Tell us a little bit about yourself?
First off I would like to say thank you for taking the time and interest to interview me. Currently age 38 years old, from Vallejo California in the Bay Area. My wife and I are the owners of Built 2 Grind Apparel. In 2009, I put my logo on a hoodie and jokingly posted it on Facebook and ended up selling close to 400 hoodies in 2-3 months. Since then year after year we been on our grind to take this apparel company to heights we envision.
How is it like to run a business with your wife?
It’s funny because at first I honestly didn’t think it would work out. But my wife is the best business partner I ever had. We actually compliment each other well. She handles the finances and administrative aspect of the business. And I network and get out there on the front lines and connect the dots. I’m very grateful not to just have a supportive wife, but she shares the same GRIND and ambition as me.
You have had your business now for 10 years, how do you stay motivated?
You know it’s been and has gotten very tough at times. Like Les Brown my favorite motivational speaker said, “It’s hard when you put everything you got into something and it doesn’t work out”. I wouldn’t say it hasn’t worked out for us but you didn’t get the results you expected to get for the amount of money and effort you put in. It really gets your spirits down. But thus far, everything we have experienced it hasn’t shattered our vision, shook our confidence or deter us from going after this dream! We know one day we will be just as big as Nike or Under Armour. When you put your ALL into something and have unwavering faith and trust in God and keep grinding. Everything will fall into place. Plus, whatever city we go to whether Sacramento, San Francisco, Los Angeles we always get some random person approaching us asking about our Built 2 Grind jacket or sweater. Different ethnicities approach us asking about where can they get our gear. So we feel that’s a sign from God to keep going!
Having 9-5 jobs, a marriage and a business, how do you balance it all?
For us we definitely are pretty good at communicating. Just like any organization or operation everyone needs to play their position accordingly. We have nightly meetings and while I’m at my 9 to 5 job (pharmacy tech) I message her during lunch with updates of new orders that came in. Or if we need to order more inventory, materials, send out emails etc.
What is your biggest achievement?
I would like to think my biggest achievement is still having that fire and drive. Basically remaining resilient after all these years, through all these sacrifices, ups and downs my wife have faced on our journey.
What was one of your biggest struggles?
I always like to be transparent, real and upfront. My biggest struggle I would like to say is just improving and maturing as an overall business man.
What does the Filipino Community mean to you?
The Filipino community is everything. The meaning of Built 2 Grind definitely resonates with the Filipino Community. And every Filipino design we come out with it’s definitely a fast mover!
What do you miss most about the Philippines?
I miss everything about the Philippines. My peoples in Pampanga (Candaba), the food, even the smell in the morning lol. What I really love is regardless how poor the Phillippines might be, everyone is so happy! It made me realize a lot in life from my last trip.
What are your future plans?
We will run Built 2 Grind full time and we will scale it slowly but surely!
Any advice you want to give to other entrepreneurs?
If there’s anything you will believe in, believe in yourself. Don’t ever get discourage regardless how difficult your circumstances may be. And other people’s opinions DO NOT matter! Again, I repeat other people opinions DO NOT matter!
A last thing you want to plug?
If you haven’t followed us yet, feel free to check us out on Instagram @Built2Grind and @Mr_B2G and our website www.Built2Grind.com. And to everyone who been rockin with us since day one from the bottom of our hearts we love y’all and truly appreciate you all.
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