Kimi Chu and Mari Nakanishi (pictured here) already have graduated from college, but they’re back on campus with the opening of Beloved Boutique at the University of Hawaii at Manoa.
Nakanishi earned a bachelor’s degree in business management from UH, and Chu has a bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of California, San Diego; however, they both have worked in the retail industry and share an interest in fashion. In 2011, they started Beloved Boutique as a mobile boutique popping up at various events, including at the UH Campus Center, where they quickly built a following of regular customers.
So, when they heard that UH was renting out space in the Hemenway Hall Courtyard near one of the school’s popular dining areas (Manoa Garden), they decided to move in. The store offers feminine, simple and classy fashions that are reasonably priced (tops range from $32.90 to $38.90, dresses from $36.90 to $55.90, handbags from $35.90 to $59.90 and fashion jewelry from $11.90 to $25.90).
“We try to offer very simple, classic apparel and accessories that our customers can dress up to wear out, and wear to the office or formal events,” note Nakanishi and Chu, both 2004 graduates of Pearl City High School. “We want to sell pieces that will stay in closets for a long time and will outlast the trends of the season.
“This was really a God-driven venture. God has opened up many doors to make this possible; we never really envisioned ourselves doing this, but it’s been a blessing so far and something we realized we really enjoy doing.”
Beloved Boutique is open Monday through Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. You also can shop online at belovedboutique.bigcartel.com. For more information, visit belovedboutiquehawaii.com, follow belovedboutiquehawaii on Facebook and Instagram, or call 944-6606.