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Daily Inspiration: Meet Camron Sheppard

Today we’d like to introduce you to Camron Sheppard.

Hi Camron, so excited to have you on the platform. So before we get into questions about your work-life, maybe you can bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today?
I was 15 years old, with $35 and a dream. A dream to inspire people with my brand. I went to my local print shop, Impression’s, and got 5 hats made with Chill9 printed on them. I sold them all the first day, I was hooked. I started saving up all the money I could for my next release, the ‘True Lies’ tees. And the rest is history.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way? Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
No, it definitely has not been a smooth road. Starting a business for anyone, especially at a young age, comes with many obstacles. To start, my focus was everywhere: school, sports, and social life.

It was not until I was 19 that I dropped out of college to fully commit to being an entrepreneur. Since I wanted to do everything myself, there was a learning curve for not only making the shirts but also marketing, web design, etc.

After almost 2 years of hard work and dedication, Covid hit. Sales did drop for my brand during that time period, but Covid did bring a lot of learning and opportunities. I would not change anything that happened because facing those challenges made me a better person and business owner.

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
I design and make clothing for my brand.

While having some support from others, I do almost everything for my brand. I have had many people stop me to ask if I was the “9 Guy”. I would like to say I am known for being the guy who created Chill9. I am proudest of the fact that I stepped outside my comfort zone and started something new at 15.

I think what sets me apart is that I make everything myself, and I stayed true to my roots and experiences which allows people to shop from a more authentic brand.

Can you tell us more about what you were like growing up?
I’m originally from Florida but spent most of my life in Tennessee. Growing up, I loved playing outside and connecting with the kids in the neighborhood.

Early on it was clear that I was different from the others. I would use my business-like mindset and trade with the kids in order to get things I could not afford. It always amazed me how, despite the struggles in our lives, we still continued to find joy every day.

It was quickly rooted in me that I wanted to make affordable clothing for people just like those kids and myself. As I got older, I realized that I had a very competitive mentality. I expanded this mentality through sports. This corresponds with what it takes to become an entrepreneur.

I was allowed to be competitive with myself and others around me.

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