaders Paul and Gracie Dean.

“It’s prepared me so much for life in general, from hunting to sewing. It instilled a lot of character and discipline,” Justin recalled.

Their parents were their inspiration.

“I played sports for my dad,” Justin said; and, like his father, he’s a musician.

“My father was one of the great musicians in Lahaina during that era. He played bass, and he was known for his silky-smooth voice. He played with artists like George Paoa, John Kane and Uncle Moon Keahi.”

“Our mother has been the backbone of our family since dad died at a really young age (47), leaving mom to raise six kids on her own,” Jared said.

“We watched her work 12-hour days, and she was the one that instilled in us the work ethics,” Jared added.

She has worked for the past 40 years, since she was 17, for the same company, Destination Maui Inc. and Ron Kawahara.

After high school, Jared and Justin followed different courses.

Justin went to BYU for two years and did some adventuring in Alaska. “I hunted and fished and traveled the world finding myself,” he explained.

Jared worked for his cousin on Oahu.

“He was the foreman for Oahu Air Helicopter Company. He ran the whole ground crew for my cousin, Pacer Tsuji. He worked on the set of series ‘Lost.’ He worked on the series for three years,” Justin said.

Both have returned where their roots were sown.

“You know how Lahaina is so small; it gives you a sense of pride. Because you feel like we’re one big ‘ohana, we feel blessed to have grown up in Lahaina. Home is where the heart is, yeah?” Justin commented.

Their paths back on island uniquely led them to the Furniture Guys.

“We worked for a furniture company for four years, learning the ins and outs of the trade,” Justin explained.

When offered the opportunity to strike out on their own, they jumped in, head first.

“Nothing ventured, nothing gained,” Justin said, and two months later they are preparing for their grand opening this weekend at their own shop.

In their 1,942-square-foot showroom at 840 Wainee St., Suite E6, they offer new and pre-owned furniture. “We buy and sell and sometimes do liquidations as well,” Justin said.

“What sets us apart,” he observed, “is we offer free delivery.”

Jared added his skill to the list of reasons to shop the Furniture Guys: “We fix the things that nobody else can fix, and we have affordable prices.”

“We want to work with the local community and visitors as well,” the Phillips brothers agreed. “For the resident of Maui, we will always work with them, giving the best deal possible.”

Mom Joanne is encouraging.

“The boys are caring and want to offer the community a good product with a fair price. Their main concern is that they treat their customers well, offer service with the aloha spirit, and garner customer support and longevity,” she said.

As for the brothers, they’re on a mission.

“It is funny how it works. The Lord opens up avenues for you and gives you opportunities. We pray that this can be something that we’re proud of and can be of service to our community,” they concluded.