What was once a buy and sell business, is now one of the strongest clothing brands here in the local scene. Don’t Blame The Kids was started by brothers Emil and Vince Javier and not without tremendous difficulty.
It all began when Emil was still in charge of running a mini-grocery store while at the same time, juggling the buy and sell business he and his brother started in Multiply during 2009. Emil found himself focusing his energy on their buy and sell rather than his grocery.
“Nagpakabit pa ako ng wi-fi sa grocery para lang maka internet ako para doon sa buy and sell namin parang yun yung naging way ko of distressing.” -Emil
As Emil continued to struggle with his grocery business, Vince was graduating college with a degree in culinary, a course that wasn’t his first choice. When Vince was entering college, he couldn’t find a course that was well suited for his creativity and passion for brand building and ended up taking culinary on a whim.
“When everyone was picking what course to take, ako yun parang ano bang pwedeng course para sa gusto gumawa ng damit but because no one guided me, nag culinary na lang ako sabi ko bahala na.” -Vince
However instead of going to the culinary path like his colleagues did, Vince followed his own instinct.
“Gagawin ko na ano yung purpose ko nun 4th year highschool pa ako.” -Vince
So when Vince graduated in 2012, they knew that there were was no time to waste and they finally got down to business. Emil knew that the their buy and sell wasn’t going to be sustainable and so he kept asking himself and his younger brother.
“What business can we do that would be successful in the long run?” -Emil
Vince always had a hard time finding unique colorful clothing brands that are street inspired in Manila.
“Ever since higschool pa ayoko ng may kaparehas talaga sa clothes. That time American blvd lang meron and during those times it had all international streetwear brands like Ben Davis, Bape. At that time di ko pa alam na fake sila and ganda pa ng quality.” -Vince
Vince having a knack for streetwear, thought why not create their own brand instead. Vince started pitching ideas to his brother and Emil did the business plan. Emil’s business driven vision paired up with Vince’s creative direction made up the perfect team and towards the end of 2012, DBTK was born.
Armed with nothing but their dreams and vision for the brand, they put out their creations on their DBTK’s Facebook page hoping for a potential market. Soon enough, their online presence grew little by little as they learned from their inconsistencies and by understanding their market. The very first design that got the masses attention was their own version of the pocket tee. As their online success progressed, they took the next step by creating their flagship in Quezon City opened last March 22, 2014. The Javier brothers regularly hold product launches and mini events that foster the community that share the same for the brand.
Competing in the retail industry was hard especially for Vince and Emil who had zero experience.
“To be honest, wala kaming connections kahit sino, kami kami lang talaga.” -Vince
But what solidified DBTK’s presence in the streetwear industry is how they successfully set themselves apart from their competition by creating a culture that best exemplifies who they were and what values they stood for. Establishing their brand’s unique style and individuality stems from all the hardships both of them shared before and during creating the business. Unlike most streetwear clothing lines that sell are heavily associated with smoking, drinking and other vices, DBTK chooses to inspire people especially the youth to keep reaching their dreams, a true representation of what Vince and Emil achieved in such a young age.
Failed business decisions, cowering away from the norm, and multiple “sablay moments” the brother duo experienced for several years ultimately carved how DBTK came to be what it today.
“DBTK is a reflection of our past experiences, struggles and failures. Its time for us to turn something negative into positive, DBTK is our way of sharing positive vibes to our potential market.” –Emil
Most of their designs incorporate positive messaging and quotes that are aligned with their vision. Both Emil and Vince consistently reinvent the brand through the years but their message remains the same.
We asked Emil and Vince what more do they have in store for DBTK. Emil recalled a memory he had during his college thesis defense where in he was asked if he was still going to continue his mini-grocery business after graduation as to which he firmly answered;
“No, my brother and I are going to create a brand which I envisioned to be an international brand after 5 years.” -Emil
This 2017 is actually DBTK’S 5th year and the brothers have no plans on slowing down. Currently, they have some international collaboration in the making, something DBTK fans should all be excited about.
Since the brand’s inception, DBTK’s designs has become increasingly popular in the local community especially with the Filipino youth who have strong feelings of ownership for the brand just as much as the founders do.
“Kapag sinusuot ng mga supporters namin yun DBTK, nagkakaroon sila ng sense personal attachment cause its something that they can relate to.” -Emil
DBTK is not just a clothing brand but one that tells a story and will continue to do so with each design they make. DBTK’s story is proof that you don’t need to sacrifice one’s value in achieving your vision.
You can visit their flagship store in 38-A Shorthorn St. Project 8, Quezon City and online on http://dbtkco.com/
Join our newsletter for exclusive promos and updates.