Part 2/4 

One of the brother tell his secrete.
Sebastian, could you please tell us how it all started?
Our family is very entrepreneurial, so it was quite natural for us to follow in our father’s, uncle’s and grandfather’s footsteps. Style simply runs in our family - like my father, who always dresses to impress and our dandy grandfather. So when this opportunity came along to open a store, my brother and I did not hesitate. I then moved my family down from New York, thereafter Jorge and I embarked on this adventure.
What is the concept behind‘Brothers and Brawlers’?
The concept behind the store is to provide a space in which people could gather inspiration, good taste and style, as well as a place to meet people with similar interests, aesthetically and atmospherically. At ‘Brothers and Brawlers’, you can get a new style from top to bottom; whether we are talking about shoes, trousers, suits,furniture, vehicles from motorcycles to classic cars - the whole idea is to make a one hundred percent fusion in style.

 What is your background for your interest in this business?We have always been interested in vintage, fine lines and aesthetics. Our love for vintage comes from the fact that nearly everything today has an expiry date. In contrast, most vintage items have been made to last a lifetime or longer. My love is not necessarily for vintage things, but more for timeless designs, including suits, glasses, and vehicles.

 What kind of business relationship do you two have?
It is easy for us to have this business relationship because we grew up together. It is exactly like the time when my brother said “Let’s build a tree house” and we just did it.
Along the way, we expanded the dream and experience of building our tree house and it is the same thing with this place. However, if there was no tree, we would just have made something up ourselves and created our dreams from whatever we could find. So now, ‘Brothers and Brawlers’ is our tree house,where we bring our friends, hang out and have a good time in inspiring surroundings.

Jorge, what is your favourite item here, and why?
I would say the bikes, because they take us back to our childhood.Where we grew up, we always used to ride our bikes,and this passion is the reason why we bought all the bikes together. It was a very satisfying adventure collecting the bikes and their parts, as well as building the bikes together.

Are the bikes for sale?
Jorge: The bikes, as well as everything else in this shop,are for sale. I feel that this concept shows a little bit of my grandfather in us, as we believe everything can be sold for the right price. Everything is a matter of price, including my own brother (he laughs).

Sebastian: Some of the bikes are priceless. For example, each bike has its own story like the one we built together in New York, called Lady D because our mother’s name is Diana. However, if somebody wants it, we will let it go - but only for the right price.
When we were younger, if my father had friends visiting, there would always be somebody buying.It could be a car, a motorcycle, a jukebox or an old record player. These memories give me a special feeling when buying from friends, because when you buy from friends, you exchange more than money - and you avoid becoming too attached to things. It is easy to become a slave and give in to your desires, yet we all know that owning more things will not make us happier. You learn that there is a process of finding things, getting excited about them and then letting go.
Does this venture have a deeper meaning for you?
For sure, it has been an adventure and our goal was not to make big money. We really did this to externalise our passion for vintage style and people. It is a huge risk doing this, especially in Miami, but it was totally worth it. At the end of the day, you do whatever you need to do for your dreams to come true. Despite this, we are still businessmen and not gamblers.


What is it like for you as brothers to work together?

Jorge: I think we are learning bit by bit that we both have special skills, which we can use in our business. Sebastian has an eye for design and I am responsible for all the
practical aspects of the business. Since I am working with my brother, I do not have to worry about loyalty, as we are always loyal to each other.

Sebastian: We used to fight all the time, which is amusingly how the name of the store came about. We are brothers and used to brawl with each other all the time. We were actually known as the brothers, who were always in fist fights. Yes, we have been fighting a lot, but at the end of the day, we will always be brothers. It is very interesting,
because you always hear that ‘he is more like my brother’,because siblings always have this thing connecting them,and no matter what, we will always be brothers.

Where is this adventure taking you?

Jorge: I honestly think that there is room for this type of place in any major city in the United States. There is definitely a market for it, but we just picked one of the hardest cities to open in. However, we trust our guts and believe in our dream that we will open in other cities. We would also like to have our own clothing brand and keep expanding with our creativity.




