Exploring Innovation and Inspiration: Highlights from the 2024 Museum Store Association Trade Show

Exploring Innovation and Inspiration: Highlights from the 2024 Museum Store Association Trade Show

HPPA's Mary Cockett, who manages our three visitor center park stores at our partner Haleakalā National Park on Maui, filed this report from the Museum Store Association Trade Show held recently in  Baltimore, Maryland. She says:

This was not just an industry event; it's a gathering of minds passionate about art, culture, and creativity. The air buzzed with anticipation, promising an array of innovative products and insights.

Trends Redefined:

Walking through the aisles, it was evident that this year's show was all about redefining trends. From sustainable materials to locally sourced goods, exhibitors showcased a commitment to environmental consciousness and community support. Artisanal craftsmanship took center stage, with products celebrating cultural heritage and traditional techniques.

Innovative Products:

The heart of the trade show beat with innovation. Cutting-edge technology met timeless aesthetics, resulting in products that bridged the gap between past and present. Augmented reality experiences breathed new life into museum merchandise, offering visitors immersive journeys through history and art. From interactive displays to customizable souvenirs, the possibilities seemed endless.

Keynote Speakers:

The keynote sessions were a highlight, offering invaluable insights into the future of museum (and park store) retail. Speakers shared their expertise on topics ranging from retail strategy to customer engagement. Discussions on adapting to changing consumer behaviors and embracing digital platforms sparked inspiration among attendees, paving the way for a new era of nonprofit retail experiences.

Networking and Collaboration:

Beyond the exhibits and presentations, the trade show provided a platform for networking and collaboration. Industry professionals connected over shared passions and exchanged ideas, fostering new partnerships and opportunities for growth. From small boutique owners to museum directors, everyone found a seat at the table, united by a common goal of elevating the retail experience.


One thing became clear: the future of museum and park partner retail is bright and brimming with possibilities. From eco-friendly innovations to immersive technologies, the industry continues to evolve, guided by a dedication to preserving culture and inspiring visitors worldwide.

Until next year, let's carry the spirit of innovation and collaboration forward, shaping tomorrow with creativity, passion, and purpose.

These vendors were true highlights:

  1. Deneen Pottery: Deneen Pottery is renowned for its handcrafted stoneware pottery that is known for its durability and timeless beauty. Each piece is meticulously handmade by skilled artisans, making every mug, bowl, and vase a unique work of art. Their products often feature intricate designs and custom logos, making them popular choices for museum stores seeking high-quality souvenirs and gifts.
  2. Xplorer Maps: Xplorer Maps creates beautifully illustrated maps that celebrate the natural and cultural heritage of various regions. Their maps are not just navigational tools but also pieces of art, capturing the essence of landscapes, landmarks, and wildlife with stunning detail. Whether showcasing national parks, historic cities, or scenic byways, Xplorer Maps' products are perfect for travelers, adventurers, and nature enthusiasts alike.
  3. Of Unusual Kind: Of Unusual Kind specializes in whimsical paper dolls and paper products that inspire creativity and imagination. Their charming designs feature quirky characters and intricate costumes, inviting users to mix and match outfits and accessories to create endless stories and adventures. With a nod to nostalgia and a touch of modern flair, Of Unusual Kind's products appeal to children—and adults who appreciate the art of play.
  4. Tulia’s Artisan Gallery: Tulia’s Artisan Gallery curates a collection of handcrafted goods from artisans around the world, celebrating traditional craftsmanship and cultural diversity. From textiles and jewelry to home decor and accessories, their products showcase the beauty of artisanal techniques and materials, often with a focus on fair trade and sustainability. Tulia’s Artisan Gallery offers museum stores an opportunity to support global artisans while offering customers unique and ethically sourced treasures.
  5. Simple & Sylvan: Simple & Sylvan specializes in minimalist yet elegant jewelry and accessories inspired by nature. Their designs often feature organic shapes, natural materials, and subtle textures, reflecting a deep appreciation for the beauty of the outdoors. From delicate earrings to statement necklaces, Simple & Sylvan's pieces appeal to those who seek understated sophistication and a connection to the natural world.
  6. Eco Kids: Eco Kids is dedicated to providing eco-friendly art supplies and toys that inspire creativity while promoting sustainability. Their products are made from non-toxic, environmentally friendly materials, encouraging children to explore their imagination while learning about the importance of protecting the planet. From crayons and clay to paint and playdough, Eco Kids offers museum stores a guilt-free way to spark creativity in young artists.
  7. Gift Horse Handmade: Gift Horse Handmade offers a collection of handmade goods crafted by independent artisans and makers. Their products range from home decor and stationery to jewelry and personal accessories, each showcasing the unique style and skill of its creator. With an emphasis on quality craftsmanship and small-batch production, Gift Horse Handmade provides museum stores with a selection of one-of-a-kind treasures that delight and inspire.
  8. Shore Bags: Shore Bags specializes in durable and stylish tote bags made from sustainable materials like canvas and jute. Their designs are inspired by coastal living and outdoor adventures, featuring classic stripes, nautical motifs, and earthy tones. Whether for a day at the beach or a stroll through the city, Shore Bags combine fashion and function, making them popular choices for those looking for practical yet stylish souvenirs.

Learn about MSA here: https://museumstoreassociation.org/

Shop our Haleakalā National Parks stores here: https://shop.hawaiipacificparks.org/collections/haleakala-national-park

And here: https://shop.hawaiipacificparks.org/collections/kipahulu

HPPA is a nonprofit cooperating association working in partnership with the National Park Service in Hawaiʻi and American Samoa. Proceeds from our park stores and online shop support interpretation, educational programs, research projects, publications, and cultural activities.

Since its creation in 1933, the association has contributed over $26 million in direct aid and other support to the parks.




Hawaii Pacific Parks Association Location Map
Hawaiʻi Pacific Parks Association. P.O. Box 74 Hawaii National Park, 96718 HI