RICHARD WALKER / RWALKER@STARBULLETIN.COM
Chad Horimoto, president of Carin Shirts Inc. in Kakaako, loads screens onto a printing machine. The company is working late making shirts for Hawaii's bowl game invitation.
T-shirt company gets extra yardage out of bowl-bound Warriors
A BCS design will join others already selling well at many stores
The University of Hawaii Warriors have put Chad Horimoto and his team into overtime.
Horimoto's shirt printing company, Carin Shirts Inc., has been working 12-hour days and seven-day workweeks since the Warriors won their conference championship Nov. 23.
Horimoto doesn't see an end to the toil for him and his three-man staff until after the Sugar Bowl on Jan. 1.
"Just the past month or so, things have been going crazy," he said from his office yesterday. "Wherever you turn, they've been selling out. It's been hard to keep up with the demand."
Horimoto's shirt company has been in business for more than 15 years, and never has he printed so many shirts in so short a time.
Yesterday he was expected to print more than 5,000 shirts to be distributed in major retailers like Wal-Mart, Sam's Club, Kmart, Hilo Hattie, Longs, Sears and at military outlets. His company is contracted through a distributor, which has a permit to sell and print UH logos on T-shirts.
Yesterday people lined up at Rainbowtique at Ward Center to buy up Warrior memorabilia. Horimoto said he hoped to have his Bowl Championship Series shirt on shelves by this afternoon. Horimoto typically sells about 30,000 shirts during a regular season, but expects to sell much more this year.
"We had a Sugar Bowl design kind of ready to go," Horimoto said, adding that they met with distributors on Friday to prepare for a pending printing blitz.
He and his crew watched Saturday night's game with anticipation. If UH lost against the University of Washington Huskies, they weren't going to be at work yesterday.
After the win, Horimoto's designer started working on a design that they were going to print on the shirts later yesterday afternoon.
Carin Shirts also has other customers, including clubs, restaurants, businesses and families who are planning reunions.
"We've been working nonstop, and it's hard to keep up with this and deal with our regular customers, too," Horimoto said. "Between getting the designs out and the shirts out, we'll be busy probably up until if ... I mean, when they win the Sugar Bowl, and even after they win."