May I Introduce



Kostya V.

July 21st, 2014



FOUNDER: Karli Hausman
SLOGAN: “Illuminate your night.”



SFRA: When did you guys come up with the idea of starting the LIGHT IT UP CLOTHING brand?
Karli Hausman: About 5 years ago my sister invited me with her to Electric Zoo which is an EDM festival held in New York City. This was before the rave scene was what it is today. The festival was fairly new and being that electric was in the name, I researched and developed an outfit using el wire. I used an old pair of shorts, bought a sound activated pair of shades and a t-shirt. I got so much attention with the shorts it amped me up to create bigger and better things. There on out for every show, concert, festival and party I created a new light up item. (suspenders, light up shoe laces, crazy designs on my jeans, etc).

SFRA: What inspired you to start LIGHT IT UP CLOTHING?
Karli Hausman: I strive to stand out and be unique. My goal is to give my customers the same and best experience they can at any festival or party. I am the only company that does free hand custom orders so people can be the creators of their own hat or bandana. Every hat I create has a story behind it, which for me gives me the passion to use detail and care in each stitch.

SFRA: How did you discover a need for this type of products in the marketplace?
Karli Hausman: In 2012 I developed my first ever light up snapback hat, it was black with a neon blue brim and said DOPE in bubble lettering. It took me about 6 hours to make it, but when I wore it to EDC New York, I had about 25 offers to buy it off of my head. I started to take orders the next night. I started to hear what people wanted and through a few more festivals of testing and extensive research I found a battery pack that was able to tuck into the hat. People don’t want to deal with a wire they have to clip on when they want to jump and rave all night. After a long trial and error period low and behold, Light It Up Clothing was born.


SFRA: What did you see lacking in the market that you believed LIGHT IT UP CLOTHING could fulfill?
Karli Hausman: I know el wire clothing existed before I started making it. It is the creativity and way that I make it that makes us stand out from the rest. I noticed once we came out with our product that a few other companies also try to duplicate what we do but it’s not close to our creativeness. Most of the items out there are very expensive, there wasn’t a reasonably priced el wire accessory product out there. Once we start to grow we plan to drop our prices even lower so everyone can enjoy our products.

SFRA: What has been the most difficult aspect of getting your brand off the ground and how did you overcome that?
Karli Hausman: I never owed a business before so it’s all a learning curve. I’d say within 1 year I was able to get everything under control with keeping items in stock, re-ordering, keeping up with orders, shipping processes and also keeping new products out to keep expanding. We strive to have exceptional customer service, I believe that is what gets your product flowing with word of mouth and to have customers come back. A happy customer is what we are all about.

SFRA: What is the brand’s philosophy?
Karli Hausman: We want to ensure every customer has the time of their life using our products.

SFRA: Who has influenced you over the years and where do you find inspiration today?
Karli Hausman: I’d say EDM music has influenced me the most. Before the rave scene moved from the underground to outside festivals, you could find me on a dance floor every weekend craving a creative DJ. Everyone strives to get lost in the music and every single hat I thought up and created I was listening to EDM music!
My sister is my also my biggest influence. She is the one that took me to my first underground rave when I was 17 in Philadelphia. After that moment it was the music and scene that brought us closer together. She went to school for fashion and then graphic design so she is a key component to this company. She also created the craziest self made festival outfits so I always had step my game up!


SFRA: Is it a struggle to keep up with trend and competition in such a modern and constantly-evolving fashion industry?
Karli Hausman: I would like to think we are starting trends. We strive to stay ahead of the curve and be the ones to come out with products that others take to their group meetings and say we need to create this too.

SFRA: Tell us more about LIGHT IT UP CLOTHING. How has the brand progressed since its launch?
Karli Hausman: We are one of the newer companies on the scene but we have come out with over 30+ hats since 2012, products such as shoe laces, body paint and we are the only company (right now) to have light up bandanas. We have so many more ideas, we just need more time in a day to create and test prototypes! We are also expanding into whole sales so we can get our product onto more heads.

SFRA: Do you have any idea how your brand will evolve next? How do you plan to alter your marketing strategy to meet these changes?
Karli Hausman: The way our demand is evolving I’m looking to hire on a bigger staff to create products quicker, bigger quantity and manage orders. This will also give us the creative directors more time to come out with the products we have up our sleeve.

SFRA: What are two aspects of business in which you believe a new brand should invest resources?
Karli Hausman: Some people believe it’s done by word of mouth and others believe it’s all about investing in marketing. I am actually an Assistant Athletic Director for Marketing at a school in the New York City metropolitan area and I can tell you if you have the budget to do so you can really market yourself well. Since we’re a fairly new company creating your own word of mouth is our best option by using grass roots approaches. We bring products in to festivals, we walk the streets of NYC selling, we rely on our customers, create followers on social media (the best, free way to advertise) etc. If your product is good enough it will find its way into peoples hands. Secondly, the profits made are used to keep reinvesting into the company for more creative products come out.

