Erika Engle

Maternity clothing
retailer Makana sold
between hair appointments

MAKANA Mother & Baby at Ward Centre is getting a new mommy and will move to Kahala shortly. It was sold last month for an undisclosed price.

Founder, President and Mom (her official title) Deborah Sharkey decided to sell the maternity clothing and baby-accessory business in October while in a hair salon.

Not that it was a spur of the moment thing.

Buyer Cathy Yamamoto had been a customer of Sharkey's since before the retail business had a store, when it was a regular weekend trunk show at Blaisdell Center.

Yamamoto and Sharkey had coincidental back-to-back appointments at the Hair Loft, owned by Yamamoto's cousin Bonnie Hoffman. Yamamoto agreed to buy the business between hair appointments.

Yamamoto called Sharkey the next day to see if she was serious about selling the business. She was.

"More than anything, Cathy is to me the right person to do this," Sharkey said.

Sharkey grew the business into a retail space in Moiliili that was open on weekends and by appointment. It moved to short-term Ward Centre space in time for the holidays and the shop will close its doors Saturday night, then reopen next month on Kilauea Avenue near Kahala Pet Hospital, under Yamamoto's ownership.

The lease was secured with help from Yamamoto's father, a retired commercial real estate professional who is her business consultant. A mother of two, Yamamoto said her professional background is in business sales for Verizon Hawaii, and more recently, in real estate.

"I have a lot of plans for the store," said Yamamoto. "I don't just want to sell pretty things ... If I can put out useful and helpful information to help women (like Sharkey did), I look forward to doing that too."

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Erika Engle is a reporter with the Star-Bulletin. Call 529-4302, fax 529-4750 or write to Erika Engle, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., No. 7-210, Honolulu, HI 96813. She can also be reached at: eengle@starbulletin.com

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