Meet Obocho Peters from Brooklyn, New York. He is the founder of the business, Obocho’s Closet. He started the thrift store in 2018 at nine years old with a mission to help low-income families save money on clothes and promote education.
Peters said his business idea emerged after watching the movie “Avengers: Infinity War” and asked his mother for money to buy toys of characters from the film. When his mother couldn’t afford them, he decided to sell his old clothes to raise money for his toys.
He added that it dawned on him that other kids around him may have the same issue and that he wanted to help. He began collecting donations from the community and raised more than $10,000 from his GoFundMe campaign to open his shop.
The business has been running for three years now and Obocho said he is able to balance his role as a CEO, as a kid and as a student because his mother, Sasha Peters, has set a schedule for him.
“So everything is balanced between school, between business, helping out with the shop, selling clothes, putting stuff on the website. All of that has a time schedule and time frame that things are done by,” he told ABC News.
During the pandemic, Obocho had to shut down his brick-and-mortar store along with so many others. He was among the majority of black-owned businesses that were disproportionately hit by the pandemic.
Nonetheless, Obocho showed resilience and moved the business online. According to him, business is “going good” and he has also picked up some useful business lessons.
“What I am learning is how to pivot between stations, between in-store, having a brick and mortar store and online, dealing with my customers, knowing how to communicate with people and all the lessons that I have learnt by communicating with people in-person and communicate with people to get them what they want online. And the extra lessons my mom teaches me to be the best business person that I can be,” he said.
Obocho’s mother Sasha Peters, who is a single mother, said she enjoys watching her son go through the process of becoming a successful entrepreneur. According to her, she allows her son to gamble on the success of his business and stays off unless he’s in a difficult situation.
She also had some advice for parents whose kids have entrepreneurial dreams. She urged parents not to be an impediment to the entrepreneurial aspirations of their children.
“If a child comes to you and said they want to do something or they want to start a business, move yourself out of the way. Don’t think about where you failed in your life because what happens is, you are going to stamp their growth for them to experience what they want to do. So you have to allow them to just be,” she admonished on ABC News.