Michael Baskin is an architect, builder and designer who specializes in the preservation of historic coastal towns.

Celebrated for his unique approach to manufacturing and design, Baskin has been featured in a variety of publications including The New York Times, Travel + Leisure, Coastal Living, Men’s Journal and Sunset Magazine.

In 2002, Baskin bought a lodging house in Maui and converted it into the Pia Inn, described by the Los Angeles Times as an “upscale stylish haven”. As a highly popular tourist destination, the Inn continues to receive excellent reviews and has been recognized as one of the top three best hotels in Maui.

Baskin is currently working on several renovation projects in Paia, as he hopes to retain some of the town’s historic charm. As an opportunist, he also prides himself on creating various economic opportunities for local residents.

What is your current role in your company?

I am an Architect, Designer, and Owner of Paia Inn – a boutique vacation rental in Maui. Situated on three miles of white sand, it is the perfect setting for a family getaway or wedding reception. With private beach access and Balinese-inspired architecture, we offer island goers coastal luxury.

What inspired you to go this route?

My father has always been a motivator for me in my life. I spent many of my formative years attending my father’s staff meetings, and he taught me a lot about business and entrepreneurship. He encouraged me to pursue my post-secondary education, and I eventually learned how to combine my passion for design and architecture. I started out remodeling older homes in local neighborhoods before investing in higher priced real estate markets like Maui. With every project I’ve completed I’ve learned how to be more cost conscious and faster to be profitable. Now, I’m widely known for my sophisticated coastal style and my unique approach to design. I have built homes and small hotels in Hawaii, the Caribbean, California, and Thailand.

What defines your approach to business?

My approach to business is really simple, I take the time to make sure I hire the right people. I work with many talented individuals including architects, engineers and accountants. I attribute our success to our hardworking teams of professionals. I value open communication. It is important that everyone is on the same page at all times and understands what we are working towards.

What are the keys to being productive in such a busy environment?

Patience and persistence are key to long-term success. When it comes to construction, you can almost always expect challenges, whether it’s delays, additional costs or permit requirements, especially when it comes to historic properties. It’s important that you stand your ground and do your best to navigate whatever problems arise.

How do you measure success?

I have been in business since 1987 and have experienced massive success since then. I am now the owner of a beautiful boutique vacation rental property and I specialize in coastal town renovations. However, despite my success, I realize the importance of giving back. As a longtime Maui resident I strive to give back to many organizations including Haleakalā Waldorf School, Kekaulek School, Horizons Academy, Paia Youth Center, Make a Wish, Camp Imua, Keki Dream, Seabury Hall, Cameron Center, Hui No I do ‘EU, Hana Senior Center, Red Cross, Hawaii Wildlife Fund.

Success for me is also about striking a balance between my personal life and professional obligations. As a family-oriented person, it is important that I spend quality time with my loved ones on a daily basis.

What advice do you have for those interested in your industry?

My best advice would be to seek out other industry professionals who can share some of their experiences with you. Business is challenging and it is easy to lose motivation when it comes to your goals. However, taking the time to learn from more experienced individuals can help avoid unnecessary pitfalls.

What are your favorite things to do outside of work?

Family is my first priority for me. I love my job and everything that I do but success for me is now being able to spend time with the people who are most important to me. Maui is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Usually when I’m not working I take my family along and we love to enjoy a day out on the water.

What’s the one piece of advice you’ve never forgotten?

Never give up on your goals, but most importantly, never lose faith in yourself. You are in charge of your own success, so it’s important to stay motivated no matter how challenging things seem. Make self-reflection a weekly habit and use setbacks as learning opportunities.




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