Interview with Justin, the founder of Haika Clothing

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So we are going to try something new… I read Justin’s guest post at Kerri’s blog and I though that his idea to sell clothes especially to donate to asthma was EPIC!

To raise more awareness for asthma and Haika, Justin agreed to do an informal interview for MyLungsMyLife… Well actually I suggested doing a guest post and Justin came up with the great idea of an interview! We are both new to this interview stuff so it will be interesting to see how it goes!

Hey Justin! How are you doing?
I’m doing great. Getting my own company started and off the ground is exciting, fun, and also scary. But, I love the challenge, and we are doing it for a great cause! Wow! I can imagine starting your own company would be scary! Starting this blog was scary but so much fun too! It seems that you are at the start of a long journey!

Why don’t you tell us all a bit about yourself?
I have been born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area my entire life. My whole family still lives here. My wife and I only live a couple of miles from where my parents live. Growing up I started to play baseball, soccer, and football. This was my first experience controlling my asthma. Being so young, I thought it was normal to run out of breathe and take my inhaler wherever I went. So, I didn’t think twice about it. To me if was the “norm.” I used to have a nebulizer when I was in middle school and high school, but the more I was active in school sports the less I had to use it. Now a days as an adult, I like to hike, ride my bike, and snowboard in the winter time. Doing those activities keeps me active enough to keep my asthma in check. I found out throughout the years that being active helps control my asthma by a significant amount.

By the sounds of it you were quite young when you were diagnosed with asthma?Did the diagnosis affect you much?
Yes, I was very young. I would say I was maybe 5. Being so young it didn’t really affect me when I found out I had asthma. I just thought, “OK. I just need to take this inhaler when I can’t breathe.” Ahh…being young and naive. When I took my first puff of my inhaler, it did not taste great by the way! Haha you are right there, I hate the taste of inhalers!

I will be honest, I think Haika clothing is an excellent idea! How did you come up with it?
I was reading an issue of Entrepreneur Magazine and learning about all these companies starting from nothing and seeing where they were headed. I thought to myself, “Why can’t I think of something?” I kept seeing all these clothing companies that would donate or give back to organizations and charities such as breast cancer, autism, the fight against hunger, etc. These are all great causes, don’t get me wrong, but it seemed like everyone was helping the same cause. Also, the shirts these companies would offer, just didn’t fit my style. All they would sell were message tees. For me, I like to wear active/streetwear clothes that fits the surf & skate demographic. My “Ah Ha” moment came when I realized why don’t I create a something that supports a cause I am passionate about and offers t-shirts that fits my sense of style. Thus, Haika was born!

Does Haika mean anything or was that born too? And, also, how do you pronounce Haika?
Haika translates to “asthma” in Tagalog. It is pronounced “hi-ka.” The “a” is silent. That’s great! I’ve been wondering how to pronounce it for a while now!

Why did you chose “Take Control” as Haika’s motto?
This one was actually a little more tougher to come up with. For awhile, I couldn’t think of a motto and thought I would just move forward without one. I went through several motto’s such as “Breathe Easy,” Breath Better,” and a few others along that line. But, I just didn’t want my shirts to appeal to those with asthma. I wanted Haika Clothing to appeal to everyone. One day it just hit me. “Take Control.” It was perfect. It obviously applied to asthmatics, but you could also apply it to anyone and everyone. What I mean by that is if you have a dream or want to accomplish a goal in your life, you shouldn’t let anything get in the way of that. Do what you love, and don’t stop doing it no matter what people say. That’s true, nothing should get between you and your dreams!

Did you come up with the design of the T-Shirts? I really do love them!
Although I am no Picasso when it comes to drawing, I did come up with the design myself. When thinking of a logo, I wanted something sleek, clean, and modern. I did some research on some other clothing brands and came up with something that I loved and would be proud to wear. After various versions of the logo, I finally decided on the company’s current logo. Which I am very proud of!

Here are some of the T-Shirts that are available from Haika, all displaying the Haika logo!

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What about sending the T-shirts? Can you send the shirts to the UK and other countries?
Currently right now we ship to the U.K, Canada and Australia. But, if anyone would like us to ship to another country, we can easily add it to the website. Just send us and email to info@haikaclothing.com. We do only the U.K and Canada right now because that is where we are getting most of our request at the moment.

Justin, if you could give one piece of advice to someone newly diagnosed with asthma, what would it be?
That’s an easy one. Don’t let asthma hold you back. Life with asthma is tough, but I know for a fact it has made me tougher mentally and physically. And that is so true! When you have asthma, you have to be aware of all your triggers, how you are feeling but despite that, you shouldn’t stop living your life to the full!

I would like to thank Justin for taking the time to do an interview for MyLungsMyLife, and I really hope that this helps you on your way to greater awareness!

And just for everyone’s information, Haika Clothing is on Instagram and twitter, both handles are @haikaclothing and you can also like Haika Clothing’s page on Facebook!

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3 thoughts on “Interview with Justin, the founder of Haika Clothing

  1. Hi Jenni,

    It was great interviewing with you, and thank you so much for spreading the awareness of asthma with me. I just wanted to let everyone know for the holidays we will be running a promotion. No discount codes needed! Discount is already taken off! Save over 25% on all our shirts.

    Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter 🙂

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