Printing Since 1975
Of course, it hasn’t always just been t-shirt printing at Hardin Graphics. Arleen Behr the mother of Bill Hardin, Michael Hardin, Steve Hardin, Otto Behr and Fred Behr started up a bag business called Behr Bags in the mid 1960s. She is also affectionately called Ma Behr by family, friends and the Costa Mesa community. Rather than book bags we now print T-shirts for promotion. Maybe, it is time to bring the book bag back!
Costa Mesa Business
She is one of the first female entrepreneurs in the Newport Beach area. Her business took plain canvas and had it sewn by local seamstresses into bags of various sizes and shapes. The bags were used for all kinds of purposes. Many of these bags were used as promotional items for local businesses.
Screen Printing Bags
She is also believed to be the inventor of the bicycle bag, or at least the first to bring the bags to the Costa Mesa and Newport Beach area. The bags were screen printed on by her sons at Hardin Graphics. Hardin graphics printed anything from t-shirts to bags to skateboards to surfboards and still do to this day.
Early Newport Beach, California Days
Equally important as being a business women Mrs. Behr was a mother to 5 boys who attended public school in Newport Beach, California. In August, before school started she would send the older boys Bill, Michael and Steve to Atkinson’s store — called simply Atkinson’s along Via Lio to get new clothes and be outfitted for school as young gentlemen. Gordy Atkinson, the owner would take really good care of her sons. He would dress them in the fashions such as button down collared shirts, slacks, cashmere sweaters and clothing. more clothing reminiscent of the look one would expect to find at a. New England university.
Screen Printing by the Hardin Boys
Absent are loud colors, hip stylings or anything that smacks of attitude. Even though these boys had plenty of attitude! For the most part the boys remember being treated like royalty except for the time, Mr. Atkinson “balled them out” for wandering down to BIDWELLS, a local competitor to check out the cool clothes. Ma Behr not only was a customer of Atkinson’s Store but also a vendor creating the store canvas bags. The screen printing was done by these same boys at Hardin Graphics. Hardin Graphics printed this logo on Ma Behr’s promotional tote bags for the store around 1975