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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

670 Rock Steady Shop moves to new site in Gualo Rai

Brand owners and designers of merchandise at the 670 Rock Steady Shop pose for a group photo at their new location next to NMPASI at the Gualo Rai Plaza last Thursday. (Clarissa V. David) 670 Rock Steady Shop, the leading apparel store that’s proudly home-grown, has moved to a new and bigger location, giving its customers a spacious and more comfortable place to shop for their clothing needs.

From its humble beginnings with only four shirt designs at its previous 780-square-foot location, 670 Rock Steady Shop now carries over 500 designs at its larger 2,500-square-foot store site at the Gualo Rai Plaza, next to the Northern Marianas Protection and Advocacy Systems, Inc. or NMPASI.

670 Rock Steady Shop, which revolutionized the local clothing scene, features nine brands by local artists: Magas and Stressfree by Frankie Cabrera; Poksu and Marianas Built by Angel Demapan; Solid and Pongai by Elen Del Rosario; Is. Brand, Balas, and Marianas Wear by Jesse Tudela; Atdit by Eric Palacios; Lakas Tama by Ron Mostales; Island Rebel by Dan and Theresa Taylor Worswick; Green Minded by Carlo Quezon; and Konflikt by Norman Del Rosario.

The shop is owned and managed by husband-and-wife tandem Frankie and May Ann Cabrera.

“This is the people’s shop because there’s so much people involved in the business. We have our own brands and we have other vendors that also sell their brands,” said Frankie in an interview at the new location.

According to Frankie, it took them about a year to find the perfect location for their shirt retail and printing business.

“We always wanted our printing business to be alongside the shop so we can provide our clientele with customized shirts,” Frankie said. “We wanted a place where we can promote our passion, our love for art. It’s a good business because it shows our commitment to our people.”

Frankie, who previously worked as a social worker, said his passion for art pulled him away from his career in psychology. In 2007, he began designing for Magas and Stressfree CNMI brands.

For their business to thrive amid the economic downturn on the islands is a big accomplishment, according to Frankie. “I feel very blessed and very honored to promote my homeland with my love for art. It’s very important to see that I can do what I love and promote the islands at the same time. I just feel fortunate to do that.”

With about half of 670 Rock Steady Shop’s clientele base islanders who have moved to the mainland and other parts of the globe, Frankie said they are now working on setting up their online shop. “We’ve already laid the foundation, which is this location.”

Eric Palacios, who teaches at Hopwood Jr. High School, began designing in 2006 when he was still in Hawaii and has done designs for many government agencies and organizations. These days, when he’s not in the classroom, Palacios designs for his own brand, Atdit, an expression in Chamorro which means “too much of everything—looks, attitude, lifestyle.”

“I think moving to our new location will really help the business more. It reminds me of Ala Moana and Pearlridge malls in Hawaii. It’s very promising and I’m pretty sure a lot of people are going to be amazed,” said Palacios.

Husband-and-wife duo Daniel and Theresa Taylor Worswick, on the other hand, started doing designs for their own family. Now they have designs for men’s, women’s, and children’s apparel under their very own brand, Island Rebel.

“I’m actually pretty satisfied with our new location. It’s bigger so it’s better so we can accommodate a lot of our merchandise, from shirts and polo shirts to board shorts and hats,” said Theresa.

Daniel said that designing for Island Rebel is “not really about the money but the passion for art.” “Wear it with pride. Wear it because you want to, because you’re an islander,” he said.

Christmas sale

Besides its new location, 670 Rock Steady Shop customers can also look forward to the store’s Christmas Smash Sale, which started on Dec. 2 and will last through the holidays.

The store offers 10- to 25-percent off on shirts, jackets and hoodies, hats, stickers, bags, sunglasses, shell necklaces, and other accessories.

Visit 670 Rock Steady Shop at their new location next to NMPASI at Gualo Rai Plaza. They are open Monday to Thursday from 9am to 7pm, Friday from 9pm to 8pm, Saturday from 11am to 8pm, and Sunday from 11am to 5pm.

For more information, call 233-2677.

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