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Market Highlights Native Hawaiian-Owned Businesses

The biannual pop-up Hoomau Hawaii Market will return to the Hawaii Convention Center on July 1-2, giving Native Hawaiian-owned businesses a chance to reach new customers and network with other small business owners.

“I’m honored to host our July market, shining a spotlight on the incredible Native Hawaiian and local businesses who are doing remarkable things to uplift our lahui and integrate our culture in so many ways,” said Kailee Freitas, founder of the market and owner of Mahina Made LLC, in a written statement. “All of our vendors are creating avenues to mainstream our culture and to reclaim the brand of Hawaii to be represented in authentic ways.”

Confirmed participants in the market this year include Nakeu Awai Designs, Aloha de Mele, Kakou Collective, Pawniolo Pets and Ao Organics Hawaii. Kea Peters of the Kakou Collective was named the U.S. Small Business Administration’s 2023 Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award, given to business owners under the age of 35. Pawniolo Pets was among businesses named in Pacific Business News’ 2023 Startups To Watch.

Average sales per vendor range between $10,000 and $30,000 for the two-day event, with a few vendors making more than $70,000, said Freitas in a written statement.

“It’s a great opportunity for small businesses to meet and connect with current customers and allowing them to shop in-person is a huge advantage,” she told Pacific Business News in an email. “Moreover, our events attract a substantial number of attendees, enabling our vendors to make new connections and expand their customer base. We consistently receive feedback from vendors who express the value they place on networking with each other and building professional relationships with other business owners as they find solace in sharing triumphs and navigating challenges together.”

Participating businesses in the market must have been in operation for least two years.

The Hoomau Hawaii Market was established in 2021 to support businesses that aim to reclaim the Hawaii brand in an authentic way, Freitas said.

“Globally, the essence of Hawaii is thought of as beaches, surfing, pineapples, and paradise,” said Freitas. “Hawaiian culture is inauthentically represented as plastic lei, grass skirts, and mai tais. Not only is this incorrect, but this leads to a large lack of knowledge and awareness for what is truly Hawaiian. So, just as we were coming out of the pandemic shutdown, I decided to start a market aimed at supporting our local businesses who create products that perpetuate Hawaiian culture, language and values.”

The market will run from 10:30. a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, July 1, and from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, July 2 at the Hawaii Convention Center. Tickets cost $5 for adults. Admission is free for keiki 12 years old and younger. For more information about merchants and the market, go to hoomauhawaiimarket.com.

Source : The Business Journals