“Noelani? No-lah-knee? No-ee-lay-knee? How do you say it?”
If that self-dialogue resonated with you in any way, you’re not alone. Trust me. But, while I’m here, I might as well shed some light on this, right? It’s actually pronounced No-eh-lah-knee. Still, if it’s more convenient for you, you can call me Bob. Kidding, please don’t call me Bob. It’s a beautiful name, but I’m not quite ready to announce such a spur-of-the-moment name change to my Hawaiian family.
Okay, for real… You might be left wondering, “Who in the multiverse is this rando and why is she behind the keyboard?”
Well, I’m the new kid on the block, also known as the new Content Coordinator. Hey! I’m here to bring my love of writing, years of dual Hawai’i aloha and New York sarcasm, and another employee profile to the Ad Purp team.
As much as I’d love to spare you a full-on, self-indulgent convo with myself, let’s take a walk on the wild side.
Q: So, Noelani, tell us what you’re usually up to. Where are you from? What did you study in school? What’s your background? Give us the deets.
A: I love the enthusiasm, Noelani. I was born and raised on the breathtaking, but super cramped island of O’ahu in Hawai’i. I grew up in a little town called Kailua on the Eastside where I hiked, swam, danced hula in the least ironic way possible, and ate a ton of poké.
After my teenage years, I went to Hawai’i Pacific University where I graduated with my Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism. Three months later, I moved to New York City to attend my dream school, New York University, for my Master’s Degree in Magazine Journalism.
On any given day, you can find me getting into meditation, cooking a bunch of different Japanese, Vietnamese, or Chinese foods, or interviewing creatives and music artists for my little passion project I have going on the weekends.
Q: What was it like living in Hawai’i and in New York? The two are almost polar opposite.
A: Incredible and magnetic, in that order. When I first touched down in New York City from Honolulu, it was pure culture shock. People were not on Hawaiian time, there were no spontaneous trips to the beach to catch the sunrise after grabbing a quick açaí bowl, but they were focused, they knew where they were going, and how. I admired that. My time in Hawai’i was warm and captivating, but living in NYC was my greatest adventure in life.
Q: Good stuff. What are some of your biggest passions in work and outside of work?
A: In work, it’s the passion of creating. I love writing content that can make a reader nod, smile, get curious, laugh, or learn something. It makes me happy.
Outside of work, my answer is more or less the same. I’ve been capturing adventures and moments with my digital and film cameras since 2010 and will probably never stop. Whether it’s taking photos, painting, blogging about other creatives, or making a beautiful plate of food, creating is just my thing. Making something out of nothing, I just love it. Traversing the world is also kind of a big passion of mine. So far, I’ve explored Egypt, Jordan, the Netherlands, and Canada. Four down and so much more to go.
Q: Right on. What were you doing before Advertise Purple?
A: Just before joining the team at Advertise Purple, I was doing freelance copywriting and content strategy for a start-up based out of LA. Before that, I worked pretty heavily in the tech and entertainment industries doing copywriting, social media strategy, and content management for global brands like Apple and HP and smaller, passionate start-ups. As you saw, my background is rooted pretty deeply in journalism, but I still brought my love of storytelling to every role I’ve been involved in.
Q: What interested you the most in working at AP?
A: It was so many things if I’m being real. But to start, I loved knowing that I was going to be able to contribute a lot of different content and use my love of journalism in the process. It excited me to think that I would have a heavy hand in writing blog posts and managing AP’s and Purply’s social media channels.
Outside of that, I was so impressed by all of the philanthropic efforts that AP is involved in. As someone who is pretty active in my own community involvement, the values of the company truly aligned with my own. That was a huge win in so many ways.
Q: Right on. So how do you get involved in your community? What are some causes that are particularly near and dear to you?
A: I’m a big advocate for and loyal ally of the BIPOC community. I love sharing free resources to help inform and educate people (or anyone who will listen) of the wins, struggles, volunteer opportunities, and goings-on within that community. Other causes that are dear to me are those involving mental health and fighting Alzheimer’s. I love volunteering in person and remotely as often as I can for these communities and causes.
Q: What do you think of AP so far? What has your experience been like?
A: It’s been stellar so far. It’s only my second week, but the whole team has been kind and incredible in welcoming me to AP. Everyday the culture here continues to amaze me. Like I told Nicole T, “Never have I ever experienced something like this before.”
I think this is a place that really cares. Whether we’re talking about their employees or the affiliates and brands they work with, it seems like AP does everything in its power to make everyone feel valued and like their goals matter and are achievable.
Q: So, what is it that you do at AP? Are you on a team?
A: I’m still in the process of learning a lot about affiliate marketing since I’m new to it, so I’ve been majorly focused on that. When all systems are a go, I’ll be writing blog posts, ideating content, contributing to and managing social media, helping with press items, and organizing the calendars that help all of these things run smoothly.
I am a part of a team and right now, it’s me and our President, Kyle. Small, but mighty.
Q: What do you think will be your favorite part of working as a Content Coordinator?
A: I think it’ll be getting to work so closely with our partners, brands, and community. Besides that, the amazing opportunity I’ll have to bring my content ideas to the table.
Q: Shifting gears, what would you say have been your saving graces over the last year of the pandemic? Did you have a “survival kit” or at the very least a comfort snack?
A: Easy. My Spotify playlists that I’ve spent over a year perfecting, meditation, positive affirmations, and going on nature walks (with mask) to remind myself that there is still a world outside.
Q: You live in OC, right? What’s your favorite restaurant down there?
A: I can’t just give you one, that’s not fair. I’ll give you a few of my favorites, cool? My favorite place with authentic Hawaiian food is Da Hawaiian Kitchen in Huntington. Best Taiwanese dumpling spot, in my humble opinion, is Din Tai Fung in Costa Mesa. And for ramen, HiroNori Craft Ramen in Irvine is amazing. Tell them Noelani sent you. Okay, I joke, I joke. They have no idea who I am besides the small person that orders way too much food.
Q: What’s the best book, movie, or both you’ve read or watched in the past year?
A: I re-read Haruki Murakami’s “Norwegian Wood” last year and I’m constantly blown away by the fact that the novel was written in Japanese and translated. It’s one of my favorite books ever and it’s still so dang vibrant even on the second read. I’m also reading “The Alchemist” now and I’m hooked already at a few chapters in. And the best movie? Hard, but one of them is Queen and Slim. The soundtrack alone was a bop and the cast was beyond.
Q: Word on the street is that you’re pretty into the Marvel franchise. Is that true?
A: Well, yeah, absolutely no shame there. I just finished watching WandaVision over the weekend and all I can say is… wow. For the sake of any readers who are also watching this show, I won’t say anything else. I’ll tell you what though, one more question?
Q: You got it. My last question is, what do you hope to accomplish at AP in your role?
A: I love that question, Noelani. In the bigger sense, I want to contribute my positivity, creativity, and passion to the Advertise Purple team and culture. When it comes to my specific role, a big goal of mine is creating engaging, purposeful, and entertaining content that makes a difference to all of our readers. Something I’d love to bring into fruition within this role is more blog and content series. Stay tuned!
Thank you and welcome to Ad Purp, Noelani!
No, thank you, Noelani. It was a pleasure.