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  • Nakakabilib! This Teen Started His Shoe Restoration Business With Only P300

    This 18-year-old is helping his single mom one old leather shoe at a time.
    by Angela Baylon .
Nakakabilib! This Teen Started His Shoe Restoration Business With Only P300
PHOTO BY Allen Hale and Michelle Jaguimit
  • Polishing leather shoes seems like a thing of the past, right? When you think of a boy shining a pair of shoes, you might paint a picture of it in black and white. But not for 18-year-old Allen Hale Jaguimit, who turned his passion for leather shoes into profit.

    Allen started his small but profitable buy-and-sell business in 2019. In the past two years, he has already sold over 70 pairs of restored leather shoes from an initial capital of Php300. Shoe-per laudable!

    Meet the teen cobbler who earns money by restoring old leather shoes.
    PHOTO BY Allen Hale Jaguimit

    We found out about Allen because of his mommy Michelle Jaguimit who shared their inspiring story on our Facebook community, Smart Parenting Village.

    A single mom of two, Michelle expressed how proud she is of her teenage son, who is already earning money and helping her make ends meet one restored leather shoe at a time.

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    "Nakaka-proud na highschool palang may small business na siya. Para makahelp samin ng kapatid niya at para makapag-ipon para sa future niya," Michelle wrote in her Smart Parenting Village post.

    READ MORE INSPIRING FINANCIAL SUCCESS STORIES:

    How Allen got into restoring leather shoes

    For a teenager to be fascinated about leather shoes and restoring them at that, you could say that Allen is an old soul, or should I say old sole?

    But puns aside, even Michelle is in awe of the unlikely passion of her son. In an interview with Smart Parenting, Allen explained that he got into leather shoes as a fan of singer Michael Jackson.

    So, in 2019 when his pair of shoes got worn out, he tried to save money to buy a pair similar to one of the shoes the 'Thriller' singer has worn before.

    "'Pag uwian po pumupunta ako sa ukay-ukay-ukay sa mga sapatero. Halos araw-araw po ako andun at eventually nakakita po ako ng dream shoes ko po na katulad po kay Michael Jackson.

    "Pero kasi Php1,500 po yun...financial struggle po talaga kami noon kaya hanggang tingin-tingin po muna doon.

    "Inipon ko po 'yung baon ko na Php40 a day. May mga time nga rin po na malapit ko na siyang mabili kaya lang kailangan ni mama ng pang-budget so, inaabot ko na lang po muna sa kaniya."

    Allen's consistency in saving was not in vain and he soon earned enough to buy the shoes of his dreams.

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    Allen's first pair of leather shoes he bought from his own savings. He shared, "Nung nabili ko na po. Binigyan po ako ng tip nung sapatero na brush-in ko lang po at i-shine ng kiwi. Gabi gabi ko pa rin 'yun ginagawa."
    PHOTO BY Allen Hale Jaguimit

    Since buying the pair of penny loafers he always wanted, Allen learned how to care for his shoes properly. This is how his knack for shoe restoration was developed.

    Little did he know, he would soon buy not just one, not two, but over 70 pairs of shoes and that it would be his source of income.

    Michelle even recalled a moment when she could not afford to buy a Php7,000 shoe that Allen always wanted.

    "Lagi naming natingin niyan. Sinasabi ko 'sa graduation mo pag-iipunan ni mommy 'yan. Eh kaya lang ito si Allen mapamaraan. Kaysa bilhan ko siya ng gano'ng kamahal na sapatos, why not humanap ng ibang paraan para ma-achieve 'yung gano'ng goal."

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    But because of Allen's business, he was able to buy that shoe. "Eventually nabili ko na siya, tapos hindi lang po isa, marami na rin po ako nabili siguro mga five times ko na pong nabibili 'yung mga ganon."

    Allen's dream shoes that he finally was able to pay with his own earnings.
    PHOTO BY Allen Hale Jaguimit

    Starting a shoe buy and sell business

    Allen first tried his hand at selling restored shoes when he scored a Charles Tyrwhitt pair of shoes he bought from a surplus store for only Php300.

    After polishing the shoe and offering it on Facebook marketplace, the teenager was able to sell it for Php2,500! Michelle says she witnessed how her son worked hard to make the sale and achieve a large profit.

    "Kaya niya nabenta ng mas malaki kasi genuine leather siya tapos binenta lang ng napakamura kasi surplus siya. Broken siguro yung size, hindi pumasa sa quality control.

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    "Noong ni-restore niya...Triny niyang i-post online. Binigyan niya ng magandang description kasi mayroon na siyang knowledge tungkol dun sa mga genuine leather," the mom of two shared.

    Aside from the Php300, Allen's capital was hours of improving his knowledge about leather shoes.

    "Inaral niya yan eh. Gabi-gabi 'yan na sa Youtube. Nag-join siya ng groups ng leather shoe restoration kasi gusto niya talaga malaman kung paano ma-maintain yung leather shoes niya kasi nasira nga 'yung dati," Michelle tells Smart Parenting.

