Back deck looking over the grass and ocean at Sweet Escape villa rentalBack deck looking over the grass and ocean at Sweet Escape villa rentalBack deck looking over the grass and ocean at Sweet Escape villa rental

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Diversity Woman

Young Entrepreneur: Anne Pawsat-Dressler

August 2010

Having started her own multi-million-dollar business providing luxury rental properties and 24/7 concierge services in Hawaii at age 24, Anne Pawsat-Dressler is one of the hottest young entrepreneurs around.

Her company, Hawaii Hideaways, leases the homes of the wealthy to clients accustomed to living in style when they visit the Pacific island state.
The eclectic Yale graduate with a bachelor of science in neuroscience got the idea for Hawaii Hideaways while working for a similar company on Maui as the go-to person for troubleshooting with clients. “The customers started trusting me more than the company,” she says. I realized they had a good business model that could be implemented better.”

In 2004, after eight months on the job, Pawsat-Dressler took a handful of contacts she had developed and branched out on her own. Expanding her reach throughout the Hawaiian Islands, she connected travel seekers with lodging in multimillion-dollar estates, renting out the properties-mostly second homes of the rich and famous looking to offset costs-from $1,000 to $8,000 per night, she says. Since then, Hawaii Hideaways has grown to include eight female employees and a host of consultants who provide a full range of travel-agent services, tours, yacht charters, luaus, gourmet cooking, massages, and other personalized offerings. the company’s 2009 revenues were $2.6 million, which marked a recessionary dip from a high in 2007 of $3.4 million.

Now 30 and commuting between Hawaii and Florida, where her husband is based, Pawsat-Dressler has created two new companies. sells dermatology-level skin-care products online at reasonable prices and offers accompanying esthetician advice by e-mail and phone. features a range of mineral-based makeup products. “Chemical home peels are the next wave, and we want to be on the front of it,” she says.

“Hawaii Hideaways and the skin-care companies are totally different types of businesses, and working on one allows me a break from the others,” Pawsat-Dressler observes. These days, the enterprising businesswoman is also allocating herself more free time to kick back.

Her advice to other young entrepreneurs? “You have more guts to start a company when you’re younger. I say go for it!”

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