Sean Kelly created a million-dollar, one-person business selling jerseys featuring rap artists at Jersey Champs that he started in his dorm room at Rutgers University. He went on to launch PPE of America to sell N-95 masks during the pandemic with a silent partner, building that business to $15 million in sales in 2020, with two employees.
Now the 24-year-old, based in Las Vegas, has moved onto his next venture: Chibi Dinos NFT, a community built around anime dinosaurs called chibis.
The “chibi dinos,” dressed in dinosaur suits and in the jerseys of 10 baseball teams, appear on non-fungible tokens (NFTs). These are digital assets that can be bought and sold, often with cryptocurrency. “It’s considered a collectible, like a Pokémon card,” he says. In the case of the Chibi Dinos, they can be bought with Ethereum.
The first 10,000 Chibi Diinos sold out in 22 minutes on “minting” day on August 20 on OpenSea, a peer-to-peer marketplace for NFTs, Kelly says. They were priced at 0.06ETH. He and his partners in launching Chibi Dinos NFT — Kevin Moses, Dan Rozenberg and Roxy Jagers — spread the world on Twitter and Discord and through social media influencers.
Each Chibi Dino is unique. “We have to make everything from scratch and release it,” says Kelly.
Some buyers, who received rarer coins on minting day, sold them right away for a profit, says Kelly. “Some people buy them to make money,” he says. “Some collect them.”
He’s not alone in seeing opportunity in this space. BEEPLE, an NFT artist, sold one coin for $69 million, he notes. Christie’s sold that digital collage.
Kelly and his partners are building a Discord community on the site. Discord is a free voice, video and text chat app.
“We have 2,200 unique holders,” Kelly says. “Our goal is to increase that number and build a community.”
The site plans to hold giveaways to generate excitement and has reserved 100 Chibi Dinos for that purpose. “Our goal is to get the price up so people don’t lose money and we can build a community,” he says.
Kelly says he and his co-founders came up with the idea for the site a little over a week before the launch. “We worked super-fast,” he says.
As for his other businesses, Kelly continues to run Jersey Champs; he’s also continuing the mask business but mostly by serving existing clients.
Ultimately, he hopes to bring the Chibi Dinos to life through virtual reality. “We want to get into gaming,” he says.