New Britain City Journal

New Britain's Weekly Online Newspaper


Coach Carter’s Apparel Customizes The Basics and More


About 8 years ago Coach Jerry T. Carter, president of V.I.B.E. Athletics, Inc. tried to cut his sports teams costs by customizing uniforms.

“I found out that by doing it myself I could cut costs by half. So I did the uniforms,” said Carter. “Then I got my business license and started getting things wholesale and they were really cheap.”

Once he started doing his own uniforms, other coaches started looking at them and wanted Carter to make their gear.

“Then I started doing the YWCA and other people’s clothes. I said I am doing pretty good out of my garage and basement, let me give it a shot,” said Carter who opened Coach Carter’s Apparel, 18 Main St., in June. “I’ve been working in the community so long with the kids. Now I am in the community with my own store and now I can do more community stuff.”

He is open all week long 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Saturdays until 1 p.m. After 1 p.m. he takes care of V.I.B.E. activities.

But not only does Carter do uniforms. He also does custom t-shirts of all materials and types. He added work-out clothes and scrubs. He customizes everything. He can put names on scrubs and even a favorite sports logo.

“I had a guy come in and get scrubs. I put the Dallas Cowboys logo on it and he loved it,” said Carter. “I also am getting school uniforms like polo shirts in navy blue and white. Also black and gray for EC Goodwin Tech.”

His prices have remained low so people can afford them.

“Businesses triple their cost. I know people here can’t afford the prices. I make it affordable for everybody,” he said. “I have $5 basketball shorts and $10 basketball shorts.”

He said women come in and buy a lot of workout clothes like yoga pants, compression shorts, tank tops and sports bras.

Uniforms and other clothes range from sizes for children age 4 to size 6X mens. He also tries to get every color available. If he doesn’t have the exact color someone wants, he will find it and order it. Hats and even socks with logos are also available.

“My store takes care of everybody. Nobody can walk in my store and not find something that doesn’t fit them,” said Carter. “All the logos I can make as well. They have an idea and I figure it out.”

Shirts can be purchased with or without the logos. It only costs $5 to make a one time logo set-up fee. One color is $5, two colors is $7.50 and three colors is $10.

“Guys come in and buy basketball outfits for $20 and many shorts are reversible. It is good quality at good prices,” he added. “So far business has been picking up. I started at the end of the school year, but now people are coming back.”

Carter also hopes one day to sell sneakers.

He also has a Tuesday special. Everything that is $10 is two for $15 on Tuesdays.

For more information call 860-259-3190 or email