“Seriously. Fun.” is the motto for the company Maisie Knowles co-founded with husband Luke when she was just 21 years old. That says it all about the Kinoli, Inc., business philosophy. The now 30-year-old entrepreneur believes business can be fun for owners, employees and customers while still taking a serious approach to the end product.
Today, Kinoli owns and manages more than a dozen money-saving websites in three countries. Their greatest success has been the creation of the shopping holiday Free Shipping Day, which in 2011 saw more than $1 billion in sales to make it one of the highest-earning online shopping days in history. Other websites include a family of cost-cutting superheroes, such as CouponSherpa.com, GiftCardGranny.com and MrFreeStuff.com, with more sites constantly under development.
Maisie and Luke started Kinoli as a means of earning extra money while maintaining day jobs at agencies providing Internet marketing services. Within a short time, their fledgling company became self sufficient and the couple began working full time for themselves.
Over the years, the Kinoli business model has evolved from providing services for clients to creating their own revenue-generating websites. This new model proved far more scalable and manageable, allowing them to branch out into several new ventures including a vacation rental business in Maui called Ma’alaea Surf Vacations.
With each new project, Kinoli strives to be the “first” company operating in that niche market. They refute the maxim that bigger is better, and prefer to keep their workforce small. This philosophy has fostered an environment of teamwork and friendship, with plenty of fun in the mix as well.