Karlie Hustle is New York’s Hot 97 former Radio Director. You may have seen her on “This Is Hot 97” (a reality based docu-comedy television series). She recently resigned and is now exercising her Entrepreneurial skills. You’ll be impressed about what she has to say.
(Q) Hi Karlie. Is Hustle really your last name? Where are you from?
(A) No, it’s a nickname. I got it after E-40 re-purposed Pete Rose’s moniker “Charlie Hustle” on one of his albums. My real name is Karla, but I became Karlie Hustle one day in a record store when we were talking about 40’s new project. I’m from the Pacific Northwest. Eugene and Portland, OR.
(Q) Tell me about your bow ties. How long have they been on the market? And where could someone get one?
(A) The Hustle Bow Tie is just around three months old. They are available in various colorways on my personal site at karliehustle.com. They are also now available on Karmaloop.com, which is a huge look for such a new brand.
(Q) I saw one of the videos on you tube where you spoke about how you diversify your talents. That’s one of the simplest ways I’ve ever heard anyone break down a formula for success. Do you approach all industries with that formula?
(A) Ultimately, the more you know, the more valuable you become to any company. Particularly if you work for someone else, it’s more difficult for them to fire you if you possess the skill sets of four different people instead of just one. Coming from a radio background, I’ve always been tasked with avoiding the dreaded layoff and downsizing that plague the industry. One way I’ve managed to always quit radio jobs instead of being fired is due to my diversified skill set.
(Q) I know you departed from radio not to long ago and you’ve made the decision to give most of your time to the fashion business. Do you think you’re more passionate about radio or fashion?
(A) I wouldn’t say I’m giving up radio for fashion. Honestly, I don’t know shit about fashion. I just happen to organically have a product that people can wear. I left radio to become an entrepreneur. The Hustle Bow Tie is my vehicle.
(Q) What inspires you the most about fashion? And who are some of your favorite fashion designers? You look like the Armani type to me.
(A) Ha! I really have people fooled, I guess. I’m so basic and cheap. I pretty much wear the same thing every day. Jeans, a button up, Chucks and my Hustle Bow Tie. I like Levis, Converse and Uniqlo shirts. I don’t see the point in spending a ton of money on clothes; I’m just going to spill something on it anyway. I’d rather eat good food and see new things with my cash.
(Q) Are you planning on designing shirts and jeans?
(A) My brand isn’t exclusively dedicated to clothing; it’s more of a lifestyle thing. I am more likely to release a set of pens and sticky notes for my corporate hustlers before I release a crystal-studded blazer. That being said, we definitely will have some shirts and other lifestyle items in the near future.
(Q) I’ve met different designers in America and in Europe and all of them had one thing in common. They all were smart. What separates you from lets say Comme Des Garcons? (Japanese designers in France)
(A) I think what separates me from them is that I’m not a fashion designer at all! I am smart, though.
(Q) Will you ever return to radio again?
(A) Not likely. I hit the pinnacle of terrestrial radio by working at Hot 97 and did what I needed to do. I don’t see a higher height for me in that industry.
(Q) Because you’re a woman with ambition and drive, do you ever receive resistance from the men in your industry?
(A) Absolutely. But eventually they get over it. Whether it takes them days, months or years, they learn to respect the Hustle in hindsight.
(Q) What’s your favorite thing to do? And what’s your sign?
(A) I love to eat. I’m a Cancer. We love food and nuzzling under the covers with a good film and some hot tea.
(Q) They say that fashion and scents go hand in hand. What’s your favorite scent to wear with your bow ties?