Kolby Akamu Moser

Ka'u High School - Class of 2001

Founder: Aria Studios & Aria's Children's Fund // Creative Director: RISEHI

Kolby Akamu Moser doesn’t want the voices of other people to drown out your own. She learned that in her own life as a “big people-pleaser” who made a lot of life decisions based on what others thought she should do. Through her experiences, Kolby has learned to listen to the sound of her own voice while respecting the opinions and dialogue of others.

As a student at Ka’u High School, Kolby did it all. She stayed busy in band and played three sports. She was class president and joined “anything and everything I could get involved in.” Following high school graduation in 2001, she attended the University of Hawaii at Manoa and earned a degree in Journalism and Speech. 

Since 2005, Kolby’s talents have taken her on a career path that started with work at KGMB9. She then became Creative Director of New Hope Leeward. In 2008, she founded ARIA Studios - a destination cinema and photography studio that’s “always on the hunt for a great story.”

Don't worry, Kolby's not done. At the core of the inception of ARIA Studios was the desire to help children. In 2012, along with a colleague, she co-founded ARIA Children’s Fund - a nonprofit that brings awareness and positive change to children around the globe who are at risk or in abject poverty. Through partnerships and work with organizations that bring light to children in need, ARIA Studios and ARIA Children’s Fund is a testament to the energy and passion Kolby has had to “get involved” since her teenage years.

Along with her outstanding professional pursuits and being the Creative Director of Rise Hawaii, Kolby has an unwavering dedication as a wife, and a mother to two young daughters, Hayley and Kaci.

What do you love about your work with ARIA Studios?

I love that I get to tell stories that matter. Be it a couple's love story that will be passed down to future generations, a story of a cool new product or business or a story aimed at bringing a positive change. It’s an honor to be able to use cinema and photography to bring a voice to so many. Working alongside a super fun and talented team is pretty awesome as well.

Who from present day or history would you like to have a conversation with?

I would love to have a conversation with my Hawaiian grandpa. I was pretty young when he passed. I mostly remember him as big and intimidating, but I know he had such a soft heart and he had the most impeccable work ethic. He lived a simple but fascinating life, and I wish I had the opportunity to listen to more of his stories.

Best advice you could give?

Be grateful. Be grateful when life is good, and be grateful when life is challenging. There is always something or someone to be thankful for. It's amazing how sweet life can be when you have a grateful heart.

What do you want to teach your children about Hawaii?

Hawaii is everything to me. It's my home, it's my past, and my future. I want my children to always feel a connection to where they came from - like I do. I want to teach them to care and protect our home, so their kids and their kids' kids can enjoy Hawaii like we do today.