Living in a small island community in the Pacific, one thing is eminently clear: "We are all in this together."
It is that spirit of "aloha" and working in concert that permeates Maui's manufacturing culture, creating diverse and high-quality, value-added products for residents and visitors to enjoy.
Known for being "no ka oi" (the best!), Maui has a long history of innovation, entrepreneurship and collaboration. The people here leverage available assets and new opportunities to create cherished products that are purchased time and time again.
Maui's manufacturing industry is aided by a robust visitor industry that brings in over $3 billion annually and delivers new and returning guests who want unique, authentic, Maui-made goods to enjoy and send as cherished gifts. They certainly find just that in the Made In Maui label, a seal of local people, local pride.
Developed and trademarked by the Maui Chamber of Commerce and its related trade association, the Made In Maui label is an assurance to consumers that a product is of local Maui origin, with at least 51 percent of its value added on island. It represents diverse goods that feature the beauty and bounty of Maui, and our island manufacturers take tremendous pride in their creations. They also recognize their role as ambassadors for the island and its people through their offerings.
Hundreds of entrepreneurs are manufacturing in Maui, many of which are small businesses, often operating out of their home. However, do not let the size of their company fool you. The gems they are creating are top quality and our aim is to help them grow and succeed.
With the coming Made In Maui County Festival, co-presented by the Mayor's Office of Economic Development and the Maui Chamber of Commerce, that be held on Nov. 7 and 8,we are finding more and more of these companies, many who were not known to us before. It is truly exciting to see.
In addition, we have also met people new to the island who are building businesses that could spur new industries here, such as a garment industry, which could assist Maui's incredible fashion designers and create Made In Maui fashions versus having items sewn abroad. The economic impact of which would be tremendous.
All vendors who participate in the Made In Maui County festival will be included in a directory that will be provided to the estimated 6,000-8,000 attendees. It will be the most comprehensive directory and tool that we have to showcase those manufacturers who are headquartered on Maui and adding a majority of their product value (51 percent or more) in the state of Hawaii.
For more information on the Made In Maui County Festival, please visit the website at MadeInMauiCountyFestival.com. Booths are still available and two orientation trainings are planned in July to help interested vendors learn more. Vendor and sponsorship packets can also be found on the website.
These manufacturers showcase what is possible when working together and exemplify the excellence, originality, high standards and community commitment found throughout Maui's industry.
Just as circles ripple farther out when a pebble is dropped in a pond, so does the work of Maui's many producers. Their labor of love generates far-reaching economic benefits for the entire community, from strengthening businesses and creating more jobs to increasing wealth and supporting other industries.
You can make a difference to the people and island of Maui by remembering to Buy Maui First and supporting local manufacturers. When you do, everyone benefits.
(A portion of this article was published previously.)
* Pamela Tumpap is president of the Maui Chamber of Commerce.