Erika Padilla talks to playmaker Paul Artadi about that other thing the Meralco Bolts' point guard loves to do: hawking the best basketball kicks in town!
Twenty-two years ago, a ten-year-old boy received a surprise gift from his dad that changed his life: a pair of JORDAN 6 INFRAREDs.
Yup. It's wild, I know.
I’m pretty sure you’re seeing this little guy in your head jumping up and down, close to tears, and embracing his new pair of shoes. He's ready to build a shrine for it in his messy, smelly room. He even promises to his parents that he'll ace all his subjects, eat his vegetables, finish all chores in the house, and never ever forget to say PO and OPO as long as he lives.
That was how it was for me when I got my PLAY DOH set. I. Felt. Like. ROYALTY.
Gents, that lucky kid is Paul Anthony Dy Artadi. And he takes pimpin' selfies:
Paul has made a mark in the local basketball scene in a career that started way back in La Salle Greenhills, then UE for college, and eventually to the PBA. Known as a playmaker in the league, he's now also known as a point person guardin’ and pimpin’ the hottest kicks in town. Yezzir!
Like anyone who loves and plays basketball, Paul draws pride from the shoes that he wears. He became a collector with the aforementioned Jordan 6, his shoe addiction increasing as he grew up. Soon, he wasn't satisfied with just collecting fancy kicks. Having established connections all over the world for his own personal collection (from the UK, US, HK, to name just a few), he turns these connections into suppliers. Paul's now a distributor of a wide array of sneakers, from workout to supreme porma and premier kicks, calling his brand Pimp Kicks.
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He shares this successful enterprise, which he started on October 2012, with three other guys: his cousin Inno, friend Maynard, and brother PJ. Putting the first letters of their names together spells "P-I-M-P." Together, they designed the company's logo and set up the entire system from purchasing stocks to managing inventory to delivering orders.
Paul shares that they humbly started with ten pairs. They wanted to check if they could make it work with just a few sets. Testing the waters, kumbaga. And like every business that experiences success, hard work was the key. Artadi compares the situation to games. There’s no match that can be played breezily, he states. It takes a lot of preparation and a desire to conquer the opposition once you step inside the court.
“There’s no such thing as easy games or easy money," shares Artadi. "Lahat pinagtatrabahuhan.”
The room where the PIMP KICKS' shoes are stocked is paradise for any kicks collector
Pimp Kicks got the ball rolling by marketing themselves in social media (you can follow them on Instagram: @pimp_kicks). Soon, the metro's small but highly-addicted sneaker freaker community came-a-knockin'.
They also sought the help of actors, celebrities, and other basketball players to promote their brand; from Kris Aquino, Marian Rivera, Daniel Padilla, to Divine Lee and Ramon Bautista, and to other good friends in the PBA. A peek at the store's Facebook page shows a host of other celebrities enjoying their time with Pimp Kicks.
Paul surmises that their tactic of getting people to promote products is much like maximizing momentum in a game. These celebs, with their own following, pushed their brand further, thus making his company's presence more felt.
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