Shopping small for big gains

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Kaua‘i County Farm Bureau President Laurie Ho prepares giveaway material at the Pau Hana Market table during Small Business Saturday at Kukui Grove Center in Lihu‘e.

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Edie Ignacio Neumiller of the Zonta Club of Kaua‘i, left, and Akime Dizol and Nelson Acosta of Deja Vu Surf Hawai‘i, center, accept personal-care items for the Zonta Club’s 16 Days of Activism from Bev Pang of the Kaua‘i County Farm Bureau, right, Saturday at Kukui Grove Center in Lihu‘e.

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Chris Broussard of Clay In Mind, left, helps shoppers with his pottery offerings during Small Business Saturday at Kukui Grove Center in Lihu‘e.

LIHU‘E — Laurie Ho, president of the Kaua‘i County Farm Bureau, stopped by the Grove Farm Market in Puhi Saturday morning.

She was on her way to Kukui Grove Center, where the center was hosting about two dozen Kaua‘i Made vendors in a Small Business Saturday event.

“Farmers are small businesses too,” Ho said. “I’m picking up some stuff for our table promoting Small Business Saturday. We’re all small businesses and we need to help each other.”

Edie Ignacio Neumiller of the Zonta Club of Kaua‘i stopped to pick up items for the club’s 16 Days of Activism against violence against women. The donated items joined the collection from the collection box at the Deja Vu Surf Hawai‘i shop that was continuing to bustle from its Black Friday campaign the day before.

The demonstration of business helping business was evident as KGC opened its shopping area to more than 20 vendors from the county’s Kaua‘i Made program, each independent vendor bringing a new facet of shopping to the mall offerings.

“We’re a small business, too,” said Lea Nuesca, who operates a boutique and was part of the offering inside the Aloha Dance Studio open house. “Aloha Dance Studio is a small business, and allows us to have tables inside the studio for families of the dance students.”

Rose Anne Jones, treasurer for the Kaua‘i Society of Artists, also hosted a variety of artists, including Stephen Lucas and Juljiana Pinnock — both small businesspeople, too — and said she needs to meet with the Zonta Club of Kaua‘i to engage in more activities in order to get to know the community better.

Chris Broussard of Clay In Mind said he is truly grateful for the exposure of the collective group of people who promote the offerings of small businesses at places like craft fairs and festivals.

“I did not participate in the Kaua‘i Handworks event because, for the second year, it’s not happening in-person,” Broussard said. “I was at the Kaua‘i Made fair in the Waipouli Town Center. This Saturday, I’ll be at the Grove Farm Market, and at the Holly Jolly event on Dec. 11.”

The importance of in-person also applies to Ikaika Ho of The Flirty Hippie, who was also at the Waipouli Town Center with Clay In Mind.

“I don’t know when I’m going to sleep,” Ho said. “I’ll be at the National Tropical Botanical Garden Aloha Market Thursday, and then at the Waipouli Town Center.

Small Business Saturday is a campaign inaugurated by American Express, the nonprofit National Trust for Historic Preservation and the Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino in 2010 as an event meant to counter Black Friday and Cyber Monday, both big-box-retail and e-commerce super events.

Small Business Saturday encourages shopping small and local.

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Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or dfujimoto@thegardenisland.com.

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