Nadi Fantastic is probably a familiar face to many Squamish locals. She’s been around and involved in a number of projects and businesses in the community. Now, her latest business venture, Piña Pop Printing, is set to add another splash of creative colour to the local landscape. The shop, Squamish’s first local custom clothing printing space, just opened on February 28th.
When she first moved here seven years ago, Fantastic opened Base Camp Art Studios on 2nd Avenue, which offered art classes for children in Squamish. “I met a lot of the community through teaching their kids,” she said.
After three years working at Base Camp, Fantastic worked a series of jobs in Squamish, including working as a bartender, running a restaurant and, most recently, managing a café. When it was time to move on from her café job last year, Fantastic said, she “instantly knew” that Piña Pop would be her next project.
That was eight months ago. Now, Piña Pop is open, and employs an artist, a graphic designer, a screen printer, in addition to Fantastic herself on the business end. Because the studio is run out of home, Fantastic said, her kids are active contributors as well—most notably, so far, to the company’s name. “When we were trying to figure out what names to do, my youngest daughter was, like, ‘well… you love piñas!’” she added.
Piña Pop offers two printing methods: the familiar technique of screen-printing (also known as silk-screening), and heat-press, a process which Fantastic says is best for economically producing small batches of apparel. Both methods work well with custom designs and across a variety of fabrics. Fantastic ran off a list of garments that the company could print on: shirts, hats, dresses, yoga wear … the list goes on.
Fantastic emphasizes that environmental friendliness is a key component of Piña Pop’s mission. She added that, nowadays, eco-apparel has become a much more accessible option for buyers. “As a society, we’ve learned that it’s the most expensive way,” she said. “But [some] manufacturers, who are making things properly, have found a way to keep their costs competitive across the board.”
Silk screening squeegees
In her time doing research, Fantastic has found a number of clothing companies that share her environmental vision, some of whom procure the majority of their materials and labor from North America, and built them into her vision for the brand. “I’d like to keep it as close-to-home as I can,” she said.
There’s an environmental motivation for this, of course, but when discussing her desire to help the planet, Fantastic also referenced her kids. “When we’re gone, it’s theirs,” she said. “Somehow, we have to be responsible.”
Fantastic also strives for Piña Pop to build community solidarity, especially as Squamish begins to lose some of its small-town feel. “We are turning into a bedroom community,” she said, “and the only way to hold onto our roots is to tap into as much local talent as we have and keep circulating it around.”
But in the end, Piña Pop is all about producing cool, well-designed clothing. “I’m not gonna send you some geeky shirt, that’s too short, and too wide. I’m gonna send you what’s cool, what’s comfortable, what’s ethically made.”
Find Piña Pop on the web for fresh ideas of all shapes and sizes.