KUKUI GROVE — Alana Fleming was busy behind the revolving stands showing off their variety of merchandise.
“I’m putting bling on some of the stickers,” Fleming said, not missing a beat as she applied intricate beads to one of the stickers being offered by Stiki Stuff.
Representatives of various retailers, resorts and other trade organizations were eagerly seeking out the bling to bolster holiday sales, challenged by the current economic uncertainties.
Stiki Stuff was just one of more than two dozen vendors showcasing Made on Kaua‘i products at the first show for the trade industry.
Similarly, the Banana Patch Studio had a lot of people stopping to check not only the book offerings, but the line of spices as Joanna Carolan was kept busy fielding questions and talking about the offerings of the Hanapepe outlet.
“We’re opening up for the public today,” said Beth Tokioka, director of the county’s Office of Economic Opportunity. “At first, I wasn’t sure what kind of reception a showing of this type would get, but with the help of the Hawai‘i retailers, we even have representatives from O‘ahu organizations here checking out the products.”
Offerings ran from hard goods such as fabric and wood products to a variety of health-related goods and highlighted by an offering of food including Kaua‘i Coffee, Hanalima Bakery and Aunty Lilikoi.
Matt Humphreys of the Grand Hyatt Kaua‘i Regency Resort and Spa was just one of the steady stream of people browsing through the crowded aisles.
“I must have spent a whole bunch of money,” he said, trying to exit the crowded marketplace. “But I know where I’m getting my Christmas presents.”
Tokioka was pleasantly surprised by the turnout of both shoppers and vendors, but said there is still work to be done.
Faced with the national economic turmoil, fluctuating tourism figures and fuel prices, Tokioka said she still wants to know what else her office can do to help the business community.
Based on the number of faces peering in from the outside, the One Day Kaua‘i Made show should be a boon to consumers as well when its doors open to the public starting at 9:30 a.m.
In addition to the vendors on hand for the trade show, Susan Pitman of Kilohana Clayworks was busy finalizing a space for her ceramic offerings which will be an addition to the consumer show and sale.
• Dennis Fujimoto, photographer and staff writer, can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 253) or email@example.com