When Trey Brown was 12 years old, he saw himself surrounded by drug and gang violence that was destroying his hometown of Philadelphia. He was terrified that he and his friends would be sucked up into this tornado and end up in jail or, worse, dead. That year he made the decision to spend his birthday money designing sixteen T-shirts that he sold to his family and friends within the week.
He recognized this as a business opportunity and reinvested the money into making more shirts. Then every Saturday, Trey went out to every barber shop in the city, hustling until he had sold each shirt. This is how SPERGO was born.
SPERGO combines sport and hero, honoring Trey’s love of sports. The go at the end is meant to inspire people to embrace the go-getter attitude.
A $25,000 grant from Grammy-winning hip hop rapper and producer Sean “Diddy” Combs helped Trey build his first brick-and-mortar store in Philadelphia. More celebrities jumped onboard like Meek Mill and Da Baby, as well as NBA giants such as Shaquille O’Neil and Charles Barkley. They wore and promoted SPERGO on their social media accounts, encouraging others to check out the store.
SPERGO continues to grow and is also an active member of its community, with Trey giving back to the people who supported him and helped his business grow. He has become a youth speaker going around schools to motivate fellow students to make more of themselves and escape the vicious circle of gang violence.
How Did The Shark Tank Pitch Go?
Trey came into the Shark Tank with his mother, Sherell Peterson, his first full-fledged employee, and blew the Sharks out of the water with his confidence, ambition, and numbers.
Trey told his story and his goal to be a billionaire by his 21st birthday, and with SPERGO projecting sales of $2.2 million for the coming year, he believed he was well on his way.
The Sharks wanted to know more about his business, and Trey told them that he had a brick-and-mortar store that accounted for 70% of the sales and had impressive margins, manufacturing at $21 and selling at $170. All the Sharks thought he was doing great and didn’t need their help, but Sherell insisted they needed their expertise and capital to hire more employees like designers and e-commerce experts. She felt SPERGO was not performing at the level it should be and needed to have planned for two seasons in advance.
Lori and Kevin didn’t believe they were a good fit for SPERGO, even though they greatly admired Trey and his ambition. Damian was also out because he wasnt comfortable with the physical establishment; he would have preferred a completely online store.
That left Mark and Daymond. Mark truly believed in Trey’s potential but stated that at the end of the day, he was selling clothes and needed to walk before he ran. He offered $300,000 for 25%. Daymond offered the same.
Trey looked to Daymond, countering $300,000 for 20%, which Daymond took. It was as heartwarming to see Trey and Daymond shake hands while Trey narrated how he used to read Daymond’s book when he was in school just starting. It was a full circle moment.
Our Review of SPERGO
SPERGO has all the classic streetwear items a person needs to be comfortable and look good. They have the essential sweat jackets, sweatpants, track pants, hoodies, body dresses, body suits, skullies, and hats for men and women, as well as streetwear for kids.
Their high-quality apparel items feature bold clean lines with their logo names, taglines such as billionaire, and their signature lion logo. The clothing comes in multiple colors and matching sets with sizes ranging from extra small (XS) to triple extra large (XXXL). Their stores are continuously being updated with more designs and sizes.
Pros of SPERGO
- Variety of clothing items
- Well-made, durable material
- Variety of colors
- A broad range of sizes
Cons of SPERGO
- Limited line for women
Who is SPERGO For?
SPERGO’s streetwear is for individuals looking to improve the quality of their causal outfits and make them look more luxurious and fashionable.
Are There Any Alternatives?
There are many streetwear brands in this super-saturated market. Even if you narrow the market to black-owned businesses, SPERGO’s price point still has it competing with some of the most popular brands, a few of which are listed below.
Founded in 1995, this streetwear brand mixes the visual and musical vibes witnessed in the streets of London, New York, and Toyoko. Here they release collections like high fashion brands and have a dedicated fanbase. Their streetwear is available on their website.
What started as a side art project for founder Samuel Ross in 2015 has become a fully realized men’s streetwear fashion brand. With influences from industrial design and modern architecture, A-Cold-Wall takes streetwear a step up, making it more luxurious. A collaboration with Dr. Martens launched a sneaker collection that combines the classic look of Dr. Martens with A-Cold-Wall’s fine art designs. The apparel and sneakers are available on their website.
Brick & Woods
This LA-based South Central brand strives to meet the demand for high-quality and functional streetwear. With plenty of classics from oversized tees to hoodies in unisex sizings, Brink & Wood offers something to everyone regardless of their identity. Their extensive collection of apparel is available on their website.
Our Final Thoughts
It’s a sad reality that gang and drug violence has plagued Philldephia communities for decades and has claimed many victims. At such a young age, Trey recognized these negative influences around him and pushed himself to get out. He is an inspiration, and we’re proud of Trey for finding his way out and his continued passion for motivating others to make something of themselves.
While there are many streetwear brands in the market, there is something about SPERGO that makes you feel like you are doing more than just buying a hoodie. It truly feels like you are helping lift a generation reach its dreams.