Qilo NYC

Founder Feature

We caught up with Founder of QiloNYC earlier this week and asked  him a few questions about his brand.  Qilo is an online retailer that sells caps but has future hopes of expanding into a wide range of apparel.

Quil interview pineapple
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
What Is Qilo?
As the man who came up with the name, I want to stress the fact that Qilo isn’t a word, its a feeling. We use pineapples to illustrate that feeling: hospitality, universality, warmth and youthfulness.

What were you doing when the idea for Qilo Came to you?

I was sitting in a room with my friends listening to music. XXYYXX’s “Love isn’t Made” was playing and for some reason it made me think of pineapples.

Fashion innovators like Kanye West and Asap Rocky have made dark colors and leather really popular in fashion. I wanted to differentiate myself from that; I wanted to make my brand welcoming and less serious. Immediately, I knew pineapples would be a great icon to visualize that feeling.
Afterwards, I started to think about words I could associate with pineapples. For some reason I thought of “kiwi”. I started to play with different letters and eventually ended up with “Qīlo”.
 
What Inspired you to take Qilo from idea to actual business?
I literally wanted to be an entrepreneur after watching the FaceBook movie. If Marc Zuckerberg could live off of his innovation, so could I.
 
When Did Qilo really start to come to life?
I began my journey in the summer of 2012. I came out with a t-shirt line called Thousand Miles. I started out using blogs and other forms of social media to promote my brand. Unfortanately, monetary troubles permitted me from pursuing the lines continuation.
However, I didn’t let that stop me. I started working on Qilo the fall following that summer. The rest is history.
 
As the CEO/Founder, What does a typical day of work look like for you?
Most of the time, you’ll find me studying blogs. I like to get a feel for what my audience likes before designing.
Also, I design at random. I don’t just sit down and tell myself to design some hats. I could be on a train heading into the city when my next best idea comes to me. That being said, I carry a note pad everywhere I go.
Additionally, my team and I go to concerts to promote our brand. Recently, we went to a Flatbush Zombies concert and got Erick Arc Elliot to wear one of our hats. Erick both raps and produces for the band.
 
Did you have a full time job before Qilo?
Well, I’m in school now so I never really have full-time jobs. Although, I’ve worked everywhere from movie theaters to companies that specialize in app development. I like to keep a broad portfolio.
 
How big do you envision Qilo Growing?
One of my goals is to open up a store in New York City.
I don’t like to set limits on my growth, so you’ll just have to wait and see just how big Qīlo gets.
 
What advice would  you give other entrepreneurs?
I won’t give you the typical answer- “don’t give up”. The true entrepreneur doesn’t even consider that concept . Once you’re infected with the entrepreneurial spirit, theres no turning back.
 
What I will say is to believe in yourself and your ideas. Too many times have I been dissuaded to pursue a concept to later see its popularity in the market a few weeks later.
 
Quilo Hat
  
tumblr.qilonyc.com
 @qilonyc
 
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