The idea for Pinay Clothing was born in October 1995 at a Filipino event (Festival of Pilipino Arts and Culture to be exact). I was at a friend’s booth telling him he should make “pinay” shirts since there were only “pinoy” shirts being sold at the time. After some (possible annoying?) pestering he finally suggested that I should just make/sell Pinay shirts myself.
Although I initially decided to make shirts because I wanted to rock them myself, it became more than that. My business parter and I were able to travel and we enjoyed making numerous fellow Filipino/Fil-Americans from around the country. In many of those same events, folks told me over and over again how wearing a Pinay t-shirt, along with other Filipino themed/branded gear that existed at the time, was a great and easy way for them to represent their pride through fashion. I noticed it was extra special for those who lived in areas that had little Filipino representation.
After graduating college (big-ups, LMU), Pinay tapered off into existence as I decided to follow other passions, including working with young people. By sheer luck I found a job that brought my love of business and helping kids, as an Assistant Director for an entrepreneurship program run by students at Crenshaw High School (love to my old Food from the Hood kids). It was and still is one of the most gratifying experiences of my life.
I am now bringing back Pinay because the idea has tugged at me repeatedly the last few years and because it never really left. I still have so many plans I would like to manifest into creation. One of the most important is figuring out a way how Pinay will partner/work with and donate to local community organizations, programs and non-profits regularly. This will obviously happen on a much bigger scale when Pinay starts turning a profit, but I have started on a smaller scale as I work on my return to the market.
Happy to be back,
“Don’t call it a comeback, I’ve been here for years…” - James Todd Smith (Hello, LL)