Why DC Thrives When Creativity Meets Community

You’ve heard this one, right? An aspiring artist, feeling trapped by his hometown’s lack of creativity, community and opportunity, dreams of selling everything he owns and buying a one-way ticket to Washington, DC.

Okay, maybe we’re not there yet. But to truly understand why DC—a city known more for legislation and navy suits than innovation and high-end streetwear—is emerging as the United States’ latest creative hotspot, you need to look at what makes the leaders of its creative community unique.

We’re thrilled to have two of DC-native creative entrepreneurs as a part of Craft Syndicate this year. Take a closer look at how they’re changing the way the world sees DC.

EAT

It started as a mantra, but it’s grown into a business. Malik Jarrett, the 25-year-old founder of clothing line EAT (“Elevate All the Time”) is committed to sharing his wearable vision with people in any industry. But it’s more than a message: since 2017, his non-profit Eat Cares, Inc. has been helping youth with job and skills training, while also providing programs that take on homelessness, education and unemployment.

The Gathering Spot

When he ran out of places to get his work done as a community organizer, Ryan Wilson decided to create one. Soon after, The Gathering Spot was born. Equal parts workspace, networking hub and social club, The Gathering Spot aims to give young professionals, entrepreneurs and creatives a home. After launching in Atlanta, its third location (in Wilson’s hometown DC) will be opening later this year.

Who’s putting your hometown on the map?