Jams World gets exposure at the Olympics
A Hawaii clothing manufacturer was represented loud and proud at the opening ceremonies of the Olympic Games in Beijing - because of one shopper in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Nothing like this happens anymore, does it? Olympic teams are outfitted by corporate sponsors with long-negotiated, specially designed logo-wear who plan to market a similar product to the masses after the big medal-podium finish, right?
Not this time.
"One of the athletes was looking for a uniform" for the opening ceremonies, said David "Pua" Rochlen, president of Surf Line Hawaii Ltd., whose Jams World line was being eyed by the athlete at Sun Solutions Inc., in St. Thomas.
It is one of 900 stores in sunny U.S. markets that carry the bright, colorful clothing.
The store didn't have enough pieces in everybody's sizes, so the company got a call asking, " 'Can we rush it. We really want to wear it for the opening ceremony,' " Rochlen said.
The shipment was overnighted and the staff eagerly waited.
After a commercial break during the parade of nations, clips of "the teams you missed" aired, including the Jams-wearing Virgin Island team, Rochlen said. "I was like, aw, man!"
Nevertheless, the next day the staff was "excited and proud ... it was a neat little way of ... being a small part of the Olympic Games. It turned out to be fun," he said.
"Since then, people have been calling up, wanting to get that print," which is called Corsage. It is available at Jams World retailers and online.
The company also has an outlet store at 1451 Kalani St., open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Rochlen has collaborated on a new item, a Wally "Famous" Amos shirt, but it's not about his Chip & Cookie treats.
"It's watermelons, sun, peace, happiness and love," Amos said, crediting his wife Christine for the design.
Jams World also will make tote bags, slippers and other items with the print.
Amos' stores in Kailua and the Royal Hawaiian Center, opening Sept. 21, will carry the new duds and things with 10 percent of the profits going to Amos' literacy program, the Read it Loud! Foundation.
It soon will launch a national campaign to raise awareness of the importance of parents reading aloud to children, in partnership with the Library of Congress.
is a reporter with the Star-Bulletin. Call 529-4747, fax 529-4750 or write to Erika Engle, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., No. 7-210, Honolulu, HI 96813. She can also be reached at: email@example.com