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Hawks Hurst

Hawks Hurst

P. O. Box 164
Massapequa, 11762
Phone: (800) 985-9792
Fax (516) 977-5902


Tom Barrella and Sueli Schmitt, Co-Owners

Years in Business: We’ve just begun.

Business Description: We design and produce premium embroidered and washed community-themed apparel.

How did you get into this business? The two of us wanted to start a business that played on our strengths. Sueli: I have a background in fashion design and production in my native country of Brazil. Tom: I’ve been in business before and I’m currently in a high school setting where I witness the tremendous pride students and parents have in their schools and communities.

What is your favorite memory of doing business on Long Island? Being profiled by Long Island Press.

How are you different from your competition? Tom: Over the past few years of observing what students wear, I’ve often envisioned them wearing school apparel that was much nicer than the typical silk-screened or ironed-on shirt. Sueli: So, we developed several boys shirts starting with the selection of an amazing brushed cotton and continuing with decisions about the fit, stitching, embroidery and wash. The shirts that resulted from this effort are truly the best money can buy. For the girls, we’ve taken a slightly different path with the creation of rhinestone designs that we apply to a selection of shirts. We both feel that quality can’t be compromised. We wouldn’t want to be in business if we had to sell just another shirt.

What is your best-selling item? Our Syosset Athletics 2010 shirt. We do most of our selling through school fundraisers where students and parents can see and feel their quality.

Tell us about your website? Can people shop online? Yes, our shirts can be purchased online through our eBay store. The store comes up when you visit We are keeping our costs down in every area except for our product design and development. EBay is a great vehicle to do this while still providing customers with a familiar and secure shopping experience. As a result, we can still sell premium shirts for a competitive price.

What is your favorite thing about living on Long Island? Tom: It has to be the water. We live on a canal on the South Shore and the sea life in the Great South Bay is just amazing. We’ve had our share of blue claws, clams and mussels this past summer. There are all kinds of interesting sea creatures in the bay that we enjoy observing. Sueli: It is a perfect place for kids to grow up. The quietness and the peace we have here is exactly what we wanted for our kids. We can truly enjoy where we live. The kids love to see the squirrels and the sea-life around us.

What is your favorite local restaurant? Piccolo’s in Bellmore. Great food in a laid back environment.

Hamptons or Fire Island? Fire Island.

Do you have a Long Island accent? Sueli: No, still Brazilian! Tom: After spending college upstate and several years in Atlanta, I’m sorry to say my accent didn’t make it.

Bill Joel, Mariah, or Run DMC? Tom: Billy all the way! Who else could write “Son, can you play me a memory?” Sueli: Who’s Run DMC?

We think the Long Island Press is a great paper and we share your love of Long Island. We’ve designed a gorgeous navy Long Island shirt that will allow readers to show their Long Island pride in style. To recognize Long Island Press’ readers, we’re offering a special price on the Long Island shirt at our eBay store for the week this issue is on the stands!

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