Name and Title:
Sas Simon & Lena Imamura
How many years have you been in business in NYC?
Although we have been working towards the business for two years, we officially launched in April of 2016.
How did you get your start and what was your initial inspiration?
After the birth of my nephew, I really wanted to get a great, customized neon sign made for his nursery. I scoured the internet and was shocked by the lack of easy, modern options. Neon can be really difficult to understand and grasp and I really wanted someone to walk me through the process while being cognizant of my budget. I then was put in touch with Lena, an old friend from high school and commissioned her to create the piece for me and voila NAME GLO was born. We joined forces and set forth to create a contemporary, hip, neon and LED neon experience.
What do you feel differentiates you from others in your field?
Well, first off we are women, which is a bit unusual. Most of the neon world is dominated by men, so we are excited to bring a feminine touch to the process. Also, most of our clients are first time neon buyers, so we love that we are working with a new generation of neon enthusiasts. We really strive to make the entire process digestible and collaborative, which is also something that makes our company unique. It’s important to us that all of our clients fall in love with their piece and understand the process. You are really commissioning a customized piece of art, it’s important to us that you feel comfortable every step of the way.
What is your favorite part of your job?
Seeing a client's face light up when their piece gets plugged in, hands down that is the best part! It’s like a magic trick right before their eyes. We love getting to know our clients and bringing neon to people who had never really considered it before. We are also super pumped because we are about to launch our brand new custom design app! With the app, potential clients can create their own own custom pieces right on our site and pick and choose all of the details they want to include. We’re excited to hear feedback on that.
What is your favorite secret NYC spot?
We are both native New Yorkers so we aren’t sure how comfortable we are spilling our secrets, but since you asked…
Sas: When I am not thinking about neon or acting (I’m an actor/writer too) I am thinking about food. It's all about food all the time. I grew up in NYC and spent a lot of my summers working at a great, small café in the West Village, Bonsignour, which is still my go to place for a delicious bite without any of the fuss. Get the timbale, rice pudding (if they have it) and a latte. You’ll thank me later.
Lena: I love heading to Cafe Orlin for their hijiki salad. It’s a staple of mine in the East Village.
How do you benefit mamas?
NAME GLO specifically benefits mamas and tatas because we have come up with a great child-safe alternative to traditional neon. Traditional neon is made out of bent glass and then gas is pumped through it which is how it gets its signature glow. Although it’s incredible visually, we saw that some mom’s were uncomfortable with traditional neon in their kid’s room, so we launched our LED neon line for that very reason. Our LED neons are a cost-and-energy-effective alternative for those looking for the classic neon glow. Made out of flexible LEDs, these pieces are perfect for nurseries or kids rooms where everything needs to be precious and safe. Our LED neons also come with dimmers so the softer light can act as a nightlight.
What is the most memorable feedback a client has given you?
We have been really lucky to work with great people. All of our clients have said that the neon or LED neon we have done has become the focal point in their home, office or room, which is incredibly flattering. Everyone says that they can’t wait to get their next piece so we are pumped to be lighting up the city one person at a time.
Pay it forward and name your top colleagues in the same field or related field:
Sas: Sara Kalish is a great family photographer, www.sarakalishphotography.com. She did amazing sessions with my niece and nephew and several friends. Her picturesare one of a kind and she’s a total pro.
Lena: Geometry Kids (48 Grand Street, Brooklyn) - www.geometrykids.com. It’s a great shop in Williamsburg where I do a lot of my shopping for friends with kids. The store is super curated and chock full of incredible gift ideas. What's even better is Geometry Kids will have some of our NAME GLO originals in their store in time for the holidays, so if you want to see our work up close head over there!"
What is the best advice anyone has ever given you? Or what is your "mantra" / words to live by?
Sas: For me it’s definitely, “don’t take yourself too seriously.” If you can’t laugh or make fun of yourself, chances are, we probably aren’t going to get along very well.
Lena: Mine is “you got this.” Nothing like a little pep-talk when you have a daunting day or task ahead.
As moms, the day can escape us, what is your best time-saving trick?
Well, neither of us are moms just yet, so we don’t have a “mama specific” trick. But we both balance various responsibilities and wear many hats – in addition to NAME GLO we both have other jobs. If you can map out your day hour by hour and hold yourself accountable to everything on your list, chances are you will get most of it done. But as far as all you mama’s go… we think you are superheros.