Small Store, Big Impact


Gianna Brown

From the minds of Mililani High School’s CTE Business pathway came MHS’s first off-campus student-run pop-up store, first introduced in 2021. The Trojan Trading Post returned again this year, opening on Friday, November 11 to December 10. It was located in Mililani Town Center across from Morning Glory and right next to HIC, and operated from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Fridays and from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m on Saturdays. The space used for the annual pop up store was donated by the Town Center of Mililani to use for the 2 – 3 months in advance. The store was solely prepared by the Marketing Work Based Learning class with a total of 12 students. 

“By coming out to this school and supporting us, you’re also supporting this school as a whole,” said the Trojan Trading Posts’s Marketing Manager junior Kacie Niino.

The students in this class spent their seventh periods during school assembling this shop together and preparing for their 5 week sale at the Mililani Town Center. The small class of students prepared everything for the store, from the layout, decorations, advertising, packaging design, marketing, and even product inventory. 

“I hope they really do enjoy the store this year and find something special that they can purchase for themselves or their family and friends,” said Janise Kim, who teaches the Marketing Work-Based Learning class.

The opportunity gave the volunteers and the work based learning class a real life learning opportunity and the chance to be in leadership positions. Students were able to apply for positions like Manager of Human Resources, Manager of Marketing and Operations Manager.

   “The store gives students who want to volunteer the experience of working in an actual store for many people to come to,” said senior Max Fujioka, Operations Manager of the Trojan Trading Post store.

All the products that were sold at the store were created by other CTE departments. This includes sauce drips, pancake mixes and cookbooks from Culinary classes; succulents and seedling plants from the Agriculture class; scrunchies and macrame hangers from Fashion class; shirts from Graphic Design students; soap in push-pop containers from Health; cutting boards and wooden signs from Construction; cookie cutters from Engineering; and athletics tees and school pride tees from ASMHS. After the store went live, there were also STEM-related workshops held outside the store front, with activities like marshmallow launching being open for a variety of ages. All the earnings from the shop funded CTE scholarships for seniors.

 “I would say my personal goal, hopefully, is to see that number increase from last year so we have more than 12,000 this year to offer our CTE students,” said Kim.

In addition to selling products from various CTE classes, the Trojan Trading Post gave students the chance to experience marketing jobs and the work that goes into running and working a business. It brought Mililani High School together by getting CTE students involved by creating products for the store.

 “We’re extremely excited for the opening of the store and I hope people come out and see it,” said Niino.

Missed shopping this year? Don’t fret, the Trojan Trading Post will return again next year to the Mililani Shopping Center. Interested parties can check out more at @thetrojantradingpost on Instagram.