TFC News

Fil-Am clothing entrepreneur shares success behind Sago Studio

Rommel Conclara Abs| TFC News San Jose, California

Posted at Jan 28 2023 11:03 AM

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What started as a passion project between two friends Brian Hwang and Fil-Am Janibert Ryan Acio has turned into a growing and successful clothing brand called Sago Studio.

But it was the 2020 coronavirus pandemic that helped push these entrepreneurs to fully embrace their business. While Acio lost his shipping and receiving position, Hwang left his job as a respiratory technician to focus on building Sago.

They say they don't have any regrets about losing their day jobs and are now proud of the brand they've created. 

"Sago Studio is a clothing brand which represents where we came from and our roots," Acio shared.

Hwang said they came up with the name "because we like the typography of the word together and we liked how it flowed like the simplicity of it."

Sago gear has been sported by professional athletes like NBA champion Golden State Warriors Jordan Poole, All-Star Ja Morant of the Memphis Grizzlies, and Deebo Samuel of the San Francisco 49ers.

Musicians such as Fil-Am Rapper P-Lo and Filipino Canadian RNB Group Manila Grey also wear Sago.

"In the beginning, we used to reach out to a bunch of artists and athletes. JB would send out like a hundred messages and maybe we would get one or two back. But now we have them DM'ing us which is crazy," Hwang said.

Aside from the San Francisco Bay Area, Southern California, and Hawaii, Sago gets orders from Japan and the Philippines.

Even with their newfound success, Acio always stays grounded and follows his mother's lead in giving back to fellow Filipinos.  

"My mom always sends out balikbayan boxes every year so now she doesn't get to spend her own money. Now we just donate to her and give back to the community," Acio said.

Acio and Hwang say they're ready to take Sago to new heights especially with the love and support of their families and the community. 

"This is important to us because this is what we love doing. This is us literally chasing our dream," Hwang noted. "Now there’s a lot of people who depend on us to come up with new stuff. That's enough reason for us to keep going and never stop."

As Sago continues to create more products, they are also looking to expand their brand by opening stores hopefully in Hawaii and in the Bay Area.