Marie Kondo’s decluttering ways has crossed over to Saipan and one newly launched clothing line is taking it to heart.
Businesswoman Ashley Reiko Pangelinan launched Free In Saipan in June 2019 with an eye toward simplicity and functionality.
“We want to keep our designs simple. You know the saying ‘less is more.’ We love the quality of our clothing. Very soft and easy to wear in our climate,” she told Saipan Tribune.
Like her Pualani Crown headdresses, Pangelinan said the inspiration behind Free In Saipan is the Northern Marianas’ island way of life.
“Tourists coming here want to escape the stress and hurdles of their everyday city life. They want to enjoy what Saipan has to offer—the sun, the beach and the beautiful ocean—with their friends and family. We wanted to convey that feeling, that state of mind, through our brand,” she said.
“We felt it was a great opportunity to start. We tested out our first black with white print T-shirts and the outcome was good. We had a lot of good feedback about the quality of our material,” added Pangelinan.
Free In Saipan’s first logo design were the waves inspired by the CNMI’s beautiful ocean and it came in two colors: mint with sunshine yellow print and grey with pink print.
Before long, it wasn’t just the tourists who were snapping up Free In Saipan merchandise.
“Our main target was the tourists visiting the island but we were so surprised at how many locals were supporting our clothing brand. I love the fact our community is so big in supporting local brands. I really want to thank them all for their love and support,” she said.
The popularity of the new clothing line has resulted in more designs, the latest being a new Free In Saipan logo design with a kingfisher and the word Saipan forming what appears to be a tree.
Aside from T-shirts, Free In Saipan is also busting out new aqua tank tops with new logo designs.
All these are available at Free In Saipan’s two locations on island: Boarderline and Aqua Resort Club Gift Shop.
Pangelinan said the current wave of local residents preferring to wear local brands rather than buying more known brands abroad is encouraging for an entrepreneur like her and urges other people not to be afraid of going into business.
“Be motivated, creative, and passionate in what you’re doing. And don’t be afraid to take a risk because you’re afraid to fail,” she said.
Free In Saipan will be having a Christmas sale on Dec. 20 and 21 for last-minute Christmas shoppers at The Shack. The company will be teaming up with Hood CNMI (streetwear clothing brand) and SPN.dylus670 (spondylus jewelry) on that holiday sale.
For more information, contact email@example.com or reach them on their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/freeinsaipan or on Instagram at @freeinsaipan.