Maui Business

Maui Festival Vendors Generate $2.5 M in 5 Years

April 3, 2019, 7:55 AM HST
* Updated April 4, 6:56 AM
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Participating vendors of the Made in Maui County Festival generated nearly $2.5 million in product sales during the event in five years.

The milestone was reported by the Maui Chamber of Commerce, which presented the event with support from the County of Maui Office of Economic Development.

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A full report detailing the results and economic impact of the 5th Annual Made In Maui County Festival, which was held on Nov. 2 to 3, 2018 at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center in Kahului, is now available online.

Considered Maui County’s largest products show, last year’s event attracted more than 140 vendors (including 15 companies from Molokaʻi, two from Lānaʻi, and six from Hāna) offering hundreds of Made-in-Maui-County products. In addition, 16 food trucks also presented a diverse menu of island cuisine in the event’s Pasha Hawaiʻi Food Court.

According to Pamela Tumpap, President of the Maui Chamber Commerce, “The MIMCF has grown exponentially over the years thanks to continued support from the County of Maui; our event sponsors; and wide spread support from the community, both visitors and residents. We’re thrilled with the impact this event has had in improving our islands’ economy by helping to grow, diversify, and sustain Maui County’s manufacturers; showcasing entrepreneurship and locally made products; and encouraging job creation.”

Over the past five years, 303 local vendors who participated reported during this two-day festival:

  • Nearly $2.5 million on retail sales.
  • Over 165,900 items sold.
  • Over 1,120 new wholesale accounts secured.
  • Over 6,770 new leads established.

Some of the highlights of the 2018 MIMCF included:

  • Over 10,000 visitors and residents attended the two-day festival of which approximately 30 percent were visitors.
  • Participating Product Vendors reported as a result of the two-day festival: Over $681,175 in total product sales; Over 138 total new wholesale accounts/orders secured; and over 487 new wholesale leads and/or prospects developed.
  • Nearly 400 qualified wholesale buyers and distributors across the state and as far away as Japan attended the festival’s B2B event, a special Buyers Preview, on Friday, November 2. This invitation-only event offered an opportunity for wholesalers/distributors to talk one-on-one with vendors about their products and to place orders.
  • The first-ever MIMCF Best New Food Product Contest sponsored by Minit Stop recognized distinguished achievement in the introduction, development, and marketing of new food products. Last year’s winner was Michelle Valentin of Maui Raw LLC.
  • The Pasha Hawaiʻi Food Court was designated a “zero waste” event zone. Working with Maui Huliau Foundation’s Green Events Team, participating food truck vendors, and the Maui Arts & Cultural Center; the event was able to divert 988 lbs of waste or 78% of the total from going into the landfill.

Last year’s vendors sited the festival’s impact:

“Our biggest festival success story is that we have had a business boom,” said Shanna Kanahele of Na Koa Brand. “We now have two brick and mortar stores and six full-time and give part-time employees that have access to full medical and benefits.”

According to Chad Miller of Grandpa Joe’s Candy Company, “The MIMCF is the biggest event for entrepreneurs in Maui County. It’s so interconnected with everyone from the County’s Office of Economic Development, the Maui Chamber of Commerce, Maui Economic Development Board, Maui Food Technology Center, Maui Food Innovation Center, and more working together to provide a support system, so small businesses like ours have the tools we need to succeed.”

“I really love this event,” said Leah Santos of all I see is ART. “I started my business in April 2018 as an online store and the MIMCF was the first time I actually showed my products at a major event. It was been great talking with customers and hearing their feedback about my laser cut, engraved wood jewelry.”

“Preparing for the MIMCF event was pivotal in moving our company forward again towards bottling our beverage products,” said David Smithey of Big Wave Beverage Company LLC. “We improved and updated our marketing and brand strategy, something that we had been putting off for a while. As a result, we captured the attention of a mainland company that is interested in working with us to bring our products to the mainland.”

