Simple design HE>i grows into booming business

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It started with a simple idea ten years ago, and now three guys from Oahu’s North Shore continue to grow their business.

They held a grand opening of their second HE>i store Friday night.

Eye catching, intriguing, and everywhere.

But what does it say? What does HE>i mean?

“We’ve seen it around town on cars and shirts.”

“I don’t know, I don’t really know. I think it means Hawaii, yeah Hawaii.”

“But my son used to put it in his car.”

“I was thinking Heidi, like a brand.”

And Heidi thought so too.

“You thought it was your name?”

“Almost the same.”

No, it’s not Heidi, Heddi, Hecki, Heeki, or a Hawaiian word.

“It’s a Christian thing.”

It’s “HE is greater than i.” “HE” being God.

“HE is greater than i.”

“HE’s greater than i.”

Kainoa Plemer, Kaimana Plemer and Chris Ballard are the guys behind the brand.

“In 2003, my brother had come up with the idea for the business, just as a logo for a cell phone,” said Kainoa Plemer, HE>i Co-Owner.

“I was looking through the symbols and the greater sign stuck out. So I pondered it for a little while and the Bible verse John 3:30 came to mind. He must become greater and greater, and I must become lesser and lesser,” said Kaimana Plemer, HE>i Co-Owner.

So he created this logo and friends liked it. So the Plemer brothers started making shirts and stickers.

“Slowly friends of friends were asking and people were coming to our house. And then it got weird selling stuff out of our garage,” said Kaimana Plemer.

Eventually they brought on board their friend and business partner Chris and opened a small shop in Waialua. Then they opened a bigger shop in Haleiwa and their online store. Now this second store in Honolulu at Nimitz Center.

“It’s been a dream, way beyond anything I thought would ever happen,” said Kaimana Plemer.

“Now even rich people with nice cars on ’em, not just North Shore beater cars. So it’s nice seeing a Lexus or BMW on the road,” said Kaimana Plemer.

That’s how they know they’ve made it.

Plus, the fact that they’ve been selling to people all over the world.

“Europe, UK, Australia, Japan,” said Chris Ballard, HE>i Co-Owner.

To think it all started with a simple idea, and now sky’s the limit for them.

Kainoa, Chris and Kaimana are looking at possibly opening a store in Southern California and there’s also some interest in distributing their products in Japan.

Hale’iwa Store
66-437 Kamehameha Hwy

Honolulu Store
1130 N Nimitz Hwy

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