Friday, December 19, 2014

Hawaiian Aloha Shirts inspired by Home Depot

As most of you know Wave Shoppe Hawaiian shirts is a mom and pop Hawaiian clothing manufacturer and retailer. Approximately 40% of the shirts and muumuus you see in our showroom are actually designed in-house. What few people know is how we actually get some of our inspiration.

Inspiration for the designs can come at anytime and often in the most unlikely situations. Lets use one of our most recent designs (pictured), a classic yet simple design containing hibiscus flower, palm and banana leaf.

This beautiful navy blue fabric contains 5 colors, 4 of which are shades of blue and a shade of grey. This was utilized in production of these blue Hawaiian shirts which are available in mens and womens styles as well as dresses.

The purple fabric, also pictured, follows the same convention, 4 shades of purple and a shade of grey. This color is also available as purple Hawaiian shirts in men and womens styles as well as muumuu dresses

Inspiration for this design actually occurred while I was at Home Depot selecting some paint for our family room.

Yes you read that correctly, Home Depot. While I was waiting for some help, I stood in front of the paint strips and was just mesmerized by all of the color combinations and variations of color.

It was almost impossible to resist thinking how cool it would be to have a Hawaiian fabric that was colored in such a way that it actually mimicked the paint samples.

So on a whim, I grabbed bunch of samples of purples and blues and stuck them in my pocket and preceded to purchase 2 gallons of grey paint for my family room.

A few months had passed and we just happened to be working on a new blue and a new purple fabric design. We were in phase 3 of the design process, balancing had been signed off on and we had just received our first colorized proofs in the mail. Proofing is always performed with design printed on paper, its the best and most accurate way to determine what the coloring will look like on a textile. 

Unfortunately upon our initial and immediate inspection of the artwork, we were simply not getting a good vibe from the coloring. The colors just didn't flow properly or disperse the design as evenly as we were hoping for.

And then it hit me, why not incorporate the colors used in these paint samples? Magically (one revision later) we all unanimously agreed that we had a winner and began prepping the artwork for printing on cotton.

And the grey color? Well I always have to be different, so we filled the area around the hibiscus stem with grey, the same grey we painted our family room in. It gave the hibiscus flowers some additional contrast and balance. That's a true story about the inspiration for that particular design. It has been well received and we anticipate using this very same coloring/design convention with some different colors, possibly red or green and I think that orange would look super cool with that treatment.


Thursday, December 11, 2014

Cars n Beaches in Textiles

Its a well know fact that people have a love affair with automobiles, as well as a deep passion for the beachcomber lifestyle. When you first think of cars you usually associate them with highways and racetracks, a topic we will revisit in a little bit.

What you may or may not realize is that cars have also been at home in the sand. Be it driving up and down Daytona Beach or Corpus Christi Beach (since re-named North Beach). With the 1952 Nascar Daytona Beach Race claiming the lions share of fame, though driving up and down Corpus Christi Beach should be on everyone bucket list. There is an incredible amount of wildlife, especially if your into bird watching, as well as natural dunes to take in, not to mention 5 miles of drivable sand.

And next up is the surf crowd, while many popular surf beaches were once open to automobiles, those privileges are now just a fond memory of the good old days. Still there were many surfer that utilized station wagons, Ford Galaxy's, woodie cars and even panel trucks.

As you can only imagine, it was just a matter of time before the textile industry decided to meld the two together and print automotive themed fabrics. Many of which could be utilized in something novel like a Hawaiian shirt with a red woody car parked on the beach.

We can attest to the fact that just about every factory production car has most likely reproduced in a fabric. And due to the high cost of licensing, there are also a lot of fabrics sporting no name cars that slightly resemble their famous counterparts, some almost mirror them but we wont tread in those waters today.

Now back to racing, believe it or not Hawaiian shirts are quite popular at the racetracks, why I do not know, but they are everywhere. Even popular racetracks such as Fontana Speedway wear them as staff uniforms and such.

