A defining trait that we Filipinos have is the ability to turn anything into a profitable business, coupled with our hustle and grit to seize opportunities with a positive mindset. Particularly for young Filipino Rommel De Leon, more popularly known as Joms Neri or JOMT, it was his hard work and determination that helped his business of buying and selling rare caps grow into a sustainable livelihood for him and his family.
Joms, who is based in Tondo Manila, began selling caps when he was around 12-14 years old. Now at 28, he is now managing his online store “Started With 1 Cap” that features caps with a variety of designs, colors, and styles.
“Nag bebenta ako ng cap para sa pamilya ko dahil eto lang yung bumubuhay sakin hanggang sa nagkaron na ako ng pamilya,” he shared with When In Manila. According to him, the profit he earns from selling caps in a day is spent on purchasing necessities for his family, such as diapers and formula milk for his baby.
He then talked about the challenges he faces daily, from having to wake up early to call first dibs on new arrivals to traveling long distances to meet with suppliers. “Andyan [din] yung mga bogus buyer, papapuntahin ka sa lugar ng meet up nyo tas hindi ka sisiputin. Ayun yung malungkot dun e,” he lamented. “Pero kahit ganun tuloy lang sa buhay, marami naman may ibang gusto bumili nung cap na hindi nya kinuha. Kaya safe lang.”
Despite these, he enjoys what he does primarily for the opportunity to meet new friends. “Andito yung magkakaron ka ng maraming kaibigan. Minsan pag may mga caps event andito yung magkikita kita kayo at mag-chill. Andun yung mag-trade/sell kayo ng sarili nyong caps para pang dagdag collection din. Parang pamilya ko na din silang matatawag.”
Celebrity DJ Patty Tiu showcasing what’s in stock at Started With 1 Cap
Joms also hopes to one day set up his own physical shop to sell his collection of rare caps and maybe even have his own apparel brand. “Para bukod sa online, pwede na nila ako dayuhin sa shop ko. Malay mo meron na din ako sariling brand ng caps balang araw. Sana maging sosyo kami balang araw,” he said.
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