Making it his business, Vineland High student launches clothing brand, Strive or Starve

VINELAND – When COVID shut down faculties, Antwain Rivera’s mother stated he experienced no company sitting down close to the dwelling.

So, the Vineland Significant University college student launched just one.

Rivera began his “Strive or Starve” apparel brand, clearing $2,000 in profit his to start with 12 months and obtaining palms-on entrepreneurial understanding together the way.

“Over quarantine in 2020 when we ended up all locked inside, my mom basically gave me the notion,” said Rivera all through a modern interview where he wore a rhinestone-embellished hoodie from his newest line.

Vineland High School senior Antwain Rivera shows off his latest Strive or Starve hoodie design on Thursday, May 12, 2022.

Vineland High College senior Antwain Rivera reveals off his most recent Try or Starve hoodie design on Thursday, May possibly 12, 2022.

His mother, Richonda Mendez of Paulsboro, was Rivera’s first trader, funding a handful of T-shirts and an Amazon purchase for a heat push and Cricut, a computer system-guided slicing unit.

“We did not know how to use it — I did not know, he didn’t know,” Mendez said. “We experienced to YouTube every little thing.”

“At first it begun off with me and my brother,” Rivera claimed, but his youthful brother still left the outfits small business for the workforce. “I took around comprehensive obligation of it.”

Loved ones members’ help fanned the fledging business and fueled Rivera’s travel to succeed.

Finding his future

Rivera entered Vineland Community Educational institutions in the seventh grade when his relatives relocated from Salem. Right after graduating Wallace Intermediate School, he highly developed to VHS where by he was a a few-activity athlete. His title appeared on track, baseball, and football crew rosters.

For his junior and senior many years, Rivera targeted completely on soccer, where by he plays safety and receiver.

“My desire, at 1st, it was football,” he reported, but his profession emphasis has shifted from turf to trade.

He is not by yourself in seeking to strike out with his individual undertaking.

About 60 p.c of teens are much more fascinated in beginning their very own business than pursuing a traditional career, in accordance to a 2021 Junior Achievement United states of america review of teens ages 12-17.

“Now I have a apparel brand, that is what I’m pursuing,” Rivera stated.

Vineland High School senior Antwain Rivera, right, shows off his latest Strive or Starve hoodie design with his friend Daeshaun Winchester on Thursday, May 12, 2022.

Vineland Superior Faculty senior Antwain Rivera, proper, demonstrates off his most up-to-date Try or Starve hoodie style and design with his close friend Daeshaun Winchester on Thursday, Might 12, 2022.

Rivera signed up for an online class hosted by self-described hustler and entrepreneur Dontez Akram. The 8-hour “Zero to Hero” training course addressed advertising and marketing, generation, and distribution connected to e-commerce.

“It was a steal,” Rivera mentioned of the $25 study course.

Rivera was also a person of 30 aspiring small business owners chosen final 12 months for an all-expense paid out trip to a younger entrepreneurship plan in Miami, hosted by Anthony Goodwin of Philadelphia, regarded as the training-landlord on Instagram.

River took what he realized and utilized his individual creative imagination. By the conclusion of 2020, he was head of Attempt or Starve LLC, operating his web page and satisfying online orders.

“I could see people today obtaining from California and Texas,” he mentioned.

Time to strive

“I like getting fingers-on with my organization,” Rivera stated, but his more intricate patterns required graphic artist support.

To preserve charges down, he also outsourced his generation.

“It was a battle obtaining the correct manufacture,” Rivera stated, careful to sidestep scammers. He is working with a vendor in Pakistan to make his hoodies. He also sells shirts, pants, hats, and shorts.

Antwain Rivera's latest Strive or Starve hoodie design.

Antwain Rivera’s hottest Attempt or Starve hoodie design.

His latest fall of hoodies, showcasing a hair-friendly satin lining, retail for $50. The Rockstar version T-shirts are $20 and jogging pants, $30.

Rivera, 18, converted the household basement into his distribution center.

“I experience like I’m an entrepreneur now simply because that is the place I want to set all my time,” he stated, hoping to at some point go into a retail outlet.

Rivera is enrolled in the Advertising and marketing 2 system with Kari Stockbridge, who chairs the VHS profession and technological education office.

Stockbridge recently learned of her student’s self-enthusiastic, more-curricular job.

“He did a good deal of this on his very own all through COVID,” she explained, noting their conversation was restricted during their virtual Advertising and marketing 1 class. “I did not know about this right up until I had him this 12 months in-human being and we began speaking.”

“I was so impressed with anything he was telling me,” she claimed.

“(Antwain) is heading to be extremely successful. He always has his work carried out early, fairly significantly ideal, he just gets it,” Stockbridge claimed. “I sense like the students glimpse up to him.”

Rivera is an accomplished athlete, an A pupil and holds a retail career in addition to jogging his have small business, Stockbridge said.

“Going back to COVID, it was a horrible knowledge for young ones,” Stockbridge claimed. But for Rivera, she mentioned, it was an prospect to apply his personal initiative.

“He took that time to analysis outsourcing, uncover a graphic designer, obtain someone to print his stuff, he investigated his web-site,” she reported. “I come to feel like he took lemons and created lemonade.”

When asked about the particular implications of his company’s identify, Attempt or Starve, Rivera grinned and reported he’s not going hungry.

The business is lucrative but not pretty more than enough to fund college or university.

After his Gittone Stadium graduation graduation, Rivera heads to Seton Hill College in Greensburg, Pennsylvania where he has a football scholarship. He programs to significant in advertising and marketing and small business to create his brand.

Rivera’s top intention is to be a purpose model.

“I actually want to be a motivator and have my siblings search up to me,” he stated. “I want them to be just like me or improved than me.”

Folllow your dreams, he urged.

“If you want to be an entrepreneur, you just cannot give up,” he said. “You’ve got to maintain pushing by yourself, absolutely nothing happens right away.”

Vineland High School senior Antwain Rivera, left, shows off his latest Strive or Starve hoodie design with his friend Daeshaun Winchester on Thursday, May 12, 2022.

Vineland Superior School senior Antwain Rivera, remaining, demonstrates off his latest Attempt or Starve hoodie style with his friend Daeshaun Winchester on Thursday, Might 12, 2022.

Rivera joked about by now leaving a legacy at VHS by inspiring football Coach Dan Russo to split with the conservative appear of staff hoodies.

This year’s training gear had a more bold glimpse.

“They were a good phase-up from what he normally does,” Rivera reported. “They ended up anything diverse for him, he ordinarily stays standard but he went out of his consolation zone.”

Rivera hopes he prompted the mentor to go bold.

“Absolutely, 100 per cent,” Russo claimed.

Rivera also hopes to stimulate other pupils to be bold in their have life.

“If you never go just after what you want, then you won’t be content with what you will get,” he mentioned. “I want absolutely everyone to go following what they want in lifestyle and do it to their fullest extent.”

Deborah M. Marko covers breaking information, community basic safety, and instruction for The Day by day Journal, Courier-Write-up and Burlington County Occasions. Got a story strategy? Call 856-563-5256 or e-mail [email protected]. Follow on Twitter: @dmarko_dj Instagram:  Help assistance nearby journalism with a subscription.

This write-up initially appeared on Vineland Daily Journal: Building it get the job done, Vineland teenager Antwain Rivera launches clothes line