Harold “Bart” Bartell and Bill Thompson were partners in the boat/marine supply business when they encountered a need for custom embroidered shirts for the Waikiki Yacht Club. After several thwarted attempts to find an embroidery company near the Orient, they found a broken down mechanical embroidery machine in Honolulu. A handshake and a promise later, they were tearing the machine apart and getting in touch with the manufacture to repair the machine. Within 2 weeks the machine was running and the self teaching began.
It wasn’t long before they realized the need for a local embroidery shop in the Honolulu community. Soon BB (Bart & Bill) Embroidery began automatically embroidering designs for Tori Richards, Pomare, Malia and Crazy Shirts, to name just a few. A small 300 sq. foot space in the old Ironworks building (Restaurant Row today) was home and the business quickly became popular.