Shoes Ginoo!, you got it all!
Written by: Dorethey Shane Mercardo
“When you experience having nothing you value everything- and that applies to all aspects of life”- Geoff Capes.
Life would never give you everything for you to indulge; you would need to wait, to persevere and to plan for something to be granted, it is not as simple as kids sobbing and throwing tantrums to get what they want. Sometimes, in order to see the true essence of life, one should have nothing in order to strive to have something then to finally have everything, or it can also be the other way around, a person could have everything, and wanting none of it, then finally having nothing left. Often times, it is how you would see the value of having everything and nothing at all.
Let us now meet, Mr. CJ Trinidad, a very talented artist from Bulakan, Bulacan, who has strayed from his passion for years, but, because of the support and encouragement of a special person, went back to what he does best, arts! Which resulted to the birth of Shoes Ginoo, his successful business.
In what way did you understand that you are an artist and that you have the potential to be an artist someday?
“When I was still a kid, I already love arts and music; I am specifically interested in drawing. I started my first “masterpieces” when I was still in grade two, but I was still so young back then, so my drawings are somewhat chaotic and messy, but at that time, my love for drawing sparked. Then I started competing for poster making contests in my school, I might say that I am good, but my other competitors are better than I am, but that did not stop me from doing what I want. Losing, for me, should not be my reason to stop, so I still joined contests that are related to painting and drawing.”
“Cj Trinidad and his family sending a shout out to Kuya Glenn”
“While growing up, I started shifting my interest to music. I was still in 2nd grade, when my love for drawing had sparked, it was at that time when my brothers were also introducing me to music back then. They taught me how to play the guitar and so I learned. Eventually I started putting painting and drawing aside and I focused more on music. I, then joined a band called Pistola, but then arts and music are actually interrelated, so I never really put painting and drawing out of the picture.”
Year 2006, I graduated from BS Hospitality and Management. This is not the degree of my choice but I finished it anyway because it is what my parents wanted me to take up back in college. It is for the reason that my Godfather is a captain in a crew ship and he suggested helping me after I graduated. However, that plan did not push through. For a long time, I had jobs that were not related to both my passion and my degree.
Year 2009, my girlfriend pushed me again with painting, because she knows that it is the only thing that I really want to do. I really appreciated her effort. Most of the time she Is the one who is buying the supplies that I need, even though at times, she buys the wrong material, I still recognize the effort exerted to help me.
Around year 2010, I joined an art group from Malolos, Bulacan who called themselves as “Bahaghari ng Malolos”, there; they fully trained and help me to be a full time visual artist. They molded me to be the artist that I am now.
GAWAD BAYANI AT BITUIN NG MALOLOS 2018
“Parangal para sa grupo namin BAHAGHARI NG MALOLOS” – CJ Trinidad
How did the idea of putting your talent in painting integrated into the business industry? Did you see it as an immediate success?
When I have truly become a painter in year 2011, I started my business. It started with just one pair of shoes that I made for a friend, afterwards, my other friends asked me to customize their shoes. They were also the ones who suggested that I should make my own brand and create my own Facebook Page. My girlfriend, my older brother and I did a lot of thinking, we wanted a brand that shouts “Filipino”, unique and appealing to the public, then eureka! Shoes Ginoo it is.
There are certain struggles that you would encounter in having a business. Have you encountered some yet?
My very first struggle in this business is when I was still starting. I almost gave up Shoes Ginoo back then, it seems like I was waiting forever for customers. I even told myself that this business will not be successful. Around 2014, I almost came to the point that I was serious about closing and ending my business. But someone came to me, Sir Erwin, who was an avid cap collector. He asked me to customize his wipcaps. That was my very first customization with caps. It was the start of my success in this business. I was not expecting that the industry and market for cap collectors was vast. When Mr. Erwin uploaded the caps that I customized for him, boom! My projects increased from 0.
Hand-painted WIP caps by CJ Trinidad (Shoes Ginoo)
CREDIT TO WIPCAPS FOR THIS VIDEO
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Another struggle is how I would deal with customers. In any business, you could never remove complaints from customers. There are customers who could not understand how hard customization is, so they would pressure and rush you, but I cope with this by understanding their side as the customer and by jokes such as “Mano-mano lang po kamay natin”.
In customizing shoes or in painting someone’s portrait, what would be the best feeling that you would get out of it?
The best feeling is when I see my customer’s reaction when they see their customized shoes, bags or caps. I see the satisfaction in them through my works, that is one of my motivation to continue on with what I do. I remember, I had a customer before who asked me to make a customized portrait of his father who passed away, when I presented him my final output his reaction is priceless, my work brought him to tears. Wow!
You are a mask-on artist and sometimes a mask-on musician, how do you manage and balance both passions?
Well, my band mates- friends are the ones who are scheduling our gigs, we needed to schedule because all of them are family men. They also have their own jobs, we plan our gigs for the sake of relieving our stress and for bonding, not to earn. This band is a second family to me. 2015, Pistola has been formed, but then it has also stopped because our drummer and bassist left. Year 2017, the band has reunited along with our two friends who also came from other bands. Our jams used to sing rock songs but as we evolved it has become mellow. We could not remove music from our system because it became a big part of who we are now. We all knew each other since we were kids and had loved one common thing, music. Up until we grew up, we still shared music as our bond for friendship. I love music, but my top priority for now is my business and my passion for painting.
What advice would you give to those who are struggling to choose between what others would want for them and with what they want for themselves?
You will reach that point in your life that you would need to follow what your heart says. Yes, convenience it is that we should follow what our brain dictated, because somehow it knows all the right things for us, but then not all that our brains says would take you to happiness and to success. In my case, I followed what my parents wanted for me, and that is what I did, but I never used my degree. What helped me to be successful is my passion for painting, and I took that passion and turned it into business. Now, it seems like I never worked a day in this business, because I love what I am doing. Follow what you really desire when it comes to your dreams, do not let anybody dictate who you should be, and that is when you are going to realize that you are free.
How did Angelus products/ Sneaks and Laces have helped you in your profession or business?
Before I discovered Angelus paints, I am using the typical acrylic paint in tubes, because that is my actual medium as an artist .Then I discovered Angelus paints, yes. compared to what I am using before, this product is pricey but then I am getting the worth of what I paid for with the quality of Angelus. None of my customers complained, not even those who own canvas shoes that I customized. The quality of Angelus product is a winner, as compared with an ordinary acrylic paint, this paint does not really act as a paint that would harden the surface of the canvas shoes. When it comes to customization I would really suggest Angelus paints.
A short reminder from Angelus Importer Ph / Sneaks & Laces
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DISCLAIMER: Credit goes to the owner of the designs.