We’re excited to kick off our newest blog series… highlighting our awesome retailers and the people who carry STATE in their stores! We’ll be talking to the store owners, the people who carefully curate their store collections, about what inspires them and what THEY carry in their bags.

To start us off, we have an amazing interview with Bianca Freda of Interwoven in Asbury Park, New Jersey. 

SB: When you opened your store, what was one thing you hoped to bring to customers above all else?

BF: My shop is in downtown Asbury Park, the town that I live in, which I love. The town was once a huge beach destination for New Yorkers, politicians and musicians.  Following its periods of being a lucrative beach destination, it unfortunately suffered from race riots and all the hardship that comes along with things of this nature.  Many people since the ‘70s race riots had attempted to revitalize the town, but never made huge progress; or the progress was hard to detect among all the crime, poverty and dismal surroundings. It finally seems to have made a turn in the right direction. My husband and I moved here about 3 years ago, and since we moved we’ve seen so many positive changes.  I loved the feeling of the small community we have here, it’s almost like a family. You walk into the coffee shop and recognize almost everyone in there. I could sense that there was a huge demand for people to want to shop locally and stay in town for all their needs, but there really wasn’t a place to do that. I wanted to create one more reason to not have to leave town, so Interwoven was “born.” I always wanted to open my own shop, but once we moved to Asbury Park, everything else seemed to click. We all need things, and if the things we need can bring a little good to someone else, even better. Our mission is to provide well crafted products at fair prices and if they give back, well that just moves them up our list. State Bags is definitely one of our favs :)  

SB: What inspires the look behind your store?

BF: The fixtures, the displays, the products– they all have a story, a soul of sorts. I like to give new life or repurpose things. I hate wastefulness.  

SB: If you could give advice to yourself ten years ago, what would it be?

BF: Follow your gut and don’t worry– things will work out.

SB: At our bag drop rallies, our STATE PackMen/Women share stories of things they carry in their bag that tells a lot about their journey in life and may even surprise their closest friends. What’s one thing you carry in your bag that’s made you the person you are today?

BF: My daily planner– Yep, I’m a paper girl.  A list isn’t a list until it’s written down.  Without my planner, I feel all over the place– I don’t know where to start my day. I guess it’s not that crazy besides the fact that everyone makes fun of me for it.  I need to write it down and check if off with my favorite Muji pen in order for it to feel real. 

Follow Interwoven’s (gorgeous) Instagram: @interwovenap.

asbury park, buy local, givebackpack, interwoven, local fashion, retailers