Sunday, February 2, 2014




Somewhere when they said 2013 was outa' here, I had visions of a great new beginning for 2014.... as in the weather department for starters.

We've had enough of the economy, enough of the politics and now we have certainly had enough of this weather. The hammock is frozen in place, the palm tree is covered in snow and I just don't picture shovelin' snow in shorts and an aloha shirt.... somehow it just doesn't seem right. Thought it was supposed to be flip flops and sandy beaches.

As Jimmy once said, it's time to hit the reboot key..... so heck with mother nature, the heck with that rodent up north, come on what does a ground hog know about the weather anyway.

Remember spring is just 45 days away so it's time to get geared up and be ready for some fun in the sun,


That's right it's 2 degrees and that ain't sand under the palm tree! When we say we're chillin', we mean it.

So hang in there SPRING is just around the corner and we've got lots of new exciting NEW things for this year.






Saturday, January 19, 2013


Aloha and welcome to a great new year (we're all way over due).

We just returned from our annual buying trip and the show was bigger and better than ever more and new vendors and more buyers than that past few years. We found many really great new ideas and new merchandise for this season and can't wait to get started. Unfortunately we still do not have our web site back up but are trying. 

Remember Casual Friday in the work place really started and means Aloha Shirt Friday. The beginning of this tradition started back in 1962  when Hawaii legislators approved the wearing of Aloha shirts during the summer months for the sake of comfort (Read More). And a tradition was born and spread through out the United States. 




We hope to see you all soon. For now we are on winter hours meaning open Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday.



Mahalo



Saturday, March 17, 2012

What's in a Name



Ya know, just the other day a good friend of mine asked me just where did the name for Smilin' Jake's come from and just what possessed me to put a "Hawaiian" clothing store in Rock Hall. (As for those that don't know where Rock Hall, MD is that's another time and another story.)

I said man, I thought everyone know who "Jake" was. Well it all started with the local video store. I walked in there one night to drop off a tape and this little fury thing came bounding out from behind the counter. Seems the owners had this Keeshond that just had a litter of pups. Well, we played with him a bit and said see ya, I have a movie to watch. Well, took the tape back the next day and there was this ball of fur again and that was it, he had a new home. Now for the name, he was pure bred so he needed a proper name which after some thought it came to me, Jacob Austin Kees Esquire or JAKE. If you know keeshonds you know that they are known for their grin so the nick name Smilin' Jake was born. For you dog lovers Jake was one of the happiest and friendliest dogs you could ever know and my best friend.

As to the Hawaiian clothing in a small waterman's town on the upper Chesapeake Bay, well that started as a combination of the love of Aloha Shirts and the whole west coast car and surf scene since the 60's and living in a very cool town with the lack of shops. To me it was something like putting 1 & 1 together to equal 2. We had water and tourist which to meant lets give it a try......if nothing else I would have a good selection for my closet. Now, it was time to name the store and that was easier than deciding to open a store. There sat Jake with his typical Hawaiian print scarf on staring at me with the big toothy smile and so the name and store where born "Smilin' Jake's".



Tuesday, November 22, 2011




After the Lighted Boat Parade then it's time for the Main Street Christmas Party and we will be there and we hope to see you there.








Monday, November 21, 2011

Rock Hall Parade of Lights



That time of year when Santa arrives by workboat followed by the lighted boat parade. Then a short ride to main street to let the kids meet santa and mom and dad to do a little christmas shopping.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Small Business Saturday



I don't usually put something like this out there however I read this the other day and thought it made some sense and since "Small Business Saturday" will be here soon November 26, 2011. I thought I would put this out there.

Christmas 2011 -- Birth of a New Tradition As the holidays approach, the giant Asian factories are kicking into high gear to provide Americans with monstrous piles of cheaply produced goods that will be sold by the big chain shores nation wide. Merchandise that has been produced at the expense of American labor.

So....lets help make this year and many years from now be a little different. This year Americans should give the gift of genuine concern for other Americans who know's what you purchase could make a difference to your neighbor. There is no longer an excuse that nothing can be found that is produced by American hands and or sold by your local small retail store. Maybe you have to look a little harder but just look around. I know this to be true because I run a store that 80% of what we sell each year is "MADE IN THE U. S. A."

It's also time to think outside the box, people. Who says a gift needs to fit in a shirt box, wrapped in Chinese produced wrapping paper? Everyone, yes EVERYONE gets their hair cut. How about gift certificates from your local American hair salon or barber? Gym membership? It's appropriate for all ages who are thinking about some health improvement and who wouldn't appreciate getting their car detailed? Small, American owned detail shops and car washes would love to sell you a gift certificate or a book of gift certificates.

