Harrison had played nearly year-round, starting his athletic journey on the baseball diamond with t-ball.
Still, when Harrison wanted to shift from understanding how to go from the batter's box to the C-suite, Lamar had just the thing.
"I was a little bit shocked that he didn't want to play anymore. But I didn't want to be that dad to make his son do something. So I was like 'Hey, what do you want to do? We've got to do something.' So he said, 'Well, why can't I own my own team?' So that's when the business part came in. And I said, 'I can teach you how to run a small business. But I can't buy you a baseball team,'" Lamar laughed.
"It was important for him to know that even though he didn't want to play baseball anymore, I wanted to keep supporting him on his dreams and the things that he would like to pursue in life," Lamar said.
While Harrison could certainly become a baseball team owner someday, for now, the 12-year-old Leaman Junior High 7th grader from Richmond is getting a taste of entrepreneurship in running his own clothing brand, Shabach Apparel.
"Shabach means to praise the Lord with a loud voice. I would say that means to me whenever you're doing your all and giving your all to something that you truly believe in," Harrison explained.
"It's a Christian-based brand apparel company. Trendy. I call it clothing for the modern believer," Lamar said. "We've got some really dope sweatsuits, hoodies, T-shirts, hats. We've got a lot of stuff in store. We've got some stuff coming up as well."
Shabach's colorful range of clothing features positive messages and phrases including "Blessed" and "Grateful" and has already amassed a following.
"We're in five stores now. You can find us in Alabama at Oh So Stylz, Oklahoma at Rumourz Boutique, California at Outfitters, New York at Harlem Vibes. You can also find us in Virginia at Culture Vibes," Lamar said, adding that they'll also be sold in Pressed, the Atlanta boutique owned by artist and television personality Rasheeda Frost of "Love and Hip-Hop." Frost also has a Pressed boutique inside Houston's Galleria mall.
Shabach Apparel started in October 2019, after Lamar says Harrison "retired" from baseball.
The duo had only expected to sell a few shirts, they explain, but have since grown so much, they're looking into a warehouse.
But for Harrison and his dad, running the brand is anything but business as usual.
Lamar is an IT project manager from 9 to 5, while Harrison is a student. Then from 5 to 9, their work continues, focusing on Shabach.
When Harrison wraps up his homework, he's doing everything from handling packaging and shipping to design, finances and marketing.
"I have certain responsibilities that need to be taken care of for both. So it's kind of like, trying to maintain that balance," Harrison said.
Though sometimes as business partners, dad and son admit, they butt heads.
"Sometimes he comes to me and says, 'Hey, Dad, we've got these orders to get out,' and then other times, he's on his video game, and I say, 'Dude, We've got 100 orders.' And I'm like, 'Let's get this stuff out,' and he's like, 'Well, I'm playing with my friends,'" Lamar laughs.
To be fair, Harrison is only 12. But his dad said he wanted to make sure he instilled in his son early the value of learning how to make a way for yourself.
Lamar recalled how his own experience in the corporate world inspired him to share what he's learned with his son.
"I'll never forget I was unemployed, and Harrison, the kids, didn't know I was unemployed because I work from home anyway. And a good friend of mine called me and said, 'Hey, I've got two Texans tickets I want to give you and your son.' We go to Texans games all the time and I said, 'Yeah, perfect. Let's go to the game,'" Lamar began.
"And when I was at the game, I didn't have any extra money to buy my son some popcorn or snacks. And I'll never forget the feeling I had of being unemployed, not having any extra money to give my son just a bag of popcorn," he continued. "So he was looking at the little kids in the audience and they were eating, but the thing about it is, he never asked for anything. When we normally go to the Texans game, as soon as we get to the game, we'll go straight to the concession stand, halftime we'll go to the concession stand, and I couldn't afford to buy him a bag of popcorn at the time, and that whole game I was thinking, 'What can I do to teach him how to be self-sufficient and own his own company and not have to depend on a corporation laying you off when you can own your own thing?'"
Now Harrison is learning firsthand what that means, even getting attention from classmates who have bought gear to being celebrated in the school yearbook and other features for his acumen.
"Even some of my teachers, some of my friends, they're complimenting my clothes and saying how good they are. Even my teacher wanted some discount codes," Harrison shared, laughing.
When he's not designing, you can find Harrison right in the mix, selling his clothing.
Shabach Apparel has often participated in the BLCK MARKET event on the 1st Friday and 2nd Saturday of every month at the Buffalo Soldiers Museum. The market is designed to showcase and support dozens of Black-owned businesses and entrepreneurs.
Prices range from $30 to $35 for T-shirts and hoodies start at $25 and up for youth. Adult sizes are also offered. Hats start at $30.
Take a spin through Shabach Apparel's website here.
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