Sean Kelly is an entrepreneur who founded Jersey Champs which makes custom jerseys based on trends and hip-hop culture as well as original designs. Since launching Jersey Champs, Kelly has become a multi-millionaire and has been featured in Entrepreneur, Inc. Magazine, The Huffington Post, BuzzFeed, Forbes, Thrive Global and a number of blogs.
Kelly grew up in Bridgewater, New Jersey and graduated from Bridgewater-Raritan High School. He has considered himself an entrepreneur and in elementary school would sell candy, Pokémon cards, crazy bones, and whatever else he could get his hands on.
At one point in 5th grade, he was suspended from school because his students preferred Kelly's candy over his school's vending machines, undercutting the school's profits.
Career and Entrepreneurship
Kelly launched Jersey Champs in May 2016 out of his college dorm room at Rutgers University. He started with $1,000 in pre-orders and sold out his first week. Jersey Champs' first jersey concept was for Drake's Views From the 6 album. Combining hip-hop culture and trending memes with the world of jerseys, Kelly collaborates with a team of independent graphic designers he found on Instagram to create the final product.
Kelly had several struggles in the early days of Jersey Champs. During Black Friday/Cyber Monday 2016, Jersey Champs had a massive increase in demand and were a month late on orders, resulting in chargebacks and refunds. Also in 2016, the music festival Neon Desert ordered 100 jerseys and never paid. Kelly learned from these experiences and make the proper adjustments to his business such as moving to Shopify and never sending jerseys without a down payment. Jersey Champs has since grown to become one of the largest original jersey companies in North America. Utilizing his experience in business, Kelly contributes to several websites including Forbes, Buzzfeed and Thrive Global.
Kelly eventually dropped out of college and worked on Jersey Champs full time; the company is now a multi-million dollar company.
Kelly targets the high school/college student demographic and prices most of his jerseys under $50. He has worked to expand Jersey Champs by leveraging Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram ads and collaborated with influencers and celebrities.
Notable people who have worn his jerseys include Meek Mill, Lil Uzi Vert, Young Thug, Lil Yachty, Lil Pump, Fatboy SSE, Mark Cuban, Action Bronson, Khalid, Logic, Wale, Tory Lanez, A Boogie wit da Hoodie, Carson Wentz, Cash Cash, Tai Lopez, Michael Rapoport, Dez Bryant, Marcus Peters, Kyrie Irving, YBN Nahmir, Martavis Bryant, Young M.A, Lil Wayne, Futuristic, Landon Collins, 2 Chainz, Jae Crowder, and Casey Veggies. With a large presence on Instagram, as of April 2018 the Jersey Champs account had over 762,000 followers.
In April 2018, Kelly became a member of the Forbes New York Business Council.