This story is part of a new WHYY series: “In a Dream,” which details the hopes and aspirations of individuals from Camden, New Jersey.
Joey Deal is a hustler. But he’s not the sly, fast-talking, shady caricature that the term might imply. Rather, he embodies the textbook definition of the word: an aggressively enterprising person.
In late November of 2019, the 22-year-old from East Camden decided he wanted to spend all his time building Hustle By Nature, the clothing brand he created two years ago.
“9-5 work just ain’t for me,” Deal declared.
For the month of December, Deal — who regularly curates social events that attract local vendors — rented a kiosk at the Cherry Hill Mall to sell his hoodies and t-shirts, which target urban teens and young adults.
The foot traffic from Christmas shoppers was certainly worth the investment, Deal said. But the kiosk wasn’t big enough to contain what the entrepreneur aspires to build, which is a lifestyle brand and community space that celebrates the culture of hustling.
In late February, Deal signed a lease to rent a storefront in downtown Pennsauken, New Jersey.
There wasn’t much inventory at the Hustle By Nature store when WHYY arrived for an interview in late February. Deal is still raising money to fully stock his shelves.
But after posting a new design on Instagram last week, Deal said he sold several hundred dollars worth of merchandise. And just this week, Sean Chandler, the 23-year-old safety for the New York Giants, visited the store and purchased an $80 hoodie. Chandler is also from Camden.
A grand opening date has yet to be announced. Nonetheless, Deal arrives every day at 4917 Westfield Ave, where he spends his time beautifying the interior of the soon-to-open boutique.
Inside the storefront, there’s a stunning Hustle By Nature mural, spray-painted by a 23-year-old artist from Cramer Hill.
In the video below, Deal introduces the emerging clothing brand, explains why he set-up shop in Pennsauken, and expounds on why he celebrates the culture of hustling.