Who is James Afante of James Sneaker Care?
You are about to find out in the article below.
Get to know him better and how he forever changed the sneaker game in the Philippines.
We at Angelus Importer PH/Sneaks & Laces were privileged to have a preview of the Life of James Afante and the team behind the success of James Sneaker Care.
What made you interested in painting/ customizing shoes, bags etc.?
-I really love sneakers and i am very interested in the “different colorways” it comes with it. Due to famous brands releasing limited edition sneakers and sky high prices, I suddenly realized, why not just create the thing that I like if I can’t afford to buy one for myself?
Actually, I’m not into shoes before, I have been wondering why shoes are expensive when in fact you just use this as a footwear. I have joined and has been an active member of an MLM (Multi-Level Marketing) business. In our office, the group had decided to buy shoes after our work. Since the group was going to buy, in turn, I also bought, from there, it all started.
Actually di talaga ako mahilig sa shoes before, nagtataka nga ako noon bakit ang mamahal ng shoes eh pinangtatapak lang yan. I joined and was an active member of an MLM Business after our day at the office the group decided to buy shoes after namin sa office. Ayun syempre sila bibili, mapapabili ka narin and doon na nagsimula ang lahat.
One pair, became two then it became three, little by little, I was exposed in the shoe game through Facebook groups. Then one day, it came to the point that I fell in love with sneakers. The feeling was like, It pains you to the verge of crying if you can’t purchase such pair. There was an instance wherein one brand had released a colorway, it was beautiful. Next week, another was released and it was even better, until I kept on buying and buying.
Yong isa, naging dalawa hangang sa naging tatlo, at unti unti na ako naexpose sa shoe game through facebook groups. Then one day, dumating ako sa point na I fell in love sa sneakers. Na tipong pag di mo nabili ang sakit sa puso na parang naiiyak ka. Meron yong isang instance yong isang brand ng shoes nag release ng colorway, ang ganda. Next week meron nanaman at mas maganda pa. Ayon hangang sa napabili na ako ng napabili.
Everytime I go home, the first thing I do was to wash my shoes and then gracefully return them in their boxes, parang brand new lang datingan.
Everytime I go home, the first thing I do was to wash my shoes and then gracefully return them in their boxes, for it to look brand new.
How did you start your business for customization?
-I started learning how to customize by first-hand experience. Let’s say through a “Trial and error” process with my personal pairs. This was all thanks to Youtube. It has provided me with insights on how to properly customize and achieve the desired outcome of every project i make.
During those days, I had a business that had gone bankrupt and I was figuring out a way and thinking of a good business to be put up here in the Philippines , at that time, I was thinking of something trendy currently that can generate huge amounts of profit
During those days kasi may business rin akong nalugi or di nag work-out and I was figuring a way kung ano ba ang magandang business na itayo here in the Philippines (that time iniisip ko yung patok para malaki profit!).
I tried asking successful businessmen to seek guidance na din, and they all answered to me with the same thing, “kung ano hilig mo”. That time pagkauwi ko napaisip ako bakit ganun?
I tried asking successful businessmen to seek guidance and they all answered me with the same thing, “whichever is it that you like/you’re passionate with”. I went home and pondered about it.
Di ako makatulog that time habang inaanalyze yong line na yun, tapos napatingin ako sa mga shoes ko. Sabi ko “hilig ko ang shoes…ano ba pwede kung gawing business na related sa shoes?” I suddenly came up with the shoe cleaning services, kasi palagi ako naglilinis ng shoes.
I can’t sleep at that time, anaylizing about that answer, then I glanced at my shoes. I told myself “I like shoes, what business can I put up that is related to shoes” I suddenly came up with shoe cleaning services since I always clean shoes.
So ayun na kaya yung logo ko brush and shoes
That is why the logo of JameSneaker Care comprises of brush and shoes.
As time passed by, nakikita ko may mga customer na iba ang hinahanap nila like repainting and reglueing tapos yong iba naman customization ang gusto. Sabi ko sa sarili ko, sayang naman kung di ko sila macacater. Nag umpisa akong pag aralan lahat ng mga yan. Nag sunod sunod na ang progress ng JameSneakerCare.
As time passed by, I was able to observe that the customers are looking for different kinds of services from repainting, reglueing and for some, customization. I told myself that it would be such a waste if I would not be able to render these services. I tried to learn all of the ones stated above. From thereon, the progress of JameSneakerCare had continued.
