During pre-statehood Hawaii, a critical time in Hawaii’s economic development, Shaheen built the most comprehensive textile printing, garment manufacturing, and retail company Hawaii would ever see. Shaheen accomplished this feat through his vision, inventiveness, engineering brilliance, and unreserved commitment to authenticity and excellence.
Shaheen set up Surf ‘n Sand Hand Prints, his first print plant and began scouring Honolulu’s junkyards for parts to use in building his equipment. With two inexperienced local workers, Shaheen began building his machinery.
By 1950, Shaheen had engineered and built his own machinery to print, dye, and finish his fabrics. By 1952, Shaheen was printing more than 60,000 yards of fabric per month and in 1956, Shaheen built an $8,000,000 factory, showroom, and office complex. By 1959 he had employed 400 people, sold garments worldwide, owned his own chain of retail stores in Hawaii, and grossed more than $4,000,000 annually. . . that’s a lot of shirts!
Fingers crossed we can spy some of these beautiful garments whist on our travels. If I spot any of those 1950s dresses I’ll be hocking all of my stuff to get it!