The 13-year-young Trey Brown is the founder of the sportswear brand Spergo
The teenager has sold more than 6,000 pieces of his unisex sportswear in the first year and a half of his self-made business. His product line includes T-shirts, hoodies, sweatsuits, fanny packs and slides in vibrant colors - all unisex. Due to a great social media presence, Trey has some 16,600 followers and caught the eye of Invesco, an Atlanta-based management company. Invesco produced a commercial featuring Brown together with CNN.
This summer you Trey was part of a digital billboard flashing in Times Square, wearing one of his black Spergo sweatshirt - of course, that’s the only brand he wears.
“I was so excited,” Brown said. He put a fanny pack over his shoulders and was wearing it like a cross-body bag. The design is special and unique to Spergo, designed with two zippers and it’s waterproof.
“We screamed. We all screamed. When I went home [from the unveiling], I cried,” Trey said.
Brown was born with the entrepreneurial mindset. His first business venture was in the music industry. His mom even bought him some time in a recording studio, but the music business was a little too dubious for his taste. So Brown turned his attention to fashion.
“I wanted to show youth that they could do great things without being violent,” said Brown. The name Spergo was created because it’s a combination of the words sports and heroes. He added the ‘go’ to the end because, Brown said, “I’m always on the go, getting things done.”
On Dec. 31, 2017, his 12th birthday, Trey received $178. One month later, on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday, Trey and his mom, Sherell Peterson, had Spergo’s first business meeting. Trey’s mom is a third-grade teacher with a degree in fashion who has also dabbled in clothing design. She explained the concepts of profit, marketing, giving back, and most importantly, investing in oneself to Trey.
“It’s my job to protect him and encourage him,” the mother said, who is home-schooling her son.
The family duo reached out to local entrepreneurs like Nehemiah Davis to get some advice. It didn’t take long until Trey had his first set of T-shirts that he sold knocking on strangers doors for $20.
“We went out on Saturdays and I sold at barbershops,” the teenager said. “And I was disciplined, like I wouldn’t let myself eat until all of the shirts were sold.”
All of Treys profits are being in his line. The boy and his mom found manufacturing in Philadelphia, as well as overseas and enlarged the line to also sell sportswear, including comfy sweatshirt dresses for women. Trey eventually raised his prices and his T-shirts are now $30. His most expensive item is an all-weather zip-up jacket that sells for $90.
The commercial with Invesco and CCN was released in June only a couple of months after the companies reached out to the boy.
After the commercial aired Tracy Allan, owner and founder of Charity Share Times Square reached out to Trey in July. He met with the family, and Trey’s spot on the digital billboard went live for two hours in August. It still is in the rotation now.
“I was in rapt by this young man,” Allan said. “He has a clear path to what he wants to do and what he wants to accomplish and he does it without bling or bravado, but [with] appreciation for his fellow man."
Spergo’s early pieces featured a lion because, as Trey says it, he’s a young king. But it’s the new fall collection, that’s really special. The collection features a design with Spergo in block letters. The word ‘Spergo’ encourages Trey every day of his life the boy says.
"In the beginning when I started Spergo, there were a lot of people who laughed at me," Trey said. “In order for me to keep going, I would say to myself: ‘I am powerful. I am strong. I am courageous.’”