By Dante Cabral
Junior Kevin Carman is a business major at Sacred Heart University, who recently started a hat company called Locals Only LI.
Carman was inspired to start the company when he bought a trucker hat in Montana with the outline of the state on it with locals only printed on the back.
“I said to myself, why don’t I take this concept and bring it to life in Long Island. And that’s where we are now,” said Carman, who is from Malverne, NY.
Although the company began in January, Carman had the intention of starting the company for a while.
“I just woke up over winter break and was like, yeah it’s time. I need something new and I need to do something exciting that I would want to do and here we are,” said Carman.
He doesn’t just run the company on his own.
Junior Ben Field is the operations manager who has helped him in many ways such as coming up with designs for the hats.
The large Long Island student population at Sacred Heart has helped his company take off.
“If it wasn’t for this school, I would not be where I am today,” said Carman.
The demand for the hats has been increasing. He is in the process of ordering more hats for his new 631 collection which does not have a release date yet.
Even though Carman is selling hats, he has no plans to stretch into the field of clothing.
“I want to sell lifestyles. I want the photographs and the fashion that goes with it,” said Carman.
Carman also didn’t start his business for the money, he started it purely for the aspect of art.
“We want it to be more than just a hat,” said Carman. “It’s not just a hat, it’s more than a hat. It’s connecting people together which is what I really want.”
One of his main goals for his company is to keep the hats at an affordable price.
“The goals of the company are to provide a product that is the best to my standards, but one that is affordable. We want to deliver something that is the best quality as possible and you’re like, wow that did not break the bank,” said Carman
The hats are currently selling at $18 to $20. He also tries to price his hats with his customers in his mind.
“I want them to wear it,” said Carman. “I want them to buy it. I want them to buy not just one, I want them to buy five because I want all their family to have one.”
Carman also plans to try and give back to the community through his hats.
“We have plans for the camo hat. Hopefully down the line we can be able to give back to the troops of Long Island. I have an idea for a breast cancer hat. We have a bunch of ideas for ways we can give back,” said Carman. “The only reason why we have made it this far is because everyone else has been so gracious in supporting our business. So why can’t we give back to them,” said Carman.
He also thought it would be an interesting idea to implement a pre-order button on his website so people can get their hands on the latest design before it even comes out.
One of the main reasons he thinks his hats are selling so rapidly is because he is going out and making a one on one presence with his customers.
Carman also tries to have a big presence on social media. Even though his company has Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat, he feels that Instagram is the best way for his company to grow.
“I love Instagram, I have a good following on it, Ben has a good following on it. We both like to take photographs. If you want to tell a story, you tell it in pictures,” said Carman.
The Locals Only LI Instagram page has only existed since April 3 and already has 408 followers.
Carman also has plans to start doing giveaways on Instagram as well.
For more information, you can go to @localsonlyli on Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat. They also have a website called https://www.localsonlyli.com/.
“It’s going to be a long journey ahead of us and we know that. I’m ready for the ride, I’m ready to lock it down. There is no stopping Locals Only LI,” said Carman.
Co-Copy Editor and Features Editor Gabriella Nutile contributed to this article.