Welcome to SWAM: Shiroma’s Wine and More

Allow me to introduce myself, Jill Shiroma, owner/operator of SWAM: Shiroma’s Wine and More and author of this blog.  Soon it will be our 5th year anniversary.  Thinking back five years ago, SWAM was just a business plan.  On paper, the business looked so promising. But in reality,  just opening the store was the most difficult and stressful moments in my life.  It took us 5 months to find the location. Mililani was our first choice, however, Mililani Towne Center’s anchor tenants did not want a wine store in their center to compete with their liquor sales. Second was Waipio, where the now defunct Wine by Numbers was located.  Thank god that we didn’t go there or it would have been us out of business.  Then we stumbled upon a location in the Waimalu Plaza on the border of Pearl City and Aiea.  LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION.  We were so happy with our find, but we did not budget in our business plan for a complete build-out.  A complete build out meant dealing with an architect,  a contractor, and mother nature.  We thought our build out would be easy and quick.  It’s just a shell and one wall to build.  Hell, not even close! Mother nature decided to rain for over 30 days in the month of March 2005.  Nothing got done for one month.  Oh, the stress was mounting. The liquor license permit would expire if we did not open by June 1 and we would have to go through the whole process again. By May, we finally were able to paint and construct the shelving.  We worked every day and night.  It was beautiful.   It’s like watching your child blossom.  I would go outside and gaze at the taped up windows and envision SWAM with all its potential.  Nonetheless, the clock was still ticking till our expiration date.  With the majority of our investment spent on the build out, there was very little to spend on inventory.  Hence we threw away the business plan and started to fly blind.  On May 25, 2005 we blessed the store with barely stocked shelves and opened with 6 days to spare.  People questioned the longevity of the store because of the scarce selection.  We had no choice.  We needed to do business to stay in business.  Five years later from the bare shelves to an overstocked store, we endured the stress of opening and we thank the community for sticking with us and welcoming SWAM as part of the neighborhood. 




Category : Blog Posted on April 19, 2011

7 Comments → “Welcome to SWAM: Shiroma’s Wine and More”

  1. Russel Kealoha
    8 years ago

    great first post! Glad to see you started your blog! Would love to hear more about the orgins of SWAM as well as the trials and tribulations as a small business owner 🙂

  2. @808lika
    8 years ago

    Aloha! Good job on the new blog. Best wishes and hope it brings even more folks into your terrific store. I love how you can always help me find just the right thing and I know that availing themselves of your great service and selection will be a treat for others, too.

  3. Ed Oshiro
    8 years ago

    The journey is what defines who we are. Enjoy the ride.

  4. Jeff
    8 years ago

    Congratulations on your 5th Anniversary. You’ve beaten the odds and are here to tell the tale. What a great 1st blog post, hearing the story of the struggle to open and your humble beginnings is a great insight to how far you’ve come. And a big Mahalo for keeping a steady stream og interesting high quality beers for us beer nuts!


  5. Rob
    8 years ago

    Great blog entry Jill! I wish they’d have let you open in Mililani, but its probably safer for me that you’re not quite that close! =-) Happy 5th anniversary, SWAM! Many Happy Returns!

  6. dp
    8 years ago

    Yay! Finally a blog! Now keep up with it!

  7. Tara Coomans
    8 years ago

    Welcome to blogging! Its a tough task master, but so many business owners find it an invaluable too! Keep at it – loved the first post! I’ll have to stop by next time I am on that side of town! Sending you, SWAM & your blog much Aloha!

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.