Designed to spark the Maui community with tools for transformation, Awakening in Paradise, Maui's newest bookstore, boutique and gallery, opened its doors on Friday, Aug. 16, at 11:11 a.m. with a ribbon cutting ceremony and blessing.
"It's my sixth store and the largest, most diverse and evocative space I've stewarded," said owner Judy Levy, who is a Reiki master, interdenominational minister and enlightened entrepreneur.
"What a privilege it is to have this divine assignment to be offered to our Maui community and our world visitors for upliftment and inspiration," she said.
The creative collaboration that owner Judy Levy (left) and Lavahna Taylor, the artist in residence and general manager, have fashioned throughout the store is extraordinary.
Photo: Billy Arbour
The staff prepared a fun weekend to celebrate this auspicious store opening.
"Our desire was to offer a peaceful atmosphere full of beautiful, uplifting objects of art and spirituality for the home and altar, and unique gifts from the heart, along with music and munchies," said Levy.
The grand opening celebration continued through 6 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 18. It included a Hawaiian blessing from kupuna, teacher and musician Lei'ohu Ryder on Saturday. On Sunday, Rev. Kedar St. John and his wife, Shelly, with many other Maui musicians and well-wishers, brought more blessings.
Awakening in Paradise, a sister store of Lotus Heart Books and Gifts in Ha'iku, offers an eclectic and unique collection of merchandise of the same genre, including a wide selection of books, visionary art, colorful clothing, jewelry, crystals, music, incense and more.
"The store will also offer classes, workshops, intuitive and tarot readings, beginning meditation, aura photography, monthly psychic fairs and diverse community events," Levy said. "Daily sessions with holistic practitioners from noon to 8 p.m. are available, while others can be booked by appointment."
The creative collaboration that Levy and Lavahna Taylor, the artist in residence, have fashioned throughout the store is extraordinary. Viewing Taylor's paintings and collages, you are likely to experience her sense of artistic flow. She paints with acrylics on canvas, often using iridescent tinting to produce unusual lighting effects.
"A series of prints, T-shirts, greeting cards and mugs will be produced for the store based on Taylor's original paintings," said Levy.
Weekly revolving exhibitions by other local artists will also be offered.
Awakening in Paradise is a one-stop shop for metaphysical and spiritual merchandise. And yet, one stop will rarely be enough to see it all--upon every visit, you'll find new and exciting, must-have treasures.
You will also find flattering and distinctly beautiful items of clothing that reflect your personality, and are easy and fun to wear.
"Our clothing is fit for the god and goddess that you are," said Levy, who offers clothing perfect for daywear, yoga or a special evening event.
Some of the most unique and stylish items are made on Maui, while other favorites come from Kathmandu, Nepal, and around the world.
"We proudly feature men's, women's and infant's tie dyes in magical colors and infinite designs," she said.
To complete your outfit, there is a collection of purses, crystal pendants, necklaces, bracelets and earrings.
"Enjoy your time viewing our inspired collection of energy-elevating pendulums, chimes, incense, statues, peace flags, candles and more," Levy said.
"We offer everything to enhance your altar, support your meditation practice and assist you in keeping the sacred at the center of your life," she said.
You may feel like you have awakened in paradise when you view the crystal collection at the shop.
"We feature crystals of all shapes and sizes from all over the world," said Levy. "From amethyst to zoisite, our crystal collection presents healing properties for you and your body from head to toe."
The shop, currently Maui's only independent bookstore, offers life-enhancing books, music and DVDs from well-known spiritual authors, as well as local talent. One can choose from a wide variety of personal growth, mind opening and inspiring reading materials, as well as a focused selection of health and longevity books.
Levy and the staff are forming a schedule of events to enhance spirituality in the community. Several of Maui's finest intuitives, psychics, readers, channels and astrologers are available to help you find greater clarity and direction in your daily life.
Beginning this month, the store, already known as a convergence zone for like-minded people, will offer classes called "The Gifts of Meditation" and "A Course in Miracles." A "Kupuna Wisdom" radio show is also in the works, hosted by Amorah St. John, the store's marketing director.
Levy and her team invite the community to join them in their journey of spiritual awakenings.
"I am so excited that this new dream is taking form beyond my wildest imaginings," said Levy. "It really is the store of my dreams."
Awakening in Paradise is located in the Long's Shopping Center at 1215 South Kihei Road in Kihei.
For more information, go to www.facebook.com/awakeninginparadisemaui or call (808) 891-1114.