Of course Hawaiian shirts with cars are not limited to speedways, the car cultures demand a myriad of designs, themes and colors in their clothing. Patronize any car show or cruise night and you will see what we mean.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Luau Sized Mens Clothing

In Hawaii a luau (Hawaiian: lū‘au) is a traditional Hawaiian party or feast that is usually accompanied by live entertainment in the form of music, dance and or story telling. Most luaus feature food such as poi, kalua pig, poke, lomi salmon, opihi, haupia, and huli huli chicken. Most of the time the delicious food is served buffet style and overeating is just bound to occur.

Lets get this out front, when you dress for any luau you want to dress comfortable, as well as look "Hawaiian". The last thing you want is to be seen standing in line or sitting in front of a plate full of yummy food wearing a shirt that is so dam tight that it looks and feels like the buttons are going to blow right off the shirt. Even worse is if it actually happens.

It happens more often than you think, and while the guys may be somewhat at fault, some of the blame has to be placed on the clothing manufacturers. There are so many companies pumping out Hawaiian shirts that are way to small for the grade, some are two to three sizes too small and that's before washing! We sell a lot of big mens Hawaiian shirts for one simple reason, they fit.

Shown on the left is a design that is very popular, the Hawaiian shirt is made from rayon material, which offer superior had vs. cotton shirting.

The print in this shirt has beautiful tropical leafs containing Polynesian designs and these Indigo (Blue) Hawaiian shirts are cut very liberally, the shirt will offer your body a comfortable fit in al of the right places without looking like you are wearing the wrong size.

We can not express enough the importance of choosing the best looking and well fitting clothing you can when planning on attending a luau. Even if the luau is on the mainland please take the time to select or a Hawaiian shirt that allows room for movement after washing. We guarantee that if you buy any handcrafted Wave Shoppe labeled shirt that it will fit well right out of the package, as well as after repeated washings. Wave Shoppe makes their clothing in the USA!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Ever been fired by someone wearing a Hawaiian shirt?

If you haven’t figured it out yet, I am the number one fan of Hawaiian shirts and clothing with motifs that depict the cool laid back lifestyle of Hawaii. When you wear one, even on a brutally cold February day in the northern United States, it still feels appropriate to cut out of work a bit early and indulge in a Mai Tai or four. Let me prove my point by telling you about a company I once worked for. For something like 10 years I worked for a company that made pilot training software, while some of the day to day tasks were somewhat challenging, my mind still wandered.
I lost track of the numbers of days and months that I spent dreaming of being on a beach with my toes in the sand.
Fortunately for me the company dress code was fairly loose, though the downside was they didn’t allow management to wear shorts or flip flops on the property, lesser employees could wear whatever, especially if it was hot outside. But if you were in management they expected you to dress business casual when in office, to business formal during business trips.
In the early years of employment with them, my daily wardrobe primarily consisted of sneakers, jeans and a toned down Hawaiian shirt, something similar to this reverse print Hawaiian shirt.  

But the longer I was at that company, the more daring my wardrobe became. The Hawaiian shirts in my work wardrobe became brighter and bolder with each passing month, my closet at home was a kaleidoscope of color! I remember one day in particular, I wore blue jeans with a shirt that had vivid yellow and red parrots and a sprinkling of green all on a white background, you could probably see me from space that day. I think some of the progression had to do with rebellion, I detested weekly meetings, and attendees were regularly subjected to some of the longest and most unproductive meetings in recorded history.
The meetings I was forced to attend were full of kiss ass people wearing ties and business suits, eagerly awaiting some drivel to spill from the CEOs mouth, and then there was me, usually wearing a shirt with big loud flowers and such. Meetings demonstrated that time really does stand still, like an old photograph. I mean who has not wanted to add color back into an old, black and white photograph at least on time in their life?  

