Archive for June, 2007

Don’t believe everything you read

June 20th, 2007 is the only Aloha Wear web site that places its customer feedback, in plain view, on all 2,500 pages of the web site. It’s there, on the top left hand corner, for everyone to read.


Don’t believe the claims of a dissatisfied customer. For the most part they exaggerate and lie. They are so mad that things did not go their way, they want to bring you down to their level of incompetency.


I see it clearly. I’ve processed tens of thousands of orders in the last ten years. When a shopper does not get their way, in many instances, they get vindictive and exaggerate their claims. About one in very 500 orders, there is a person like this. They want you to believe we are incompetent and that we ship late and that we don’t respond to their phone calls and email in a timely fashion. The truth is, in 100% of these rants, the shopper did not follow simple requests.


They don’t pick alternate choices. They take no time what-so-ever to read the Important Information page or the Refunds, Exchanges and Return page, nor do they bother to read any of this information on check-out page. They expect their order in two days. They want instant gratification. They are impatient, demanding and unreasonable.


No one is more passionate in the desire to fulfil your order than It is as simple as that. would not be in business long if it was not performing in a professional manner. has been fulfilling your orders for over ten years now. has earned a top position in customer service comparable to the best of the best. If we did not fulfill your orders with speed and compassion we would not be in this enviable position. But, there is one thing I know as truth. can not be all things to all people. No matter how hard we try, there will always be someone that we simply can not make happy.


THE SHIRT THAT SAYS HAWAI’I … a wonderful story

June 10th, 2007

The Shirt that says Hawai’i’ – The story behind the colorful cultural icon.

Hawai’i’ – awash in romance, marbled by different cultures, saturated with beauty, and compelling in contrasts – gave birth, over 50 years ago, to the renowned Aloha shirt. There is today probably no better-known garment in the world that captures a land’s ‘spirit of place.’ For half a century, the Aloha shirt has been Hawai’i’s most enduring and visible greeter and ambassador – like the lei, the Aloha shirt is worn as a statement of one’s love for, and connection to, a most special place.


These words from historian and waterman Tommy Holmes, from the forward of our book The Aloha Shirt, capture the true history of this marvelous cultural icon. The Aloha shirt, so evocative of the spirit of its home, is full of mystery and allure of Hawai’i’ and the stories of those who have lived here.


Different tales have circulated for decades about the origins of the Aloha shirt. Did it spring forth late one night from the hand-operated sewing machine of a Japanese tailor? Was it inspired by the tail-out shirts of the Philippines, elegant kimono cloth from Japan, or vivid floral prints for Tahiti?


There are well-documented stores from the pre-World War II years of teenagers buying wonderful, finely printed Kabe crepe material, imported from Japan, in the dry-goods stores of downtown Honolulu. These young men had their mothers sew beautiful shirts from the fabric. That tradition of beautifully sewn printed shirts spread from the Asian dry-goods merchants and home-sewers to the tailors and dress-makers of Hawai’i’, creating a new style of colorful clothing.


This all took place in the late 1920s and early 1930s, at the same time that Hawai’i’ was emerging as a paradise for tourists with the building of the Royal Hawaiian Hotel in Honolulu and the christening of the trio of magnificent cruise ships by Matson navigation, opening this majestic string of island to the world. Boatloads of visitors were charmed by hula dancers swaying to the rhythm of a lone ‘ukulele, enchanted by Waikiki Beach boys riding the waves on their great wooden surfboards. For those who came from afar, nothing painted a more vivid picture of Hawai’i’ than these bold shirts with their vibrant island imagery.


The early Aloha shirts most often depicted ancient symbolic imagery of the Orient. Pine and plum tree prints represented long life, good fortune, and success. The images of a tiger symbolized strength and courage. Prints of bamboo denoted strength and flexibility. Early designs were also graced with traditional images of Mount Fuji, ornate temples, or peaceful landscapes.