SFRA: What’s been the most successful marketing outlet for LIGHT IT UP CLOTHING?
Karli Hausman: The first thing we did was made sure we got into the search engine on google. We spent our first few dollars on establishing ourselves on google search was the most successful outlet. I’d also say social media, specifically instagram is our biggest asset of social media. Fans will tag their friends seeing products they want or suggest which results in sales.

SFRA: How would you describe the brand aesthetic?
Karli Hausman: Our customers come first. We strive to make sure everyone has a great experience when ordering through us. Every single product we create by hand is a passion of ours.

SFRA: Tell me about the name.
Karli Hausman: My sister and I took a few months to think up the best name. We first started with “electric” in the name, but we felt Light It Up Clothing had a better ring to it. We put clothing in the name even though most of our items sold right now are hats because we plan on unveiling other clothing accessories and items in the future. Like I said before, we have a few new tricks up our sleeves we just need proper trial periods to test the products.

SFRA: Who do you primarily make your clothes for?
Karli Hausman: My main demographic are for EDM lovers between ages 18-26. Surprisingly I have a lot of gay customers as well, and I know this because of the stories I learn behind the custom orders. I also sell to a lot of teenagers that want to be a part of the glow scene for parties. Basically anyone who wants to have a good time orders our products!

SFRA: Who would you love to see wear the brand?
Karli Hausman: It is in my plan to have a few DJs wear our hats. I already had a few up and coming DJs order hats but its a goal of mine to have a famous DJ wear our product.


SFRA: Are there any celebrities wearing LIGHT IT UP CLOTHING products?
Karli Hausman: Being that we live in New York we get a lot of local start up free lace companies wanting our product to feature in their productions. Recently we had an MTV show reach out for a few products to feature on an episode of something they are pitching. I don’t want to get into any legal issues with naming shows and celebrities until it’s unveiled but yes, we have a few products worn by celebrities. Once they air I’ll be at liberty to say who.

SFRA: Where would you like to see the brand go?
Karli Hausman: I want our brand to be recognized by the next generation of EDM music lovers, somewhat of a household name. Every time there are any profits it goes back into the company to keep it growing. There are so many ideas we have that we want to unveil but we just have to get there. We know what ravers what and need and we want to be the next clothing line, the next best thing since the light up tutus!

SFRA: There are some brands in EDM fashion industry that are bigger, more experienced and known. What are your strengths?
Karli Hausman: Our creativity and passion are our biggest strengths. Some companies grow to quick to fast and lose their customer service, passion, goals and lose sight of the reason they started this in the first place. We feel lucky everyday with every order and work extra hard to fulfill every order in a quick timely manor no matter what the sacrifice is on our end.

SFRA: It seems that there is new EDM brands popping up on the scene every week, how do you guys do such a good job of separating yourselves from the rest of the crowd?
Karli Hausman: I think in this case putting blinders on for a period of time works best so we can focus on what we are doing. You can get caught up on what everyone else is doing, copying, stealing and producing and it takes you off track. I think it’s smart to check in time to time on what everyone is doing but keep your own focus. I had a competitor completely steal one of my ideas I came out with 6 months ago, and it added enough fuel to my fire to get my next project going. I clicked the X on the upper left hand corner and got back to work on the next product people can try to rip off. Of course nobody can match our quality work!

SFRA: What’s on the cards for the rest of 2014?
Karli Hausman: The rest of this year we plan to grow our staff and increase our product line. We have a few ideas on the horizon which I don’t want to prematurely unveil before we properly test. We want to come out with a few general items that other shops carry but we also have a few ideas on products that don’t exist on the market yet.

SFRA: What does the future hold for LIGHT IT UP CLOTHING? What should your followers expect to see in 2015?
Karli Hausman: I’d say we’ll come out with our new products like I mentioned before. We are also going to be touring EDM festivals to set up table and tents for resale. The problem is that some people don’t know we exist but once they see what we have to offer, they can’t live without it.

SFRA: Does the label have a set team of graphic designers, models and photographers or do these roles change based on the current needs or aims of the label?
Karli Hausman: We have a set team and the models depend on the product. We typically just photograph the product itself but we like to repost the actual product in use that customers send us. That demonstrates the real life experience.

SFRA: When it comes to building a powerful brand, what elements do you consider crucial?
Karli Hausman: I think you need to set yourself apart from the rest of the competitors. What do you offer your fans and customers that nobody does? Also, I think it is very important to maintain a quality product that people know will work time and time again and if they order another item it will be just as good as the first one.

SFRA: It seems to us that LIGHT IT UP CLOTHING is more than a clothing line… what would you say LIGHT IT UP CLOTHING represents?
Karli Hausman: We represent an experience by our customers. The people who purchase our items aren’t just customers to us, they are family. They are usually already part of EDM family already but they become part of our family once they hit the power button on to illuminate their night.

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