They’re here and then they’re gone.
Such is the business strategy of Locals Only LI, a company that makes and sells small batches of T-shirts, tank tops, hoodies, hats, stickers and flags, most of which boast Long Island pride and represent locally known businesses.
“Each week, we do unique items and release them,” says Locals Only LI’s CEO and creative director Kevin Carman, who started the business in 2017. “And once they’re gone, they’re gone. We don’t resell them again.”
A native of Malverne, Carman, 26, who now lives in Long Beach, is trying to promote his Long Island roots.
In an effort to keep things fresh and exciting, Carman and company continually come up with new designs that they hope will engage their followers.
“We’re putting in a lot of energy into artwork that people have never seen before on Long Island,” says Carman, adding, “I find it more fun to just keep making new things.”
Locals Only LI recently did a one-night collaboration with Ralph’s Famous Italian Ices in Lindenhurst, selling out 75 T-shirts and hoodies with a retro surf design and Larry The Lemon logo in about two hours.
Since the manager of the shop was already a customer of the brand, Carman was given carte blanche to make the design.
Previously, Carman has done pop-up collaborations with Baked By the Ocean,, a Long Beach bakery, Kookaburra Coffee Company in Malverne,, Lacrosse Unlimited, and Alex Dupkin, a local artist.
Aside from pop-up collaborations, Locals Only LI sells their Long Island-inspired designs online.
People learn about pop-up sales and the latest inventory via Instagram posts and email blasts.
“It’s exclusive,” Carman says. “You have to be on the list, pretty much. If you’re part of our community and our brand, then you know what’s going on.”
“I’m trying to translate and elevate Long Island culture to a new medium,” says Carman, who notes that all of the merchandise is made on Long Island.
Prices start at $7 for a sticker and go up to $60 for a sweatshirt. Shipping and taxes are included in the price; LocalsOnlyli.com, Instagram: @LocalsOnlyLI.