New Hampshire Apparel is a collaboration between the two of us, Michael Cirelli and Chase Downie. It really started in Chase’s college dorm in 2014 but back then she called it SoChaseful Products. Chase wanted to make something that would represent her home state of New Hampshire in a cool way. She knew from growing up there that NH natives and visitors alike have a strong love and pride for the state. However, she felt there weren’t a lot of options for people to show off that pride. Besides the tie-dye moose shirts you can buy at the liquor store, of course. Despite having arguably the coolest state motto around, there just wasn’t much out there in the way of cool New Hampshire merch. So, Chase taught herself to screen print and made an Etsy shop called SoChaseful Products where she sold shirts featuring New Hampshire themed designs. Over the next year, her sales started extending beyond just friends and family, and she expanded her stock to include a couple more designs and clothing items. But that’s where Michael came in, and New Hampshire Apparel as you know it came into being.
The two of us already knew each other well. Chase was (and still is!) an assistant at Michael's wedding photography practice. Michael had heard Chase talk about the process of her designs, seen her Etsy shop’s progress, and observed the same deficit in cool New Hampshire merch. Both of us had experience building and representing brands for others in our respective careers as a photographer and graphic designer. Seeing the seeds of a brand in Chase’s Etsy shop; Michael thought, “Why not us?” Why not build a brand for ourselves, and for New Hampshire, that could expand on what Chase was making, and become something real that could express the pride that people feel for the Granite State?
So, in the summer of 2015, we started planning our brand. Chase came up with a few initial designs, we found a local print shop to produce the clothes, and Michael shot some images of the first items. In October of the same year, we started the New Hampshire Apparel site and social media and started selling our stuff online. With the support of our incredible friends and family that critiqued, modeled, and endlessly purchased the designs, New Hampshire Apparel has grown into the brand it is today. From the start in Chase’s dorm, to the first few debut designs, New Hampshire Apparel has gotten to collaborate with other amazing local brands, now features more than 20 designs on 100+ products, is sold in multiple retailers (including Newbury Comics,) and continues to expand and grow every day.
We are New Hampshire Apparel. It’s still just the two of us designing the products, shooting the photos, managing production and shipping, and pouring our hearts into this brand. Thanks to your support, we get to keep doing what we love – showing how cool New Hampshire really is.
Thank you, and keep livin’ free!
-Chase and Michael