LAWAI – CG Custom Prints hit a snag in their revenue flow when COVID-19-related stay-at-home orders were instated on Kaua‘i, like many small businesses on the island.
And, like many small businesses on the island, owners Donovan and Alicia Claytor had to get creative in order to keep their livelihood afloat.
While contemplating how their screen printing business had slowed to a trickle and letting employees go from headquarters, they stumbled upon an idea they thought could work — to print logo shirts for local businesses, sell them online, and give a portion of the T-shirt sales back to corresponding businesses.
“We started this on March 28 with the goal of helping small business during this hard time,” said Donovan Claytor. “Everybody is in the same boat. So our motto is ‘helping businesses on Kaua‘i one t-shirt at a time’.
He continues: “We totally have been hugely affected (by COVID-19); we are tied into the tourism industry directly. We supplied all the surf shops and tour companies with t-shirts and graphic design, so when this crisis hit, it hit us hard.”
They decided to call the project “Give Kaua‘i Hope” and now, there are more than 180 small business participating. Since the start of the project, they’ve sold more than 1,000 shirts — mostly to Mainland buyers.
“Being in a business and growing up on Kauai we love Kauai people we want to help them out however way we can. It’s neat to see people buying form all over the nation from New York to Arizona,” said Claytor. “We want more businesses to come to put their shirts on our website, it costs them nothing. When it sales we cut them a check or pay them through PayPal.”
Shirts sell for $25 and $10 of each sale goes back to the business associated with the shirt design.
And businesses are getting creative. Wailua Shave Ice, for instance, has a shirt that says “Non-Essential since 03/20/2020” and another shirt that reads: “Don’t Be A COVIDIOT.”
Also lending a hand is Natalie Claytor, Donovan and Alicia’s daughter. A high school student with extra time on her hands, Natalie helps with creating, folding, drying and shipping the shirts.
“I am a senior at Kauai High School. I get an opportunity to help however I can and hang out with my dad, which is nice,” said Natalie.
Alicia Claytor said she is grateful of her kids because it has been tough letting go of their employees.
“I’m so proud of our daughter and our other two children are all pitching in and volunteering their time to help out with the cause,” said Alicia.
Donovan said he has been in business for 15 years now and he wants the community to know they are here to help however way they can.
When asked about a possible side project of making mask, Claytor said it’s coming.
“We are in the works of doing some experiments on printing out masks, we are figuring out ink types and printing types on those types of masks. Hopefully soon they will be made,” said Donovan.
Any small businesses interested in participating are encouraged to check out their website at givekauaihope.com or give them a call at: 808-245-7774.
Stephanie Shinno, features and community reporter, can be reached at 245-0424 or email@example.com.
Source: The Garden Island