The Northwest Arkansas Council’s first online pop-up shop is now open through Nov. 27.
Made possible through a collaboration between a local print shop, a local team and Arkansas artist Grayce Holcomb, this pre-sale store is for anyone who proudly represents Northwest Arkansas both near and far. The exclusive release features hats and t-shirts with official Northwest Arkansas branding and hand-drawn illustrations of many recognizable and unique facets of the region.
The pop-up shop utilizes branding from the Council’s “Life Works Here” campaign, a national branding effort designed to raise awareness of Northwest Arkansas as one of the top places to live and work in the United States. The campaign aims to tell a cohesive and authentic story about all the things that are unique to NWA. The Council hopes to paint a picture of a region that’s innovating a forward-thinking way of living, working and playing and ultimately contribute to the success of local businesses, major employers, startups, cities, universities, restaurants and cultural institutions, and other residents of Northwest Arkansas.
“We’re excited to debut official NWA merchandise and give people the opportunity to show their pride in this incredible place we call home,” said Nate Green, the Council’s communications director and lead architect of the Life Works Here campaign. “It was important for us to partner with an Arkansas artist who would be up to the task of capturing the region’s unique essence for a small space. We hope everyone loves it as much as we do.”
Holcomb’s illustrations were featured in the Council’s 2022-2023 Annual Report that was released in July.
Holcomb said this project was her first attempt to encapsulate all of NWA’s distinctive cities and views – the University of Arkansas, multiple downtown landmarks and Crystal Bridges all make an appearance. But she’d been toying with the idea of a regional map à la the Rifle Paper Co. for a while. The Council gave her the opportunity to run wild with the idea and indulge in her maximalist yet intricate style.
“It was a really exciting project, and I couldn’t turn it down. It was super fun,” Holcomb said.
All orders must be placed by 11:59 p.m. Monday, Nov. 27. Orders will be produced and shipped out by Tuesday, Dec. 12.