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Local Artists Popularize Pop-up Festival

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Artist “Traptavian” performed at Stovefest in February. (Photo by Kacie Skelton)

Artist “Traptavian” performed at Stovefest in February. (Photo by Kacie Skelton)

Artist “Traptavian” performed at Stovefest in February. (Photo by Kacie Skelton)

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Senior Owen White has dedicated the past three years to growing his personal brand, Stove, which consists of clothing, accessories, and stickers in his own creative design. To do so, he hosts small festivals around Little Rock, dubbed “Stovefests”, where his clothes are for sale. Owen’s brand has grown considerably since he organized his first Stovefest during the summer of 2016.

“It started as an art show in my backyard,” Owen said. “It was a huge success. I turned a surprising profit.”

Stovefest is more than just a pop-up sale; the event features talented local artists and musicians. Both the August 2017 and February 2018 Stovefests had live musical performances.

“We hit up some musicians we had seen in shows through Instagram,” Owen said. “My friend who runs a music and art festival called Optica helped me with the lineup.”

Funding Stovefests is a task in itself; Owen has to pay for performances, venues, and materials to produce his clothing.

“At the August event, we only had a donation bucket, so we couldn’t pay the performers what I had wanted to,” Owen said, “but at the most recent Stovefest in February, there was a door fee to help with funding.”

In August, Owen hosted Stovefest at a friend’s house, but since the event has gained popularity, he’s moved to the Afrodesia Studio of Performing Arts.

“We paid $350 for four hours in the space,” Owen said, “which I paid for with Stove earnings and personal paychecks from my job. I turned a 200 percent profit.”

Owen hopes to continue popularizing his brand through social media and making his name known in the community.

“I put signs up around the school and neighborhoods in the Heights and Hillcrest,” Owen said.

The next Stovefest will take place very soon at the Afrodesia Studio. Follow @stove.tops on Instgram for updates and design previews.

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