Living the brand in Fayetteville, the Ozarks and beyond
The owners and employees of Fayettechill – a five-year-old “experience-inspired” apparel company based in Fayetteville – are on a mission: To bring the Ozark Mountains – and all the awe-inspiring outdoor recreational opportunities the Ozarks have to offer – to the nation at large. This entails more than merely promoting the company’s products, but also advocating a laid-back lifestyle, one that includes getting out into nature to climb, ride, fish, camp, hike or otherwise experience the great outdoors. It also means supporting the missions of nonprofit organizations that protect the rivers, trails and forests in northwest Arkansas – the same places that inspired the creation of the brand.
But first and foremost, Fayettechill is in the business of selling apparel to outdoor enthusiasts. The company offers its shirts, shorts, hats, tanks and other “Ozark Essentials” at Fayettechill.com and at 28 retail outlets in Arkansas, including the flagship store (aka Basecamp) in Fayetteville’s entertainment district. Fayettechill also has eight outlets in Texas and nine others spread across five states, not to mention a pop-up shop (inside a black-and-silver 1970 Airstream travel trailer), a mobile unit fondly referred to as the “Chillstream.”
The Ozarks, Ozark National Forest
When Fayettechill’s employees aren’t working, they can most likely be found somewhere in the Ozarks, taking advantage of the limitless recreational opportunities available to northwest Arkansas residents. Of course, with the company’s offices and warehouse located in the Ozark Mountain Smokehouse, a historic landmark at the base of Mt. Kessler, every employee has easy access to the Mt. Kessler Greenway, an 8-mile trail on the southwest side of Fayetteville that attracts hikers, mountain bikers and trail runners alike.
Lake Fayetteville and Lake Sequoyah Park are also popular destinations among those looking to “chill.” Lake Fayetteville is a 194-acre lake that boasts fishing action for both bass and panfish, the latter popular with boaters and fisherman, not to mention hikers and bird watchers who frequent the three surrounding nature trails.
Last but not least, there’s the Ozark National Forest, which covers 1.2 million acres, and features the tallest mountain in the state, Mount Magazine (2,753 feet). It also has a “living” underground cave, Blanchard Springs Caverns, where the glistening stalactites, stalagmites and flowstones are ever-changing.
Fayettechill’s Nonprofit Partners, Team Fayettechill
In an effort to maintain and enhance the nature areas they know and love, Fayettechill has partnered with four local nonprofits: the Arkansas Climbers Coalition, Ozark Offroad Cyclists, the Buffalo River Foundation and theArkansas Chapter of Trout Unlimited, offering ongoing financial support by donating a portion of the proceeds from the sale of “collaborative” products. See, for example, the Ozark Afterlife T-shirt, which benefits Ozark Offroad Cyclists.
The company has also assembled what it calls Team Fayettechill, a group of “the best and most promising athletes throughout the Interior Highlands region, who represent Fayettechill and the culture and attitude we stand for.”
The team includes rock climbers Cole Fennel, Blake Strickland, Ben Putman, George Bieker and Katie Childs; downhill mountain bikers Dustin Slaughter and Tandie Bailey; and longboarder Jared Henry. Members of Team Fayettechill are frequently featured in the company’s videos, which communicate the energy that Fayettechill is dedicated to creating and reinforce what could be viewed as the company’s mantra: “Take life slowly – not in body, but in mind. Life is an adventure. We’re here to remind you to enjoy the ride.”