Berto “TPG” Horne, a Detroit native and Morehouse man, uses his platform to travel around the country hosting speaking engagements, curating upscale events and endorsing signature brands. When he’s not busy traveling, you can find him mentoring students in the Junior Achievement Academy at Atlanta’s Frederick Douglass High School. In the fall of 2018, Berto is planning to launch a marketing company and his youth foundation.
He is a former assistant brand manager for Ciroc Premium Vodka in Atlanta, and the lead brand influencer for Mercedes-Benz, Mercedes-Benz Stadium and Crown Royal. Last year, he had his TV debut on “The Graduates ATL” on AspireTV. Recently, he was named a brand ambassador for the High Museum of Art.
Rolling out caught up with Horne recently to discuss his brand.
How do you utilize your knowledge to benefit and inspire others?
TPGent is set up to benefit and inspire others. My entire reason for starting my brand was to inform myself about things I was not exposed to and to share it with others who have a lack of resources. In Atlanta, I am able to mentor the high schoolers of Junior Achievement Academy. My biggest and most impactful platform, however, is Instagram. Through IG, I am able to share my tips on how to become a modern gentleman and lady.
If you were to give a speech to young men, what would you title your speech and why?
The title would be “Kings” because it’s time for these young men to know where they come from, that we are not victims, and it doesn’t take a Black superhero to make it cool to be Black. We have been leading inventors, educators, activists, musicians, you name it.
What two quotes do you use to motivate yourself and others?
“You can’t live a perfect day without doing something for someone who will never be able to repay you.” — John Wooden, an American basketball player and head coach at the University of California at Los Angeles
“Every man and woman is born into the world to do something unique and something distinctive, and if he or she does not do it, it will never be done.” —
Benjamin Elijah Mays, Baptist minister and civil rights leader
Name two iconic humans that have inspired you or currently inspire you. Why?
The first is, Muhammad Ali. He was one of those individuals I couldn’t help but love. As a kid, my first sport was martial arts, and I loved to think of myself as the Muhammad Ali of martial arts. From his technique to his flair, I tried to emulate his energy. As I got older, I drew a bigger appreciation for him because of what he stood for outside of the ring. His clever ways to spread knowledge about injustice resonated with me. Growing up an athlete, I knew I had a voice because I saw clips of Muhammad Ali share his voice. He was the people’s champ, and that’s one of the biggest accomplishments you can earn in life.
The second is, Sean “Diddy” Combs. Diddy is where I get my hustler swag from. This guy can do it all. You can pick your girl up wearing his clothes as she smells his fragrance on you; drive to his restaurant, before it was closed, as you listen to him over a beat; and right before you order something to eat, you can order one of his liquors for your cocktail. That is a holistic brand. Because of watching this man since I was a kid, I always believed I could do the same, but in my own way. Diddy taught me and continues to show me that I can be myself — a proud Black man — and work with people in entertainment and corporate.
Please share the evolution of your brand and purpose.
My brand started off because I wanted to educate myself on how to become a gentleman. That hunger for knowledge easily turned into a hobby of mine. My new hobby started to build while I was on campus and became a brand. People started to call me TPG, “The Perfect Gentleman.” It wasn’t too long after I realized I wanted to do this full time, and my brand became a business.
What piece of advice would you tell your teenage self?
To read more. I struggled academically growing up, however, reading has helped me a lot. I could have improved a lot sooner if I took reading seriously.
What advice would you give to young men about dealing with their emotions?
To be yourself, and it is OK to wear your heart on your sleeve as a man at times.
What do you define as your #BlackManMagic?
#BlackManMagic is simply us handling our responsibilities.
What are the three values that you govern and live your life by?
How do you deal with obstacles and setbacks?
I like to write out my obstacles in my journal and deal with them face-to-face. I love a nice challenge, and I am not afraid of not achieving [challenges]. The setback is a word that comes from a negative perspective, [but] my setbacks are gains because … not achieving and learning how to fix it on my own made me a stronger individual.
What is one indispensable book that all Black males need to read at least once in their lifetime?
The Autobiography of Malcolm X as told to Alex Haley