This 15-year-old built a million-dollar clothing brand and bagged a $300,000 Shark Tank Deal from FUBU Founder

Photo credit: Christopher Willard

If you’ve been following my content for a while, you’ll know that I love to highlight the success stories of inspiring entrepreneurs and innovators. Today, I want to spotlight young Trey Brown, the founder of the million-dollar clothing brand, Spergo.

Trey Brown, then 12, used his birthday money to buy, customize, and sell 16 T-shirts.

Brown said on ABC’s “Shark Tank” that they “sold out instantly.”

Brown is now 15 years old. He claimed that at the time of the “Shark Tank” episode’s taping, his Philadelphia-based streetwear apparel brand Spergo was on track to generate $2.2 million in sales by 2021.

Brown founded Spergo in early 2018 with the assistance of his mother, Sherell Peterson, a retired seamstress who is now the company’s full-time COO. Spergo sells socks, T-shirts, hoodies, and sweatpants for $12, $45, $80, and $98, respectively.

Brown received a $300,000 investment from Daymond John, the founder of FUBU, in exchange for a 20% stake in Spergo.

“Obviously, I can relate to this,” John said. “I launched a clothing line, and my mother was — and continues to be — a huge inspiration in my life.”

Brown said he founded Spergo — a combination of the words “sports,” “heroes,” and “go-getters” — after becoming increasingly aware of violence and drug use in his neighborhood. He reasoned that selling T-shirts successfully would encourage his peers to stay out of trouble.

“I wanted to be the light and a role model,” Brown explained.

Brown was selling shirts door-to-door at local Philadelphia businesses a few months later. His hustle impressed a barbershop patron who happened to have Sean “Diddy” Combs’ phone number, prompting a FaceTime call.

Combs was so impressed that he decided to help Spergo raise its profile, with both an Instagram post highlighting Brown’s story and a $25,000 grant, which Brown used to open the first of his company’s three brick-and-mortar locations in Philadelphia.

John was initially hesitant to offer an investment because, he claimed, Spergo was already profitable on…

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