12-year-old entrepreneur uses his business to fulfill his passion, help community

Local News

UPPER WEST SIDE, Manhattan — A 12-year-old Brooklyn entrepreneur is taking his business savvy to new heights by bringing fashion and sustainability to the community. 

Obocho Peters has always had the passion and drive to help others. At 9 years old, he fulfilled his goal of earning enough money to buy toys. 

His business sense grew into a mission to help underserved communities. With the support of his mom, Sasha, he opened Obocho’s Closet in Brooklyn on his 11th birthday, selling gently worn donated clothing at a discount price. But his mission didn’t stop there. He uses a portion of his profits to host food pantries and financial literacy workshops encouraging others to eat healthy and spend wisely. 

But like many brick-and-mortar stores during the pandemic, Obocho struggled to keep his business afloat and had to pivot.

“When Covid came I had to downsize to a smaller store. I still have my store but it’s a little bit smaller. If we were to do events in that space, we would have to do it outside of the space because it’s only big enough for the two of us,” he tells PIX11 News.

Now the Brooklyn entrepreneur is taking his business to new heights by teaming up with Upper West Side City Council candidate, Zack Weiner to open a pop-up shop on west 60th St in Manhattan. 

“It’s huge for the community. I’ve seen what it’s done where he’s from. We’re just facing such a crisis in my neighborhood with empty storefronts and Obocho’s huge first step,” says Weiner.

There are 66 vacancies on Broadway. Obocho’s new pop-up shop is part of the retail initiative that’s only available for a few days. But the goal is to see how much foot traffic he gets. If all goes well, he has a chance of taking his shop to Broadway. 

The arrangement lasts three months and requires business owners to cover utilities and give 20% of earnings to the landlord. According to Weiner, it’s a much easier arrangement for everyone because there’s no complicated lease involved.

In the meantime, if you’re interested in donating to Obocho’s Closet, stop by his Brooklyn location or visit his website.

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