Third annual Made In Maui County Festival aims to grow county’s small businesses
WAILUKU – On Nov. 4-5, 2016, Maui County will hold its largest products show, the annual Made in Maui County Festival, at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center in Kahului.
Now in its third year, the event aims to continue its momentum of showcasing hundreds of Made-in-Maui-County products while helping to grow the islands’ small businesses.
Last week, the festival’s presenters – the county Mayor’s Office of Economic Development and the Maui Chamber of Commerce – announced the product vendors and food trucks who will be participating this November.
For a complete list of 2016 product vendors, visit “http://www.MadeInMauiCountyFestival.com/vendors”>www.MadeInMauiCountyFestival.com/vendors. For a list of food trucks, visit www.MadeInMauiCountyFestival.com/food-trucks.
Over 140 product vendors will offer a wide variety of foods, produce, art, crafts, jewelry, fashions, gifts, collectibles and more. Of this total, 38 businesses are new to the event, 16 businesses are from Molokai, and one is from Lanai.
Additionally, on Saturday, 11 of Maui’s popular food trucks will be featured in the festival’s Food Court, offering a myriad of island-inspired menu items.
While the public will enjoy this veritable showcase of locally made products, the event’s organizers and stakeholders will be focused on the event’s real mission – to help grow our islands’ businesses by providing opportunities for participating vendors to meet with prospective retailers and wholesalers and connect with new customers.
Since the festival’s inception in 2014, participating vendors reported a cumulative total of over $716,000 in product sales, and over 430 new wholesale accounts and/or orders closed. Vendors gained over 5,500 leads for future sales and/or wholesale accounts, which they acquired during the festival. This year, this November event is anticipated to be bigger and better than ever, according to festival organizers.
“Providing opportunities for our local businesses is the main reason why this festival was created,” said Maui County Mayor Alan Arakawa. “Today, this event is not only an annual tradition for shoppers, it’s one of the most sought-after product shows for entrepreneurs. This festival offers a springboard to take their business to the next level by creating a vehicle to unveil new products, secure new wholesale accounts and meet new customers.”
“We’re very excited to be featuring this year’s vendors who showcase our county’s entrepreneurial spirit and represent a diverse microcosm of our niche manufacturing industry,” said Pamela Tumpap, president of the Maui Chamber of Commerce.
“Some businesses have been around for a while with their products offered statewide and even in international markets. Others are just starting out and gearing up for the festival, which will be their first major products show. Yet, they all share something in common; they all want to succeed, and the festival is a critical tool to help them grow their businesses.”
This year’s product vendors had to meet certain criteria in order to participate, including having their business based on the islands of Maui, Molokai or Lanai. Products being offered for sale also had to be made in Maui County and meet a minimum 51 percent of their value added in Hawaii.
The festival will kickoff on Friday, Nov. 4, with a special “Shoppers Preview” from 1:30 to 6 p.m. All attendees will receive a free festival tote bag. Tickets ($35 per person) are available at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center Box Office; call (808) 242-SHOW (7469) or visit www.MauiArts.org.
On Saturday, Nov. 5, the “Big Festival Day” will be open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Public admission is $5 at the gate; children 12 and under are free. Saturday’s festivities will include product demonstrations, a fashion show, food trucks and prize drawings. The first 2,000 attendees will also receive a free festival tote bag.
Sponsorship opportunities are still available. Wholesale buyers interested in attending the “Buyers Preview” on Friday, Nov. 4, may register at www.MadeInMauiCounyFestival.com/Preview.
For more information, visit www.MadeInMauiCountyFestival.com, e-mail info@MadeInMauiCountyFestival.com or call (808) 270-7710. Follow the event on Facebook, Twitter (#MIMCF2016), Instagram, and Pinterest.