Pacific Athletic Wear
When numbers started falling off the uniforms during their son’s YMCA basketball game, John and Gabriela Hillenbrand saw there was a need to produce better uniforms. To fill this need, they started Pacific Athletic Wear (PAW) in 1994.
Pacific Athletic Wear (PAW) manufactures high-quality basketball uniforms for high school and college teams. The Hillenbrand’s started this business out in a garage, then expanded and moved to a small facility in Santa Ana, CA.
Their reputation for quality and service grew and new orders came in by word of mouth. Soon they became an approved vendor for NIKE. Three of the Final Four NCAA teams wore uniforms from PAW last year.
In 2004, John and Gabriela decided to acquire two companies that complemented their business. John sought out a professional business consultant. “The information I paid for really wasn’t useful,” he says. “A friend recommended that I call SCORE.”
Jack McSunas of Orange County SCORE helped John and Gabriela negotiate the purchase of both companies. He advised them on their business plan, which led to a $1.5 million loan.
When they ran out of production space, they leased a building three times larger. Jack James, another Orange County SCORE mentor, developed the plant layout for the sewing, screen printing, heat transfer machine, storage racks and mezzanine.
Gabriela says, “We couldn’t have made this expansion work without the team from SCORE, and the assistance and follow-up they provided.” John adds, “They were totally committed to helping us succeed.”