Yellow Cab and DBTK School Us on Building a Brand from the Ground Up

Yellow Cab and DBTK School Us on Building a Brand from the Ground Up

Life lessons over pizza? Yes, it was as cool as it sounds



It took two hours and the honest opinions of half my editorial team for me to decide on my first Don’t Blame the Kids shirt. This incident dates back to a couple of years ago, when we were sent a few shirts by the brand for a shoot. Faced with a selection of cool graphic T-shirts (which are locally designed, produced and distributed, for that matter), my single-shirt budget and I were at a loss for which one to choose. I distinctly remember being caught in the middle of a three-way tie: a half-and-half situation, a minimalist tee with the brand’s logo printed in a trippy orange-pink-blue font, and a plain tee with an IKEA-inspired graphic printed across the chest.


I decided on the half-and-half tee, in case you were curious.


Since that incident (mentally dubbed the t-shirt love triangle of 2017), I’ve been keeping a casual eye on DBTK and the brand’s gradual rise to their present-day status as a cult favorite shirt brand with its own brick-and-mortar store, an impressive collab history and its a reselling community to boot. Taking this equation into mind, it made perfect sense then for the duo behind DBTK to earn seats in Yellow Cab’s So Worth It! Squad.

A group of go-getting hustlers, creatives and professionals who share more than just a love of pizza in common, these guys have guts, grit and damn good advice that all of us can learn a thing or two from.

Last week, the founding forces behind Don’t Blame the Kids showed us just that. In partnership with Yellow Cab, Vince and Emil Javier of DBTK shared seven secrets to successfully building a brand out of nothing but hard work and unfaltering purpose.


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1. Focus on your vision.

“Every time you experience something negative, ask yourself, bakit ka ba nagsimula (why did you start in the first place)?


2. Words are powerful, but execution is key.

Before their brand came into fruition, Vince and Emil set a goal of going international by their fifth year. While that moment eventually came in the form of a collaboration with PONY, they recognize where credit is due: their team, their unyielding drive and the daily efforts they clocked in to turn target into truth.


3. Trust the journey.

“When we tried printing our own designs on a plain shirt, we thought it would be a piece of cake but we were wrong. We ended up wasting about a hundred tees in total. For a moment, our worries got the best of us but we held our heads high and kept on moving forward.”


4. Quality circle.

“Choose your friends. Skills can be taught, not attitude.”


5. Don’t stop learning.

Vince, DBTK’s creative mastermind, fondly shared that despite the obvious difference in style and quality since the brand kicked off its social media channels, he refuses to delete their first Instagram post. “Binabalik-balikan kasi namin (We always go back to it), to remember our goals and see what we’ve learned.”


6. You are your own standard.

“Remember, not everyone is your market––and that’s okay.”



7. Everything will be So Worth It.

“Our message is not to make your own clothing line, but to make something of yourself.”


Wrapping up with a classic DBTK philosophy, the boys behind the brand left us with these wise words: dream big, start small. And heck, if that’s not a life lesson in four words, what is?


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Don’t Blame the Kids is just one of the nine members of Yellow Cab’s So Worth It! Squad. Representing creators and bright, buzzing minds across multiple industries, each one of these guys has a story you’ll want to hear. Click through to discover the rest of the SWI Squad roster.



Art Alexandra Lara


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