Every once in a while, you find stories from other people that can spark and lit the fire inside you. This time, we found it to one of our collectors.
Wolf’s Blade Shop - Philippines has been always in our Facebook Page notification, always mentioning the page. Upon checking, they always mentioned us whenever they use some of our tees as background in their amazing products. At first glance and reading few posts, you'll definitely feel his passion in each post he makes for his products.
So, we tried contacting the owner, Jean, if he is interested in an interview.
In this article, let's not talk about us. We're putting the spotlight on one of our collectors. Learn more about his story and inspiring hustle.
1. What is Wolf's Blade Shop?
Wolf’s Blade Shop albeit having the term “blade” in it (“blade” refers to all different types/classes of sharpened steel or the flat cutting edge of a knife from a dictionary’s perspective) was a Japanese-styled/themed sword/blade shop and I say “was” because given that most of my wares come from Thailand we’ve ventured on to also create and sell traditional Thai weapons.
2. How did it started? Tell us a brief background or history about your business.
By background, I am a human resources professional, I worked myself to the bone over the years, and due to the recent pandemic which shifted our normal 9-5/in-office setup to a work-from-home arrangement, the extra time I gained daily made me reconnect with my old passion of blade collecting and turned it into what is now my beloved shop.
When I started envisioning the business, I only had the goals set in place, the basic know-how, and a high level for doing self-research however I lacked the most important bit which was the actual forging and production skills so to account for this I joined countless international and local online forums then used my skills in partnering and stakeholder management to build a network of senior enthusiasts that could help me in my journey.
It took close to 6-7 months for me to locate my current partners internationally through various interactions and all I can say is, I’m lucky to be in their care, and based on their feedback about how they find working with me, I’m happy to hear that we share the same views and are on the same wavelength.
3. What are the inspirations behind your product releases?
My father, though born and raised in the USA, spent a long time in Japan, living roughly 15-20 years there during and after his service in the US Air Force. Though most of his traits were still that of a proud American, I grew up in a household that was a melting pot of multiple cultures, so to sum it up, I would say I have the will of a robust American living with the virtues of an upright Japanese whilst still having a soft, tender heart of a Filipino.
With said upbringing, my father always had so many colorful stories to tell, though many years later, I’ve realized most of them were actually of his time spent in Japan. This heavily affected my interests leaving me to study more of the culture and vast lore they had.
The catch to knowing so much about the culture, stories, and ways of Japan was, as a non-designer, it really is hard for me to pinpoint what I exactly want with my releases in a physical design-sense.
I can easily dream up what I want and describe it, though having someone else actually make a draft for it is way harder especially if you account for the usual challenges with international partnerships (ie. Language barrier, design sense, differences in understanding topics, etc.) so for these cases, being that this scene is not particularly new locally or internationally, we’d go with variations from readily available sources online.
We’d get a base design and just ramp up the build from there while adding our own twists and variations. As sword-making has an incredibly long history spanning thousands of years, it’s really hard to say that any of our designs are “original” or “one-of-a-kind” though the many little quirks we do introduce somehow manage to at least leave a semblance of each build being original in our eyes which we hope others can see as we release them.
4. What's your daily life look like?
Whenever I meet someone new, I usually get slapped with the “you must like to party” vibe or once they get to know my hobby of blade collecting then the next thought trail would be the “you must do martial arts” one.
Unfortunately, I’m neither.
I can say that I’m a really huge geek and I spend most of my days reading and researching helpful articles to expand my knowledge and to lessen my stress, I read a lot of manga/manhwa/manhua (and yes, I do read ones from all three nations – Japan/Korea/China) and when I have extra time to sit around and really want to find some new inspiration, then watching some anime helps though I barely watch the animated versions of what I read mainly due to knowing what will happen, and hey, your imagination makes the images move better than any animator can ever do (anime-only/non-manga reader fans out there, fight me! Lol, just kidding, I love you all).
Then during days when I really have a lot of free time, I just while away at my PS4 as I’m a huge Yakuza/Ryu Ga Gotoku fanboy.
With that into account, the remaining hours in my day are usually spent on my day job or just doing light exercise. The funny thing about “light exercise” is most often than not, I usually get stereotyped as being a Kendo/Kenjutsu/Iaido practitioner due to the nature of my shop, but sadly, I only know the basics through the knowledge passed on to me by my Japanese half-brothers (now this is a story for another time) but my “martial arts” background is not really tied to any one form or system as I mainly train the CQC (close-quarters combat) routines my father passed on to me along with a few other practical hand-to-hand arts that I can call upon during extreme situations such as Muay Thai and Jiujutsu.
5. We found out that you're one of Senpai Clothing's loyal customers in the Philippines. When did you start collecting our releases and why?
Many months back, I was in need to spruce up my clothing selection and through the “magical” ways of social media, the algorithm gods presented the Senpai shop page to me one fortunate day.
I was first drawn in by the Mobile Suit collab piece however, at the time, had my reservations simply due to having one too many black shirts, then a few days went by and the real magic happened when the Kami Series I was released.
True beauty on a shirt as the canvas. I knew I had to have them and the rest is now history. Hardcore fan through and through. 😊
6. How can people contact you and purchase your blades?
Any newbies interested to start their collection or veterans interested to expand theirs can easily search my page “Wolf’s Blade Shop” or via Facebook.
If looking for a more formal way to reach me they can also send me an email at their convenience at this e-address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
7. Killer Question: If you only have one minute left in the world, what advice would you give to your child?
Being an estranged father to one very amazing daughter, this question really hits home.
If such a dire scenario were to happen to me my final words to her would be:
“Love and respect your mother like no other as she has been there for you since day one and never ever lose sight of your passion no matter what happens. Always keep moving forward.”
All photos used courtesy of Wolf’s Blade Shop - Philippines