33rd Islandwide Christmas Crafts & Food Expo Showcases Local Artists


Photo by Max

Sophomore Makena Guzman helps her parents at the 33rd Islandwide Christmas Crafts & Food Expo.

HONOLULU- Thousands of shoppers every year come to the Blaisdell Exhibition Hall to see what local vendors have to offer at the Islandwide Christmas Crafts & Food Expo.

The expo has many vendors from all over Hawaiʻi, even from the island of Maui.

“We come here because it’s a holiday shopper’s heaven, and people all over the islands come to shop here,” said Makena Guzman, a Kamehameha Maui sophomore and vendor at the event.

Guzman is here with her family’s business, Solid Hawaii. Solid Hawaii sells hats, jewelry, and men’s, women’s and babies’ clothing.

Makena is no stranger to the business.

“I’ve been doing this since I was born, when I was in my dad’s baby carrier. I grew up around the business and eventually started to help out as I got older,” she said.

Guzman has worked with her family business at The Merrie Monarch Festival, The Baby Expo, Made in Hawaii, and even in Las Vegas.

She says that in the future she hopes to eventually create her own brand and work in Hawaiian fashion, which she is inspired to do by working with her father.

Other vendors at the event are selling everything from blankets to thousand island dressing. One vendor who is also from Maui, David Wilson, sells Christmas ornaments.

“We sell handcrafted Christmas ornaments that are Maui-themed, such as sea animals, starfish, and shells. We also have these sock monkeys that we dress up like surfers and ʻukulele players,” Mr. Wilson said.

Mr. Wilson said he was inspired to do this when his friend, who started the business Maui Christmas Ornaments, was retiring and selling the business. He decided to buy it in 2017 to “carry on their family tradition” as he put it. “I want to spread the aloha while Iʻm here” he said.

There are still lots of great handcrafted items available if you’re on Oʻahu. Today is the last day to stop by the Blaisdell Concert Hall at 777 Ward Ave. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

And if you miss it this year, just add it to your calendar for Christmas 2020.