Market Watch

Karisa Ramolete Hayashi and Lehua Vermeesch hustle to add bustle in Kaka’ako with Honolulu Night Market.

The third saturday of every month, from 6-11 p.M., up to 10,000 beaux arts enthusiasts gather in kaka’ako for a street soirée brimming with food, fashion, artistry and entertainment.

Inspired by Brooklyn’s Night Bazaar, Honolulu Night Market-a glorious showcase of the city’s underground urban culture-is an O’ahu phenomenon.

Conceptualized by Kamehameha Schools as an expansion of Eat Th e Street, a monthly food truck festival, Honolulu Night Market launched September 2012, transforming a quiet Kaka’ako block into a cosmopolitan concert space that unites independent vendors, designers, musicians and chefs.

Two leading ladies behind the extravagant affair are inspiring local girls, shy of 30.

“It’s been amazing to see the event grow into what it is today,” says 29-year-old Karisa Ramolete Hayashi, Honolulu Night Market’s fashion and retail coordinator. “It gives small businesses with limited opportunities an outlet to showcase what they can do.”

Honolulu Night Market success stories include locavore dining havens Cocina and The Pig and Lady, both of which now have permanent venues.

With prior experience in PR, wedding planning and television, Ramolete Hayashi connected with 27-year-old Lehua Vermeesch, Honolulu Night Market’s assistant event coordinator, through mutual friends. Seeking a career in event planning, Vermeesch teamed up with Ramolete Hayashi to rule the night.

Both Vermeesch and Ramolete Hayashi recognize that coordinating each Honolulu Night Market is fun, but extremely difficult work. Yet, amidst the sea of paperwork, license permits and production logistics, they smile when asked to describe their experience, acknowledging, “It’s pretty incredible.”

“The positive public feedback is extremely rewarding; we strive to offer something for everyone,” Vermeesch says.

“Whether a new vendor or theme, we mix things up to keep the event fresh and exciting.”

Their passion ignites Honolulu Night Market’s extraordinary spark, month after month.

As Honolulu Night Market’s shining stars, Ramolete Hayashi and Vermeesch strongly encourage other aspiring females to follow their career ambitions.

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