A.J. Discianni is still a senior at Elizabethtown College. But in a scant two years – and especially in the year since Keystone Edge last visited him
– his company Believe the Hype
, an apparel maker pegged to the hip-hop scene, has grown into a serious, moneymaking enterprise.
"Since last year … we have bought our own printing press, sponsored numerous events, endorsed more music artists and athletes and earned our trademark for the phrase 'believe the hype'," says Discianni, only 21.
With help from one of their associated music artists, a rapper from the group 'Game 7' out of northeast PA, who also happens to be an intellectual property lawyer, the company now owns its name and has also registered as a limited liability company (LLC). "The combination of these two things … was a huge milestone for us as a company and it really legitimizes us as a business and not just a college project," says Discianni. "I'm really proud to call myself a CEO and owner of a trademark."
Acquisition of the press, located in Maryland where the company's chief design officer lives, is another biggie. "I cannot express the magnitude of importance of this press to us as a company," says Discianni. "It takes years for some companies to do their printing in-house instead of outsourcing it."
With Discianni and partners Andy DeLena and Ryan Follweiler still students or recent grads, "the biggest goal is to still keep this fun," says Discianni. Nevertheless, he adds, "we have started to really see that there is a future for this company."
Source: A.J. Discianni, Believe the Hype
Writer: Elise Vider