WAIPOULI — Mayor Derek Kawakami had his family in tow Saturday, and appeared to be having a great time with both vendors and shoppers at the Holly Jolly event hosted by the Sheraton Kaua‘i Coconut Beach Resort.
“We’re lucky because all the people have been flowing through,” said Barbara Gusman of the resort. “The shoppers haven’t come all at the same time, so there’s no congestion, just a nice flow.”
Originating on the spread-out campus of Kaua‘i Community College, this year’s version of Holly Jolly opened in a new location in Waipouli after its previous locations were unavailable. The program also had connections with the Sheraton Kaua‘i Coconut Beach Resort because the Waipouli property hosts a monthly offering of Kaua‘i Made vendors playing to a smaller audience.
Holly Jolly, with its offering of more than 40 Kaua‘i Made vendors, was one of several major holiday shopping opportunities for Kaua‘i residents.
“We have Santa coming at 11 a.m.,” Gusman said. “And people can take advantage of some of the offerings at the food places like the Crooked Surf and the breakfast nook.”
Tyren Schwend and Taylynn Taniguchi, representing Aunty Lilikoi Products, had their hands full dispensing information and sales from their own line as well as representing several other vendors for shoppers passing through the different areas of the resort.
“We just got back from Alaska,” Schwend said. “We’re back at the Aloha Market at the National Tropical Botanical Garden South Shore Visitor Center. These other vendors were double-booked, so we’re just helping them out.”
Karin Panui of Mailelani’s was in the same double-booking mode, coming out of the sewing room to man the popular table of hand-sewn bags and accessories while her sister took over the stand at the Beach House restaurant craft fair with Edwin Vea, a long-time volunteer with Mailelani’s.
Vendors like North Shore Koa Design used the venue resembling a trade show to provide more visibility for locally produced items, and to bring their crafts to a market outside the community. Shopper opportunities included items in apparel and accessories, artwork, crafting, food, health and beauty, jewelry and more.
Chris Broussard of Clay In Mind was one of the vendors enjoying brisk sales and looks during his holiday. His exposure was expanded due to participation in the Kaua‘i Made programs including the Waipouli Market held earlier in the month, and other ventures like the recent Small Business Saturday campaign at Kukui Grove Center in Lihu‘e during the Black Friday weekend following Thanksgiving.
Previously, Broussard was limited to a single Kaua‘i Handworks event that for the second year was relegated to the internet due to considerations for COVID-19 safety.
The next Kaua‘i Made event is the Dec. 31 monthly gathering of Kaua‘i Made vendors at the Sheraton Kaua‘i Coconut Beach Resort from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m.
Source: The Garden Island