Former NFL linebacker Darryl Sharpton is proof positive that not only is there life after football, athletes can thrive as successful entrepreneurs.
Sharpton, 33, and his wife Jessica started a e-commerce furniture businesses after he retired from the NFL in 2015. The former Houston Texans player is projecting to have $100 million in revenue by 2022 after sales doubled due to covid-19, CNBC reported.
“With Covid-19, the online shopping trends have accelerated five years into the future,” Sharpton told CNBC in an interview. “We happen to be in a good space at a good time.”
Initially, they’d projected $10 million in sales this year. Now they’re projecting $20 million.
The custom-designed furniture is carried by Amazon and Wayfair. The Sharptons said they are now seeking investors to expand Albany Park’s offerings to include African prints.
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It’s a paradigm shift from when they began their entrepreneurship journey in 2017 and 2019, respectively.
Darryl recalled encountering his fair share of racism when they first launched their companies. So much so that they decided to only use Jessica’s face – who is Asian and white – on early advertisements.
“Today, I can’t imagine being in that place mentally but definitely at the time I was [unsure] if people would feel comfortable with buying furniture from me where they would maybe question everything – the quality, the validity,” Darryl Sharpton told CNBC.
He is considering an acquisition offer from a mattress company but is torn about the legacy they want to leave for their children. Plus, they aren’t in urgent need of capital, Darryl said.
“It’s something Jessica and I talk about all the time,” Darryl said. “I’ll go back and forth.”