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Made in Maui County Festival announces first round of product vendors

By Staff | Jul 9, 2015

Kauionalani Waller of Maui Nui Wear is one of this year’s returning vendors. PHOTO BY CASEY NISHIKAWA.

WAILUKU – With nearly 19 weeks to go until the second annual Made in Maui County Festival opens on Nov. 6 and 7, the County of Maui Mayor’s Office of Economic Development and Maui Chamber of Commerce last week announced the first group of approved vendors who will be participating in the 2015 event.

Considered the largest products show in Maui County, the 2015 festival will feature over 140 vendors. The event will also be increasing the number of food trucks from seven in 2014 to 16 this year. To date, a total of 68 local businesses have been approved to participate, and over 50 applications are pending review early next month.

While the 2015 Product Vendor Application submission deadline was originally announced as Aug. 31, due to the high number of applicants and limited vendor space, the festival committee encourages local businesses interested in participating to submit their applications sooner rather than later.

“We’re thrilled with the tremendous response to our request for vendors, and we appreciate everyone who took the time to submit an application,” said Teena Rasmussen, director of the county Mayor’s Office of Economic Development.

“We’re very fortunate to have a dedicated group of volunteers serving on our vendor selection committee. Applications are carefully reviewed each month and evaluated based upon businesses meeting certain criteria, including having their products being Made in Hawaii as well as compatibility, desirability, marketability, uniqueness, level of competitive pricing and quality of products.”

In addition to promoting vendors and their products to thousands of residents and visitors, the Made in Maui County Festival also provides exposure to volume and wholesale buyers, giving local entrepreneurs an opportunity to grow their businesses.

For Nahele Designs, this will be their first time participating in a major products show.

“We primarily sell our handcrafted jewelry on our website and at a couple of locations on Maui,” said Monica DeVine, owner and artist of Nahele Designs.

“Participating in the Made in Maui County Festival will allow us to showcase our products to a broader audience and give us an opportunity to take our business to another level. We can’t wait for November!”

Kauionalani Waller of Maui Nui Wear is excited to be one of this year’s returning vendors.

“Last year’s Made in Maui County Festival provided the perfect, proactive grassroots initiative to support, grow and elevate Maui’s small businesses,” said Waller.

“As a vendor, Maui Nui Wear had the opportunity to gain exposure that would have been hard to achieve on our own. Our company more than doubled our wholesale orders as a result of this event. The festival is another great Maui-style initiative that helps our islands’ small businesses while perpetuating the spirit of aloha.”

For more information, or to download a vendor application, visit www.MadeInMauiCountyFestival.com, e-mail info@MadeInMauiCountyFestival.com.