In the final 2 or 3 years of employment there my passion for Hawaii and island lifestyles in general started spilling over into the 2 departments I managed. Be it a tropical screen saver, hula doll etc. by the time my employment was terminated most of my full time 8 employees had something tropical in their cubical, a few even converted over to wearing a tropical themed shirt at least once a week. Honestly, they were enjoying their jobs more than the company liked, it actually irked senior management to no end.
Sadly there was a dark side to my position, which was having to let go of contracted help or worse, terminate a permanent employee. My approach was pretty laid back, I would usually tell them we have to have a unpopular discussion and asked them if they would like to have it over lunch at Islands or down and dirty in the meeting room. Only a few opted for the meeting room, which provided no mechanisms to retain ones dignity.  

While I have never seen any of those people I had to let go, I am optimistic that they would be genuinely friendly towards me. I also know that they will forever remember being terminated (often for being slackers) by a guy wearing a brightly colored Aloha shirt.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Wrap Your Torso in Tropical Parrots

I realize that winter is just starting to kick-in in many parts of the country, but on this side of the united states its summer, and almost year round. Our weather, which averages in the high 70 to low 80s makes it easy to maintain a tropical mindset year-round.

When I am at the office my mind frequently drifts off to the beach or some tropical island, sometimes its all I can think about. Many days I am wearing a blue Hawaiian shirt with really colorful parrots that wrap my torso in tropical splendor.

I can shut my eyes and almost feel the warm ocean breeze and hear the waves gently crashing on the beach and the parrots squawking in the trees.

Yup, its hard to beat living in a warm climate such as this, though we most certainly pay for it. But its still worth it, mainly because I hate snow and winter and all that cold stuff. No thank you mam, its flip flops, shorts and Hawaiian shirts for me!

In our business it really is Hawaiian shirt Friday every day of the year. So even if winter is upon you think Spring and the next 3 or 4 months will pass much quicker. Need some tropics in your life? Here is a discount coupon that you can use on your next purchase.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Why we blog

If your reading this, then you are probably one of the many customers and subscribers to the Da Kine Hawaiian Aloha blog. You may also be a fan of our business on Facebook or Twitter. But recently it came to my attention that many readers, customers, and close friends do not fully understand why we actually blog.

I think about a lot of topics and why I do something's and why I don't do others, but the blogging portion is pretty clear. Like a lot of our friends and customers businesses, we are a shining example of a mom and pop business. Our business model is pretty clear, we manufacture and sell Hawaiian shirts on-line and in our retail location in downtown Escondido CA. All in hopes that we will make enough money to pay our day to day bills, and maybe get a few items for the grandchildren, as well as covering a little entertainment for ourselves. Fishing fits the bill for me and my wife.

We primarily we use this blog as a venue to advertise and promote our products, we post for anyone that will read. Promoting a small business in a niche market can be daunting as the market is small and advertising budgets dry up fast, though there are many months where advertising money is non-existent.

But I have to say that in the back of my mind that I am also hoping that a reader or customer will have some Aloha and possibly blog or simply tell their friends about us. I believe that is also referred to as wishful thinking. I am also the first to admit that we don't have the advertising money to compete in the paid advertising arena.

Word of mouth is a powerful tool that shouldn't be taken lightly by any business, it can make you prosper or break you as well. How does your blogging help us? Well it's a multifaceted objective, in one hand doing so give you something to write about, it also exposes our business to your readership (which helps us with new customer acquisition). Your friend my in turn tank you for turning them on to some great products. Secondly, a blog article or webpage with a URL in it pointed to your favorite product page (like the one in this article) helps us somewhat improve our position in search engines.

Admittedly it's a small amount boost (though good karma may come your way), but it all helps. Especially when our survival on the web relies on us bettering the big box stores and goliath shopping sites like Amazon, all of whom could care less about providing things above and beyond customer service. We will even open up the store on days that we were scheduled to be closed, all just to help out the customer with tight time constraints. Even if you just have a minor question you can call our office at 760-294-1765 and we will do whatever it takes to help you. Charles will answer, call in the morning and he will just listen to whatever you have to say, mainly because it takes him forever to wake up and be productive.

