It started with a cookie.
In 1980, three young surfers from Southern California were trying to decide what to do with the rest of their lives. They decided to start a cookie company named Maui’s Chocolate Chip Cookies. Their little business venture didn’t last long. When they burnt their first batch of cookies, they turned their attention to designing fashions for surfing and active sports. Maui and Sons became an instant hit!
And the cookie? It became an inspiration for the Maui and Sons logo. Inside, you will see elements representing the earth, sea, sky and fire. It’s a celebration of the power of nature and a tribute to the amazing creativity in everything from Maui and Sons.
Inspired by the creative genius and founding partner artist Rick Rietveld, Maui and Sons as their new business was called, was launched with bold ideas, a few thousand dollars and a pair of madras surf shorts. Aggressively marketing their unique design to southern California surf shops and to local high schools, they broke all the rules of time. Everyone they asked told them that making their logo big and placing it on the back pocket was the wrong thing to do. But they did it anyway. And when the partners couldn’t afford a photo shoot for their first ad in Surfer Magazine, they used an amazing Rick Rietveld painting. No one had seen anything like Maui and Sons before.
It worked. Several years later, Maui and Sons was among the fastest growing businesses in America, with sales approaching $20 million. The Maui and Sons “cookie” logo and their unique Sharkman icon helped them become one of the most recognizable brands for active sportswear.
For all their rapid growth, the young partners found maintaining a successful business to be a bigger challenge. Recognizing that they needed to put the company in more capable hands, Maui and Sons was purchased in 1989 by Richard Harrington, a successful businessman who held the company’s international licenses since 1983. A true business visionary, Richard saw the global potential of the Maui and Sons brand. He transformed Maui and Sons from a clothing manufacturer to a brand licensing company and expanded its operations internationally. By carefully adding a quality roster of global licensees, which include North America, Central America, South America, Europe, Africa, Middle East, Asia, and Australia, Maui and Sons has grown to become one of the best known brands of active sports apparel and equipment worldwide. Today, the company’s products are sold in over 100 countries around the globe.
Committed to supporting the active sports industry, Maui and Sons has sponsored a number of top athletes over the years, including: Laird Hamilton, Keoni Downing, Ted Robinson, Buzzy Kerbox, Luke Egan and Brian Keaulana, among others. Our clothing has been seen on Baywatch staring Gena Lee Nolin, who was at one time a Maui and Sons spokesperson.
While the focus of the company has expanded, the unique Maui and Sons style and illustration approach continues. Sharkman, the character created in the early days of Maui and Sons, is as popular as ever. The embodiment of the core image of Maui and Sons, Sharkman has become one of the best-known global icons in the active sports industry.
The world has come to expect the unexpected from Maui and Sons, which continues to stoke the young and young at heart with creative, quality products. For over 25 years, Maui and Sons has created products that represent an image and a way of life that appeals to those who aspire to an active fun-loving lifestyle and the global surf culture.