Our History

illumiNITE was developed by a team of MIT graduates in Cambridge, Massachusetts. With a passion for cycling, they recognized the need for safety when riding and were unsatisfied with the options available. The team envisioned a reflective glass bead infused ink that could be printed directly onto the fabric to create garments that have full silhouette reflectivity and improved visibility, even in low light conditions.  illumiNITE was born!

BackAtcha Apparel LLC is the exclusive manufacturer of illumiNITE products for the Americas. This family-owned and operated company is made up of a dedicated team with over 100 years of combined experience. They are passionate about the creation of stylish athletic wear that is designed with safety in mind.

Our Process

When BackAtcha Apparel first took over the illumiNITE reflective clothing brand, most of the garments were produced in overseas factories--did you know as much as 93% of the clothing in US stores is produced overseas?  Since then, we have taken pride in our efforts to keep the Made in Amercia ethos thriving. The majority of our garments are now sewn in Fall River, Massachusetts, where the textile manufacturing industry goes back 200 years. Fall River’s Slogan is “Make it Here” and we do! When you purchase an illumiNITE product that is made in our Fall River factory, it helps to support not just our company, but the local community as well.

Our tight knit team of designers and quality professionals are all involved in the creation and testing of our collections and take pride in each piece. Each of our American-made products is carefully designed and constructed here, with illumiNITE printed areas placed strategically placed to ensure maximum visibility from all angles for the safety of our customers. We produce illumiNITE gear in small batches to prevent any production errors and get product on the shelves quickly. We employ talented local workers who truly care about the product that they are cutting and stitching. We test our product by using it ourselves, as well as giving it to runners and cyclists who will put it through its paces. Our designers can see the finished product roll off the sewing floor and know that it was made as intended. Our customer service staff know the product and the people who made it! Not many companies can say that.

Choosing to purchase American-made products is a personal decision, and we want to make it simple for you to stick by your convictions. Here at illumiNITE, we design reflective gear that we can successfully make in our own factory. If we cannot make something well, or sell it for a good price, we will out-source it and tell you why. Many of our gloves are made overseas in factories that specialize in that product category. Every illumiNITE product listing will include the manufacturing location in the description.

From design and development through shipping the finished garment to you, our central location helps us shorten the product cycle, reduce shipping costs, and improve quality.

Our Team

Our team of dedicated professionals has the combined experience of more than 105 years working with apparel and textiles. From design to production and right down to shipping, we have experienced people caring about the quality of our illumiNITE products.

We promise to continue improving our production processes and increasing the number of products made in the United States. We're proud of our efforts to keep American money at home, stimulating our local economy and giving our American employees a fair wage and quality working conditions. We know what this country means to us and to our customers, and we'll work hard to ensure our business practices contribute to the greater good of all Americans.

Sue Teixeira - President of BackAtcha Apparel

With over 25 years in the apparel, logistics and technology industries along with a love of running and skiing, Sue brings her personal and professional expertise to every item illumiNITE produces. She even involves her two dogs, Jack and Sophie, in the product testing, so you know that illumiNITE pet gear has the seal of approval from two active pups.

Frank Teixeira - Treasurer of BackAtcha Apparel

From his start working in his father's apparel factory during summer breaks to his work with cutting-edge reflective sportswear, Frank has over 50 years of experience in the textile industry. He's dedicated to making the best reflective clothing available and keeping high-quality textile manufacturing here in the United States instead of cutting corners with lower-quality producers from overseas.

Meg DeCubellis - Vice President of Creative Design

Meg makes sure illumiNITE clothing is functional, fun and creative. She holds a faculty position in the Apparel Design Department at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) where she loves showcasing the intersection of design and business in the apparel industry.

Jennifer Rubens - Vice President of Possibilities and Board Member

Over the past 34 years, Jennifer has done every job related to apparel design, production, and sales, from patternmaking to web design to fulfilment and book keeping. Never well-suited to corporate life, she prefers working for and consulting with small companies and hungry start-ups. A biking, hiking and camping enthusiast, she has brought her flo lime illumiNITE tee on 80 mile backpacking trips in the New Mexico mountains and lazy kayak paddles in the Adirondacks and on the Finger Lakes.

Helen Paul - Customer Service Specialist

Helen is the one who holds our team together, managing the front office and delivering exceptional customer service to everyone who contacts illumiNITE.