Ok so your saying to yourself what do I get out of all of this. Monetary wise you get nothing for your efforts, but in terms of karma and do-gooding brownie points, the reward can be monumental. Your efforts will in a sense bring you even closer to the Wave Shoppe family. There are not enough words in the English language to describe our sincere appreciation for our customers.

Mahalo \m/

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Selecting Shirts for Redheaded Men

Most men that come into our retail store have no clue on how to select shirts that go well with their hair color. The guys that have the toughest time are the gingers (redheads) because there are so few colors that compliment redheaded men. Those who are characterized by their paler, whitish skin and golden hair color will look their absolute best in warm blues and greens in varied shades of navy and olive colors.

At Wave Shoppe we offer a good selection of men's Hawaiian shirts that will compliment men with red hair. The ultimate challenge in selecting a green shirt is to select a shirt that doesn't make you look like a leprechaun.

Finding pictures of famous redheads on the internet is almost impossible, I was thinking a picture of Prince Harry in a Hawaiian shirt would make a good illustration, but I couldn't find one. So the next best thing is to just provide you with an image of the shirts we think would look good on gingers.

First up is a green Hawaiian shirt with pineapples, in a green color that has a hit of grey in the shirting (gray is another good choice).

The grey works because it is a very lite shade of grey with an overlay of sage, if it was too prominent, then it wouldn't work as well.

This particular green color works well for men with red hair, especially those whom want to wear a green shirt, yet has a green coloring that is far removed from being leprechaun green, a color and stigma you want to avoid at all costs.

When it comes to blues, there is a broad spectrum of shades of blue, especially with dye lots in shirting, but we think navy blue Hawaiian shirts look best on gingers.

Whether you have short red hair or even tressed red hair. Regardless of your color preferences, navy blue should be hanging in the closet of every red headed, Hawaii loving, American male. Navy blue just makes a man look good, especially when it's a navy blue Hawaiian shirt!

In closing we want to add that some of the worst shirt colors for men with red hair are black and tomato reds, those colors do nothing for gingers and should be avoided, unless you are carrot top (Scott Thompson) and don't care much about how people perceive you. He doesn't have a problem wearing orange or bright red shirts, but then he has some sort of celebrity status and we don't.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Automobile Threads

It's pretty common to place a design or embroidered logo on a shirt to shows ones affiliation to a company or brand. But when you have a obsession for vehicles, such as automobiles, you go all out and get a shirt that looks like a billboard ad for your favorite auto. 

While we have certainly seen our share of t-shirts with a full spectrum of automotive themes, from my personal favorite, which were the shirts with big daddy Ed Roth's Rat Fink rat rods, to almost every make and model of classic car, its probably been put on a t-shirt.

But equally popular with the car crowd are Hawaiian shirts with cars which are adorned with everything from woody cars, to hot rods such as 5-widow ford coupes. While t-shirts are predominantly white, a Hawaiian shirt with automobiles can come in a myriad of colorways. White, blue and green are very popular colors with automobile enthusiasts.

Fontana Speedway wearing Wave Shoppe's white woody car Hawaiian shirts
Wave Shoppe's which are designed and manufactured in Hawaii. That particular shirt boasts a red woody car parked on a palm tree lined beach.

The designs and color combinations available are only limited by your imagination. Many of the Hawaiian car shirts contain secondary themes such a 50s diners, cruise nights, and of course imaginary beach themes. Ha, most of the classic cars I have seen at car shows would get stuck in the sand, so many designs are just pure fantasy.

One thing I have not seen on Hawaiian shirting as of yet are the expensive late model cars such as Cadillac SRX parked on the beach or a Cadillac CTX or the Audi A8 L W12 cruising town, but its possible that those cars and many others could actually make it into a Hawaiian shirt in the next 20 years or so. I mentioned Cadillac because at some point in our future the 55 Chevy's are going to step aside and those Cadillac models are going to become the new "classic Chevys".

And take note that shirts emblazoned with cars are not just for the guys, as you can see in the picture above, the are a lot of women working at the speedway and they wear all sorts of shirts with automobiles when they are at work.