They say hard work pays off, and Joel Gandara is the definition of this statement. Born in Cuba, he came to the U.S. in 1980, arriving on an overcrowded boat full of hopes and dreams.
Joel grew up with a work ethic that was unmatched. While other kids were handed money, Joel had to go out and earn it…and that he did, netting $30 a day by organizing his own arbitrage operation. As a fourth grader, he would buy things like stamps and trading cards, and sell them to his classmates.
The hustling never halted, in fact it did quite the opposite. After high school, Joel worked up to 109 hours a week, leaving himself just enough time each day to eat and sleep. Joel went on to start his own apparel company, where he was able to turn a profit at flea markets and eventually on Ebay. His business, however, was not enough to count on, and Joel found a steady job with Carnival Cruise lines. Joel enjoyed his job and was on a clear path to a promising career, but felt that something was missing.
Joel’s entrepreneurial spirit spoke to him, and he made a life-altering decision. Joel decided to go full steam ahead with his apparel company. The decision was risky without a steady income, but this never stopped him.
Joel found a brand from Mexico who offered him distributor pricing, which helped his bottom line tremendously. He would take samples to Las Vegas and began doing tradeshows, offering products to various companies. Over the years, Joel built a following, and began increasing his sales. After years of selling other people’s brands, he successfully created his own underwear brand. Within his first 13 months of business, the brand retailed $1,000,000.
From that success, he and his growing team continued to create and develop more brands. Today, they own 21 men’s apparel brands. In October of 2013, Joel made another impactful decision. His company began to acquire their ecommerce customers and competitors, and pivoted from a wholesale company to a direct to consumer brand. Now, forming his own capital company, Morro Capital has acquired 9 businesses to date and is in talks to procure more.
They say hard work pays off…and Joel has proved that time and time again, ultimately with creating a company that profits over a million dollars a year, whose inception was in a flea market!
Joel and his wife Jessica married in 2002, and together have four children and live in Weston, Florida. After achieving semi-retirement, Joel now has time to do the things he enjoys, such as lifting weights, running, and continuing his education.