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This Kid Opened Up A Thrift Store For Low-Income Families Where Everything’s Under $10
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Fashion, Parenting

This Kid Opened Up A Thrift Store For Low-Income Families Where Everything’s Under $10

No doubt all of us had dreams when we were kids of one day becoming heroes. However, some of us found bigger and better ambitions in life, while many others got to make a change in the world and become heroes only when they grew up. Yet there are others who never got to live the dream at all.

Fortunately, though, there are stories in this world that serve to once again remind us that it’s never too early or too late to make an impact on the world around us.

Meet Obocho, an 11YO boy from New York City who runs his own thrift store that helps low-income families

Image credits: GoFundMe

Meet Obocho Peters, an 11-year-old boy from Brooklyn, New York. He is the CEO and President of Obocho’s Closet, a thrift store that sells baby and children’s clothing and footwear at an affordable price for low-income families. Oh, wait, there’s more. On top of making clothing more affordable, Obocho’s business venture also aims to help low-income families learn how to save money by providing free financial literacy seminars. This would empower them to prepare for their children’s college or the pursuit of other life goals. Bored Panda got in touch with Obocho and his mother Sasha for an interview.

Obocho’s Closet is a children’s thrift store that was launched on April 27, 2018 because I wanted 8 toys from the movie Avengers Infinity War, but my mom couldn’t afford it after paying all the bills,” explained Obocho. “For my 11th birthday, I opened my first physical location in the community at 495 Flatbush Ave. so that families can come and shop, and I can meet and greet my community.”

He continued: “The store sells clothes and shoes for children sizes 0-20 with a goal to help families save the extra money for their children’s college funds. The majority of the store is no more than $10. To support my community, I told my mom that I wanted to create a give-back that the community needs. So, a portion of the money from the thrift store goes towards free financial literacy seminars and workshops to teach families about credit development, budgeting and other creative ways to save money for those college funds or become an entrepreneur like me.”

Obocho got the idea to sell clothes when his mom told him she can’t afford Avengers Infinity Wars toys for him

Image credits: GoFundMe

Obocho drew inspiration for this idea one day after asking his mother, Sasha, to get him some Avengers Infinity Wars toys. Unfortunately, she couldn’t afford them and explained to him the financial hardship she had been going through. It was then that Obocho had an idea to try and sell his unused clothing and shoes to finance his toys. This immediately led him to the realization that there must be other families who are probably going through these same challenges when taking care of kids.

An 11-year-old entrepreneur is a rare sight, but business is pretty much the same no matter the age. Obocho told us a bit about his day as a President and CEO of his company:

“I go to school from 8:20 am to 2:40 pm. After school, my mom picks me up and we go to my store to first do my homework and then eat. Once my homework is done, I join my mom in taking care of some of the business with the store. My mom quit her job for my business, so she does most of the work while I am in school. When we leave the store sometimes between 7:00 pm -9:00 pm, I go home, eat again if I’m hungry and get ready for bed.”

He continued: “BUT, every night I must always play with my toys, especially my Beyblades. My mom lets me do this because this is what keeps me grounded as a kid. My mom taught me when I first started my business that having balance and being a kid through this whole process was going to be the most important part of this journey. Playing with my toys makes me happy.”

He first sold his own unneeded clothes, then began selling clothes and shoes donated by others

Image credits: Obocho Peters

The business started off online back in 2018 under the name of Obocho’s Closet, when Obocho decided to sell the clothes he didn’t need any more. It wasn’t long until he began selling donated clothes for under 10 dollars, making it available to low-income families.

However, having a business is by no means easy sailing as every business venture comes with its own challenges. Obocho explained: “The most challenging part of running my own thrift store is getting financial support. My business is a for-profit with a business model usually associated with a non-profit. It is a challenge when people want to help by giving financial donations, but when they find out I am a for-profit, they always say they can’t help.”

Obocho went on: “In the beginning, it used to make me sad because I didn’t understand why not, but now my mom helped me understand. So, I have to work 10 times harder because I have to keep myself and my business up and running. It is a lot of work, but I enjoy the process and I am learning so much. I had to start a GoFundMe—it takes care of the store and makes sure I can continue to put on the free financial literacy seminars and workshops while I grow my business because I told my mom I don’t want the community to pay for the education.”

Obocho was awarded the Hero of the Month award by the Brooklyn Borough President for his idea

Image credits: Obocho Peters

Obocho organized a GoFundMe campaign that would allow him to open up a physical location in New York City. He has managed to raise over 13,000 dollars so far. Besides covering the operating costs, the money would also be used for vendor licenses, promotions, and to fund the financial literacy seminars completely free of charge to anyone interested. Obocho worked very hard on making this a reality—to such an extent, in fact, that his work netted him the Hero of the Month Award back in June of 2019. Eric Adams, the President of the Brooklyn Borough, awarded him with this honor for his sense of obligation to give back to the community.

Lastly, we’ve asked about future plans for the store. Obocho had this to say: “I would like to have more fun free workshops once a month. Also, on April 27, 2020, it will be my 2-year business anniversary. I told my mom that I want to do a Parents Appreciation Day Fundraiser to let parents know they are special. My mom and I are super excited for that day!”

Little known fact: Obocho (pronounced Oh-Boh-Cho) means I am love, and it’s Obocho’s passion to spread love with the community and the world, which he works hard to incorporate into his business’ mission. Besides entrepreneurship, Obocho hopes to one day become a motivational speaker and to meet the cast of Avengers Infinity War.

What first started as an online store, now has physical premises in New York City

Image credits: Obocho Peters

His mother cannot be prouder of him, explaining that Obocho’s example shows other kids that the sky’s the limit and age is just a number at this point. He has been putting in a lot of work, speaking at schools and big events, and promoting his dream, all the while still going to school and managing the store.

Since this whole idea originated from wanting some Avengers toys, it would have been a mistake to not ask the obvious question: favorite Avengers Infinity War character and why? Obocho had this to say: “I love this question! My favorite Avengers Infinity Wars character is Iron Man, portrayed by Robert Downey Jr. He is my favorite because his suit is super cool, powerful, and he can fly. Iron Man uses his genius, finances and technology to solve many, many problem. He is doing exactly what I want to do when I get the financial support my business needs. I want to help this world be a better place and help as many families as I can to have financial freedom.”

Obocho’s mother Sasha helped mediate his answers for us, so a huge thanks to her for the interview!

It’s still possible to donate and you can also follow Obocho on his Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

Here’s a video by GoFundMe that briefly presents Obocho and his idea

Image credits: GoFundMe

What are your thoughts on Obocho the Kidtrepreneur’s idea? Let us know in the comments below!

Here’s what people on the internet thought about this idea

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Meeow
Community Member
2 years ago (edited)

OMG he is so sweet!! What a nice young handsome man, his mom teach him right, pls continues to bless this family.

Freya the Wanderer
Community Member
2 years ago

Never underestimate the power of kids!

KT Trondsen
Community Member
2 years ago

This is how it should be. The value village here in Vancouver asks $200 for some jackets, near $100 for most of their jackets, that they were GIVEN FOR FREE. Its rediculous!

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Meeow
Community Member
2 years ago (edited)

OMG he is so sweet!! What a nice young handsome man, his mom teach him right, pls continues to bless this family.

Freya the Wanderer
Community Member
2 years ago

Never underestimate the power of kids!

KT Trondsen
Community Member
2 years ago

This is how it should be. The value village here in Vancouver asks $200 for some jackets, near $100 for most of their jackets, that they were GIVEN FOR FREE. Its rediculous!

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