By Léo Azambuja

Hesse Flooring owner Sutada Hesse received her business degree from the King of Thailand. Contributed photo

Picking the right flooring for your home or office can be quite confusing and strenuous, especially when a budget is involved. Should you buy tile or hardwood? What about vinyl? Is carpet a better choice? What kind of carpet? What color? Can you afford it? And who is going to install it?

The answer to all those questions might be just a consultation away at Hesse Flooring in Nawiliwili.

“We have thousands different styles of carpet and flooring,” said Sutada Hesse, owner of Hesse Flooring. “I think we have the biggest showroom on Kaua‘i.”

Hesse’s warehouse carries a multitude of flooring samples from all types of carpets to tiles, hardwood floors, laminated wood floors, wall tiles, area rugs, oriental rugs, vinyl floors, and more.

There are literally thousands of flooring choices, but Hesse’s expertise will help you to find something that brings out the best in your home and still fits in your budget. After all, she says she looks at her customers’ homes as if they were her own home. Hesse also works with an interior designer “who makes everything look so good.”

The result is a nearly 100 percent satisfaction rate, she said.

Hesse Flooring can also install the carpet you buy there. They have a wide range of prices, from quite cheap to pricey. But the quality is always top notch, especially when you compare their products with other stores, Hesse said.

“We are very competitive,” she said. “I’m not here to make money. I’m here because I like my customers. … I enjoy working with them and helping them out.”

For those needing to install carpet in only a small room or office, they might find some remnants in the warehouse, and the job might be quite inexpensive.

Hesse is originally from Thailand, where she attended one of the top-10 schools in the country and received her business degree, with a major in marketing, from the hands of the King of Thailand himself.

“It was a very proud moment,” said Hesse, adding she worked hard for her degree, but failed the first time around. Her friends then helped by tutoring her, and she finally made it. It was an important lesson for her, who said she would not succeed without support, and this goes for everything else in life, including school, business and relationships.

Hesse later moved to California to attend graduate school, and it was there that she met her ex-husband. They moved to Kaua‘i in November 1992, a couple months after Hurricane ‘Iniki, and opened Hesse Flooring. After divorcing her husband, Hesse continued the business on her own since the early 2000s.

Asked if she had any advice for women who are in business, Hesse smiled and said, “they’ll make it, women are tough.” In fact, times were difficult during the downfall of the economy in 2008, when “everybody had a hard time,” she said, but the business survived thanks to her resilience — and a promise to her late father-in-law.

“I learned a lot from him, he was a very successful man,” Hesse said of her father-in-law. “I didn’t give up because of him. I promised him at his funeral I’d take good care of his grandkids no matter what happened. So we got through the recession, even though I struggled. I made it through because I kept my promise.”

Besides being a business owner and a contractor, Hesse is also an animal lover and a certified diamond jeweler.

Find Hesse Flooring at 3285 Waapa Rd. in Nawiliwili. Call (808) 246-3700 for an appointment or just drop by Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.


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