Saturday,January 23rd,2021

Where the &%#* have we been?


haleiwa_signWhere the heck has Puinsai been?  Some of you might be new to our brand but for those of you who go back to the early nineties when we got started you know that we haven’t been the most aggressive company when it comes to marketing.  For the most part we just sold our tees and stickers to some select vendors and friends and left it at that.  We didn’t mind that we were hard to find.  Keoni and I always shared a vision of one day bringing the company to Los Angeles and launching our global marketing campaign from here.  We both felt that it would be a great launching pad especially since we both worked in the TV/Film Industry.  In 2006 we started to make this vision happen but we hit some road blocks along the way.  Here’s a brief recap:

  • Legal Battle (2006): The first hurdle was fighting a two year legal battle with a party who was attempting to takeover our brand because they thought it was abandoned.  We decided to try and work it out on our own because we had never abandoned anything and we could prove it rather easily.  That was a mistake and we ended up going to court.  On the eve of the case we settled everything but it took forever and distracted us from our stateside launch.
  • Production (2007): While the legal case was a huge bummer and occupied much of our time, Keoni and I were excited to get to work on locating new suppliers and crafting new designs.  Over a 13 month period we ran various sample runs and worked with three different printers and were deeply disappointed.  We still have yet to find a production house who delivers what we ask for and within a month of the target date they promise.  The reality is that while LA has a lot of resources for an apparel company, there are also a lot of very large brands and most of these printers cater to them so the smaller guys like us get shut out in both priority and quality.  We still have yet to identify a production house we want to grow with.
  • Tragedy Strikes (2008): Despite all of the hurdles, Keoni and I persevered and were hard at work developing new designs and building our first ever Puinsai Online Store.  We were starting to make some progress by early March 2008 and the prospect of getting Puinsai on Al Gore’s internet was exciting for us.  We had a great photo shoot and were proud of what we were able to produce and the campaign we developed.  Sadly, on March 30th, Keoni was involved in a fatal car accident and our world came crashing down. I had never lost someone so close and so unexpectedly and it was devastating.  It still is. Keoni and I had been best friends for over 15 years and we shared many of the same dreams.  One of those shared dreams was building Puinsai in to a global brand with a mission of “Spreading the Aloha”.  The world could use a little more aloha.  For the rest of 2008 all development on Puinsai stopped.  After some deep reflection I felt a renewed sense of urgency to move ahead with Puinsai and honor Keoni.  It is going to be difficult without his help and the current economic climate is also a challenge but I know we can make this work with a little help from our friends.

So there you have it.  Puinsai was born in 1994 and despite all of the bumps along the road we are still here today.  We are sure to hit many more bumps along the way but we know that one day our brand will extend to areas of the globe we never thought we could reach.

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