How EmazingLights Is Making Bank And Bringing People Together With The Pull Of A Glove
You may have never been to a rave or music festival in your life. The idea of using your hands to create art, and to perform a style of dance, may have never occurred to you. EmazingLights pushes the boundaries of what we know about dance, self-expression, and celebrating music, turning conventions on their head by embracing and growing a new art: gloving.
The practice of gloving is essentially about putting on a light show, using your hands and gloves equipped with LED lights. Think of it as a form of dance that you’ve never seen before, having quickly grown from its roots in In-N-Out Burger parking lots to a hobby and, for some, career celebrated at the International Gloving Competition (IGC).
When you talk about gloving, one of the first (if not the first) name that comes up is Brian Lim and his company, EmazingLights. Lim might not have invented gloving, but he did help it become widely popular and celebrated. He may be only 27, but he is single-handedly turning gloving into a credible business with a massive following and an exciting future.
From burgers to making bank.
EmazingLights was conceived out of Lim’s passion for both electronic music and gloving. After attending music festivals and partaking in their early gloving scene, he soon realized he craved two key things: “better gloves and a more connected community to satisfy my own gloving interest,” Lim tells Wall Street Insanity.
Some people wish for things and wait for them to come to fruition. Having always wanted to be an entrepreneur of some kind, Lim decided to turn his desires into a reality. He began EmazingLights by hosting gloving events at In-N-Out parking lots, blasting music from trucks and putting on light shows using gloves that he had made.
Before long, he was able to monetize his product, making gloves that beat out the competition. “Our product line does extremely well because we design for ourselves first as glovers, but also take the feedback of our collaborative gloving community,” Lim explains. He also fosters this community, putting on programs and events (like IGC) “that have the sole purpose of growing the art of gloving and its competitive side.”
According to Inc., Lim’s company has grown 134 percent in three years. Founded in Anaheim, CA, in 2010, it had revenue of $7.4 million in 2014.
Meeting the sharks.
Lim would have devoted himself to growing the gloving community regardless of his appearance on ABC’s popular reality show, Shark Tank. However, this opportunity inevitably offered his company a massive boost. “The show was an acceleration of our mission,” he explains. We’re extremely grateful for the wonderful experience.” Both Mark Cuban and Daymond John invested in his company, offering $650,000 for 5 percent equity and 20 percent commission on licensing deals.
But for Lim, the show was about more than just the money. Robert Herjavec told him he was perhaps the best entrepreneur ever to come on the show; Herjavec memorably remarked that Lim created his own industry.
Lim agrees with this assessment: “There was no gloving industry to speak of before we came in and pioneered the scene. It was very fragmented, with private meet-ups at festivals, only. We created countless community programs: gloving sponsorships, Facemelt Crews, Glove4Glove, Gloving101 and more.”
Though Lim largely received praise and financial support during his time on the show, Mark Cuban voiced a concern that Brian Lim continues to hear from people who have yet to fully grasp the “gloving community.” Cuban asked him if gloving was transient, a fad. Today, Lim says that he knows it’s not, having founded EmazingLights because he believes it’s an enduring art form:
“There’s longevity in gloving,” he explains. “Gloving is like skateboarding was at an early age. There’s a great product, teams, events, and competitions.” It simply hasn’t become as commonplace — yet. Fortunately, “competitions like IGC give [glovers] an international platform to showcase their talents.”
Gloves & drugs.
One of the major obstacles that has stood, and to some extent still stands in the way of EmazingLights, and really glovers anywhere, is the perception that it’s practiced by people high on drugs who are a liability to live music events. Gloving has been banned by some live music festivals hosted by promoters like Insomniac, a company founded by Pasquale Rotella.
Rotella, who is well known outside of the music festival world as the husband of former Playboy bunny and Hugh Hefner girlfriend Holly Madison, is now in discussions with Lim on the subject.
Instead of allowing bans to keep him from growing his community, Lim used the restriction as an opportunity to “grow outside of raves. It actually pushed us to … grow the competitive gloving scene to build up our portfolio,” he adds. This has enabled Lim to show festival promoters “that gloving is a legitimate dance art form.”
Legitimizing the art of gloving is now part of EmazingLights’ business plan. They’ve implemented the hashtag, #glovingisnotacrime, and are in the process of “putting together an in-depth proposal to lift the gloving ban.” This proposal will have appeal beyond the world of promoters. The idea is to convince city and venue officials across the country that gloving is a safe form of creative expression. “If you’ve ever seen one of our competitions or events you can tell it’s drug-free; you can’t compete at the highest level under the influence,” Lim explains.
Bright lights ahead.
As EmazingLights works to dispel the stigmas that surround gloving, it’s also working to expand its popularity and make gloving a more mainstream art. YouTube and social media were, and continue to be, vital to EmazingLights’ growth. In the beginning, these outlets helped them build up their brand while “being bootstrapped with no advertising budget and only organic communication with their customer base.”
As time goes on, YouTube and Facebook video have enabled the company to explain the beauty and art of gloving. They’ve poured “tons of time and resources into creating the absolute best gloving videos possible,” Lim shares. The work pays off. This video, featuring girls who glove, gained over two million likes in just one week.
In the long term, Lim hopes to build up IGC so that there’s a league in every state. Although business-minded, he’s also determined to simply foster a sense of community. “I hope to have a licensed retail store in every state to provide a place for weekly gloving events, and to support gloving competitions on tour,” Lim shares. Meanwhile, his company will continually be enhancing product lines and “continuously pushing the boundaries of technology in LED gloves.”
With the determination of Lim and his team of committed glovers behind it, EmazingLights is moving full speed ahead to fulfill its mission of “inspiring creativity and empowering self-expression.” In other words, keep your eyes out for those bright lights.
Emazing Lights is always looking to give back to the less fortunate. Find out more about their Glove4Glove initiative.