Originally written for The Northern Light.
A normal day for Deven Jackson consists of attending West High School, playing on the basketball team and managing his clothing brand, Rage City Company. At first, he wanted to sell T-shirts to pay for his lunch, but his brand started circulating around Anchorage and thoughts of expanding came to mind.
On Saturday, Feb. 17, Roll In Ice Creamery partnered with Jackson to put up a pop-up shop for the night. As customers ordered ice cream and played the video game, Fortnite, Jackson pressed shirts for those waiting.
Jackson’s clothing brand was established in 2014. His father was a significant influence in his life fueling his entrepreneurship with the help of a family friend who passed his supplies to Jackson.
“I just got creative about it on the computer shot some designs to my friends, and I started to like it,” Jackson said.
With help from a friend, Qyntyn Pilcher, they created Rage City Co.
Before the branding of Rage City Co., he created shirts for students at the school.
“We called it, ‘Magic Team,’ and people grabbed onto the idea,” Jackson said. “Shortly afterward, I started doing team jerseys and gear for travel basketball teams where I grew most of my fan base. The east Anchorage support and attitude eventually blossomed into Rage City Company.”
Jackson’s fan base expanded its audience on Twitter and Instagram gaining an interest in two high school photographers.
Ryan Lewis and David Bejarano, students from Service and East High School, met Jackson via Twitter.
“I think I had a friend direct messaged me like, ‘Oh, there’s someone that’s using your name.’ It’s not really ours. It’s kind of the city’s. I saw some kid wearing his shirt. We DM’d him saying we can take photos for anything that he was doing with his company,” Bejarano, photographer for Rage City Photography, said.
Lewis and Bejarano saw it fit to collaborate with Rage City Co. and welcomed the experience.
“We liked that he wanted to be serious about his business because we started becoming more interested in the idea of taking this to a next level,” Lewis, photographer for Rage City Photography, said. “There’s a lot of kids who just sell shirts without really thinking about what’s ahead with it. We saw this guy and thought that we can connect in the way of making actual business.”
As Jackson brings in more people to promote their businesses, his ultimate goal is to pay for college and be a positive figure for children in Anchorage.
“My friends have been taken from gang violence and drugs, and I just said that I didn’t want to go down that path. I didn’t want to be a part of that. I’m just trying to be something positive for the kids behind me. That’s really what I want,” Jackson said.