Updated: December 5, 2023
Queen Ka‘ahumanu Center, County of Maui’s Office of Economic Development, and the HawaiiUSA Federal Credit Union presents the 2nd Annual Start with a Cart contest on Saturday, July 30 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
All Hawai‘i-made brands, including those who participated last year, are invited to submit their application by Friday, July 22 at 7 p.m. and compete for three-months free rent for a cart at Queen Ka‘ahumanu Center.
“Queen Ka‘ahumanu Center features more than 100 shops and restaurants, 51% of which are local businesses,” said Queen Ka‘ahumanu Center General Manager Kauwela Bisquera. “We created this contest last year to reinvigorate the Center with local businesses post-pandemic and give our shoppers a voice in the products they want to see here. This contest epitomizes QKC’s core values of community, culture, and commerce.”
This year’s Start with a Cart winner will be determined by a combination of number of votes received from the public and a final score from a judging panel including representatives from HawaiiUSA Federal Credit Union, Mise Kimono, and Mayor Michael P. Victorino.
“As a judge, I’m looking for a strong brand and a solid business plan that will help our local economy to grow and thrive,” said Mayor Victorino. “Entrepreneurs are leading Maui County’s transition towards a more self-reliant economy so that our residents have more economic influence in determining our community’s quality of life.”
Last June, Mise Kimono won Start with a Cart, opened their cart in Fall 2021, and moved into a brick-and-mortar location next to Jeans Warehouse Kids earlier this year in March.
“A little over three years ago, we set out to create a brand with our grandmother as our namesake,” said Shannon Loo, founder of Mise Kimono. “We cannot thank our Mise Fam enough for embracing Mise Kimono’s products that embody our grandmother’s spirit and supporting our small business.”
FAM Clothing also participated in last year’s event and after receiving such a positive response as the second runner-up, signed a lease at QKC and celebrated their grand opening last October.
All shoppers can enjoy live music at Center Court, shop local and TEXT-TO-VOTE in support of their favorite brand from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The first 200 guests with proof of voting will receive a swag bag. The winner will be announced on Sunday, Aug. 2, 2022 via the Center’s social media platforms (@QKCMaui).
For more information and to download an application, click here.