Maui Business

Maui Mompreneur shopping event welcomes spring, April 26-28

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  • B. Miyo Art at Maui Mompreneur. PC: courtesy.
  • Maui Mompreneur UHMC venue interior. PC: courtesy
  • Pālani Poised at Maui Mompreneur. PC: courtesy
  • Al’s BBQ Pit food truck at Maui Mompreneur. PC: courtesy
  • Maui Mompreneur UHMC venue exterior. PC: courtesy

Maui Mompreneur celebrates its 11th year supporting the local community of shoppers and vendors during a spring event at the University of Hawaiʻi Maui College on April 26-28, 2024.  

The event features Maui-made crafts, jewelry, art, clothing, baked goods and more. The event kicks off with an open house on Friday, April 26 from 5 to 8 p.m. in the Pāʻina Building, featuring 24 local vendors, Hawaiian food, tofu/veggie plates and a classic car show. 

The shopping opportunities ramp up over the weekend with a range of 45 vendors, both inside and outside of the Pāʻina Building.  Hours on Saturday, April 27 are from 4 to 8 p.m.; and on Sunday, April 28 are from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.   


This season’s event will include around a dozen first-time participants who recently started their businesses to supplement income loss after the August 2023 wildfires.

“Supporting local means helping each other out.  Since the fires, our small businesses and those who run them need our help more than ever.  Unfortunately, many people have had to leave our island, not always because the fires destroyed their homes but because living here has gotten too expensive,” said event co-founder Luana HueSing-Ammasi.  “So when we buy from local businesses, we do more than just shop. We help people put food on the table and keep a roof over their heads.  Spending our money at local businesses keeps our money here, on our island.  This is really important now as we try to rebuild and bring our community back together.  Supporting local helps us all.”

Examples of this year’s vendors and products include handmade soaps, crochet items, jewelry, local treats, exotic snacks from Japan, plate lunches, clothing, ceramics, wood laser printing, tote bags, fishing pole bags, baked goods, skin care products, and farmers with produce and plants.  There will also be a “kidpreneur” table called Bead ‘Em Up Hawai’i with bead bracelets, lanyards, car charms and keychains, led by a 5-year-old vendor and her mom (to encourage values like kuleana and work ethic).


“There’s a lot of time and thought behind hand-selecting each vendor,” said co-founder Jovina Ka’eo.  “We look for quality, creativity and commitment to excellence, since we want to give our shoppers access to distinctive, often handmade products that can’t be found elsewhere.  Our family-friendly atmosphere makes shopping a joy for everyone, and we’re happy to create a community space that encourages connections between local artisans and the community.”

The vendor experience is a point of pride at Mompreneur.  Organizers say that at the heart of this longstanding event is a deep commitment to the success and well-being of small business owners, who find more than just a space to sell.  “They join a family committed to mutual success and support, welcoming them to an affordable, accessible platform where dreams are nurtured without financial constraints,” organizers said.  

“Mompreneur is not just a marketplace; it’s a launching pad for thriving ventures, and we’ve seen our event help take vendors to the next level of growth time and time again,” said HueSing-Ammasi.  “Our event is crafted to be family-friendly, welcoming vendors and their ‘ohana into a supportive and engaging community.  Above all, our focus is squarely on the success of our vendors. Through thoughtful initiatives like targeted social media takeovers and vendor highlights, we offer unique opportunities for growth and exposure.”


Another facet of the event that’s evolved over the years is the food.  Shoppers can now enjoy an array of food trucks, including Al’s BBQ Pit, Mau Mau’z Kau Kau, Maui Balsamic Vinegars, Wai Lemi, Tru Grindz and Brekkie Bowls.  There will also be street tacos, shave ice, roast pork plates, jumbo cookies, mochi, manju, cupcakes and nachos for sale. Organizers also aim to feature Baldwin High School culinary students, along with entrepreneurs from the Maui Food & Technology kitchen at UHMC.

The college venue is meaningful for HueSing-Ammasi, who is a former student of UHMC’s culinary program.  She and Ka’eo founded Maui Mompreneur in 2013 as a spring and winter shopping event.  Admission and parking remain free of charge.

“Over more than a decade, we’ve built more than an event; we’ve cultivated a vibrant community of innovative, hardworking mompreneurs who inspire and support one another,” HueSing-Ammasi said.  “Witnessing the growth, successes and challenges of our vendors while contributing to the local economy and fostering a supportive environment for family businesses is truly rewarding.  Each year adds another layer to our rich tapestry of stories, learning and connections, making it an honor to lead and evolve with such a dynamic, inspiring group of entrepreneurs.”

Organizers say shoppers are not just making purchases but “investing in stories, families and dreams.”  Mompreneur offers an opportunity to find something special and meaningful, while supporting local businesses and enjoying a day of discovery and Aloha, according to organizers.


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