Broccoli, Broccoli, Broccoli Fest

Broccoli Fest hit DC, this past weekend, and it was mind-blowing. It brought creative souls from every corner of Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia to the East Gateway Pavilion located in South East DC. The festival included what every great festival considers essential; artsy vendors, food trucks, couple of hula hoopers and a performance line up that ensured a good time.

The organization, Broccoli, was launched in 2009 by Brandon McEachern as an effort to “develop innovative strategies on living healthier and more sustainable lifestyles, while empowering communities to make informed decisions about their health and environment.”   Just about everything at BCFest incorporated the theme of green: in the VIP room you could find mason jars with broccoli stems poking out from the top and signs on trash cans asking attendees to recycle. Overall it was a well thought out and executed event.

I was super excited to be there but even more excited to meet the masterminds behind some of the pop-up shops. I talked with a lot of people but two specific vendors stood out the most.

Meet Phillip Loken aka OG Swagg Jesus the Don II


He was sitting on a table minding his own business when of course I came and disturbed the peace! Here is what you should know about the Don: He is a student at University of North Carolina at Greensboro, he currently runs a mens fashion blog called Cool and Well Dressed that highlights up and coming clothing lines, and he is an artist that works with all mediums. Don was at the festival with a clothing line that he works closely with Avant Garde. Expect to see more from SDBUP on OG Swagg Jesus the Don II. In the meantime follow him here: KingPhill_ and read more about him here

Meet Ryan Lindsay


The event was full of clothing lines. Some of them good some of them bad, in my opinion, I had to have met at least two or three designers all preaching about their lifestyle brand but none of them struck a chord with me like Gloss Rags “And Counting” tee. I saw the controversial names listed on a black tee and thought to myself who would have the audacity to print these names on a tee and it all came full circle when I met Ryan Lindsay. Here is what she had to say about her involvement with #BCFEST and her tee.

Astu: “How did you find out about the festival?”

Ryan: “I found out about BCFest through a couple of my friends who are a part of Rock Creek Social.”

Astu: “Explain the shirt for me.”

Ryan: “The shirt came as an idea after having attended the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington. I was making signs with a youth organization called GapBusters and these names really stuck to me, this was back in August, and to think that the list started at 5 and all of a sudden I had to add Jordan. That is where the name ‘And Counting’ comes from…power, passion, purpose – I’m sure you will get stares or stopped when you wear this shirt but it is worth it.”

Follow her on instagram: @randigloss and visit her site:



All in all, the event was eye-opening and I do plan on attending many more BC Fests!

Shout out to our honorary camera woman Kedest Firdaweke.

Astu Mengesha – Stay Down Blaze Up

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