HONOLULU (KHON2) — Local businesses from across the islands say this is the biggest event that kicks off the busy holiday season. They have been preparing for the 28th annual Made in Hawaii festival all year long.

Lisa Stevenson, a jewelry business owner, said “It’s been awesome for our business only because we get so much exposure from the retailers across the island. So, we get a lot of new wholesale accounts. Plus, we get to kind of get exposure from the local community here as well, some tourists that pop in so it’s awesome. It’s one of my favorites, for sure.”

Get news on the go with KHON 2GO, KHON’s morning podcast, every morning at 8

Many vendors said that they rely on craft fairs like this for income and to keep their business growing.

“Supporting local is really critical to our survival really is not just really our business, but for our survival of keeping our, our shops, open our retail stores, open our employees, even our machines, you know, the machines cost money to print these things. So, you know, everything and every little thing helps us, you know, keep on going and perpetuating the brand as long as we can.”

Paul Higashi, HiLife employee

Most customers were starting their holiday shopping and enjoyed seeing new and old local brands in one place as a community.

Get news on the go with KHON 2GO, KHON’s morning podcast, every morning at 8

“We were super excited that this is, you know, since the pandemic, it’s kind of been normalized; and we’re super excited. We planned our trip around this day. Visiting from Kauai, just trying to, you know, support local, as far as all islands” said Tiana Sudaria.