We all could do with a little help at times as we hope for better things and whether you believe in them or otherwise – luck and hope is good business.
Just ask Brett.
Who? Brett owns and operates Old City Amulets & Occult based in Singapore.
“It’s a popular hobby in Singapore and collectors age covers the spectrum from 17 to 70. However, I would say it’s a more male-oriented hobby with male outnumbering women 9:1.”
– Brett (Old City Amulets & Occult)
Impressive indeed both the breakdown and the fact that Brett knows his stuff which cements the number one rule of owning a business – know your sh*t.
Legend has it that Brett’s interest in all things Thai started back when he was serving the nation. He met a Thai girl and having been “mesmerized” (in his own words) by her mannerism and (Thai) culture, he decided to pick up the language. Upon completing his conscription, he made a solo trip up north to the Land of Smiles where he was introduced to the hobby of amulet collecting when a friend’s Dad gave him his first Thai amulet piece.
Business has been good for but the success he’s riding on right now didn’t come without a bump.
“I dived into the furniture industry back in 2012 and lost a heap of time and money. Made a fresh start in 2014 with $6000 borrowed from family and friends, and in the last 4 years have made a small fortune. I’ve been in this business for sometime now and thank Buddha it’s been good to me especially with the rise of Social Media which has enabled me to expand my business several folds over the course of the last few years.”
“I’m not religious.”
– when asked what’s the one thing that perhaps not many people know about himself.
Small fortune is still a fortune regardless and while we are well into the digital age, old misconceptions about the business of amulets are surely still prevalent. He explained that due to the many idols, deities, rituals and practices involved (including that of the occult), the common misconception is that people like him dabble in black magic. To which he adds,
“… it’s not entirely false!”
Which brings us to an interesting question – what are some of the interesting requests that he’s had over the years?
“I often get request to do rituals to bring back ex-lovers which I decline as most times, these requests are nothing more than scams to exploit people. But as far as amulets goes, living in a materialistic society means that items that bring wealth and attraction sell pretty easily as they are very popular.”
On the subject of scams, Brett strongly suggests buying from reputable dealers with a long-standing track record. He mentioned that there is also a governing body in Thailand, the “Samakom” which provides verification services for a small fee.
“Think of it as the ‘Rolex Service Centre’ of amulets where the process is pretty similar (when it comes to verification) like if you were to buy a second hand Rolex timepiece,” he adds.
Brett is an example of the entrepreneurial spirit (no pun intended) that we all can tap into for inspiration. Granted failures and the fear of it may put most off but when asked if he has any advice for budding entrepreneurs he said,
“Starting a business at your low with no room to fail and nothing to lose is not the worst choice. If you asked me how to start the business with a written plan, I wouldn’t have the answer. I had $6000, bought a ticket to Thailand did what I needed to do. At the risk of sounding cliché, I would say – Just do it!”
It’s true. When you want to get something done, start doing.
What you can start doing is to follow his business here where he also does regular “live” auctions of the items he has.
Photos: Old City Amulets & Occults