Interview: The skinny on Bad Kids Collective w/ Andi Cross!

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Hello #MTD fans and followers!

Mikey Malone here again and I’m really excited to bring to you an interview with Andi Cross from Bad Kids Collective! Bad Kids Collective is a company based in New York and Philadelphia dedicated to sharing “The Bad Life”! Producing not only clothing for your dance music needs, but promoting and creating unique events for you to experience! Grab your favorite beverage and let’s get to it!


#MTD – Could you give us a rundown on how Bad Kids Collective came to be, who does what, etc?

 Andi Cross – Of course! Founder, Lex Houser started the company in 2011 and it was strictly apparel driven. She was producing tanks, tees and crops for dance music lovers because she herself couldn’t find anything online or in stores to wear to her favorite shows, raves, or festivals. She started the company right when dance music was really starting to take off in the US – the perfect time to enter the market, in my opinion. While she started the apparel side of the business in Philadelphia, I had started to concept an events company up in New York. We had been best friends since childhood, always worked well together, both loved dance music, so thought … what could be better than joining forces?

I came on to the Bad Kids team primarily to build out an events division and expand on our partner network. With her extensive social media background, Lex had created an amazing platform before I joined the team, and it was my turn to create meaningful, relevant partnerships that were mutually beneficial in nature. Together, we were really able to spread our message, “Welcome to the Bad Life!” What that means is to embody all the positives of dance music culture – things like Peace, Love, Unity, Respect (PLUR), connecting with people that are simply passionate about this music – no matter how different or similar. So what started as an apparel business, became an events business, a content curator, and a social network for dance music fanatics all wrapped up under one name – Bad Kids.

For quite some time it was just Lex and I running the business, but now we have grown it into a 20-person operation. With the company growth not just coming from fans and followers but from the team as well, that’s when we decided to change the name from Bad Kids Clothing to Bad Kids Collective to represent that it’s more than just an apparel company, but rather a all-encompassing lifestyle.

#MTD – What do you feel sets Bad Kids Collective apart from the other clothing lines? Maybe it is just me, but I feel like there are a whole slew of companies that are simply trying to cash in on the fact that EDM has become mainstream. What sets you apart from them? bkc-hat

Andi Cross – I agree completely. I think a lot of what I was telling you about the lifestyle is what sets us apart from other companies. Sure we sell clothing and host events, but really what it comes down to is we have an incredible network of people from all over the country who come together to live The Bad Life. Throughout everything that we do we’re promoting the message – live in the moment, love life and celebrate dance music. That’s something we’ve focused on quite a bit in order to differentiate ourselves – it is what we stand for and what we believe in. Another aspect that sets us apart is that we are your one-stop shop for all things dance music culture. The marrying of events and fashion together allows Bad Kids to express their individuality with us via our apparel, meet people that have similar interests and lifestyle choices and connect with them on a regular basis via our platform and parties – all because they love dance music.

#MTD – Were there any hurdles when BKC was getting started? Are there things that you still come across that you have to think, “Ok how can we tackle this?”

 Andi Cross – Oh my gosh – there are so many hurdles that I don’t even know where to start! First, we all work full-time jobs, and not your normal 9-5s – we are working around the clock, all day, every day, 7-days a week. That said, our number one hurdle to overcome is time! Second, we’re learning as we go and it’s a lot of trial and error. Third, the work / life balance concept is always going to be a challenge for those on the Bad Kids team. Fourth, naturally of course, is the competition and staying ahead of the curve. However, at the end of the day, the main hurdle that we are continuously working to overcome is simply T I M E.

#MTD – That’s understandable considering how demanding starting up a company and brand can be!

 Andi Cross – Yeah, thankfully I have a wonderful sleeping disorder that allows me to sleep only two hours a night … works well for me!

#MTD – I feel like that at times myself!

 Andi Cross – Yeah it’s a crazy life my friend. If the team could be doing this full time, which we soon hope to do, I think we’ll be in a much different position. We have all the right players in place. We have to get the company out of its infancy as we are still consider ourselves very young – especially our events business.

#MTD – That was one of the things I wanted to touch on was the events portion of things. You don’t see a whole lot about that currently on the website. Can you tell me how the events portion is going, what you’re aiming to do, etc?

Andi Cross – Yes! The reason you aren’t seeing much about events online at the moment is because we’re going through a huge website revamp. We have this crazy, interactive events calendar our amazing web designer built, but it’s still a work in progress … coming soon! Our events business is actually doing exceptionally well. It’s very different than what you’re experiencing when you go out to see your typical dance music show. Whether it’s live performances, interactive experiences … it is a very personal journey from the moment you walk through the door, up until talking about it via social, or texting with someone on the team the next day about how crazy it was, or weeks after in some cases – 360 degree event planning and programming!

We’ve thrown quite a few parties over the last year and a half. We started with EDM Brunch, which was very successful for us when launching our events business. We’ve also have hosted two fashion shows to showcase our past fall and spring collections. We’ve kept those a bit smaller than EDM Brunch and both were really strong and well received. Our next event on September 13th, which is to celebrate four team member’s birthdays (including mine!!!) will launch our Fall Collection – “BAD is the new Good”, and will be the second installment of our #BADdayclub series.

Our rollout for third and fourth quarter this year is literally insane! We’re talking huge venues, getting all the right party people in the room, entertainment value upped, exceptional talent rosters, and really just continuing to create an experience where our lifestyle can be fully embraced! We’re doing something wild in November, a New Year’s loft party (shhh, you are the first to hear this one!!) and some other really cool stuff for Q1 of 2015 … but I’ll save that for another time! Let’s just put it this way, we are very, very excited for the road ahead with regards to our events!bkcend2

#MTD – How would somebody if they wanted to find out more about the events, clothing, or whatnot? How would they get ahold of Bad Kids?

Andi Cross – We are very active on social media – Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, etc. We promote in all of our communications to find us, follow us and contact us if you want to meet up or join in on our upcoming experiences. Even if you just want to hang out, you are more than welcome to hit us up at any time! Also on our “Contact Us” page, there are email addresses catered to press, event, careers, apparel and general inquiries. We’re very open to connecting with partners and dance music fans – we love collaborations and of course new people! That runs in our DNA …

#MTD – I like to feel out some of the readers to find out if they have any questions before an interview. There were a couple inquiries about “If I wanted to maybe have some sort of sponsorship or become a model for them, how would I go about doing that?”

Andi Cross – They can email me directly at andi@badkidscollective.com or shoot a note to partner@badkidscollective.com. That would be the best way, anytime and any day.

#MTD – Anything that we haven’t touched on that you would like to share about? Any upcoming things that maybe I was unaware to ask about?

Andi Cross – The big thing for us in the immediate future is our September 13th event – It’s going to be huge, wild, crazy and most importantly epic! Make sure you check out our site for more information, as we go live with event details come Monday, July 28th. We’re taking all of our event production up to the next level and kicking off fall correctly, in my opinion. I will give you a clue – we are throwing down at a rooftop in the middle of Manhattan from 3:00pm – 10:00pm. Incredible sounds from some of the best DJs we know, robots, babes, booze, food, a birthday surprise and gifts from the Bad Kids team … a ridiculous, Vegas-inspired day party in the making. Hope to see you Bad Kids there!

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Alright y’all! I hope you enjoyed the interview! I look forward to doing more work with Bad Kids Collective in the future to let you know about events!

Do you have questions for Bad Kids Collective that I didn’t ask? Comment and let me know so I can ask them in a future interview!

 

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