It was not long before local artist began to design textiles that captivated the dreamy, romantic lifestyle of their island home. Early prints that were intended for home interiors soon made their way into clothing. Elsie Das designed beautiful botanical prints of native plants ? hibiscus, breadfruit, night-blooming cereus ? as well as a humorous pattern incorporating hula girls. Ethel Chun Lum designed shirts sold by her brother Ellery Chun at his store, King-Smith Clothiers. Ellery Chun was the first person to officially register the name “Aloha Shirt.”? Ether produced designs based on her first cruise to the mainland U.S., including flying fish seen from the deck of a Matson liner.


Garment manufacturers including Kamehameha and Branfleet? (later know as Kahala), which initially produced Aloha shirts with Asian motifs in their humble factories in the mid-1930s, began to commission designs from local artists. Soon, visitors and locals alike were donning these wearable postcards awash with coconut trees, surfers, outrigger canoes, hula girls, and endless varieties of colorful tropical flowers, birds, and fish.


“Aloha shirts put Hawai’i’ on the map,” says renowned fabric designer John “King Keoni” Meigs. “The first thing people did when they arrived was to make a beeline for a department store to buy one.”


Meigs was one of many flamboyant designers in the Gold Age of Aloha shirts, which ran from the 1930’s to the 1950’s. for inspiration, they shared the sunsets, beaches, flowers, and rainforests of Hawai’i’. They and their visionary colleagues – manufactures, artists, and retailers – formed the community that created this memorable art form.


Celebrities of the time – such as John Barrymore, Bing Crosby, and Elvis Presley – were widely photographed wearing the shirts. Duke Kahamamoku, Hawai?i?s most beloved surfer and Olympic swimming champion, was the earliest and greatest promoter of the Aloha shirt. Duke even had his own line of shirts, which are widely coveted by collectors today.


Whether you fancy a collectible from the 1930’s or a modern style of? today, the Aloha shirt remains a symbol of the casual, carefree, and graceful Hawaiian lifestyle.


Reprinted from the Artful Living, The Legacy of Kukui’ula magazine, Spring, 2007. Dale Hope and Gregory Tozian are the authors of The Aloha Shirt, (Beyone Words Publishing, 2000).


Where is the rest of my Order ??

June 8th, 2007

This one makes me laugh out loud when it happens. And, it does happen about once a month. I get an angry email or phone call on this.

“I opened my shipment box and I received only one shirt.” Or, “the pants in my cabana set are not in the box.” Or, “I bought two dresses and there is only one in the box.”


And, so on. 100% of the time the second item is folded into the first item or the small pants are inside the shirt. People love to rush to judgement. All the customer has to do is really open the box and unfold the contents.


For some unknown reason they rush to judgement and think someone is trying to gyp them. Or, the packer is missing one eye. Or, a mistake has been made. I have packed over 30,000 boxes. I do not let anyone pack my shipments except me. I do make mistakes. I’m human, you know. The exact weight is taken of each shipment. It is easy to prove that all items have been placed into the shipment box by simply duplicating the contents.


In every single instance, I have to duplicate the contents to make sure. I take my time to do this sort of thing. I call them back or email them back and tell them to unfold the contents, shake it out, etc. 100% of the time, the customer is embarrassed and apologetic. So, what is the moral of this short story. Most people don’t know a good deal even if it slaps them in the face. They are looking for trouble. If you look for trouble, believe me, you will find it.


If you have no sense of humor and have thin skin..

June 8th, 2007

If you have no sense of humor and find my comments offensive, please go away. If you have thin skin, please do not read my blog. If you can’t find humor here, you have a serious problem. I’m not your doctor or psychologist. I have no cures for you here. If you have something to say that is negative, please post it here. This is a public forum. Other people might like to laugh with you or at you, as I do and can. We are selling Aloha Wear here. What is the RUSH! This is my web site. I can say whatever I want. Let me repeat myself. If you can’t find humor here then please go away. Go buy some polyester garment made in Pakistan. Shop at your local supermarket for your Hawaiian shirts.


