What started as a young student’s hobby at university has now blossomed into a promising local art collective named STOAK’D. The group recently opened a pop-up shop in Bodden Town, which will be open for the month of August.
From small beginnings
Ten years ago, when Marc Laurenson – the owner of the art collective – was still at university in Australia, he started designing artwork for his friends. By last year, Marc’s hobby of creating bold and colorful pop art had matured to the point of becoming a fully fledged business. The collective, now consisting of Marc, his wife, Pam, and Kevin Mounsor – an ink and spray paint artist – impressed in its first year of business.
Following considerable success at the Camana Bay Christmas Market and the Visual Arts Society, and aided by newly implemented screen printing techniques, the group of artists is testing the waters with the temporary store in Bodden Town.
Looking to the future
Marc feels that a pop-up shop is the next logical step in the progression of their business, in that it offers valuable insight into the local market, helping the team identify the best location for a successful retail outlet.
Kevin, who has taken a month off work to run things, does not expect the sales to be profitable, but said, “We’re just trying to get the word out,” maintaining that the main purpose of the endeavor is to bring attention to STOAK’D.
A wide range of products are being sold, from prints and original artwork to shirts and hats. One of the studio’s most successful products – its bamboo wooden sunglasses – are also available for purchase in an array of new styles and colors.
The artwork being displayed closely reflects the energetic and vivid, yet diverse styles of the three artists, which range from flashy pop art and raw street-style art, to dark and brooding ink work.
Adding to the artwork being displayed is a selection of trendy T-shirts and hats, something that the collective aspires to make a staple of its business in coming years.
Despite STOAK’D’s aspirations of becoming an established clothing brand in the Cayman Islands, the artists still refuse to lose sight of why they do what they do: they love it. Kevin said, “At the end of the day, it feels like a hobby right now, and it would be nice if it could be full-time. You’ve got to keep plugging away.”
STOAK’D also runs an annual artwork auction called Cayman Pickers, from which proceeds go to the Breast Cancer Foundation. The fight against breast cancer is something very important to STOAK’D; Pam is a recent survivor of the disease, and was helped through the tough time by the foundation. Giving back to the community is just another way the collective is showing its appreciation.
The pop-up shop is running for the entirety of August, Mondays through Saturdays from 12:30 to 5:30 p.m., and can be found next to Beach Bubbles at Bright Dayz Plaza, Bodden Town Road, Bodden Town. Find them on Facebook at
www.facebook.com/STOAKD, and visit their website at www.stoakdcayman.com.