By Michelle Talsma Everson
While the word “aloha” is traditionally used to greet someone, according to Scottsdale entrepreneur Spencer Leu, it also has a deeper meaning.
“The deeper meaning of ‘aloha’ is peace, love and—most of all—compassion,” Leu shares.
As the founder and owner of Aloha Timepieces—a luxury watch brand—the concept of compassion is deeply engrained in everything Leu does when it comes to his business. In fact, the company’s mission is, “To inspire others to live with aloha while helping others with the profits generated.”
A Personal Journey to Aloha
Leu shares that he used to be a CFO of a corporate technology company. “I was blessed to be successful in my career, but I still wasn’t happy,” he explains. “I left my career to find happiness. After traveling the world and acquiring more experiences, I learned that compassion is one of the keys to happiness. You need to have compassion for yourself and others to be truly happy.”
During his travels, Leu also fell in love with timepieces and watch making. He laughs as he admits to “geeking out” over timepiece components and technology. In early 2018 he went on a mission to create his perfect watch—quite a feat since he had no experience in the watch industry before this. “Who would create a high-quality Swiss-made timepiece during the smart watch revolution? Me,” he jokes.
His first two variants of Aloha timepieces were ready in June 2019 after multiple revisions. With a goal of using his business to give back (or, in his own words, “live aloha”), Leu utilizes his watches to raise funds for a variety of charitable organizations.
Some examples of Aloha Timepieces giving back include:
• A watch sold for $25,000 to raise funds for a girls’ school in Kenya.
• The auction of a timepiece raised over $2,000 for FareStart, a nonprofit that helps with food, life skills, and job training.
• Locally, he donated watches recently to raise funds for the Arizona chapter of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and the upcoming
Easterseals Golf Classic, which benefits Southwest Human Development.
All these donations have happened in a short timeframe as—while Aloha Timepieces entered the market in 2019—Leu put the business’ marketing and promotional efforts on hold through most of the pandemic. “My first professional, big industry show was supposed to take place in March 2020—but it was canceled due to the pandemic,” he shares.
Now that the world is back to the “new normal,” Leu is hoping to get the Aloha brand of watches back in the public eye so that more customers can enjoy them, and he can use the profits to give back to other charitable causes.
“My hope for customers who wear the watches is that they are inspired and reminded to live with compassion, and to give back to causes that matter to them,” he says. “Through this business, I’m challenging myself to live like that as well.”
In the spirit of giving back, Leu is also a volunteer mentor at Arizona State University for the master’s program in innovation and venture development. “It’s all about helping others to grow and using how I’ve been blessed to connect with others and help push them forward.”
With Aloha Timepieces taking off, and a full schedule of volunteering and giving back on his plate, did Leu find the happiness he was looking for? His answer: one thousand times “yes.”
“Through the journey of starting and creating Aloha Timepieces, I have experienced the most joy that I have ever had in my life,” Leu says. “I’ve made friends across the globe and currently have customers in eight countries! And none of that would have been possible without launching this brand. Every day is amazing and I am so grateful. I am truly living the ‘aloha spirit’ and plan to continue to give back whenever and wherever I can.”
To learn more about Aloha Timepieces, visit aloha.watch. You can also follow the brand on Facebook @alohawatches or Instagram @aloha.watch.