Fast-growing baseball apparel brand expanding in Farmingdale

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Baseball Lifestyle 101, a fast-growing sports apparel and accessories business founded by a young Long Island entrepreneur, is expanding in Farmingdale.

The company leased an 18,600-square-foot industrial building on 1.1 acres at 70 Carolyn Blvd., giving the brand more than three-times its existing space.

Baseball Lifestyle 101 is the brainchild of Josh Shapiro, who planted the seeds of the enterprise with an Instagram account when he was a 15-year-old student at Walt Whitman High School in Huntington Station.

“I posted a lot of baseball content, trying to grow a community,” Shapiro told LIBN.

And grew it did, reaching more than 250,000 followers some three years later. Shapiro soon began selling Baseball Lifestyle-branded t-shirts and hats through that Instagram account, racking up more than $600,000 in sales in 2017.

Bill Rom and Josh Shapiro / Courtesy of Baseball Lifestyle 101

A former second baseman at Farmingdale State College, Shapiro left school after two years to devote all of his time to the business. Baseball Lifestyle 101 turned out to be a big hit when it exhibited at the College World Series in Omaha, Neb. in 2018.

“People were super excited to see the brand,” Shapiro said.

That year, the young entrepreneur partnered with his strength and conditioning coach Bill Rom, who had been mentoring Shapiro, and the company’s sales surpassed $1 million.

“He was 12 when I first met him,” said Rom, who had built his own fitness enterprise. “He would sit down with me a few times a week and ask me a bunch of questions. I went to school for marketing and I knew how to grow a business.”

In fact, Rom’s wife Melissa was Shapiro’s first employee, running his social media accounts among other things. And the Roms did more than mentor their young associate, nourishing him as well.

“His parents moved to North Carolina and he would come and have dinner with us almost every night,” said Rom, the company’s chief strategy officer.

Today, the brand, which offers a variety of t-shirts, sweatshirts, jackets, shorts, hats and other accessories for kids, men and women, has more than 1 million followers on social media and the company employs a staff of 20 people. And recently, Baseball Lifestyle 101 added some wholesale customers and scaled up its inventory, which is why the business needed the new building to accommodate its rapid growth, said the now 26-year-old Shapiro.

To say he’s hit it out of the park would be an understatement.

“Last year we did a little over $5 million and we’re on track to do at least $20 million this year,” Shapiro said.

Stu Fagen of Saber Real Estate represented the tenant, Baseball Lifestyle 101, while Mario Asaro of Industry One Realty represented the landlord, Carolyn Holdings LLC, in the Farmingdale lease transaction.