COO Darnell ‘Shep’ Shepherd discusses building the Honor Roll Clothing brand

COO Darnell 'Shep' Shepherd discusses building the Honor Roll Clothing brand
Darnell Shepherd, COO of Honor Roll Clothing (Photo courtesy of Darnell Shepherd)

Darnell Shepherd, better known as “Shep,” has been friends with Honor Roll Clothing CEO Blair Caffey for years. The brotherly bond between them goes back to their middle school days, and their friendship only grew stronger throughout high school and college. According to Shepherd, it was during their undergrad years that Caffey was inspired to start a business and “we sat down and flushed it out.” From that conversation, the brand of Honor Roll Clothing was born.

Shepherd explained how the company’s name came about. “Neither one of us ironically had ever been on the honor roll in school,” he said. “For one reason or another, my problem was behavior.”


Since the brand’s inception, Shepherd has served as the company’s chief operations officer. Part of his day-to-day consists of making sure that everyone is doing what they need to do in order to keep the product rolling out. He shared as much and more during a recent interview.

Is the Honor Roll Clothing brand running the way you want?


Honor Roll Clothing is near and dear to all three of our hearts as far as the process and what we’re doing. Not only design-wise but also just with networking in our interpersonal relationships, making sure that we’re operating on a high level as often as possible and as consistently as we can with each release. And I think that you know, more times than not, we definitely reach that goal.

Who is the mastermind behind HRC’s creativity? 

Blair Caffey is our creative person, and … Chris and Blair really work closely as far as design work is concerned.

Sounds like you all work well together as partners?

We operate as a democracy. Everyone has an equal vote. If it ends up that we’re all not really sold on what we’re doing, we try to revamp and then bring it back to the table again to make sure that we’re all on the same page. It’s a collaborative effort. There are no egos here. We all just really work together.

How has the Square software been an asset to HRC during COVID?

Square has always been major. I really can’t overstate that. Square has allowed us to do a better job of inventory management. We were terrible at it before we got on the software platform. It’s nothing like being able to be paid immediately. [Because Square] is trusted everywhere, you don’t have that weird interaction with customers. Square has been a real godsend for us as far as being able to function at a high level, particularly with our interaction with customers.

Answer the following:

One thing cool about you that people may not know? [I like] watching random series on TV like “90 Day Fiancé”

Favorite guilty pleasure? Candy — Tropical Skittles

Favorite hobbies? Running, basketball and skating.

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