Made in Hawai‘i fest returns after year away

  • Dennis Fujimoto/The Garden Island

    “The barge must leave first,” said Ann Hashisaka of Kaua‘i Kookie Kompany with some of the items that need to reach the Made In Hawai‘i before they do, next week. “This is a very important show and we’ve been participating for a long time.”

  • Dennis Fujimoto/The Garden Island

    ‘They, Laura and Dave Andersland, already left for the Made In Hawai‘i show,” said Sean Cristobal, Thursday while showing off the award-winning line of salts and rubs from the Salty Wahine Gourmet Hawaiian Sea Salt in Hanapepe.

  • Dennis Fujimoto/The Garden Island

    Gale Sagucio of JJ’s ‘Ohana in Hanapepe prepares to ‘lei’ a multi-strand Ni‘ihau lei. Sagucio is planning to take a lot of Ni‘ihau lei to the Made in Hawai‘i show, next week.

LIHU‘E — Kaua‘i exhibitors are excited to return to the Made in Hawai‘i Festival next week, one year after the long-running event was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“Getting to see a lot of my customers (who) are on O‘ahu and interacting with people, showing our new designs that we have,” said shell artist Gail Sagucio of JJ ‘Ohana in Hanapepe, listing what she looks forward to. “It’s nice, you know, going out again.”

Sagucio’s latest Ni‘ihau-style shell leis won’t be the only addition to this year’s festival. Organizers have moved the event long associated with the Neil S. Blaisdell Center in Honolulu to a roofed, open-air location at the Ala Moana Center shopping mall. Other changes made with COVID-19 in mind, including directional arrows and an encouraged two-hour shopping limit, will also be in effect.

Nearly 300 vendors, including at least eight from Kaua‘i, are slated to appear.

Olena Heu, a Kaua‘i native and spokesperson for Made in Hawai‘i, encourages prospective attendees to purchase admission in advance: tickets are $11 per adult before the show opens Thursday, Nov. 11, and $15 after.

“It’s, of course, Hawai‘i’s most-loved festival that features products made in Hawai‘i,” Heu said in a recent interview. “… It’s a wonderful way to support our local community, our local entrepreneurs and local manufacturers, and do some holiday shopping as well.”

Kaua‘i residents unable to jet to O‘ahu from Nov. 11 to Nov. 14 can visit the festival’s online marketplace through the holiday season. It’s a directory and showcase for participating exhibitors, polished and expanded in the wake of COVID-19.

“Once the pandemic hit, the best way to pivot, we found, was to utilize our online resources and try to feature our local community that way,” Heu said.

Kaua‘i Kookie, Weslyn’s Creative Feathers, Aunty Lilikoi, Utara Soaps, RKL Ranch, LLC, Lakehaus Collection, Kaua‘i Hemp will join JJ ‘Ohana in a special Kaua‘i-Made shopping area at Ala Moana Center, according to organizers. For more information, including access to the online marketplace, visit online.


Scott Yunker, reporter, can be reached at 245-0437 or


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