You say thats all good but you wanted to get a flat-screen or other electronics that just aren't made here, that's OK but look to your neighborhood electronics store before you go looking in that mega store, remember your neighbor is more likly to answer your question than the guy that says, what number are you? Perhaps that grateful gift receiver would like his driveway sealed, or lawn mowed for the summer, or driveway plowed all winter, or games at the local golf course.

There are a bazillion owner-run restaurants all offering gift certificates. And, if your intended isn't the fancy eatery sort, what about a half dozen breakfasts at the local breakfast joint. Remember, folks this isn't about big National chains.... this is about supporting your home town Americans with their financial lives on the line to keep their doors open. How many people couldn't use an oil change for their car, truck or motorcycle, done at a shop run by the American working guy?

Thinking about a heartfelt gift for mom? Mom would LOVE the services of a local cleaning lady for a day. My computer could use a tune-up, and I know I can find some young guy who is struggling to get his repair business up and running.

OK, you were looking for something more personal. Local crafts people spin their own wool and knit them into scarves. They make jewelry, and pottery and beautiful wooden boxes.

I know you say American made cost more, not always, in some cases it may even cost less. Besides maybe instead of buying 6 gifts you get 2 really well made gifts that will be loved for a long time to come. Plan your holiday outings at local, owner operated restaurants and leave your server a nice tip. And, how about going out to see a play or ballet at your hometown theatre. Musicians need love too, so find a venue showcasing local bands and go have a listen. And don't forget to leave a little something for the mailman, trash guy or babysitter they work hard all year too.

You see, Christmas should no longer be about draining American pockets so that China can build another glittering city. Christmas should be where we begin caring about our neighbors, our towns and our communities and encouraging American small businesses to keep plugging away to follow their dreams. And, when we care about other Americans, we care about our communities, and the benefits come back to us in ways we couldn't imagine.

This SHOULD BE the new American Christmas tradition, think SMALL BUSINESS.

video

Friday, April 1, 2011

We keep getting asked......where did it all begin???


We keep getting asked...... ......where did it all begin? The Hawaiian or "Aloha Shirt" that is. Well there are probably as many stories about its beginnings as there are about "Big Foot" and "flying saucers". However, one thing that is for certain, Tommy Bahama or Ralph Lauren had nothing to due with it. The one common denominator with the stories is that this all began in the early 30's by a man named Ellery Chun. Chun was born in Hawaii in 1909 and died June 2000 at the age of 91 (no finger counting required). Also, Mr. Chun was the person for coining the frase "Aloha Shirt". For many years before this, locals where making a similar styled shirt for their families and friends but he was the man that made it famous and we do mean famous. Hands down the "Aloha Shirt" is the noted as the most recognizable clothing style the world over. The story goes on to tell of collaboration between a salesperson of the Honolulu Advertiser Newspaper and Mr. Chun to coin the phrase "Aloha Shirt". The future success of the Aloha Shirt was assured after placing one of his sister's designed, short-sleeved shirts in his shop's window with a sign that read "Aloha Shirt". This all began when he and his sister fashioned a rather loose fitting short sleeved shirt from some brightly colored left-over kimono fabric. They hung it in the shop's front window with a sign that read "Aloha Shirt" and the rest is history. Then on July 15, 1936 he registered the name "Aloha" as a trade name and began marketing a variety of these brightly colored shirts. With this a whole new industry was created for the islands and one in which the islands take much pride. The shirts where scooped up by the local residents and surfers at first because of their comfort in the warm climate. The tourists then followed and wanted to be part of the whole scene. Then after WWII ended many of the military personel that where stationed there further spread the word as they returned home with their own collection.... More to follow................

Saturday, March 5, 2011



Greetings!

All right you "Fruitcakes" I know many of you have been to "The Party at the End of the World" and the day after where wishing you were sitting at a "Beach House on the Moon". However, all you were looking for was "A License to Chill" but instead you ended up on a "Salty Piece of Land" with a "Bama Breeze" rufflin' you feathers. Linda & I would like to remind everyone that we are not "On the Far Side of the World". All that we ask is if you passed "Summerzcool" and then maybe went on to "Domino College" then you are ready for a road trip and some "Tiki Time".

"Don't Stop the Carnival" but instead dig out the paddles, dust off that 58' VW bus or thumb it if you must, but make your way to Rock Hall this weekend. The
ROCK HALL EXPO is back. The date: Saturday March, 5th; the place: The Rock Hall Fire House. Oh yea, don't forget Smilin' Jake's, we've got some of the last sales of this season.

So you got the date, time and place. So, pretend that your "Off To See The Lizard" at the "Outpost". Come "Sit Under the Big Top" (not exactly) but there will be a roof over your head so if the weather changes like a "Chameleon Carnival" no worries.

Mahalo,

Jack & Linda
Smilin' Jake's

(Oh ya, "Welcome to Finn Land" this year, we won't be able to see you there but maybe we will see you in Rock Hall.)