Lehua Greenwell of Hulalei Designs on Molokai shared, “The festival gave me the opportunity to land exciting wholesale accounts across the state, gain exposure for my products, and helped me realize the potential of my hobby/passion all the while #makingmo‘olelos.”

According to Shannon Peck of Treehouse Designs, “This festival stays on my mind year-round. Last minute preparation for the event usually results in updated signage and packaging, and a new item or design to be released at the festival. But, more importantly, participation in the event motivates me to continually develop a more concise brand story, define brand identity, and increase brand visibility.”

“Preparing for the MIMCF helped me to prepare for wholesale buyers and design and/or create more products that will appeal to my customers,” said Linda Coleon of Aloha Letterpress. “The festival also motivates me to seek ways to expand and diversify my product lines. I continue to seek ways to improve my Etsy online shop and am considering opening my own online shop.”

Food truck vendor, Christina Pagaduan of Pastele House Maui shared, “The exposure of being in MIMCF is unlike any other. So many people come through to see our truck, buy our food. They remember us and we always get a surge of new likes and new followers in social media after the event.”

“I truly feel that the festival is the Gold Star of vendor events on Maui,” said Laura Mango of Laura Mango Art. “It’s the only one I participate in because of the prestige it has. I’m very particular where I put my art and I feel so privileged to be a vendor.”

According to Patricia Huntley of Hapa Maui Design, “The festival is always the best event I do! The only place on Maui that I get the most foot traffic and business in one weekend!”

“The past few years of participation in the MIMCF has definitely helped us to improve our branding, our marketing, and social media presence,” said Kuʻulei Kualaʻau of Kanilehua Enterprises. “It has also helped us to become wholesale ready and moved us toward a three-month lease at Queen Kaʻahumanu Center for the 2018 holidays to highlight our jewelry products.”

“Reaching over $2.5 million on retail sales in five years is definitely a milestone for this major Maui County event,” said Tumpap. “We look forward to the MIMCF continuing to serve as a catalyst for our islands’ small businesses to grow and thrive by exposing them to prospective consumers, wholesalers, and distributors here and beyond our state. The festival is a true testament to the power of teamwork and we thank everyone involved in making this happen.”

Maui County-based businesses interested in participating in this year’s festival, can download an application online (for product vendors) or at the Made In Maui County Festiaval site (for food trucks). The deadline for applications is May 31, 2019.

A variety of sponsorship opportunities are available for companies and organizations interested in promoting their goods and/or services and who want to promote their support of local businesses.  Sponsorship Kits are available for download online.

Qualified wholesale buyers/distributors may receive complimentary admission to attend a special “Buyer’s Preview” on Friday, November 1 by registering online.

The 2018 Made in Maui County Festival drew over 10,000 of residents and visitors to the Maui Arts & Cultural Center in Kahului on November 2 and 3. PC: Made in Maui County Festival

Lines formed for Kanemitsu Bakery’s famous Molokai bread. According to Blossom Poepoe of Kanemitsu Bakery, “The festival definitely helped my business move forward. I took over to Maui about 1,200 more breads than previous years and I still sold out.” PC: Made in Maui County Festival

Wendy Acosta of Maui SweetnSpicy shared, “As a fifth year MIMCF participant, it’s heart warming to have people find us each year. They share their stories of how they use/enjoy our product and eagerly try whatever we have that is new. Our Bacon Crack is becoming infamous, and we sold out for the first time last year.” Pictured: Acosta with her team. PC: Made in Maui County Festival

According to Amity Mason of A.M.I.T.Y. by Amity Mason Designs (pictured far right), “This festival helped me understand a lot more about business as a whole. I launched my online shop in time for the 2018 MIMCF, which I want to continue to promote. I also want to become wholesale ready for specific accounts and seek funding for growth.” PC: Made in Maui County Festival

Francine Frost of Hāna Gold Chocolate shared, “Participating in MIMCF allowed us to talk to dozens of potential store buyers in one day. They could see our product, sample it and meet us. This helped us connect with the right people getting us into more stores and making us more visible in the market place. These efforts are helping us grow.” PC: Made in Maui County Festival

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