Kindness doesn’t always come from the old and wise. At times, children can also exhibit kindness through ways that are unexpected from someone as young as they are.
11-year-old Obocho Peters from Brooklyn, New York is not even a teenager yet, but he is already the President and CEO of his own clothing company, Obocho’s Closet. What’s more interesting is that his business is not like any other brand. It is actually a thrift store where he sells clothes for not more than $10!
And, it doesn’t end there. Apart from selling affordable clothes, this kid’s company also aims to assist families with low income in learning how to save money by conducting financial literacy seminars free of charge!
Obocho wanted these families to be able to pursue their goals by educating them on how to manage their money the right way. When asked about how he came up with Obocho’s Closet, the little entrepreneur said to Bored Panda:
“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. 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.”
Everything started with a little boy’s dream of buying his very own set of Avengers toys. Since they cannot afford the toys, Obocho decided to go into business and with the help of his mother, Sasha, he opened up his thrift store. It all started with a personal wish but has flourished into a bigger blessing to other people.
“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,” Obocho further shared. “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.”
You definitely won’t encounter an 11-year-old as mature and concerned as young Obocho. He’s helpful and caring personality is definitely a rare find, a true source of inspiration that can be drawn from not just by children like him, but by adults as well.
Have you ever wondered how a kid such as Obocho spends his whole day? Is he just like any child who plays outdoors or is he like a tiny adult who focuses on more significant things?
Obocho shone some light on how his day usually unfolds.
“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.”
This kid is clearly just like any schoolboy his age. With a supportive mother by his side, his childhood and entrepreneurship become a beautiful mix that shapes his personality in the best way.
And, much like any other young boy, Obocho loves to play with his toys each day.
“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.”
Wow, what a kid. He surely knows how to do business and still find some playtime! However, a person’s business journey is not always smooth and fun. Obocho’s Closet has had its fair share of downs since it went online in 2018.
“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.”
Running a “for-profit” business is certainly not easy. It’s hard to gather funds and this was a challenge that tested Obocho and his mom. But, they did not give up and until now, the business is up and running and helping a lot of people who want to save and learn how to save.
Obocho’s inspiring venture grabbed attention for all the right reasons. The young boy was awarded the “Hero of the Month” award for June 2019 by Eric Adams, Brooklyn Borough President, for his tremendous idea. It was a very well-deserved reward for this boy and his mother’s insight and concern for others in the community.
His act of kindness and inspiring goal made it possible for his online store to finally get a physical store in New York, after almost two years since it was first launched. This boy surely knows what he must do to make a difference and we are all excited for what he has in store for the community.
Sasha, Obocho’s mom, is also a source of inspiration and motivation for anyone who thinks that making a beautiful difference in the world needs a lot of resources. Sometimes, all we need is a leap of faith in our ideas, a genuinely kind heart and a mind that never stops in thinking about doing what’s good for all.
We salute Obocho and Sasha for their amazing idea that has helped and will help in changing a lot of people’s lives for the better. Way to go, kid!
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