When a sprained ankle forced Jen John, an Emmy-winning filmmaker and former news reporter, to sit on her couch for a few days, she spent her recovery thinking of what she wanted to do next. Her video production company Fresh Media had made two feature documentaries, but she had always wanted to have a e-commerce retail shop. "I'm passionate about sustainable design, and I couldn't find fashionable clothes designed specifically for hot, humid, buggy climates like New Orleans."
She launched Pang Wangle (which means "to go along cheerfully despite minor misfortunes") in December 2017 with one product, the Journey Scarf, which was an infinity scarf made of recycled plastic that contained a hidden pocket. The start-up has expanded to sell leggings, wraps, and scarves all with built-in Insect Shield, offering odorless bug protection while in New Orleans and beyond. The versatile Essential Wrap (which is six feet long) and the Featherlight Infinity Scarf recently launched in January 2020, offering an elegant solution to biting insects.
The partnership between Pang Wangle and Insect Shield came naturally. "It's a safe and effective solution," John says. It was originally developed by the U.S. military and has been mainly used for the military, safari clothes, and backwood camping clothes. The products will repel pests like mosquitoes, ticks, fleas, and ants and is EPA approved for everyone including infants, children, pregnant women, and nursing women. The shield lasts 70-plus washes.
"Women will feel beautiful and protected, which is the recipe for enjoying yourself when the bugs are biting. We don't always think about biting insects or diseases spread by insects until we are sitting there getting bit and slathering on our second round of bug spray."
Pang Wangle is also passionate about sustainability, using recycled or all natural fibers including silk, tencel, and linen. All of the clothing is made in the United States.
The products can be purchased on their website, as well as Amazon. To celebrate the launch of the latest products, Pang Wangle is hosting a tropical-themed party at the Tchoup Yard Patio Bar on Thursday, March 5 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. The event is open to the public (21 and over) and will feature tropical drinks, giveaways, and more. Pang Wangle will donate 20% of profits from the pop-up shop to Zeus' Rescues, a local animal rescue organization.