Trey Brown was only 12 years old when he saw on the news that a 14-year-old was arrested for murdering a 13-year-old. He lived right outside of Philadelphia and was already aware of the high crime rate for teenagers. But with that murder, he vowed that he wasn’t going that route and that he would demonstrate to his younger brother and his friends that there are alternatives to violence.
Trey had money from his birthday, so he bought 16 T-shirts for $178, put his logo on them, and sold all the shirts in a week. He reinvested that money and sold 30 shirts, on his Instagram account, to his family and friends, and by going from barbershop to barbershop. Each week he increased his sales, until he founded SPERGO, a unisex, luxury-urban clothing line for adults and children that branched out into hoodies, sweatshirts and pants, biker shorts, scarves, beanies, socks and signature headbands. In addition to his eCommerce shop, Trey intends to have brick-and-mortar shops all over the world. He already has one in Philadelphia and one in Washington DC.
SPERGO is an amalgam of Sports – Heroes – Go. He’s quick to point out that “heroes” includes everyday people, not only the bold-type names who have partnered with him and wear his brand. He chose the lion logo to represent his values of “power, strength and courage.”
Much of SPERGO’s international success is due to Trey’s superior marketing skills. When he opened his business, he was already a social media influencer with 30,000 followers who watched his videos, including of him rapping, and learned from his affirmations and motivational speeches.
In one year, CEO Trey earned enough to hire his mother away from her job teaching fifth grade. Sherell Peterson is Creative Director. She was always Trey’s “influencer,” as he watched her operate her own fashion business for a time, but raising three children took precedent. She now cheers on a six-year-old dancer and an 11-year-old basketball player as much as she does Trey. Her dream is to see her children achieve their dreams.
Trey, gregarious, personable and hardworking, has attracted a lot of important attention to him and his fashion line.
- The NBA Philadelphia 76ers (Trey’s lifelong favorite team) selected SPERGO as one of the first two businesses under their Buy Black Program—that was out of the 700 businesses that applied. The initiative was created to assist with the growth of amazing local and Black-owned businesses. Trey will receive expert advice in customized marketing strategies from the 76ers creative teams, as well as TV-visible signage, email marketing, access to millions of 76ers fans across digital and social platforms, and special appearances by 76ers players.
- Trey was invited to appear on The Ellen Degeneres Show. After chatting with Ellen, he was rehearsing for a commercial when his idol Sean “Diddy” Combs interrupted. Trey received the very first of Sean’s Black Excellence Entrepreneurial Grants–$25,000.
- Trey’s smiling face appeared on a large billboard in Times Square as part of an advertising campaign for investment management firm, Invesco.
- In addition to Sean Combs, rappers Meek Mill and Da Baby wear SPERGO as do athletes such as Shaquille O’Neal and Charles Barkley.
In his free time, Trey is completing ninth grade, feeding the less fortunate, helping the homeless, visiting sick children, and serving in his church. He is a popular motivational speaker for local high schools, the Boys and Girls Club of Philadelphia, and Rowan University. Somehow, he managed to author a book, Trey’s Way: My Entrepreneurial Keys to Success, to tell his contemporaries about his journey and inspire them to achieve their dreams.
Trey, of course, continues to have his own dreams, one of which is the Lamborghini he’ll get just as soon as he can drive!