Paula, Ernie and Michelle in our Paradise Taxi dispatching area of our home.
Paula and me in the Paradise Taxi dispatching area of our home
Paula and I started our own Company and named it Paradise Taxi. We worked very hard to get it established and I firmly believed in the power of advertising. We promoted our company in dozens of ways that no other company there ever did. We were the prominent advertiser in the yellow pages and just by luck was given the easy to remember phone number of 329-1234. Years later when a new prefix of 326 was introduced I requested the 326-1234 number as a second line and was informed that it had already been given out. I never knew who had that number and thinking back I guess I could have just called it and offered them money to let me buy it but at the time I just used the number assigned me for our second line. Well wouldn’t you know several months later Paula’s brother moved to Hawaii into an apartment complex that was just built and guess what phone number he was assigned — Yep, 326-1234, Knowing her brother as I did, I just waited patiently and soon he was planning to move back to California. When I heard that he was moving I called the phone company and reserved his number when he left. So we had 2 very simple easy to recall phone numbers working to our advantage.
We also bought the best little ink pens with our Name ,Phone numbers and logo on them from a firm in San Diego, CA . They were the most reliable ball point pens I have ever used and our customers were always asking for additional pens. We also had a silk screen made for out everyday uniform “The TEE Shirt”. The lady who owned the company that did our Tee shirts only used the best Hanes products and could supply them in many colors. We even sold the Tee shirts to people visiting Hawaii that loved the name Paradise Taxi with our Rainbow logo. We kept a supply of various mens & womens sizes that did not have a name on them to sell to the tourist. I owned that Logo and paid a graphics artist to design it.
When we first arrived in Kona several of the Taxi companies used there children’s initials for the name of their company. I think it was a clever ploy that worked to their advantage at the tip time. If a visitor asked about the name of their Taxi and the proud parent told how each letter stood for each of their children the pocket book opened a little wider at the time to pay the fare. Even though it was 1974 back in the Mainland USA, Hawaii was still on “Hawaiian Time” and so the dominate Taxi Company there at that time used their children’s initials proudly on their dome lights. I don’t think it ever crossed their mind that the “KKK” Taxi was probably not the wisest choice to use for the growing tourist trade coming to Kona from the Mainland. As their children became adults and maybe because someone pointed it out to them, around the early 80’s they changed it to “KA” Taxi, named in honor of the mother whose last name was Ka.
Paula really loved that she could drive interesting people around, get paid to do that and still be just a radio call away from her growing children. Getting to work every day in a Tee shirt was a plus also. I loved that and the fact that “Paula Was My Girl”