Gianna Sbarbaro

“We work hard for it…” states Dawn Ravelo, owner and creator of Global Village Kailua, during a recent interview regarding their A+ rating. “I think it’s really nice that the Better Business Bureau recognizes businesses that try to do the right thing, make the right decisions, treat employees and customers with respect, and create a positive environment.” For Dawn and her Kailua boutique, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and the element of trust are crucial in the success of her business. In a location like the close-knit town of Kailua, Hawaii, Global Village builds trust through integrity and performance, community engagement, and more, allowing them to develop a customer base that continues to shop at this beachy boutique, again and again.

The power of trust is often underappreciated in a world dominated by digital technology. Despite the fact that trust is fundamentally built through social interaction, it is so easy to replace face-to-face encounters with the screens of automated machines. But Global Village has a more unique business model that builds trust in many ways. The idea of trust is multi-faceted, and consists of building relationships with employees and customers. It can be broken into subcategories like respect, ethics, intent, business performance, following through with commitments, and more.

Global Village exemplifies many BBB ideals when it comes to building trust and using it to guide business operations. Built around ohana, or the Hawaiian principle referring to family, this community oriented business establishes meaningful trust on many levels. Within the community of Global Village employees, Dawn Ravelo fosters a work environment conducive to growth, teamwork, and productivity. Employees on all levels of operations are trusted with responsibilities, under a strong belief in everyone’s capabilities. As a result, Global Village employees enjoy their work, are motivated to do well and follow through with their commitments, and genuinely share the desire for the business to be successful.

But trust within the business only goes so far, as the other important aspect is building trust with customers. For this, Global Village builds trust with their consumer base by being actively involved in the community and regularly fulfilling their corporate social responsibility. Multiple times a year, they host fundraisers that benefit a different beneficiary each year. These fundraisers invite customers to engage with the business to support an aspect of the local community, and understand the business’ mission. Their ethically sourced products also demonstrate their efforts towards social and ecological sustainability. Ko’olau Clubhouse is also closely involved with Global Village. This Kailua boutique is a key part of their transitional program where people previously diagnosed with mental illness get the chance to reintegrate into the community. Their consistent involvement in the community creates a positive brand image that customers are happy to support through their purchase of products.

Aside from getting involved in their community, Global Village follows through with their policies, is openly transparent with their business operations and sourcing of products, truthful and responsive when addressing customers, and never misuses personal information given during a transaction. Ultimately, businesses like Global Village exemplify the importance of the BBB and trust within a business and its surrounding community. These lessons can apply to virtually any business, just take it from Dawn and her thriving shop in the heart of Kailua town!

Tell us a little about yourself
As Mahatma Gandhi once stated, “the best way to find yourself is to lose yourself
in the service of others”. The idea of engaging within the local community through
service opportunities is something that I have done throughout my life. These activities
have taught me about myself, my passions, and other invaluable things that can’t be
obtained any other way. Gandhi’s advice is especially relevant to my efforts to determine
what career path to pursue in college.
For the past 2 years, I have been taking an IB (International Baccalaureate)
High-Level Business Management class, a course that quickly became one of my
favorite subjects. In this class, we were recently tasked with an extensive report that
involved direct collaboration with a real business to improve an aspect of their
operations. I chose to work with Ho’ola Na Pua (HNP), a non-profit organization working
to address the issue of sex trafficking in Hawaii. For my project, I worked closely with
HNP board members and stakeholders to revise their fundraising tactics and improve
brand awareness, a project that concluded with the presentation of my findings at HNP’s
January board meeting. This project, among others from this course, inspired a passion
for business-related careers with an emphasis in marketing, entrepreneurship, and
business operations within the travel industry.
A degree in business would give me the ability to learn about how to be
successful in a business related career while giving me the skillset to apply my
knowledge to real jobs. Aside from being able to work closely with knowledgeable
professors and gain work experience, furthering my education with a degree in business
would also help me better understand the increasing role of technology in business
operations. Another way I hope to take advantage of everything college has to offer is by
studying abroad. I would love to immerse myself in another culture, using these
opportunities to expand my worldview and provide a new understanding of challenges
and potential solutions in other cultures.
While my college endeavors will likely take me off the island, I hope to bring
experience and diverse perspectives back to Hawaii by investing my skills in Hawaii
businesses. Whether this involves further collaboration with local non-profits like HNP or
completely new business ventures aiming to benefit the island, I am confident that I will
be able to positively contribute to the future community of Hawaii on many levels. Also, I
consider O’ahu to be my home, and it is the place that I plan on returning to after
pursuing a higher education.
List and explain any awards received related to academic achievement
● National Junior Honor Society and National Honor Society → 2013 – Present
● 2015 Steve Switzer Award Recipient (from Le Jardin Academy) awarded to the most well-rounded student
in academics, extracurricular, and community service
● 2015 School and Regional Science Fair Winner, and runner-up at the State Science Fair
○ Naval STEM Award for science fair project
● Recipient of 9 Subject Awards of Excellence from 9th grade to present in Language and Literature, Design,
U.S. History, Spanish, Visual Art, Environmental Science, and PE
● 2017 – Present: Member and President of the Spanish Honor Society
● 2017 – Present: Member of the Art Honor Society
● 2019 – Recipient of the Silver Key Scholastic Art Award, the second highest award within this national
competition that recognizes artwork exemplifying technical skill, creativity, and originality
Describe at least three school-related extra-curricular activities
● 2015 – 2019: Member of the LJA Polynesian Club, a club that helps students learn about Hawaiian culture,
the art of lei-making, and various types of hulas.
● 2017 – Present: Member of the Filmmaking Club, a club in which students learn about film production and
all the roles involved in making a successful film.
● 2015 – Present: Extra Credit Classes
○ 2015 – 2017: Concert Band (flutist)
○ 2017 – Present: Film History
Explain at least one leadership role that you have held