    Before and after Allen restored a leather shoe.
    PHOTO BY Allen Hale Jaguimit
    PHOTO BY Allen Hale Jaguimit
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    PHOTO BY Allen Hale Jaguimit
    PHOTO BY Allen Hale Jaguimit

    Developing a knack for business

    With his first profit of over Php2,000, Allen then began to buy more leather shoes to restore and sell online. Currently, Allen has sold over 70 restored shoes. The biggest sale he earned so far was Php9,600 for two shoes he initally bought for Php3,000.

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    PHOTO BY Michelle Jaguimit

     

     

    PHOTO BY Allen Hale Jaguimit
    Allen's skills in shoe restoration go as far as changing the color of the leather.
    PHOTO BY Allen Hale Jaguimit
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    Allen's entrepreneurial mindset did not come as a surprise for his mom. In fact, Michelle recalled that Allen already had experience selling as early as he was 7-years-old.

    "He told me that he sells stickers sa school noong elementary siya. Sabi niya sakin, mayroon nga siyang ka-kompetensiya, nagbebenta rin. The difference is that sa kaniya bumibili 'yung karamihan kasi sa kaniya may free."

    Ever since, Allen was motivated to explore how to earn and grow his savings, which was spurred by the financial struggles he and his mom faced in the past.

    As a single mom, Michelle admits they have been through money problems. "Nakikita ni Allen 'yung struggle ko sa pagba-budget. hindi ko mabigay lahat 'yung wants nila."

    "Nakikita niya (Allen) kasi talaga noon. Nagbebenta-benta na ako. Kung ano-ano pinagbebenta ko sa office. Tapos siya 'yung tagabitbit."

    But these challenges only taught Allen how to value money. Michelle shares, "Si Allen, 'yung sa allowance niya sine-save niya talaga 'yan. Kapag medyo kapos na kami sa budget shine-share niya 'yun. Magugulat ka na lang bigla siya may ishe-share sa'yo."

    Mommy Michelle with her two kids.
    PHOTO BY Michelle Jaguimit
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    At a young age, Allen is well-aware of the value of money and why saving is important.

    "Napapansin ko po kasi sa mga classmate ko noon, 'yung baon nila ini-spend nila ng buo. Hindi na sila nagtatabi.

    "Noong una ginagawa ko siya kasi ang thinking ko 'mayroon pa naman bukas kaya bakit ka pa magsi-save eh may baon naman bukas.' Pero hindi po dapat gano'n."

    Raising a money-smart kid

    For mommy Michelle, having children is "our greatest gift from God. we have a great responsibility to raise them well." And, part of that responsibility, she believes, is ensuring that they are financially literate.

    "Natutunan ko, the moment na nagpabili ang bata ng gusto niya, that's the time na dapat i-explain nating sa kanila 'yung value of money and how to spend it wisely."

    She notes, "Financial literacy is understanding the basics of money management...That knowledge lays a foundation for our children to build strong money habits early on and avoid mistakes that lead to lifelong money struggles."

    "Honestly, I wasn't financially literate noong 20s ko. Late na talaga akong mamulat sa financial literacy kasi I wasn't  taught noong bata ako...

    "Kakabasa ko ng blogs, especially sa Smart Parenting, may tips 'yung parents diyan about money management, mga ganitong platforms, doon ako natuto sa budgeting."

    Researching and learning from her past, Michelle offers these three tips to raise financially responsible kids:

    1. Involve kids in the family's finances

    Money is still a taboo topic among families. Some parents would shun talking about money to their younger kids, but as mommy Michelle points out, it would be beneficial to the whole family to include children when it comes to conversations about family budgets and other finances.

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    "Isa 'yan sa mga kinorrect ko. Kasi 'yung parents ko, sila 'yung superior—kapag sa finances niyo, 'anak lang kayo.' 'Yung budget kasi for the whole family."

    So, what is the best age to involve kids in matters concerning money? Michelle says:

    "Natutunan ko, the moment na nagpabili ang bata ng gusto niya, that's the time na dapat i-explain nating sa kanila 'yung value of money and how to spend it wisely. Kailangan maintindihan nila 'yung worth ng pambibili no'n."

    Michelle adds that aside from savings and investing, she also makes sure to teach her children that good money management also includes allotting a portion for sharing.

    2. Give kids the opportunity to apply budgeting in simple activities

    Michelle doesn't just talk about money management to her kids; she also makes sure they get to practice it.

    She recalled that before whenever they go out, she gives her two kids Php50 each to buy whatever they want. In this simple way, the kids can learn about budgeting.

    3. Support your kids' ideas and passion

    When Allen was still starting his buy and sell business, he constantly seeks guidance from his mom, which Michelle would willingly give. They often talk about how Allen could market the shoes better. It even came to a point where talking about leather shoes has become their bonding moment.

    Knowing that your children can count on you for money advice helps them become confident and not be afraid of making mistakes. Kids muster the courage to come up with a workaround when challenges arise, which makes up for a good entrepreneur.

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    Kudos, mommy Michelle for raising a responsible son and Allen for your growing business! See more of Allen's shoes here.

    Want to share your inspiring story and get featured? Email us at smartparentingsubmissions@gmail.com.

    Read how a 21-year-old earns money as a successful farmer here.

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