Tucked away in a cozy Waialua home shop, North Shore Embroidery is a family-operated business offering quality embroidery and kindness to Hawaii. Founder Washington Teixeira moved from his home country of Brazil to Hawaii in 2008 and decided to keep his family embroidery tradition going. He started small with just a handful of gigs. Charlie Teixeira had interned in New York City at the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility that called on companies to be responsible in their treatment of workers, respectful towards the environment, and transparent with their customers.
In 2011 the couple officially established North Shore Embroidery (which happens to be the same year that Still & Moving Center began!) with a mission to “pay it forward and share aloha.” And they’re doing just that.
Washington and Charlie came to Oahu separately, each passing through a rough patch in their lives and ready to start anew. With Charlie born in Korea and raised in the Midwest of the US, and Washington coming from South America, they managed to land in the middle of their triangle of origin: Hawaii. Building their life together, they saw how their business could seed their greater vision of serving their Hawaii community.
Before moving to their home shop, they spent many weekends selling embroidered hats at the Haleiwa farmers market, with just a couple of designs. Their eager customers began sharing creative ideas and hinting at colors and images they would like. The creativity flowed from there. “The community helped us develop many of our designs,” Charlie says gratefully. The farmer’s markets were as much about connecting with people as selling the products.
Given their customers’ interest in apparel, Charlie and her husband decided to open a sister company to North Shore Embroidery called Route 99, named after the well-traveled highway that runs from Honolulu to Haleiwa.
With a few other helping hands, Washington machine-embroiders their Route 99 apparel, as well as other companies’ products. With their mission always guiding them, they gratefully engage in partnerships with other local Hawai’i businesses, such as Access Surf, a Honolulu-based non-profit that connects disabled people with surfing and the ocean. As they give aloha to the community, they feel a warmer and warmer embrace back.
About 5 years ago Charlie and her husband started running a campaign called #99ActsofAloha that aligns with their mission. “We collected nominations of businesses and people who were doing acts of aloha,” explains Charlie. She took it upon herself to meet with individuals all over the island and video record their testimony of receiving aloha.
During the pandemic in 2020, Charlie came up with a spin-off of the original idea: #99actsofaloha. Since then, she has been collecting video-recorded nominations with stories of kindness. Every week, she posts one of these stories on their YouTube channel, hoping to inspire others to reflect on the goodness they receive, big or small, and in turn offer acts of kindness back out to the world. “I’m learning how we remember even the simplest act of kindness,” says Charlie.
Running a business has its ups and downs, but the warmth of community engagement makes it all worth it. In 2020, while businesses were taking one of their hardest hits, Charlie and her husband enjoyed their most successful holiday-season sales. They were very encouraged. “People in Hawaii were trying to support local businesses,” says Charlie, “That really showed, and it was great to see.”
Their “Be Kind” apparel is their best-selling product. It even inspires her when she looks down and sees the words “Be Kind” on her T-shirt, knowing that they’re giving a donation to the food bank whenever somebody buys one. North Shore Embroidery & Route 99 Hawaii truly share aloha!
North Shore Embroidery www.northshoreembroidery.com
Route 99 Hawaii www.route99hawaii.com
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