Read: Blow Dat Recap
Towards the end of 2016 we saw there was room and love for Club907 to enter into the more Northern marketplace, Seattle, and there were even certain folk whom were positive we already hold on up some shelf space out in out neighboring city but that is untrue. But it was all the murmurs and rumors that sparked up the necessity to our growth in the Northwest. Rarewear is a business built on demand much like it's earlier form streetwear, that is to say that you need to create the demand but you MUST meet the demand in some capacity in order to strengthen the hype and produce mass hysteria during release dates. Either way if you don't give them a reason they'll find one not to support the vision.
That is what amazing souls like Casey Carter do, they create reasons to filter people, press and potential investors your way. She platforms that demand attention of a certain crowd and her and her team/staff have their fingers on the pulse of popular within their respective region but make no mistake they understand the market abroad as well. Last week was eTceTera's first first-hand experience working in tandem with The Blow Up Co (an extension and evolution of her once self-titled company) out in Seattle during their annual Blow Dat merchandise and mingle event. It was genius and wildly successful for us and our first booth type venture in the past year. The setting was perfection, hosted by Vermillion an art gallery/bar/mini arcade/peformance venue was meant for this sort of setup. When you initially walk into Vermillion you're in the arcade with few games but they fill the wall and hold some classics like NBA Jam, Street Fighter II and Time Crisis - drunk man's dream selection actually. A few steps further and your past the machines and to where the space opens up and art is held on the walls. Local work usually and not inexpensive. Not that I read every label but the lowest price I saw that evening was 600+. In this area is where Blow Dat vendors set up shop in front of the walls fully covered with canvas art pieces ranging from 4ft to 8th in width and length. It helped the ambiance in my opinion. But the area was small enough that once customer began to file in and purchasing lines started to happen customers were forced into a mingling setting where hands were shook, acquaintances were made and in some cases exchange of information. That was true of both customers and business owners. Blow Dat's curation of brands for the apparel section was also impressive. One eye opening moment was around 10PM when I realized all of the vendors were people of color and all the apparel companies Black owned but speaking to totally separate markets in terms of our product but the same demographics in regards to our customer. Gold + Vintage, bAg and eTceTera. There was something for everybody because once you passed all of us the walls narrowed and lead you into the bar DJ booth, dance floor and where Gifted Gab setup her merchandise table selling her music, wearable merchandise and artwork. She also gave us a much needed DJ set at one point in the evening.
I even bumped into Dave B fresh off his taping of the Glow Up Podcast (also created, hosted and ran by Casey Carter with host Darryl Reese aka Evil Marsupial), GMK fell through for a rare sighting, Carrick of course, Meli was out supporting like she does, Jarv Dee pulled up in us, Vespa came through for a spell,The Good Sin bought some shit, Iit was a great intro into being out in Seattle with the brand and tangible merchandise. We met a lot of new people, reconnected with day ones and sold pieces.
So many thanks are in order to Casey and The Blow Up Co. if you're a young entrepreneur and you get the opportunity to be apart of this annual event get your shit together, get there early, be open to all conversation - be you just don't blow it.