 What do you think, Sebastian?
Well, if I knew the answer to that, I would not do what I do.If I wanted to know where I am in five to ten years, I would have become a doctor or a lawyer. I actually think that the best part of this adventure with ‘Brothers and Brawlers’ is that I do not know what will happen. I think that the fun is in not knowing, and I do not want to know. I always keep an eye open for adventures and opportunities. I like to explore and meet people and do not always stick to my first draft.If something comes up - a new opportunity, perhaps I will take it or perhaps not If ‘Brothers and Brawlers’ grows and becomes a national concept, that is cool - but honestly, I do not know if that will happen. We have already received offers from Boston, Los Angeles and New York. We go with the flow and make plans along the way. I think that we try to see this whole thing as a life-like journey. Not knowing where we will end up. Personally, I hope that our family will stay healthy and we will be here, enjoying each other’s company for many years to come, though life has its own ways and faces, so I guess no one will ever know what happens. The fun part in life is figuring it out along the way.
How do you run ‘Brothers and Brawlers’?
Sebastian goes all the way to the moon and I pull him back to Earth. You know, we are very different but we make a good team. I love this place - the atmosphere, the stuff and the people here make it amazing. We have collected so many things that inspire you and keep you going during the day. I think you are happier when you are surrounded by things and people you love.
I used to have a normal job but today, I have chosen to follow my dedication and my passion. I actually think that the hardest thing for people is to find their passion and having the balls to pursue their dreams. Many simply settle for less and I think that it is fine, as we need people like that. My brother and I just want to make our own mark on Miami and perhaps on other countries, meaning that we will not settle. If you go to Miami, you will not find another place like this, because we go against the typical scene here.
We want to offer outsiders of Miami a different experience in Miami. Money comes and goes, but if you are doing something that really makes you happy, the money is just a bonus. Every day is a battle, but we love what we do and that’s why it is worth it. It is not about the destination, it is about the journey in life.
I think life is fun, as there are always ups and downs. If every day went super-duper, you would never know how to appreciate the good in life. This makes me feel alive when I am down. I like to push forward and think out of the box. I would also like to inspire other people to do what they love, as there are so many institutions all over the world that teach people how to be robots and never to think for themselves. I wish that people would take chances more often.





Jorge, why do you think people do not take chances?

They do not take chances, because they are scared of lacking financial security, the many responsibilities and often, they have a family to take care of. This combination makes them afraid of failure. I come from Colombia and over there, life is tough, compared to Miami. I love this country because it is the land of opportunities, inspiring people to take chances and become better. You have a choice - do you want to be controlled by other people or do you want to be free and live your own dreams? I know that I would like to enjoy my time on Earth and be free. I’m here to enjoy life. There is a quote, which I like: “Stop existing and start living”. You have to take risks.You can always go back and work in an office or whatever you used to do. I think that people should start thinking about what is going to make them happy in the long therm.

What does it take to become successful?

You have to have a plan and stick to it. You have to push forward, be determined and dedicated to see all the opportunities ahead. You have to keep going, regardless of what happens. Many people are not willing to take the risk, as they are too comfortable. I also think that human beings in general like to be told what to do and that is why everybody needs a supervisor. I also think it is a mental thing, being self-employed and it takes skills. Sticking to what you really want to do, and what your heart tells you are the right things to do.



What do you think is the key to success, Sebastian?

I think the key to success is planning. Furthermore, you always have to keep an eye on new opportunities, when you start a business, you will always have to shape it along the way. There is a huge company, called Avon that started selling books and they gave women makeup with the books. However, the women only bought the books to get the makeup, so Avon stopped selling books and now, they only sell makeup. This is a good picture of how a company had to change strategy along the way. Another advice is to start a business with other like-minded people.

Jorge, what is your perspective on society today with the throw-away mentality?

I remember the film Fight Club and a scene, telling you that all the money you owe to the bank for your house, your car and other expensive items actually own you.So, the things, which you think you own, actually own you. This really gives you something to think about. I think that people get too carried away with things and end up being slaves to possessions, and that is not freedom. People buy things they do not need to impress people they do not like with money they do not have.  

Jorge, what about dreams and dedication?

Today, everybody can follow their dreams. If you do not follow your dreams, you are not passionate or dedicated enough. I have played soccer all my life, but I did not make it to the professional level. The ones that made it, wanted it more than me, they where more dedicated and made more sacrifices to achieve their dream of becoming a professional soccer player. It takes sacrifice to be successful, and this is where it will show whether you really want it or not; are you truly dedicated or not?


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