How much was your starting capital with JameSneakerCare
It all started sa isang cleaner na worth Php 1,000 pesos. Every time nakakapag generate ako ng profit, inipon ko lang ng inipon. Sabi ko sa sarili ko wala munang gastos.Dumating na ako sa point na nakabili ako ng grinder. Sumunod naman doon mga shoe boxes na. Ang mamahal ng materials sa shoe repair. (James Afante laughing during the interview)
It all started with one cleaner with a cost of PhP 1,000. Every time I am able to generate profit, I keep on saving and saving. I told myself that I would not spend in the mean time. It reached the point that I was able to buy a grinder. Next was shoe boxes. Materials used for shoe repair are really expensive. (James Afante laughing during the interview)
How old were you when you started doing this Business Venture.
I was 17 years old that time kaka-18 ko lang noong November 4, 2017 . Pag dating ng February 1, 2018 mag 1st year anniversary na si JameSneaker Care.
I was 17 years old that time, I just turned 18 last November 4, 2017. This coming February 1, 2018, it will be the 1st year anniversary of JameSneaker Care.
Did you experience having unsatisfied customers? If so, how did you cope with the given situation?
-Yes, it’s quite natural actually. If they do have complaints with how I handled the project. I simply take responsibility of everything especially if it was my mistake to begin with.
What were the problems that you encountered in doing this business?
-I believe that politics has always been an issue in any given industry a person is involved with. People tend to bully you and pull you down. I have gotten used to it for it has become normal to me.
One thing that i have learned when i was still in the Multi-Level Marketing Industry is to keep on pushing and to not be dismayed no matter what other people might say against you. Having a positive mind-set is a major factor.
Do you do customization full time? If not, how do you balance your time and prioritize the things that you do?
-I am currently enrolled at FEU Manila. I am in Grade 12 as of the moment under the SHS Stem Department. I always put this business of mine above everything else once school is done.
Pag walang pasok, I tend to make sure na all my time is allotted sa production. I even do meetups sa weekends. Kinalimutan ko muna yong computer games, mga gala, sports at marami pang bagay. Maliit na sakripisyo para sa malaking pangarap.
If there are no classes, I tend to make sure that all my time is allotted to production. I even do meetups during weekends. I forgot all about computer games, gallivanting, sports and a lot of things. These are small sacrifices to achieve a big dream.
When I was starting, ang schedule ko every after class pag ka uwi ko. Tatapusin ko ang mga dapat ko na gawin both sa school and mga responsibilities ko at home. Tapos pag sapit ng 9:00PM mag uumpisa na ako na mag linis ng mga shoes. Mataapos akong mag linis around 3:00AM na, naalala ko nga, matutulog ako na masakt likod, kasi ilang oras ako na naka-yuko.
-When I had just started, my schedule once I got home was to accomplish my responsibilities in school and at home. Once the time hits 9:00pm, I start to clean pairs of shoes. I would finish around 3:00 am, I remember sleeping with a backache because I have been in a rigid position with my head tilted down.
Siguro natanong ninyo bakit napakarami ba ng nilalabahan mo noon na mga sapatos para abutin ka ng madaling araw para lang mag laba?
1 pair kasi takes almost an hours of cleaning. I really make sure na my clients are satisfied with my service. I treat every pari as if it’s my own. Hanggat hindi ako satisfied alam ko na hindi rin sila satisfied sa rinerender ko na service. I know how, and what they feel, kasi I am also a sneaker head like them.
You might be wondering why it takes so long for me to clean pairs of shoes, is the number of pairs I am washing that many?
It is because 1 pair usually takes an hour of cleaning. I really make sure that my clients are satisfied with my service. I treat every pair as if it’s my own. If I am not satisfied, I know for a fact that my clients would also not be satisfied with the service I am rendering. I know how and what they feel because, I for one is a sneaker head like them.
Do you see yourself still painting/customizing in the next years to come?
-Yes, actually one of my main goal is to own and manage my own business franchise and have branches situated in different malls nationwide. To have it situated in areas accessible to all present and future customers. Most of all, I would like to have a foundation to help people.
Yong isa ko pong member ng team dati nag aayos lang po ng mga sapatos sa kanto before I took him in to be part of JameSneakerCare with the help of my sibling. Mapag kakatiwalaan siya and my talent and dedication siya sa ginagawa niya kaya trinain ko siya para madevelop ang potential niya.
One former member of my team used to clean shoes before in the streets before I took him in to be part of JameSneakerCare with the help of my sibling. He is trustworthy, talented and dedicated with what he is doing. I trained him to further develop his potential.
By having all of these, I could employ artists who share the same passion I have with shoes. Together my team would be recognized as one of the best customizers in the country offering various services.
What advice could you give to aspiring artists that would like to paint/customize not just as a hobby but for business purposes as well?
-To all the aspiring artists “Believe in yourself”; i am not that talented as an individual and i cannot even draw. Hearing feedbacks from my clients that they were satisfied and that they trust me, definitely means a lot. So be positive, for good things are coming your way.
