Q&A: Brandon Fuss-Cheatham of Lamp Apparel

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From the May 29, 2014 edition

Former Ohio State basketball player Brandon Fuss-Cheatham and business partner Scott Kaiser are taking their love for laughs and comfort all the way to the bank. Combining a Midwest mindset with West Coast comfort, the duo’s new T-shirt company, Lamp Apparel, will open the doors to their brick and mortar shop at 815 N. High St. in the Greystone building on June 7, and bring their own flavor of lounging to the Short North.

After saying “that should be a T-shirt” enough times, my best friend and I decided to start a T-shirt line. Obviously, saying “let’s start a T-shirt line” is the easy part, making it happen is another story. The initial excitement from selling our first shirt wore off when we realized he had to fill the order on time. There are a lot more moving parts than you’d think. Luckily, we’ve pretty much worked out all the kinks now.

I named the company “Lamp Apparel” because I like the “lamping around” lifestyle. I lived in California, and there people talk about “lamping” around, which is basically hanging out. The uniform for “lamping” is a really comfortable T-shirt and jeans. I wanted to make comfortable, clean and creative T-shirts people could wear to bed, or on a night out. That, and because I just hate buttons. If it has buttons on it, I don’t want it.

I’ve been an athlete all my life, I wanted to try something new. Sports were always something I excelled at. I’ve never had a clothing line before, so I’m excited to try something new and take on the challenge. I want to succeed in everything I do, but this didn’t come as naturally as athletics.

The goal was always to have a shop, [Kaiser and I] just weren’t sure we could do it. It’s always been in the back of our mind to have a physical space to do this. We were lucky that some high-profile people like [professional prankster] Roman Atwood and [NBA player] Jared Sullinger started wearing our gear, and things just blew up. It was getting hard to keep up with demand, so it started looking like a possibility. One day we saw a “for rent” sign in the window at the Greystone Building

If it’s dope, I’ll make it. I’ve always been the class clown, and my friends are all goofballs, so anytime somebody says something funny, we want to put it on a T-shirt. That, and people

throw ideas at us all the time. We plan to move beyond T-shirts and expand the line to include sweatshirts and sweatpants too. I’m just all about comfort and the “lamping’” lifestyle, and I want to offer clothes that promote that; the hard part is keeping the ideas fresh.

Photo by Meghan Ralston