Each year, the ESSENCE Festival marketplace serves as a unique platform where Black-owned businesses are highlighted and given the opportunity to engage with thousands of patrons from across the country and around the world.
Fashion designer Allohn Agbenya of Allohn Designs is an ESSENCE Festival favorite who has over 20 years of experience as an ESSENCE Fest vendor. His unique afrocentric designs bring Black culture to life through hand-painted linens perfect for taking your signature style up a notch.
We recently caught up with Allohn to get the inside scoop on his experience with vending at ESSENCE Festival, advice for aspiring designers, what he has in store for this year's Festival and more. Check out our interview with him below.
On what he remembers most about his first time vending at ESSENCE Festival:
"What I remember most was the international reach of the Festival. Black people of all shades from different parts of the world -- the Caribbean, Africa, Europe Canada, etc -- coming into my booth to look and or shop."
On how his business has grown over the last 20 years:
"With consistent improvement in quality and artistry of the products that I design and handcrafted, my business in terms of sales and customer base has increased exponentially."
On the unique benefits of vending at ESSENCE Festival:
"For a high-end, afrocentric fashion designer, it's having such an exposure in terms of the number of mostly beauty and fashion conscious Black people that ESSENCEeFestival brings under one roof. It makes for a great and unique, highly beneficial vending experience."
On advice for new and aspiring vendors:
"Have consistency in your product quality. Be original and uniquely different. Have reasonable price points. Have new creations regularly to keep your returning customers excited about coming back."
On why ESSENCE Festival attendees should definitely stop by his booth this year:
"Along with some new style additions to my clothing line, attendees at this year's Festival should
definitely stop by my booth to check out the New Allohn Hand painted linen tote bags, with 16 oz canvas in the inside for lifetime durability."
Plan your trip to the 2017 ESSENCE Festival today! For more information, visit the official Festival website HERE.