Today, VH07V was blessed to be featured in this week’s Midweek. It was a piece written by Alana Folen, for her Entrepreneurs column. Read it below.
VH07V isn’t some new mathematical formula. If you look closely, it’s ALOHA written upside down (kind of), and it’s also the name of a Hawaii lifestyle clothing line founded by local boy Edward Sugimoto. VH07V was founded earlier this year with the purpose of reminding everyone to live aloha.
“Anybody who has any association with Hawaii knows the concept of aloha, but sometimes, we forget. When you wear a VH07V shirt, it goes right over your heart,” Sugimoto says. “When you look down at your heart you see ALOHA, so it reminds us every day to keep aloha in our hearts.”
A graduate of Kaiser High School and UH-Manoa, Sugimoto says VH07V is pronounced “volve” and caters to those who love sports and outdoor activities, and Hawaii’s laid-back lifestyle.
The line offers T-shirts for men, women and keiki, tank tops for men and women, a V-neck for women and several styles of hats. The majority of tops are priced at $20 or less, while hats cost between $20 and $25, and are available for purchase by contacting Sugimoto directly.
“Right now, it’s currently grassroots style with a tech twist,” Sugimoto says. “People can view my products on Facebook (VH07V). I get inquiries and leads, and fulfill them via email, PayPal, etc. If customers are off-island, I’ll ship the merchandise. If it’s a local order, I try to meet up to save them on shipping.
“Eventually, I’ll be developing an online shopping cart, but I don’t want to do that yet until the back-end processes (fulfillment) are set and ready,” he adds. “The last thing I would want is for somebody to order something online and not get their goods in a timely fashion.”
Sugimoto hopes to one day add wicker-type golf polo, long-sleeves, hoodies, and possibly towels and eco-friendly bags to his merchandise collection.
“Although I was born and raised in Hawaii, one of my passions is snowboarding – I really dig that lifestyle. You’ll see some of that in the designs. I’m also a bit of a geek, so there may be sprinkles of that thrown into the mix as well.”
Sugimoto handles most of his everyday business matters through social media (Facebook, Intsagram, Twitter, etc.) and admits that the biggest challenge is keeping up with the growing demand from customers. He’s taking the slow and steady approach when growing his business.
“I want to make sure that I build the brand carefully so that I have a solid foundation to build from. I’m very grateful that there is a lot of interest right now, but I have to keep finding ways to grow and evolve and continue to take that ‘next step’ every single day,” Sugimoto explains. “I never want to be satisfied or content. I believe the concept I have is a clever one. It’s just a matter of getting it in front of people and getting them to believe in it as well.”