Hilo Hattie was founded in 1962 as Kaluna Hawaii Sportswear. The founder, Jim Romig, marketed his product to tourists, whom he had shuttled to his manufacturing center. He also opened shops in the major resorts to sell his Hawaiian themed clothing.
In 1979, the company greatly expanded, buying the Margolis Manufacturing and Retail Company, located in Hilo, along with the the rights to the name “Hilo Hattie” which was the stage name of a popular Hawaiian performer. By 2000, Hilo Hattie was one of the largest manufacturing companies in Hawaii.
By January 1, 2009, Hilo Hattie had filed for bankruptcy and was in the process of reorganization. In June of that year, Hilo Hattie was bought by Royal Hawaiian Creations.
Written by Lizzie Bramlett, fuzzylizzie.com