EP Bar Wears: Bringing aid to the working-class citizen


Sven Kline, Contributor

Almost two months into the quarantine and a lift to the closure on the 30th of April, many workingclass citizens remain without revenue and work.    

But among the mess of today’s current situation of closed jobs and the paranoia of leaving the house, a new local business arises with the intent to aid those affected by the recessive decline of work.  EP Bar Wears (EPBW), a new trendy self-made and home-based business that aims to bring revenue to those have been negatively affected during the pandemic by endorsing other various local businesses and shops through handmade merchandise.   

EPBW is the homegrown business founded by Andy Martinez who took it upon himself to do something with new-found time during the quarantine.  

I started EP Bar Wears because I had found myself with more time to manage more projects with spending more time at home during this quarantine time.” Martinez said.  “As I was trying to come up with ideas, I came across Coel Studio, a design firm based out of Salt Lake City that had begun their own method of fundraising for their local community fund,” Martinez recounted, “They created the original Bar Wears. I was inspired by the action they took so I reached out to them to ask for some guidance so that I could start something similar in El Paso.”  Martinez then launched EPBW with fellow friends and cooperators, Kristen Brown and Jesse Maynes  

Together the trio of friends work from home to ensure all proceeds gained are donated to the Paso Del Norte Community Foundation’s El Paso Food and Beverage Workers Fund.  

We work with a print-on-demand drop-shipper for our products.”  Martinez stated.  “We are closely monitoring and communicating with our supplier for any information that could impact our production. As of now, while we can expect a minor delay in delivery, products are still being shipped and delivered. Me and my partners are fortunate enough to each be able to work on this project from our own homes. 

 Kaedama, the local renowned ramen noodle shop on Boston avenue, was the first to endorse new merchandise produced by EPBW with a new trendy t-shirt.  Now a few weeks later from release of their first product and local business partnership EPBW now has over 10 t-shirts with various El Paso brands such as Cincinnati St., fish taco shop Dia De Los Pescados, and Thicc Thoughts.  

 However, t-shirts are not the only product to be produced. 

We plan on also making our designs available for purchase as tote bags and stickers in the coming week. Additionally, if a business working with us would like their design printed on any other form of apparel, we can do that.  Martinez said.  Any businesses from bars, restaurants and coffee shops are more than welcome to reach out to us if they are interested in being featured in our online shop. This comes at no expense in their part as everyone involved in EP Bar Wears is working on a volunteer basis.  

As of  late last month, EPBW, has raised approximately $345.81 and plans to remain open as long the issue remains.  

We plan to leave the shop open as long as service industry workers continue to be impacted by the pandemic.” Martinez said.    

Whether we expand or close up is yet to be determined, as our current focus is not to personally profit.  

Sven Kline may be reached at prospector@utep.edu