JEMUEL SALTERIO Owner, Planet J Toy Empire
“The satisfaction I get from owning a toy store comes when a parent or customer posts something online. They are always very grateful and express so much happiness, just getting a quality toy for themselves or their children. [kind of] accomplishment is priceless. “
He was supposed to be the family doctor, being the first in the brood to take a medical course at the university. However, not everyone who originally aspires to be a doctor does. Such was the unique fate of Salterio. His love for toys – nurtured since childhood – led to the unexpected but profitable Planet J Toy Empire, launched at the start of the pandemic last year.
“In February 2020, I was browsing the internet and saw this lady, an online saleswoman selling plush toys,” Salterio recalls. “I got curious and watched her ‘sell live’.
Then I just started “mining” stuffed toys, mostly popular characters, that she was selling. “Mine” is a popular business term indicating the intention to purchase the item being sold. to sell a particular item to an interested buyer.
A few months later, on October 10, Planet J Toy Empire made its fearless cyberspace debut, “J” being the first initial of Salterio’s first name.
He says, “With most of the plush toys that I have ‘checked out’ from different online sellers, I found my house full of toys. They literally took up two large rooms and the entire living room.
After a while, I felt the need to declutter as there was hardly any room to move. Salterio looked for a more practical showroom to display his colorful stock. Soon after, Planet J Toy Empire opened a physical outlet in Project 8, Quezon City, managed by a small team.
Currently, there are three employees who deal with online sales; further coordination with buyers for orders; and one, which helps maintain and clean the store regularly. Being surrounded by plush toys of different shapes, colors and sizes brings back warm and fuzzy childhood memories for the affable Salterio.
“I’ve always believed that every toy deserves its respective owner,” he says. “The fulfillment I get from being the owner and manager of a toy store comes when a parent or customer posts something online, or just sends me personal messages through Messenger or Viber, with a few pictures of the items they acquired from our collection They are always so grateful and express so much happiness just by purchasing a quality toy for themselves or for their children. [kind of] accomplishment is priceless. “
The famous Minions. PHOTOS CONTRIBUTED BY ROBIN OBISPO
Salterio and one of his collaborators, comedian Kirara Kawai
What’s in stock at Planet J Toy Empire: Mickey and Minnie Mouse galore and the always smiling Stitch
The biggest challenge of working in the “new normal” for Salterio is that he has to do everything online. “Sometimes the internet connection is bad. In the middle of your live sale, you will hang around and hang around,” he laments.
“This [has become] more difficult to send the toys purchased from us because of the pandemic. One way or another, we all have to learn to adapt to do things differently. “
While the job is far more problematic, there is still work to be done. “It’s more difficult to get around and send toys by courier because of the health protocols we all have to adhere to,” he explains. “It is also very difficult to accumulate and [see to the] delivery of stocks. “
Prior to launching into Planet J Toy Empire, Salterio also owned a home decor and antique shop. He also breeds quality dogs, selling paintings, sculptures and other works of art.
In addition, he occasionally performs public relations functions, as well as artist management. More often than not, his other businesses complement his toy store.
“Friends in the entertainment industry and my other businesses who know I’m in the toy business will just send me messages wanting to check out what I have and end up buying.
“It helps a lot – those friendships made over the years.” By inducing or attracting new customers to frequent its products, Salterio aims for personal satisfaction. “I have to be really happy with what I have and what I’m selling,” he says.
“It gives me fulfillment. Nothing beats the feeling and experience of seeing your toy store with all the quality parts I have. From there, once we do direct selling, the instant feedback from those watching our live sale telling us what we have are some really nice pieces, give me the utmost respect in what I do in the business. Word of mouth. I want them to be happy. “
Salterio received a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Far Eastern University (FEU). “Initially, I wanted to be a doctor when I was younger,” he reveals.
“I went to FEU because they specialize in pre-medical courses.” As he finished his pre-med class, unfortunately, Salterio didn’t put his college learning to good use.
“Even while I was in college, I was already distracted by singing and performing, even more so after I graduated,” he says. Fourth out of six children, Salterio has now learned to juggle work and home.
“Time management is very important to me,” he says. “I’m very particular with this. I devote my time to my dogs, work and business. Sometimes I can work from home too, especially lately. Time management is key.” How is it going? He says, “I try to go to places that will make me happy.
“Like seeing some of my comedian friends in their sets or their nightly performances in comedy bars.” Just hanging out in good company gives Salterio a natural high. “I try to keep a small group of friends. You can’t be BFF with everyone.
“I try to keep my distance. I prefer to be with a few friends who are loyal and loyal to me, especially when times are tough.” I try to find time for everyone as much as I can. Every time I’m with a loved one it’s quality time for me. I make the most of everything. “
In this life, Salterio expresses his desire to accomplish three more things: “God permitting, I would like to enter a cooking school, because I like to cook; enroll in a course at the Philippine School of Interior Design (PSID) to improve my skills and talents in setting up and doing with what is out there. Finally, I want to go to law school and someday become an honest lawyer. “
Apparently, nothing is impossible if you have the desire and the will to make it happen. “The longest journey begins with one step,” says Salterio. “Little by little, you will soon be at your destination.”