Warren Creavalle: Starting a Business as a Professional Athlete
Q: How did your business come to fruition?
CREAVALLE came to fruition after my cousin, Stephen, and I decided to make some t-shirts for us and any family members that would want to rock them as well. We started putting some time and energy into playing with designs and logos, and from that the process started to evolve into us wanting to actually make a brand out of it. Once that decision was made, the goal and vision for the brand started to grow and we started thinking and moving like an actual business, and eventually registered as one.
Q: As a professional athlete, how do you make time to start a full fledged business?
Growing up as an athlete in the U.S. I always had the task of balancing school with playing my sport, so if anything, that was a lot of practice for trying to maintain a similar balance professionally. Also, I have a small team of partners and a close support group, so they all help in whatever way they can and we share the load. It's none of our full time jobs, so time management and communication are key in getting things done, and both are areas that we're still working to improve. Another aspect is just making the simple decision to work on whatever it is that needs to be done: you can either binge watch whatever new show you're watching, or work on your business.
Q: What has running a business taught you in terms of understanding finances a little bit better?
Outside of speaking with accountants and financial professionals, I think one of the biggest educators has been conversing with friends and mentors that have experience in building brands and businesses.
Running a business forces you to pay a greater amount of detail when dealing with finances. Obviously, at the end of the day you're in it to make money, not lose money. And the best brands/businesses are very conscious of their finances, as it fuels the ability to create on a consistent basis. So keeping that in mind, I've gotten more tax savvy and more cognizant of various business expenses, margins, budgeting, etc.
Q: Many times athletes start side businesses or invest in companies without any due diligence, how did you make sure your business started off on the right foot?
Starting the business, I kept a few things in mind when deciding how to spend on the brand and invest in myself. I wanted to make certain I was still contributing to my personal savings, continue making my personal investments, and not opening up any credit cards for the brand. From there, the actual creative side of running the business was the fun part, and something that I already had somewhat of a handle on. Furthermore, it's the side that I've been most eager to learn what I don't know, and continue to do so.
Q: Where do you see your business going in the future?
I see CREAVALLE becoming the foundation for more ventures down the road. I want it to open doors, networks, and resources that we may not have had access to without its creation. The goal for me is to solidify the brand and make it recognizable to those involved in the subculture that we're apart of.
is a veteran professional soccer player currently playing for the Philadelphia Union. Creavalle is known for his versatility and ability to play multiple positions at a high level. Creavalle is also the cofounder of Creavalle and hosts various pop up events throughout the year for the brand. He is also passionate about photography.