Copyright © 2020 Albuquerque Journal
Family-owned company FS2 Supply Co. has been making a name for itself with authentic New Mexico merchandise, such as a T-shirt emblazoned with the word “Oralé,” a local catch phrase that takes on different meanings according to the occasion.
Now, the Santa Fe-based company is stepping up to help victims of the coronavirus pandemic with a T-shirt that says “Juntos,” the Spanish word for “together.”
The company, which is run by Eric Griego, his wife Kelly and his sister Clarissa Lovato, has dropped the price on short-sleeved T-shirts from $25 to $20 for the Juntos design and is donating 100% of the proceeds to the All Together New Mexico Fund.
“As soon as this pandemic hit, we were gearing up for spring season. We had launched new items and we got stuck with inventory,” said Eric Griego. “We were worried about where our next paycheck was coming from.”
During a brainstorming session about the future of the largely online retailer (fs2supplyco.com), Lovato pointed out to her brother that there are people who need more help than the Griego/Lovato family, Griego said in a recent telephone interview.
That led Griego to design the New Mexico Together Juntos T-shirt. Sales of the fundraising shirt have allowed the company to write a check for $1,000 to the fund that is helping New Mexicans respond to and recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. The fund is being administered by the Santa Fe Community Foundation.
Life is pretty crazy for the Griego family these days. Kelly Griego, who is a third-grade teacher at Chaparral Elementary School in Santa Fe, is conducting long-distance learning with 23 students.
In the meantime, Eric Griego is trying to run his businesses, which include graphics firm Firestik Studio, while juggling parenting duties with Kelly for their three children, who are homebound all the time because of the stay-at-home orders.
The Griegos feel bereft because their daughter Alexa didn’t have a real-life graduation this year when she finished up at St. Michael’s High School in Santa Fe. To help heal the wound, the family created a tribute page on the company website to honor graduating seniors: https://fs2supplyco.com/2020-nm-graduates/
The portraits of high school and college graduates from around the state are alphabetized by first name, ranging from Abenicio at Cottonwood Classical Prep to Zachary at Pojoaque Valley High School.
During the next few weeks, FS2 Supply will randomly select multiple graduates featured on its website to receive a free NM Zia Storm Grey hoodie. The winners will be posted on the company’s Facebook and Instagram pages, and the hoodie will be sent to each of the winners.
“Giving back to the community is the best way to get through this,” Eric Griego said.
In February, the company decided to make its holiday pop-up store at 1012 Marquez Place in The Lofts of Santa Fe a permanent retail location, based on the success of its 2019 selling season.
Until the COVID crisis hit, retail hours were 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays in the two-story loft, which also houses Firestik Studio.
Griego said and his family opened FS2 Supply in July 2017 in response to the poor quality of New Mexico-themed merchandise sold by corporate-owned retailers.
“New Mexicans have a lot of pride in their state. We felt like there was a need for more good-looking New Mexico-themed gifts,” Griego told Journal North in a November 2019 interview. The merchandise is printed in Albuquerque and Santa Fe, he said.
In previous years, FS2 Supply has been a vendor at such events as Pancakes on the Plaza, a community event sponsored every July 4 by the Rotary Club, and Oktoberfest in Red River.
This year’s Pancakes on the Plaza has been canceled because of coronavirus concerns, while Red River’s Oktoberfest, which is scheduled for Oct. 9-11, is still on, according to the Red River Chamber of Commerce’s website, even though other popular events in the town have been canceled, including the Memorial Day Motorcycle Rally.