Grapefruit overalls, others part of CSA program

Published 11:20 am Thursday, May 11, 2023

By Wayne Andrews

Entrepreneurs Graham Hamaker and Macon Humphries are bringing their laid-back sensibilities to high-
end couture in Water Valley with the apparel company, Grapefruit Water Valley.

Grapefruit is participating in the Yoknapatawpha Arts Council’s 2023 Community Supported Arts (CSA)

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The CSA program offers the public insights into the creative process. Artists identify a small business
goal or goals they will achieve over a 6-month period. Participants receive a small stipend to assist with
their efforts. Artists sell a CSA share as a thank you to those who invest in their small business journey.

“Our goal is to start our own couture company,” Humphries explained. “It would be wonderful to have our own storefront in Water Valley – that would be fun, and we’d like to wholesale in smaller boutiques as well,” added Hamaker.

Grapefruit’s signature garment is their hand-dyed overalls with an embroidered outline of a wedge of
grapefruit on the bib. Hamaker and Humphries artisanally dye their overalls in small batches in a variety
of colors, like Wonderbird blue. The business has since expanded to T-shirts featuring buildings like the Water Valley Post Office and hand-dyed painters pants.

Grapefruit has two shares: a raffle ticket to win a pair of overalls ($20) and a t-shirt and raffle ticket ($50).
Their small business goal is “…to grow their existing business by creating one-of-a-kind overalls by
working with designers and manufacturers to create an original design reflective of the brand.

Creating their own design will help build Grapefruit’s brand in the southeast U.S. The CSA is part of YAC’s Arts Incubator, a system of programs designed to assist artists and creatives with the challenges of starting and maintaining a creative small business.

CSA participants attend Big Bad Business Series workshops, attend intensive professional development
sessions, and mentoring to connect with resources and further their goals.

“In 2009, we noticed that artists had shared needs for small business knowledge. Through the Big Bad
Business Series, YAC staff connect creative economy small businesses like Grapefruit’s to experts,
mentors, and resources to help them grow,” said Meghan Gallagher, coordinator of the CSA program.
“We want people to be excited that we’re designing our own overalls this year so we can stop using
Dickie’s,” Humphries said.

“We want people to think Carhartt, Dickie’s, and…Grapefruit,” Hamaker explained.

To learn more or purchase a share, visit

Wayne Andrews is director of the Yoknapatawpha Arts Council. Write to him at