José Antonio Marín, from Cádiz in Southern Spain, decided to become an entrepreneur before finishing school. For years, he gathered experience through a variety of jobs, from picking melons to extracting cork from oaks. “I knew that these jobs were a gateway to my own business,” he explains.

It's amazing how many people are awake at four or five in the morning and visiting your store
José Antonio, Marín Joyeros

He did not have to wait long. At just 24, through a family friend, an opportunity arose to establish a jewellery store. “I thought, why not? It’s a nice business that makes people happy.”

Without fear or limits

Although three jewellers had already failed in his town, Los Barrios, José Antonio took the plunge and ignored the advice of his family. “When you’re young, fear or limits don’t exist. I taught myself. I trained myself through reading and study.” And it worked; seven years later José Antonio already had five stores in Cádiz. However, a few years later, the crisis hit. “Turnover dropped by 30%. We managed through hard work, making adjustments, such as closing some of the stores to reduce costs.”

José Antonio then decided to expand the horizons of his business and bet on the Internet. “I had heard of Amazon, but did not know that we could use its platform to sell our products.” The Marin Joyeros store opened on Amazon in May 2014. “In a few months, our sales increased so much that we had to create a new job position! Selling on Amazon means having a store open 24 hours a day on a street that millions and millions of people walk down. It’s amazing how many people are awake at four or five in the morning and visiting your store.”

And not just in Spain: “Today we sell our jewellery from Cádiz across Europe, and the next aim is the United States.” Although he’s no longer 24, José Antonio’s enthusiasm still knows no bounds. “To those entrepreneurs who are in a difficult position I say: seize every opportunity that is made available to you.”