DENNIS ODA / DODA@STARBULLETIN.COM
Ana Matsumoto gives a kiss to her 4-month-old daughter Ary. Ana and her mother, Cynthia Naweli, are opening the Sweet Peas maternity clothing store in Kailua on Tuesday. The idea was generated by the young mom-to-be Ana, who couldn't find professional and stylish clothing during her maternity.
Calling new moms
A mother and her adopted daughter are bonding to open a maternity store in Kailua
A Kailua mother and daughter team, Cynthia Naweli and Ana Matsumoto, are getting ready to deliver a bundle of style to expectant mothers through the opening of their dream business, Sweet Peas, in the Keolu Shopping Center.
Windward Oahu's newest maternity resource center, which celebrates the special bond between mothers and their children, will cater to the style-conscious mommy-to-be, taking her through pregnancy and beyond. Sweet Peas will offer shoppers the latest trends in maternity fashion, all-natural baby and body products, as well as unique gift baskets, which can be delivered to local hospitals.
"More than just smart and sophisticated maternity styles, our boutique is about celebrating pregnancy and motherhood," said Naweli, who went outside her native Hawaiian ethnicity to adopt Matsumoto from Korea.
"She was conceived in prayer and born of my heart, not of my womb," said Naweli of Matsumoto, her business partner and daughter, whose Hawaiian name Kawahineminoakaokalani means the smiling woman from heaven.
A single mother for many years, Naweli, who is a teacher by trade, worked three and four jobs to send Ana to private school so that she would have the opportunity for a good education.
"She's my savior," Matsumoto said of her mother. "My mom has given so much so that I could have everything
DENNIS ODA / DODA@STARBULLETIN.COM
Cynthia Naweli, left, and daughter Ana Matsumoto squeeze Ana's 4-month-old daughter Ary. The new Sweet Peas maternity store that Naweli and Matsumoto are opening in Kailua fulfills their dream to start a small business that allows the three generations to be together at one time.
When Ana grew up, she followed in her mother's footsteps by becoming a teacher and the two taught school together at Lehua High School for several years.
The genus for their new partnership was Naweli's marriage to the Rev. Jacob Naweli, the head pastor of The Church of the Living God in Kalihi and Ana's marriage to Kenneth Matsumoto and subsequent pregnancy.
With the arrival of Ary Matsumoto, Matsumoto began to look for a more flexible career that would allow her to stay home with her baby.
"We call her the Chief Executive One," said Matsumoto of her 4-month-old daughter. "She's the reason that we are all here together. I feel really blessed because a lot of mothers would love to stay home with their children and I have the opportunity."
Like many small businesses in Hawaii, the store too, was conceived in prayer, Naweli said.
"Everything you see here is by his grace," Naweli said. "We say we're called Sweet Peas, but if you say it fast -- it sounds like sweet peace, which is what we feel."
Family, friends and members of The Church of the Living God pooled their resources to help Naweli and Matsumoto realize their dream of running a small business, where three generations of the family can work side by side.
Sweet Peas, which will open Tuesday, will be available to shoppers from 10 to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from noon to 5 p.m. on Sundays.
The public is invited to attend a grand opening celebration at 10 a.m. on Nov. 12.