Spotlight on Julia Napua Fetzer – Oahu’s Active North Shore Lifestyle & Close-Knit Community
We caught up with Julia Napua Fetzer recently at an AccesSurf event where she was volunteering alongside a group of other Hawai‘i Life staffers at the charity’s monthly Day at the Beach. Dedicated volunteers from AccesSurf assist participants to surf or swim, sometimes using specialized equipment to help them enjoy our beautiful waters. It is clear when you meet Julia that she is 100% a people person. Julia is a bundle of energy, brimming with enthusiasm and always bearing a friendly smile.
She has lived on the North Shore of O‘ahu for more than 20 years. She raised her three grown children here. Dave Dawson, her husband of 7 years, has kids of his own and together, they have 2 grandchildren, who love to visit during the summer months from the mainland. Julia’s active lifestyle and close-knit community make Oahu’s North Shore the perfect place to call home.
Julia grew up here, but she left for a short while in her youth to live in Northern California. She simply couldn’t wait to get back home to this beautiful place, where she says she feels most grounded. Julia says she is deeply inspired by people, by her surroundings on the North Shore, by the diversity that Hawai‘i has to offer, and of course, by her own ‘ohana. These are the things that led her back to Hawai‘i.
Julia at the pillbox trail overlooking Sunset Beach and Pipeline, on Oahu’s North Shore
Years ago, she came across a copy of a book entitled A Day in the Life of Hawai‘i. It’s a photo journal published in 1984 – a collaboration of 50 photographers from all over the world – and all the photos were taken on one day, on December 2, 1983. Julia said, “When I first saw the book, I had been living in Northern California and I was visiting my mom & family in Hawai‘i. The book had the profound effect of making me truly homesick for this colorful, diverse, grounding, and special place. Soon afterward, in 1986, I moved back to once again make Hawai‘i my home and raise my own children here. In pulling the book out and looking at it today, it is timeless and at the same time dated.”
She’s grateful that two of her kids still live and work nearby on the North Shore, and that her third one lives as close as Kailua, where Julia herself was raised. She recalled that her parents instilled in her from a young age the importance home ownership. She noted, “I still reflect on their words and strong work ethic”. Their wise advice and Julia’s love of people led her to a career as a real estate professional in 2003. After more than a dozen successful years in the business, she pursued her broker’s license in 2015. She loves helping her clients, many of whom are referrals from previous clients. She has built her business on word of mouth.
Whether she’s helping first-time home buyers get into their first home, or she’s advising investors on how best to buy or sell their properties, she thrives on being of service to people. Her favorite part? She especially likes guiding them through the mountain of information, sifting through it all to help them make sound decisions – ones that are best suited to their diverse needs. She recognizes that buying real estate can be an emotional decision, so she helps her clients keep their eye on the practical aspects, too.
Her flexible schedule lends well to her many active pursuits. Julia bikes and practices yoga, and loves getting away at least once a year to ski in Colorado with her 87-year old dad. Naturally, given her location next to some of the world’s best beaches, and having grown up here, she likes to get out on the water, too. She swims and cools off at nearby Sunset Beach, and stand-up paddles when the waves aren’t too big. She’s even tried her hand at archery. In her downtime, Julia also has a love for reading and when she gets the opportunity, she loves to travel and explore other cultures.
When she’s not helping clients or hanging out with her own ‘ohana, you’ll find Julia gardening at home on O‘ahu’s incredible North Shore. An accomplished cook, she also loves creating something delicious in the kitchen from her garden produce, for her family and friends. She’s incredibly active and so the North Shore lifestyle suits her perfectly. On weekends, she hikes local trails with her beloved (although somewhat independent) little Jack Russell terrier named Zorro.
Julia wanted to share some of her favorite places and aspects of her North Shore home, in her own words.
My North Shore
by Julia Napua Fetzer (RA)
I live at Sunset Beach on the North Shore of O‘ahu. I love the slower, quiet, country lifestyle. I personally know my neighbors (I can hear one of them playing the saxophone in the background). We watch out for each other, as well as share stories and fresh produce and food — papayas, avos, mangos, lilikoi, bananas, coconuts, ‘ulu (breadfruit), pomelo, tangerines, starfruit, and eggs — all grown or produced on our properties and in our yards.
I live across from Rocky Point so I love to walk, snorkel, SUP & and swim there as often as possible. Other favorite locations nearby: Three Tables, Waimea, Sunset Beach and a hidden cove at Turtle Bay. The beaches are truly magical! I love to share these special places, but sometimes I secretly want to keep them all to ourselves — so they’ll remain as unchanged as possible!
We have a great hiking trail called the Bunker hike, also known as the Sunset Beach pillbox trail. It’s located above and behind our property. The views from the top of the bunkers are breathtaking. The blue ocean, waves, and reef formations — you can see all the way from Kaena Point to Kawela Bay.
I love the sense of community here on the North Shore. I know and regularly support a number of small businesses. The owners are also my friends. They are farmers, soap makers, yoga instructors, personal trainers, jewelry makers, surfboard shapers and glassers, artists, musicians, and restaurateurs. I love to eat at BeetBox Café and at Elephant Thai.
I love the active lifestyle of the North Shore. There’s always something to do before and after work and most times, there’s someone willing to join for a swim, hike, bike, surf, SUP, etc. The North Shore community has been a great place to raise my family. The old saying, “It takes a village to raise a child” is alive and well here. I love to travel. However, when I return home, no matter where I’ve been, I feel blessed to live in Hawai‘i on the North Shore of O‘ahu.
For professional advice, or for more info about living on the North Shore, you can reach Julia via email at Julia@hawaiilife.com, at our North Shore office at (800) 667-5028, or on her cell at (808) 286-7550. You can visit her webpage here.