Beginning Jan. 1st, 2018:
Beginning January 1st, 2018:
10% of the proceeds from each "Hilo Always Reigns" item sold, will be donated via a scholarship or grant to a student in need (Hilo, HI resident). Details coming soon!
It All Started...
on a rainy Tuesday in Hilo, Hawai'i. It was June, 2012. I had just barely graduated the month before from UH-Hilo, with a bachelors degree in Communications. I didn't deserve it, but I got it. At this point, I'm living with my girlfriend Nikki at the time, in a studio apartment called the Orchid Manor down by the beach. Our rent was $700/month and we split it down the middle. Cultural Blends is only seven-months old at the time, and my only source of income. I had one design at the time that was selling well, (iProud) which was keeping the clothing-dream alive. While Nikki was working six days a week, I was setting up my makeshift shop every Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday at the Hilo Farmers Market. Tuesdays were usually not busy days at all. However, sometimes on Tuesdays, the Norwegian Cruise Line would have a ship dock in Hilo, and the passengers that wanted to check out the town for a few hours, were shuttle directly to downtown, right where the market is.
Well, it was a Tuesday, I was at the market selling whatever t-shirts I had, and there was no cruise-line coming in. My booth was sandwiched between two other vendors that I become somewhat friends with. David, was the Big Island hippy type with a science-fiction vibe. He made odd, but unique jewelry out of copper, and would walk his cat with him religiously, on a leash. Kevin was an old HS tennis coach at the prestigious HPA located on the north tip of the island. He was semi-retired, but still did oddball jobs, like selling his wife's pottery at the market. If you ever seen flattened alcohol bottles, turned into resting plates, that's what they were known for at the market. Anyways, my friend Dustin Sakoda came and met me at the market because he had just finished up working at a gym down the street. No customers were around, when Dustin showed up. It was beginning to rain, and were all just talking about guy things...mostly basketball. Dustin and I began just talking amongst each other about Cultural Blends, and its need for a new popular design. Then, seemingly out of nowhere, Hilo Always Reigns, the phrase popped up in my head! During that time, NIKE typographical slogan shirts were really popular. I could picture it written in the NIKE font in my head, and I was certain it was a winner. Apparently our voices had grown louder in excitement, because David, the odd cat guy, overheard us. In a very stoic voice and gesture-less face, he said, "Put a crown over the 'I' or the 'O' ...yes, yes a crown." Well, I can't really remember exactly what he had said, but it was something similar and equally eerie. Nonetheless, that's how it originated.