Javi GDL trying to turn dream into reality with sporting goods business

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Jul 11, 2020 01:39 PM
Javi GDL goes into sporting goods business
(Photo courtesy of Cole's Sporting Goods)

Not only is Javi Gomez de Liano making sure to remain in game shape in the continuing COVID-19 crisis, he is also making it happen outside of basketball.

With Cole's Sporting Goods, the University of the Philippines' sweet-shooting swingman has been giving an assist to more than a few people who themselves want to stay in shape.

"I started building my own gym at home so I would contact different suppliers for equipment," he shared of the business's origin story. "One of those suppliers told me why don't I do a business since in demand ang gym equipment. I thought it over for a week and true enough, I decided to make it a business."

For GDL, this is all about trying to turn another one of his dreams into reality. "Actually, nung bata pa ako, dream ko is to own a fitness gym and a basketball court. I wanna be a businessman and a trainer or a basketball coach after I retire from basketball so I see this as a stepping stone to my future goals," he said.

Of course, the 21-year-old's basketball career is still ahead of him - as he is all set to see action for Nueva Ecija in the MPBL as well as the Gilas Pilipinas pool.

With the pandemic putting a pause in play, though, GDL has just turned the lemons given him into lemonade. "This is my passion talaga. I'm from CHK rin kaya all the more I love that I'm doing right now," the BS Physical Education student in UP College of Human Kinetics said.

Even better, Cole's has been yet another milestone for him and beau Einica Buhain.

After all, the name of the business came from her. "At first, I didn't wanna let anyone know I was opening a business because I was uncomfortable. I named it after my girlfriend's second name, which is Nicole, kaya naging Cole," he said.

And Buhain means much more to the business than just the name.

Cole's is actually a business partnership between Javi and Einica, who is the daughter of former national swimmer and PSC Chairman Eric Buhain. "Nung simula, it was just my business, but siyempre, it was her who always supports me. She'd always offer to help out so eventually, she joined me na rin talaga," he said.

He then continued, "We split the investments and all so naging business partners na rin kami in the end."

Not only is the couple getting to know each other better and better, they are also getting to know more and more about life thanks to their startup. "This is all good practice actually. We get to learn a lot of life skills especially in financing and business," GDL said.

He then continued, "Just like in basketball, we would make mistakes, of course, but we learn from them eventually."

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Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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