Dayna Inc’s Un-Hawaiian Shirts.

By: Liesl Greathouse.

MONTROSE (December 5)–For anyone looking for a unique gift idea this holiday season, a Hawaiian-style shirt may be just the thing.  But forget about flowers and ukeleles.  Instead, discover a Hawaiian-style shirt made with bike, dog, mountain, car, space or retro fabric prints, handmade by Dayna Greathouse, owner of Dayna Inc.

Above, one of Dayna’s shirts depicts a Southwestern vista. Dayna Inc. carries a variety of bright, fun designs and creates custom orders for clients as well. Courtesy photo.

Dayna has been sewing ever since she can remember.  “My mom taught me to sew, while my grandma taught me how to knit, crochet and needlepoint,” She said.  “Thanks to them I have never had a J‑O‑B.  I have always been able to make a living doing the things I enjoy, while living in a place I love.”

Dayna has been living in the Montrose area for more than 20 years and she has been sewing professionally for 25 years.

“I have sewn computer luggage, dust covers, tipi accessories and designer bags made out of up-cycled materials,” She explained.

Dayna started Dayna Inc. in 2001 to sell her shirts.  “You can thank my husband for the idea to make these types of shirts,” She said.  “He liked the style of Hawaiian shirts but not all the ‘flowers’.  He started finding other types of prints that he liked and had me make them into his version of a Hawaiian shirt.” A lot of other people liked the idea too and, as they say, the rest is history.

Dayna’s shirts are unique because she is the only one who makes Hawaiian-style shirts out of the prints she uses.

“You will not find these shirts anywhere else,” She said.  Her shirts have always been handmade in Southwestern, Colorado, keeping the production in the United States.  Dayna also pays careful attention to small details, including matching the front pocket of each shirt to the fabric pattern, creating a seamless look.

One of the most original part of her shirts are the buttons.  Dayna tries to find coordinating buttons to go with each shirt’s fabric print, but that can be difficult.  Instead, she makes many of her own buttons out of polymer clay.  “I saw another artisan making buttons out of polymer clay and had an ‘Aha!’ moment,” She explained.

She also learned from another person how to use Shrinky Dink material to make buttons, which she uses to make more detailed creations.  “My first thought when hearing about these new techniques was, ‘Yay!  More fun things to make!’” She said.  “Now I am able to make the buttons I need without having to search around for the perfect button.”

Because of her business’ online focus, Dayna’s shirt orders come from not only all across the United States, but from all across the world–she has had orders all the way from Spain to Australia.

“I’ve had too many international orders to count,” she said.

Since her shirts come in a wide range of prints, and because of the unique quality of her shirts, Dayna has had many unusual orders.  “I have sewn shirts for a snowmobile group, a 4×4 website, and even made the official uniform shirts for a limousine company,” She said.

Dayna Inc.’s tagline is ‘Because life is not a beach…’.  Dayna tries to make shirts that fit each person’s version of ‘paradise,’ whether it be mountain biking or the solar system.  She sometimes accepts special orders from people who are looking for their perfect ‘paradise.’

“Normally a special order means a custom fit or added length to the shirt,” She said.  “But I have had people request prints.  If I can find a certain type of print, then they would like a shirt made from it.”  In response to those requests, she has made shirts with a variety of prints, such as tennis, biking, kayaking and certain breeds of dogs.

The price for one of Dayna’s shirts is $74.  For special orders, the cost varies.

For Dayna, there is no specific favorite part of making the shirts.  “The whole process has its high points,” She said.  But one of the more interesting parts is finding an unusual fabric and making buttons to match.    “It gets the artistic juices flowing and makes for a fun challenge,” She said.

Dayna wants to continue to use Dayna Inc. to provide unique shirts for people, made in the USA, that they would not be able to find anywhere else.

“I am always looking for fabric with bold designs, something that catches my eye,” She said.  “I hope to carry on having fun finding new unique prints to offer.”

For more information, go online to Daynainc.com, call 970-596-2158 or find Dayna Inc. on Facebook.