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Hawaiian Dreams

Bedding with an island theme

This story appears in the March 2000 issue of Business Start-Ups magazine.

Southern California surfer and bartender Ed McLean just couldn't get into the delicate florals or dismal pinstripes that were thwarting his quest for a cool comforter cover. So the 28-year-old decided to make his own, with an eye-catching, tropical motif to reflect his beach-infused lifestyle. He headed to a fabric store, picked out the coolest Polynesian prints he could find and took them to a tailor, who crafted a more appropriate duvet cover to grace McLean's bachelor pad.

Once McLean's surfing buddy and neighbor Doug Smith, 28, saw the spread, he was motivated to take McLean's idea to the next level. Three units away from receiving his MBA, Smith wrote a business plan and secured a loan for their blossoming idea. Both then threw in their savings to launch Dean Miller Prints LLC (formerly Dean Miller Hawaiian Island Prints, named for a legendary surfer rumored to have slept on a bed of Hawaiian flowers).

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