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Made in Hawai`i

This past weekend was filled with aloha at the 20th Annual Made in Hawai`i Festival held at the Neal S. Blaisdell Center in Honolulu. Every year, the event aims to capture the essence of the islands' creativity, pride, compassion, and spirit, offering everything from "ono grindz" to ukulele magic.

Aloha all around - 2014
Tina Jamias
Raku Art by Javier Gaytan & Anthony urango
Tina Jamias

With over 300 vendors that have been certified as "Made in Hawai`i", this annual event has attracted a record-breaking attendance. Local entertainment, quality exhibitors, and a diverse selection of products have all contributed to the festival's ongoing success.

"This is our third year at the festival, and overall, business has been good," says Brian Pane`e of the Happy Koi Nursery exhibit. "Some of our most popular items are the Zen gardens, single plants, and the lantern ponds."

What started out as a hobby seven years ago for Brian and his wife, Jun, having a knack for plants led them to the purchase of a greenhouse and things "just went haywire" from there, according to Brian. From single-potted plants to "fish tanks you don't have to take care of" for aquatic plants, the Pane`e couple has something for the greenest of thumbs to those who just want something that will not die.

"We try to evoke what you'd see when you go hiking," says Brian about his plant designs that can cost as low as $3. "It's all in the presentation."

The Happy Koi Nursery offers party centerpieces, desktop pond and plant arrangements, bamboos, tillandsias, terraniums, custom-made planters, and konane boards.

Also using Earth's natural beauty is Ayahuasca Art, a small business of custom, handmade pieces that are a fuse of the mystique of the Andes and the art of the Incas, with aloha spirit.

Founded by Ytala Chacon, the use of the sacred plant called ayahuasca, has become a staple in her mission to create artistic balance by using ecologically-harvested natural products. Through the use of the ayahuasca, an ancient plant used by shamans, various diseases can be cured. It has been used to treat depression, anxiety, and in some cases, schizophrenia.

Chacon's designs can be found in the form of bracelets, rings, necklaces, and earrings. The price range is $25-$450.

In finding balance for the mind, body, and spirit, many exhibitors at the festival provided free samples of their products. One such exhibitor who offered a healthy treat is JC International, Hawaii (JCI), a vegan-friendly company that provides a mega soy product line.

"I became vegan two years ago because my blood pressure was high and I was diabetic, but now I'm no longer diabetic and my blood pressure has dropped," says JCI representative Colleen Swain.

Two of JCI's most popular products are the "Super Soy Beef Style Ground" and the '"Super Soy Chicken Style Strips". Tasty recipes such as the "Rocket Scientist Chili" and the "Orange Chicken" can be sampled at the many trade shows that are presented by the cook himself, Calvin Iwashita.

JCI's next event, where attendees will learn how to cook meatless cuisine, will be Tuesday, August 26 at 7 p.m. and the Japanese Cultural Center.

Many local companies at the festival have been able to provide employment, food, healthcare products, collectors' items, entertainment, and much more to the Hawai`i communities for the last 20 years.

Musical entertainment was provided by Melveen Leed, Jay Larrin, Jerry Santos, Kapena, Kamakakehau Fernandez, and Del Beazley.

Here is a list of some of the other vendors that attended this year's festival:

  • 808 Crystal Therapy
  • Adoboloco
  • Ahualoa Farms
  • Aloha Raku Pottery
  • Aloha Shoyu Co., Ltd.
  • Aunty Lilikoi Passionfruit Products
  • Big Island Delights
  • Blue Hair Mermaid
  • Born Hawaii
  • Blue Kalo
  • C. Moore Glass
  • Chef Hana - Indonesian Cuisine
  • Coconut Connections
  • Creations by Keiko
  • Da Secret Sauce
  • Diamond Bakery Company
  • Donna's Cookies, Inc.
  • Ecolicious
  • Everything is Jake
  • Fauna Collection
  • First Hawaiian Bank
  • Forbidden Island Flutes
  • Ginger13
  • Guava Smoked, LLC.
  • Ha Wahine
  • Hana Lima Maui
  • Hawai`i Doggie Bakery
  • Hawaiian Airlines
  • Hawaiian Organic Noni LLC
  • Hilo Bay Island Creations
  • HK Fashion
  • Hokulani Bakeshop
  • Hoomanu Oils
  • Honey Bees Forever LLC
  • Infinite Aloe
  • INNOVATE Hawai`i
  • Janimals
  • JJ Ohana
  • Julie's Hot Glass
  • Kahala Fresh, LLC
  • Kai Ea Hawai`i Jewelry
  • Kanaka Prints
  • Kaua`i Kooie Kompany
  • Koa Fishhooks by Mero
  • Kona Gold Rum Co., LLC
  • Kona Natural Soap Co., LLC
  • Ku`u Kreations
  • Lata Nonu
  • Lau Lau Woodworks
  • Laupahoehoe Graphics
  • Le Mana Perles
  • Life is Sweet
  • Love's Bakery
  • Made on Maui by Celia
  • Maffles
  • Malama Baby
  • Malu Whitmore Jewelry
  • Manoa Chocolate Hawai`i
  • Matsumoto Studio
  • Maui Mamaki Tea Co.
  • Mauna Kea Tea
  • Midori Jewelry
  • Moe Moe & More
  • Munch Time Express
  • Nadama Music
  • Nala Blue
  • Natural Aloha
  • Neptune's Garden
  • North Shore Goodies
  • Ohana Expressions
  • Olay's Thai Food Express
  • One Eighty Board Shop
  • Ono Giant Shrimp Chips
  • Ono Kuki Company
  • Palapala Designs
  • Paradise Brats, LLC
  • Paradise Now
  • Pareu De Tahiti
  • Pidgin Overdrive
  • Pele Copper Creations
  • Pia & Michio
  • Primo Popcorn
  • Punakai
  • Roberta Oaks Hawai`i
  • Salty Wahine Gourmet Hawaiian Sea Salts
  • Sew Sassy
  • Seafoam Green
  • Simply Creative
  • Sky Dreams, LLC
  • Stacy Lee Designs
  • Stir Crazy Hawai`i
  • Stitched Art by Marion
  • Surf Attic LLC
  • The Cop Shoppe
  • The Girls Who Bake Next Door
  • The Tea Chest
  • Three Coconuts Maui
  • Tree Hugger Products
  • Turtle Surf
  • Upcountry Maui Favorites
  • Wabi Sabi
  • Waggin Bakery LLC
  • Warrior Designs Hawai`i
  • Wing Cheong
  • Writings Off The Wall
  • Yeung's Arts & Crafts

For more information about this annual event, visit or call (808) 533-1292 at extension 3.

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