THE PDP STORY
The real story of our company is well, a long story, and while there’s a lot more we could have said about PdP, we’ve kept it short-ish, simple and hopefully interesting enough for you to read ‘til the end. :)
2007: THE BIRTH OF OUR CUB
Punchdrunk Panda wasn’t the fruit of a long-term plan, instead was the result of a spontaneous thought that ICA friends and high school badminton partners Gail and Jen humored.
Our humble beginnings were on Multiply in mid-2007, where we sold only laptop sleeves made with hunted out fabric versus printed graphics. We didn’t know where things would go but we just decided to try things out with a small initial production quantity. Luckily, we did have a bit of forethought, and we decided to “brand” our products with the little branding knowledge we had then.
Why “Punchdrunk Panda”?
In all honesty, we only had two basic criteria for our brand name: that it be unique and available. We knew we wanted an icon, and back then pandas weren’t all too popular as icons yet. And being averse to nauseating amounts of cuteness, Jen tried to balance the fluffy, cuddly panda-ness with a spunky adjective, hence, “punchdrunk”. That, ladies and gentlemen, is the earth-shaking story of our brand name. Bow. Really.
2008: GOING WITH INERTIA
After producing two batches in 2007, we thought, “We’re good with having this batch as our last batch”, for our second batch. Buuuut we wound up producing a new batch anyway, and so, we acknowledged that we actually could and wanted to keep the momentum going for Punchdrunk Panda, so we did. We experimented with new features and different makes. And in late 2008, we received our first inquiry about consignment from our first retail partner, LapDance Bags, a tech gear kiosk in Trinoma!
2009: LEARNING FROM HUGE MILESTONES & MISHAPS
2 years after the conception of Punchdrunk Panda, and after going through 3 batches of constantly revised laptop sleeves, we introduced our first line of graphic designed sleeves. And that was a big step for us at PdP, because it pretty much created a new direction for our products.
We also got a lot more exposure online, and in print and TV features in the summer of 2009. We also made our products more available offline with the addition of another retail partner. This is also when we decided to incorporate the company, and entered the strange and unknown world of running a real business.
Because of the brand’s success in the first half of the year, and the other time-consuming ideas we wanted to put into action for PdP, Gail and I decided to quit our jobs midway through the year in order to focus on the business.
2010: THESE SHOES WERE MADE FOR TALKIN’
Given our relatively newfound strength in graphic-designed sleeves, Gail and Jen finally entertained a latent idea that had been brewing in our heads: graphic-designed casual ladies’ flats. Although sleeves and shoes seemed to have nothing in common, it just seemed like a natural progression for us since what we really wanted to do at this point was find unconventional canvases for graphic design that people can use, bring around, and hopefully spark conversation about.
2011: A YEAR OF CREATIVE COLLABORATION
In spite of the seemingly accidental origins of Punchdrunk Panda, we've always felt that we were more than just laptop sleeves or shoes.
2011 was the year we really cemented our purpose and passion to collaborate with like-minded Filipinos and showcase people doing things they love in hopes of inspiring others to do the same. With our artist webisodes, Community Creativity Camp, blogger hangouts, and most importantly, Anteroom Sessions, we formed a really inspiring and passionate PdP family. All these collaborations made Punchdrunk Panda’s purpose so much clearer to me, that while we might be considered an apparel brand, our aim is not to be fashion forward, but passion forward. *badum tush!*
But seriously, it feels a lot different running PdP with that purpose in mind. It kept us more driven to go on even when the going got rough.
2012: CONTINUOUS COLLABORATION & EXPLORATION
After realizing that we’ve been working to help people pursue their passions in the previous year, we’re taking this year to pursue some of our own passions as well and hopefully align them with Punchdrunk Panda.
2013: A YEAR OF DISCOVER
2012 has been a successful year for PdP. However, co-founder Jen came to her realization that she wanted to pursue a different path, something more mindful, let's say. Jen wanted to do more than collaborating with like-minded creatives through functional graphic-designed products.
Acknowledging her passion, Jen and Gail amicably agreed to split ways. It was 'business as usual' for Gail.
2014 onwards: EXPANSION & COMMITMENT FOR PHILIPPINE-MADE PRODUCTS
Jen launches muni.com.ph, a community of Cultural Creatives passionate about mindful living.
Gail launches Punchdrunk Panda in the USA!
Gail also commits to Philippine-made product, moving all production to the Philippines and only launching products that can be made in the Philippines. In so far, all PdP bags and accessories (with the exception of mobile/tablet cases and headphones) are made in the Philippines. Future products will be made locally.
The commitment to collaborate with artists or anyone passionate about design continues. :)