Shannon Seymour is the landlord for a very familiar downtown coffee hub: Starbucks. That’s just a sideline however, for she is also the founder of Hawaiian Moon, a wildly successful cosmetics line.
Looking back, what chance did a single mother who dropped out of high school have at keeping a business alive in the economic crisis of 2008, “The Great Recession”?
Not much, unless you are Seymour, whose company, Hawaiian Moon, experienced steady growth despite bad news from the New York Stock Exchange.
Seymour used “administrative policies written by L. Ron Hubbard,” she says. “Any time I didn’t know what to do … the answer would be there in the policy. This is how I have been able to expand my company.”
Moving to Clearwater in 2009 with about 20 staff, Hawaiian Moon, which sells high-quality aloe vera skin products, is now a multimillion-dollar company.
“We’ve increased to 66 staff and most of them are located in Clearwater, our home base,” says Seymour. “I’m proud of the fact that when the economy crashed in 2008 we were still able to grow and provide well-paying jobs. I’m proud of the team I have; we have really great people from all types of backgrounds.”
It’s a sentiment also shared by her staff. “I’ve worked for Hawaiian Moon for 11 years,” says Leona Carter. “It’s like a family atmosphere. Everyone gets along.”
“I’ve worked here since 2012,” says Justin Littler, another staff member. “I stay because of the gung-ho attitude everyone has. I love the product too. It is healthy and all-natural.”
To support the community, Hawaiian Moon sponsors running teams—and encourages staff member participation. Hawaiian Moon also sponsored a Drug-Free World team to bicycle across the USA and deliver drug education programs along the way.
“I love that I can help people in so many ways,” says Seymour. “As Hawaiian Moon has its main office in Clearwater, I think it also reflects on the city as a quality place.”