Pop-Up Mākeke: Creating A Space For Hawaiʻi Small Businesses
October 20, 20212 min read
Making a splash with over $2.4 million dollars in sales over its three seasons, the Pop-Up Mākeke has redefined the way Hawaiʻi does business in the 21st century. The Pop-Up Mākeke’s approach to bringing together Hawaiʻi-based artisans, vendors, and sponsors to create a centralized online marketplace has woven together two fundamental Hawaiian cultural values of kākou and kākoʻo, gathering as a community to support and uplifting each other. Equally as important, the mākeke has created a new income stream for Hawaiʻi small businesses, with over 40% of its customer base outside of Hawaiʻi.
The Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement (CNHA), a 501(c)3 non-profit, manages the online store, including the warehouse and order fulfillment. The inception of the marketplace happened during the early months of the pandemic to support and uplift Hawaiʻi artisans and small businesses impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. Since its conception, the Pop-Up Mākeke has extended the opportunity to vendors statewide and has to date provided support to over 400 Hawaiʻi-based businesses and sold over 115,000 products.
As a non-profit community program, the life blood that keeps the Pop-Up Mākeke alive is its backing from community sponsors. Since its launch in April 2020, the Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority (HTA) continues to be a dedicated partner and this season’s title sponsor. HTA along with other community sponsors such asthe Department of Business Economic Development and Tourism,the County of Maui, the Merrie Monarch Festival, Hawaiian Airlines, and Kamehameha Schools continue to believe in the vision of the Pop-Up Mākeke and provide access for Hawaiʻi vendors to share their products to a worldwide audience.
As we approach the 2021 holiday season, the Pop-Up Mākeke is OPEN and the team is eagerlypreparing to help bolster Hawaiʻi small businesses.