Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Sustainability: One strapless dress at a time

Representative Maile Shimabukuro is pleased to announce the grand opening of a locally owned and inspired fashion boutique in Makaha that will further develop the Wai‘anae Coast and advance the community toward self-sustainability. The store, Makaha Fashion Boutique, will be located at the Makaha Marketplace and the grand opening will be held on Wednesday, July 16 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

"It's exciting to see the old "Cornet" building being filled with locally owned businesses that give Wai‘anae residents places to get what they need and avoid the high cost of gas," said Shimabukuro (District 45-Wai‘anae, Makaha, Makua).

Owner Ursula Robles developed the business plan for the new boutique to address the need for more commercial stores for fashionable wear and electronics on the Wai‘anae Coast. The boutique will feature high-end casual resort wear from a variety of brand names in a range of sizes, including apparel for toddlers. In addition to clothing, Robles said that electronics, such as MP3 players and IPods, will be available for below retail value. No item in the store will be more than $30. Makaha Fashion Boutique will accept cash only and no bills over $20.

"Makaha Fashion Boutique provides affordable fashions for the whole family," explained owner Ursula Robles, a native Hawaiian and long-time Wai‘anae resident. "We want to give Wai‘anae residents a closer option for shopping than Waikele, Pearlridge or Ala Moana."

The new boutique will join a host of other successful local businesses, many owned and operated by residents of the Wai‘anae Coast, including Makaha Studios; Keaulana's Surf Shop; Paradise Isle Visitor Center; Cyberwest; Makaha Chop Suey; Treasure Box Charities; Affordable Fitness; Leeward Martial Arts; GotVoice; WashSpot; Captain Bruce Scuba; K. Kim Contracting; Dr. Tammie A. Kim, PhD, Psychologist; Team Real Estate; YCS Corporation; and Hawaii Retail Services LLC.
Makaha Marketplace is also home to non-profits, government agencies, and churches, including Steps for Independence; Hina Mauka; the Institute for Family Enrichment; Alaka‘i Na Ke'iki; the State Mental Health Clinic; the Clubhouse; The Voice of the Believers Christian Church, and The Remnant Church.

"Makaha Marketplace holds great hope for the future of entrepreneurialism on the Wai‘anae Coast," Shimabukuro said. "The Marketplace, combined with other exciting developments, like the new Farmer's Market that's held twice a month at Makaha Resort, are making excellent progress toward "buying local" and our community's self-sustainability."

Makaha Fashion Boutique is located at 87-1170 Farrington Hwy., Wai‘anae. Dedication will be at noon, followed by refreshments. The first 50 customers will receive a free gift. Each purchase on opening day will receive a raffle ticket for a grand prize. For more information, please call Ursula Robles at 589-7315.

Photo: Makaha Fashion Boutique owner Ursula Robles (back row, 4th from left), and some members of her 'ohana.

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