Filipino architect finds success in salon business

A Filipino architect, who was trying to rebound from his network marketing ventures, engaged in a business experiment in 2012 and established a salon along a busy Manila street with the highest concentration of similar establishments.

Alexander Salvador, while recovering from the collapse of network marketing company OneGoal International, was accompanying his wife to a salon when an idea clicked in his mind.

Why not establish a salon where customers are willing to spend thousands regularly for hair treatment, he asked.  While he had no expertise in beauty and wellness, his advantage, he says, could be his network marketing experience focusing on system and organization.

Filipino  architect finds  success in salon business
Cut & Fix International Salon founder Alexander Salvador
“I left behind OneGoal but decided to apply what I have learned from network marketing. I wanted to determine if it is really effective,” Salvador, a 51-year-old father of three, says in an interview in his office in Quezon City.

“A number of people did not like my idea because I am an architect by profession, not a hairstylist.  But a cousin of my wife decided to invest in my project and we also had an expert partner from the salon industry,” says Salvador.

He did his own research by introducing himself to different salons as a graduate student doing a thesis.  He asked questions on the salary of employees, operational expenses and sources of supplies.

“I wanted to know if it would click, so we chose an area where there were a lot of salons.  We found that along Retiro Street, there were 18 salons.  We chose to build the first branch of Cut & Fix in the middle of Retiro,” says Salvador, the founder of Cut & Fix International Salon.

Salvador and his partners invested P500,000 in the first salon which opened in November 2012.  “By December, people were queueing in front of our salon because it is beautifully designed and offers affordable rates.  We also offer 24-hour Wi-Fi and CCTV coverage.  All our products are FDA-approved.  At that time, these were unheard of.   Because of my experience in network marketing, I knew how to get people’s interest,” he says.

With its quick success, he opened Cut & Fix to franchisees.  Today, Cut & Fix has 47 branches in Metro Manila, of which 11 are company-owned and the rest are operated by franchisees who each pay P10,000 a month.

Salvador says the business continues to expand even when he is not around.  “I applied the concept of system and organization to make it work,” he says. “If you apply the system and the organization in whatever field, it will be successful.”

One who is always lured back to the world of network marketing, Salvador now wants to use Cut & Fix branches as a platform for OneOkada International Corp. which he envisions to be the world’s leading professional network marketing company for wellness, beauty and digital technology products.

Filipino  architect finds  success in salon business

He uses Cut & Fix salons to promote the products of OneOkada and expand his network.  Prior to this, he met major setbacks over a span of two decades.

Salvador, who graduated with a degree in Architecture in 1993, briefly worked for WV Coscolluela & Associates Architects before discovering the opportunities available in network marketing.

“When I encountered network marketing, I resigned from work and joined Forever Living in 1996 to have financial and time freedom.  When I was working as an employee, my monthly salary was P6,000.  With Forever Living, my first check was for P70,000,” Salvador says.

After a year, Salvador joined GoldQuest, a pioneer in the binary business model.  “The true essence of network marketing is not selling.  It is building a network of users,” he says.

Two years later, Salvador along with 80 leaders from GoldQuest established another company called Power Homes Unlimited Corp. which was later ordered closed by the Securities and Exchange Commission for soliciting investments from the public.

Salvador says Power Homes was actually offering technology services, which were not yet widely accepted at that time.  “At that time, their thinking is that products should be physical and services were not considered a product.  Today, electronic commerce is widely accepted,” he says.

He says by 2003, he and his partners decided to entrust their money to Rosario Rose Baladjay. While they initially earned 10 percent from such investments, Baladjay’s company eventually ran into trouble.  Salvador and his partners lost P8 million to Baladjay’s investment scheme.

He started from scratch and worked for an insurance company.  One of his clients, a shoe manufacturer based in Meycauayan, Bulacan, asked his help to establish a network company to sell shoes, as the local industry was suffering from the influx of cheap imports from China.

Salvador agreed and established a networking platform for the shoe business which quickly flourished because of the power of word of mouth.  The problem, he says, is that the shoe factory along with the outsourcing operations failed to catch up with demand, resulting in inferior quality that proved to be disastrous for the company’s one-year warranty offer.

“I was down again in 2007.  By that time, I asked my wife to explore the opportunities in the US,” he says.

Family health problems ensued.  His mother, an aunt and a sister all died of cancer between 2007 and 2011.  “I prayed a lot.  I and my siblings also have lumps on different parts of our bodies,” says Salvador, who is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  

One day, he learned about a natural product on the Internet that is reportedly effective against cancer.  “I checked on the Internet and found that Graviola leaves [guyabano] from Peru are 10,000 times stronger than chemotherapy.  With the financial help from my wife’s cousin, I traveled to Peru and looked for suppliers.  There, I also discovered maca or natural viagra and camu camu berries which are endemic to Amazon River.  I brought them to the Philippines and shared them with my siblings,” he says.

“One of my sisters who was scheduled for a myoma operation found that the cyst disappeared.  Today, my siblings still take these natural medicines,” says Salvador.

Salvador applied for membership with the American Botanical Council and developed capsules that combined Graviola and Trans-resveratrol.  “I applied with the Intellectual Property Office for Gravitrol, the first product under GMC which means God Made Cure,” he says.

“There were a lot of testimonials about the efficacy of Gravitrol,” says Salvador, who in 2011, decided to establish OneGoal as a network marketing company for health products.

“There were a lot of positive testimonials.  One Stage 4 cervical cancer patient survived and even had a child,” he says.

While his products proved effective, Salvador eventually found himself ousted from the very company he established.  A year after, OneGoal collapsed. That’s when he decided to leave network marketing in 2012 to build the brick-and-mortar business of Cut & Fix.  

Customers, however, still yearn for Gravitrol and other natural health products, says Salvador.  He also discovered the health benefits of black garlic and other health products from Japan. A supplier named Yoshitaka Okada allowed Salvador to use his name as a part of a new company called OneOkada International in 2017.

“This time, we created a network marketing company that combines with traditional business,” he says.

Quezon City-based OneOkada now has a network of 10,000 users of natural health and beauty products such as black garlic from Japan, Graviola leaf extract and Trans-resveratrol, Camu camu extract and Maca root extract from Peru.

Salvador, who has three children, says his mission is to build a network of users and change Filipino consumers’ misconception about network marketing.  Combining his experiences in both traditional and network marketing businesses, he wants OneOkada to succeed by addressing flaws that he witnessed in previous ventures.

“Our purpose is to win the trust and confidence of the people about networking. We want to build a network of users and provide first-rate products and services in the field of health and beauty and digital technology,” says Salvador.

Topics: salon business , Cut & Fix International Salon , OneOkada International , Yoshitaka Okada
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