Black Friday is all about shopping malls and big box stores.
On Saturday, it was all about small business.
Angie Higa, the owner of Skydreams LLC, looks forward to this event all year.
“During the holiday and for the Thanksgiving weekend, everybody is here for Christmas shopping,” Higa said. “And every Small Business Saturday, what I end up doing is I offer a buy one get one free offer.”
Higa said this weekend is one of the most important of the year for her business.
“In fact, I work all year for this event,” Higa said.
She started her business in 2009 and she still sews every bag and blanket by hand.
More than 425 local vendors and artisans like Higa packed into the Blaisdell Exhibition Hall looking to give their business a boost and more than 25-thousand shoppers were expected to visit the expo.
Even first timers to the expo like Davin Fukumoto, the owner of Snack Addicted, said he was blown away by the response.
“It’s huge,” Fukumoto said. “(The expo) gives us a lot of publicity”
I met with Esme Infante, the promotions director for the event, to ask what makes this event so unique.
“When you’re face to face with the person who made the products before you, they just have a lot of excitement about the products, they sell, and they make it with a lot of care, and I think that’s the difference,” explained Infante.
Every vendor KHON2 spoke to was passionate about their product and crafted it with loving care including Richard Probst, owner of Hoomana Oils. He says the recipes for his products were passed down for generations and his customers are like family.
“Most of these folks here already know me now,” Probst said. “They come they already know what they want.”
“You’re buying something that was made with love, made with aloha, made through the generations, and that’s something really special to give someone that you really care about,” Infante said.
The Islandwide Christmas Crafts & Food Expo is open Sunday from 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. Tickets are $6 for general admission and $5 for seniors and military. Children ages 12 and under are free.
You can find additional information at: http://www.islandwidecraftexpos.com/