Actually, wala naman gaano mahirap. sa una lang talaga, pag natutunan mo kasi madali na lang siya .Pag commited ka gawin ang isang bagay, wala na yung salitang hirap sayo, kasi naka focus ka sa result nito.
Isa sa good memories ko is yong time na lumilipat na kami from pasay to manila. That was the time na naging independent na ako from my parents kasi need ko magmove dahil sa dami na ng shoes.
Homebase lang kasi kami before unlike ngayon na may headquarters na talaga
Actually, there is nothing really difficult. Maybe at first, but once you have learned, it would get easy. If you are truly committed to do one thing, the word “difficulty” is inexistent because you are only focused on the result.
One of the good memories of mine is during the time when we moved from Pasay to Manila. That was the time I have become independent from my parents because I have to move due to the amount of shoes.
I was homebased before unlike currently wherein I really have a headquarters.
JameSneaker Care Headquarters
James Afante with his manager Ayman Alih of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
How do Angelus Products/Sneaks and Laces have helped you in your profession/business?
Angelus Importer PH / Sneaks & Laces have helped me a lot. The products they provide are “Top-Notch”. I guess this is one of the main reasons why i produce high quality projects aside from my skills being an artist. Most of all, is how they accommodate me in a professional way in every transaction dealt with them. To top that all, they even help you in promoting your work.
Namamahalan pako sa angelus paints noon and I even doubt it. Kasi isip ko parepareho lang naman ang lahat ng acrlylic paint. One day nag try talaga ako and nagulat ako sa quality until naging regular user nako ng angelus products after noon.
I used to think that all acrylic paints are the same and I believed that Angelus products are expensive. However, one day, I tried the products and I was surprised with the quality, ever since then, I have become a regular user of Angelus products.
JameSneaker Care utilizes nothing but the best in his customization and restoration needs.
Angelus Products at its finest!
To whom do you dedicate everything?
Kung tatanungin niyo man ako what keeps me pushing?
Ang family ko, I dedicate everything lalong lalo na sa mother and lola ko na mga nag alaga sakin simula noong bata pa ako. Gusto ko talaga makabawi sa kanila. Maparamdam yong sarap at ginhawa ng buhay sa kanilang lahat. Kasi dumating kami sa point na mejo mahirap kami before. Para din ito sa magiging future family ko.
If you’re going to ask me what keeps me pushing?
It would be my family, I dedicate everything to them especially to my mother and grandmonther who took care of me ever since I was a child. I want to repay the things they I have done for me. To let them feel the comfort and security of life. We had reached the point wherein we were quite poor before. This is also for my family in the future.
Para sa JSC Team, tuloy tuloy lng tayo mga brothers always remember na magkakasama tayo. Hindi ito typical boss-employee relationship, part kayong lahat ng JSC family. Nais ko sana mag pa-salamat kasi kahit na nagkakatuwaan tayo madalas na nanatili pa din ang respeto ninyo para saaken. Sa mga oras na wala ako, tiwala at kampante ako sainyong lahat because you know what to do . Be humble team, will see each other at the top.
For the JSC Team, we will keep on going brothers. Always remember that we are in this together. This is not a typical boss-employee relationship, you are all a part of the JSC family. I would like to thank you because despite us having fun, there still remains respect for me from everyone of you. For the times I am not around, I do trust and I feel confident since you all know what to do. Be humble team, we will see each other at the top.
James Afante / Raymond Villanueva /Ayman Alih
Para sa mga taong sumusuporta sa JSC, una sa lahat maraming maraming salamat po sa inyo, na kahit na bata lang po ako nagtitiwala parin kayo sakin, salamat sa patience ninyo and understanding, salamat sa pagpatronize and pagmamahal nyo sa JSC, maraming salamat po sa referrals na binigay nyo sakin and also thank you dun sa mga customers na kahit malalayo, na kahit di kami nakikita still nagtitiwala samin kahit na thru shipping transactions. Salamat po sa inyo kung wala kayo wala rin po ang JSC.
To the people who are supporting JSC, first and foremost, I would like to thank you all, that even though I am still young, you still have placed your trust in me. Thank you for your patience and understanding, for patronizing and for loving JSC. Thank you for all your referrals and thank you for all the customers from far away places that even though we have not yet met and have seen each other, you still trusted me even through shipping transactions. Thank you, without you, JSC would not exist.
Rest assured that JSC will keep on innovating its services and customer service through the years.
Follow James Afante of James Sneaker Care through the following links below:
Facebook/Instagram/Twitter : @jmsfnt
Check out the sample of his works below: