Spergo: The clothing company created by teen entrepreneur continues to grow after Shark Tank success
Trey Brown and his mother, Sherell Peterson, recently appeared on the show and were able to bag a $300,000 deal.
Spergo, a Philadelphia-based streetwear apparel brand which is currently projected to make $2.2 million this year, was started with just $178 and the desire to make a positive impact in his community.
“I wanted to be the light, and role model," Spergo founder Trey Brown told CNBC.
At just 12-years-old, Brown took the leftover birthday money he had to make 16 T-shirts with a design he created on them. The shirts sold out quickly and netted him $280. He immediately reinvested the money by using it to buy more T-shirts to sell.
Founded in 2018, he named his new business Spergo. He came up with the name by combining the words “sports,” “heroes,” and “go-getter.”
Brown then began marketing his clothing in local barbershops. This strategy proved very successful when a patron gave him the number of P. Diddy. This call eventually turned into a $25,000 grant and post on the rapper’s Instagram.
The grant money bought the brand’s first brick-and-mortar store, which doubles as their warehouse, in North Philadelphia last year. Prior to this, Brown, now 15, had been selling products from their porch.
When asked by WHYY’s Cherri Gregg how the pandemic has affected their business Brown replied positively.
"It was just like a big win for the city because during the pandemic, you know, it was just like a lot of losses and a lot of people weren’t happy. But when I opened the store, I brought a lot of hope to the city," he said.
Since then, Brown and his mother have added two more permanent locations; one in the King of Prussia Mall and the other in the Pentagon Mall near Washington D.C. The latest location opened in October 2021.
In 2020, Brown applied and was selected for the 76ers’ Buy Black Program. The program provides the selected business with marketing plans and promotion from the Sixers team, which are usually reserved for bigger corporate partners.
During Brown’s Nov. 5 appearance on Shark Tank, he was able to strike a $300,000 for 20% stake deal with FUBU founder, Daymond John.
As Peterson told the Sharks, the money they received would be going into things like hiring a fashion designer and eCommerce marketing specialist.
According to the brand’s website, other future plans include opening more stores, mentoring other young people, and expanding internationally.