Updated: Nov 23, 2021
Hi there! Welcome back to another BOTW blog post! This week our feature is ELTSUH. This lifestyle and fashion brand, pronounced “elt-suh”, is focused on personal self-growth, motivation, and more! Let’s jump right in, shall we?
Daniel is the CEO of ELTSUH LLC. He was raised in Panama and Brooklyn and grew to be a basketball player in college. Hailing from the city that never sleeps, he says he's always been drawn to fashion because he sees it as a form of expression. Since college, Daniel has been working in social service catering to domestic violence survivors and stayed with the profession throughout the creation and development of ELTSUH LLC.
The catalyst that kickstarted the brand was forthcoming fatherhood. Daniel told us, “My son was in the womb, and I learned what it really meant to sit back and take a look at myself.” He uses his fashion designs to share a message he believes will change the world, “to look in the mirror.” Daniel learned then and continued to learn the power of focusing on becoming the best version of yourself.
ELTSUH reads “’HUSTLE” when you look in the mirror, encouraging wearers to motivate themselves. The brand is made for anyone looking to be inspired on their journey to becoming their best selves. When someone brought it to Daniel’s attention that ELTSUH is “HUSTLE” spelled backwards, it reminded him of the saying “hustling backwards,” which means to put more time and money into something than you get back in return. Daniel says, “the reality is in order to succeed you will fail, but YOU have to know that failure is there to teach and prepare you for success. So, my brand ‘HUSTLE’ is spelled backwards to someone looking at me [or ELTSUH] but when I look in the mirror I see ‘HUSTLE’.”
This brand is on a mission to assist in the process of growth, healing, gratitude, and inner peace. Starting with the main message, “HUSTLE”, all the messages on the clothing intend to inspire you to look in the mirror and read the words that communicate self-love, self-motivation, and self-awareness. “HUSTLE” represents the work that must be put in to become the best version of ourselves. What makes ELTSUH different from other brands besides its mission, is its ability to be customized; they feature a letterman jacket with hand-made, removable letters for customization options. The brand plans to add more custom options as they continue to expand their catalogue.
On the journey to building ELTSUH, a lot of research was done. Daniel studied how to start a business, then registered his company. He states a lot of the process was self-taught, “I used YouTube to learn things like accounting for small business, sewing, crafting, tech packs, sourcing, photography, videography, etc. I set up my website and social media accounts [and] used what I learned to present my products.” He also expresses he learned from feedback and results. Along with that, was finding sourcing manufacturers. Daniel shares he believes it’s best to source locally when possible and suggests using Maker’s Row. However, if sourcing locally isn’t available, Daniel advises finding a local point of contact that can help with communicating with foreign factories or using Alibaba to speak directly with global factories. Watching YouTube videos about using these platforms could prove useful as well.
Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither was this brand. CEO Daniel came across several obstacles getting ELTSUH up and running, such as finding suppliers to turn his ideas into products. Other barriers include supplier minimums, pricing, quality, and turnaround. Daniel shares, “the biggest mistake I have made is over ordering products without having a demand for the supply.” He also states his biggest win and failure was participating in an event called Lyrics n’ Hues, which taught him what it takes to make a successful event and what it took not to. He plans to use what he learned from that success and failure for his physical store.
Currently, Daniel is focused on marketing the brand by connecting with fashion influencers to increase the visibility of ELTSUH. He also plans to make ELTSUH a household name by opening a physical store creating a physical experience which seamlessly communicates the message of the brand.
For small business owners or those on the same journey as ELTSUH, Daniel's advice is to choose something that lines up with your morals and beliefs, because it will help you through the toughest times in your journey. He also encourages learning about marketing early on because the results from marketing efforts will take the business to the next level.
Lastly, Daniel would like to give a special shout-out to Pop of Culture. He shares, “they have now played a major role in my journey. This event is one of its kind in their premise in combination with their standards. Pop of Culture pushed me to go harder and for that I am FOREVER GRATEFUL!”