We’ve all seen pictures of fascinating outfits at Burning Man or the Electric Daisy Carnival and wondered where they came from and whether we could pull off the look. But most of us shrug it off as impractical purchase. We are the customers Ronnie Brust wants to reach. “I do stuff that is acceptable for both mainstream and festivals,” said Brust, the owner and founder of Las Vegas business Good to Glow. “You can wear my products to the wedding turned off, and become the light of the party with the click of a button. I want you to stand out and be noticed.”
Tell us about Good To Glow and how the concept was conceived.
I started making costumes for Burning Man in 2006 and always incorporated lighting as a key element. About five years ago, I made a glowing handkerchief for an outfit and people loved it. I made a few prototypes and set up a booth at First Friday. I sold every one I had with me. A casino manager saw them and, four days later, placed an order for 200 units. I’ve never worked for anyone else since. The business has developed to include more products, we rebranded two years ago, recently started online marketing and I just shipped to our 36th country.
Where did you study and hone your artistic skills?
I took art all the way through college, and my mom taught me the basics of sewing when I was a kid. I really developed my skills by passionate hands-on experience, thousands of hours and tons of failed experiments. In the past five years, I’ve hired tailors, seamstresses and other designers to help me and learn from.
Good To Glow
• Phone: 855-345-3286
• Email: [email protected]
• Website: goodtoglow.com
• Hours of operation: Online 24/7
• Owned/operated by: Ronnie Brust
• In business since: 2017
When did illumination fashion emerge and how has it evolved over the years?
I’m not really sure where and when it emerged, but I’ve been working with electronics and costumes for 13 years. For me, the concept of LED-infused wearables came from attending Burning Man, where the culture of self-illumination is spawned from self-preservation. Out there it’s really, really dark, so to avoid being run over by someone on a bike or art car, you wear lighting for safety; it helps them to see you. Burning Man is one of, if not the biggest inspirations, for a lot of mainstream designers using lighting in clothing. I know several other designers in this space and they all attend Burning Man.
Light-up wearables are not just for go-go dancers, ravers and those gimmick T-shirts you see in the mall kiosks. In the past few years, several A-list celebrities have worn LED fashions to major Hollywood events, and aside from my jewelry line and clothing, I’ve seen several other brands emerge with more mainstream wearables. I’m banking on this trend continuing to grow as people are finding more reasons to wear something that’s tastefully illuminated to events, parties, festivals and just for fun.
What are your favorite products and why?
I’m liking the LED jewelry line. No one else is doing anything even close to this. It’s been an instant hit and it’s fun to watch it grow. We assemble everything here in Las Vegas, so it’s instant gratification to watch them move through the production line, packaged up and shipped out all over the world.
What is your business philosophy?
Develop the brand and structure the business to be self-sufficient and successful so I don’t have to run the day-to-day. I want to design and develop new products, then travel and run the business from anyplace.
What is the best part about doing business in Las Vegas?
The conventions! Whatever your industry is, there is a show for it and it’s going to be here at least once a year.
What’s the best business advice you’ve received?
Stop doing everything myself. I used to work nonstop and it burned me out, plus I didn’t get nearly as much done as I do now by delegating and outsourcing.
What is your passion outside of work?
I live at TruFusion and routinely take 10-plus classes a week.