Trey Brown may only be 15, but he’s already poised to be the next big name in fashion.
The Spergo founder and CEO first turned his hand to designing at age 12, after spending his $178 in birthday money to sell 16 customized t-shirts. On the Friday episode of “Shark Tank,” Brown told the panel of Sharks that his t-shirts “sold out instantly.”
Brown then began to go door-to-door, selling his t-shirts to local Philadelphia businesses. One day, after walking into a barbershop, a client, impressed with Brown’s entrepreneurial skills, gave Sean “Diddy” Combs’ number a FaceTime call.
Combs shared Brown’s company on an Instagram post and gave him a $25,000 grant. He used the money to open his first physical store. He now owns three.
But Brown was far from a novice. At the time of his television debut, his Philadelphia-based streetwear apparel brand was already on track to make $2.2 million in sales this year.
In 2018, Brown and his mother, Sherell Peterson, a retired seamstress, officially created the brand. Peterson now works full-time as the COO of her son’s company.
Brown walked away from “Shark Tank” with a $300,000 investment deal from FUBU founder Daymond John in exchange for a 20% stake in Spergo.
“Obviously, I relate to this. I started a clothing brand, and my mother was — and is — a huge inspiration in my life,” said John.
John and Mark Cuban initially offered Brown the same amount of money for 25%. Brown cited John as one of his inspirations and negotiated with the longtime shark.
“I used to bring Mr. Daymond’s book to school and I would read it any time I would finish my work,” said Brown. “Now, to be partnering with [him], it’s still soaking in right now.”