Lifestyle Street Gear
Chris DelPrince's first foray into entrepreneurship began while still in high school. Needing to support himself and his mother, he left school and went into business full time. His talent was finding products people really need. His first venture was in pots and pans. His car served as his office, warehouse, and store.
He found the SBDC while planning his next enterprise. His new niche involved home delivery of disposable diapers. He christened himself "Diaper King" and sold the diapers to urbanites who needed disposable diapers delivered. His vision soon expanded.He wanted a store that offered lots of things people needed. Not yet twenty years old, he opened his first store on Grant Street located on Buffalo's West Side. He stocked it with mostly closeout items he secured during visits to NYC. Clothing sold far better than anything he stocked, especially if it was cool and hip. He risked everything he had and started buying first run hip hop clothing. West side kids couldn't get enough. Lifestyle Street Gear and the beginning of a multi-million dollar enterprise was born. Today he owns a chain of urban clothing stores in Western New York and Pennsylvania.
At every critical juncture, Chris worked with the Buffalo State College SBDC. The SBDC assisted him with financial packages, management planning, marketing, and strategic planning. Since 1985, Chris has worked with nearly every business advisor in the Buffalo Regional Center. Over the past 20 years, Chris' enterprise has involved millions of dollars in financing and he has hired hundreds of employees - 90% of them black or Latino.
Lifestyle Street Gear was recognized in 1999, 2000 and 2001 as one of the top inner-city businesses in the US by Inc Magazine. In 2002, Chris was named NYS Small Business Person of the Year.