If you can’t read the information on the web site that is in your face about the time it takes to fulfill your order and how much it cost to ship, and how things should be sent back for exchanges and all the other easy to locate information, then I have no qualms what so ever to blast you here. Say what you want. Don’t take your silly, unfounded complaints to the Better Business Bureau and threaten me. Get a life !!! I am proud of my memberships and affiliations. I pay and donate thousands of dollars a year to other organizations. There is always, (ALWAYS), one bad apple in the barrel who wants to spoil the rest of us. There are a lot of evil, vindictive people out there. Remember this. Ignorance is bliss. It can be educated upon. Stupid has no cure. Stupid is forever.


Here is one customer’s complaint:


I ordered a shirt on Saturday because I needed the shirt by Thursday the 24th. I called to check the status of my order and it went downhill from there. I got an awful voice mail saying he doesn’t have time to answer the phone. Just an awful message. I was speechless after I heard him rant & rave. I had called the number last night and there was a feminine voice on the answering machine reminding callers that they are 3-6 hrs. different than the mainland. So I called back today and got the owners message about why is everyone in such a hurry on the mainland. Just because you ordered a shirt 3 days ago doesn’t mean you’ll get it that soon. Well had I known that I wouldn’t have paid the 2-day postal fee. I wouldn’t have ordered it at all. I went to his web site and clicked on BLOG. After 2 or 3 lines into it I knew I wouldn’t be getting my shirt on time. Not one time in the ordering process did it say 2 day service doesn’t really mean 2 days. Anyway his blog just rips his customers and I don’t think it’s a company that the BBB would want to have their emblem on.


My comments to this silly, Scurrilous complaint:


Let me set the record straight. This customer ordered a $ $ 29.70 shirt after hours on a Sunday, not Saturday. Her order shipped out 4 days later. (That is not too bad). She called on a Tuesday to check out the status of her order. Sheesh. She did not leave a message with any information pertinent to her order. She did not leave her full name, phone number or order number. I remember her comments on the telephone. Something like … ” you are mean and rude…” They were just silly. There was no way to respond to her. The exact wording on the shipping page, and in no less than three other areas of the web site, clearly states: “2nd Day Air DOES NOT necessarily mean that you will receive your order in 2 days!” She failed to read it. (I should have been there to hold her hand). She had to check mark the shipping box in the shopping cart when she checked out. There is no way to check out and process the order unless she check marked the box. It was there in bold letters.


I am a small business that offers the finest made in Hawaii aloha wear on the planet. I’m inundated and overwhelmed with orders 7 days a week, 365 days a year. I receive over 10,000 page views per day. That computes to 500 to 1,000 unique visitors every day. My web site is the 7th ranked Aloha wear site in the world.


My blog is a tongue-in-cheek representation of people like this person. People who are thin skinned and in a rush and expect everything must go their way.


I am unable to satisfy all of the people all of the time. I can satisfy most of the people all of the time. My repeat business is enormous. is in the top 3% of all of Yahoo merchants with respect to customer satisfaction. My rating is 95%. My eBay rating is 99.8%.


Here is the Better Business Bureau’s response to this customer:


From: Pearl Malalis
Sent: Thursday, June 07, 2007 10:45 AM

Thank you for the information you provided regarding the above-mentioned company. Your correspondence was received by the BBB on May 23, 2007 and has been assigned case# 52004089 in our files.


We appreciate your effort in bringing this to our attention. Information from the public is always valuable to us.


Per your request, I reviewed this company’s website Immediately a pop-up appeared that stays up saying “Important notice. Please read the information on the above page links before you place your order. If you do not READ the Important Information you will have nothing to complain about if things do not go your way.” To close the box, you must click on “Close Box”. I clicked on “Important Information and Shipping, where I read a warning not to expect shipment in just a few days and the reasons why. I found the information, explanation and reasons frank and to the point, and helpful to consumers who are considering ordering from this company. Since all this information is given before the ordering process, it does not appear necessary to repeat the same information during the ordering process.


As you have not requested our mediation services in regards to this issue, this will become a part of the BBB’s internal file on the business to monitor possible patterns in complaints.




Pearl Malalis
Service Representative
BBB Complaint Department

Keeping the Aloha in Business