Originally posted by HINow

Small local businesses are one of the hardest hit during these uncertain financial times. In an effort to keep business open, the Pop-Up Mākeke was created in early April 2020 for customers to have easy access to shop for local products online. HI Now guest host Kainoa Carlson spoke with Kūhiō Lewis, president and CEO at the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement, to learn more about the online marketplace.

The Pop-Up Mākeke is an online e-commerce store that leverages the power of community to help a variety of Hawaiʻi’s small businesses, vendors, and artists. Similar to a craft fair, popupmakeke.com features some of Hawaiʻi’s favorite vendors, big and small, in one place for customers to shop and support.

The Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement (CNHA) is a non-profit that serves the community. After the non-profit saw all of Hawaiʻi’s big community events get cancelled due to COVID-19, as well as having to postpone many of its own programs, the organization wanted to find a way to support the small businesses that make a living by selling at community events.

In 2019, CNHA organized a successful Holiday Pop-Up Mākeke at Windward Mall, and popupmakeke.com was created with the same idea, becoming a marketplace people could visit online without having to leave their homes.

The Pop-Up Mākeke has over 100 vendors and thousands of item listings. Every day, it is receiving more items and applicants from vendors. In addition to shopping online, you can even get a closer look at some of the products by watching a QVC-inspired shop-from-home program featured on K5 and Facebook Live every Wednesday at 7 p.m. These segments highlight products from the mākeke along with talk story sessions with some of Hawaii’s top talent.

For more information on how to apply or shop at the Pop-Up Mākeke, visit popupmakeke.com.