Crazy In Hawaii For 45 Years

By Mark Hollander
Wednesday - November 04, 2009
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By Mark Hollander
President & CEO of Crazy Shirts

It’s hard to believe that Crazy Shirts turned 45 this year. We’ve come a long way from our humble beginnings, Rick Ralston selling airbrushed designed shirts to tourists from a little grass shack in Waikiki. Today, we’ve got 22 stores on all major Hawaiian Islands and 14 across the Mainland, as well as a growing mail-order catalog and Web site.

How has Crazy Shirts ridden this wave of success? By continuing our passion for innovation, quality and style, and commitment to our community and environment.

Our designs have always reflected our real-world interests and, in many ways, Crazy Shirts’ irreverent sense of humor. We’ve contributed to the conversation about preserving our planet’s resources, commemorated President Obama’s historical election and love for the ocean, highlighted the University of Hawaii’s auspicious appearance in the 2007 Sugar Bowl, and provided tongue-in-cheek views of politics, society and the economy.

Earlier this year we opened our first Crazy Shirts Gallery store to showcase the depth and breadth of talent in our art department. Our designers are truly artists and often their side projects and designs that begin as traditional paintings eventually find their way to our core product line.

Mark Hollander and marine artist Wyland (front) with Crazy Shirts team members at the launch of Crazy Shirts’ exclusive Wyland line

In the 1970s, the Crazy Shirts line included about 150 designs; today, more than 450 designs are available. We’ve gone from the original airbrush designs to screen printing, embroidery and computer graphics and, with our new Original and Limited Edition lines, right back to hand-drawn shirts. Our product offerings also have expanded beyond T-shirts and sweatshirts to include men and women’s board shorts, cargo shorts, hats and children’s wear.

The materials we’ve use also have evolved. We introduced our popular specialty dyed T-shirts with our Kona coffee line in 1996. In 2008, we launched our wildly successful “Pima T’s” made from ultra-soft Pima cotton. Most recently, we released our Eco-board shorts made from fabric woven from recycled plastic bottles.

Our Eco-board shorts line is just one example of Crazy Shirts’ commitment to our environment. Long before it was “fashionable” to be green, we implemented initiatives such as the use of water-based inks, efficient heating and cooling technologies, progressive recycling programs, passive solar and LED lighting. Over the years, we also have supported a number of environmental organizations through financial contributions, including the Hawaii Natural Energy Institute and the Wyland Foundation’s clean water work.

Crazy Shirts’community involvement goes beyond the environment. As a Hawaii-based company, we know how important it is to give back to organizations that help make our Islands a better place. We have been proud supporters of the Hawaiian Humane Society, AccesSurf Hawaii, Pacific Aviation Museum, the Polynesian Voyaging Society and many others.

The decades may have passed, but our quest for quality has never changed. Our eagerness to explore innovative new dye processes, among other things, has kept our company ahead of the wave, while our loyal fans keep us looking toward the future. Standing for quality, creativity and service, Crazy Shirts is proud to produce T-shirts and casual wear with aloha.

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