#BEYOUROWN MEETS NATALIE VAZQUEZ
The Gods founder, Natalie Vazquez, has always loved the feeling of a fresh, clean face and wanted to make it available for herself, and others.
It all started in 2014 when Natalie was working as an air traffic controller and would commute to work, about 2 hours each way. Before driving home after her shift, she wanted to wash her face and have 5 minutes of relaxation before the commute, even if it was in the bathroom/locker room of the airport tower. After storing dozens of different types of disposable wipes in her locker, she wasn’t pleased with any brand. She started using cleansers instead and plain water. Then, came the next issue: She wanted the feeling of a towel, a real towel, not a brown paper towel from the bathroom. After she covered her dining room table in snippets of various fabric and searching for over a year, she finally found what she had been looking for; A luxe washcloth for the face, for all.
Working as an air traffic controller, she witnessed many amazing feats. One particular afternoon during Hurricane Season in South Florida, heavy weather was headed towards the airport. Dark clouds surrounded the 360-degree view of the Palm Beach International Tower. She saw how gracefully her coworkers slowly brought in all the aircraft to safety on the ground. When the clouds departed and the sun started shining again, they allowed the aircraft to depart back into the skies. It reminded her of the stories of Zeus on Mount Olympus, and so, the brand was born, The Gods. Products for everyday heroes, fit for The Gods.
Welcome Natalie, thank you for coming on board with us, can you introduce yourself to us?
I’m thrilled to be a part of the BEYOUROWN! Thank you for having me. My name is Natalie Michelle Vazquez. I am a Miami, FL native and happily married to my husband of 15 years, we have two little girls together and I also have 2 bonus kids.
Can you talk us through the path you have pathed to where you are now as the founder of The Gods?
The Gods started for me out of a moment of true inspiration. I needed something that did not exist at the time (2013), a reusable facial washcloth. It seemed silly to some people.. but to me, it’s silly the way a Post-it is silly, but everybody knows what a Post-It is. This original thought nagged at me until I decided I had to make this dream become a reality.
Congratulations on the successful launch of The Gods, can you tell us what you are offering to the market that is different and how much research did you do prior to launching?
Thank you! I am creating a beauty brand for both men and women, hence, The Gods. I am starting with one product, my signature Athena Cloth. My research took about 8 months to find the perfect textile and design. I even went knocking door to door in the manufacturing district of my town for 3 months searching for someone who could make it. It was not easy by any means, but my curiosity helped me to navigate through the time.
How is The Gods funded and what is the start-up process like?
The startup process involved a lot of research for me, on google, youtube, asking friends, family and looking for mentors. It’s funded by yours truly. Many sacrifices have been made on my part, for many years, to help bring The Gods to where it is today. My advice for someone who wants to start up their own business: make sure you are willing to go past your comfort zone because there will be lots of signs pointing to “Give Up.” You’ve got to be mentally tenacious to do this and know that you’re going to make a lot of mistakes along the way.
Can you share with us a particular highlight so far?
A highlight for me is when someone tells me how much they love the product. It makes me feel like they really understand the concept and appreciate all the research, time, energy I put into my Athena Cloth. This is by far, the most satisfying.
Number one rule in business you stick by?
My company is an extension of my ideas, values, and culture. I won’t do or practice something that doesn’t jive with my company culture. “This above all else, To Thine Own Self Be True.”
What are your preferred marketing methods for The Gods?
For now, everything is based online. I would like to see The Gods in print in the future. I like to showcase the vision of my brand, which is lifestyle oriented. On my Instagram Feed, you’ll see people, both men and women, in dreamy vacation destinations, inspiring landscapes, families, couples, and athletes.
How are you looking to expand within the next 5 years?
I expect The Gods will be in some major retailers very soon! Once that happens, I will expand as planned my beauty line for men and women.
Can you share one pro and one con of running a business?
One pro for running a business; when you have small school aged children, you don’t have to ask permission for a day off. Children have their own schedules and it can sometimes be a juggling act. I know I can get my work done in my own time without fear of losing my job.
However, it is difficult to find role models that have small children and run a business. I find tons of videos on YouTube with great mentors talking about how entrepreneurs have to be willing to put in 120 hours at work to make their business successful. It makes me think to myself, how can I do this? I really look up to Sara Blakely, the founder of Spanx. She’s married and has 4 small children. She makes me feel like I can do this.
What does #BEYOUROWN mean to you?
#BEYOUROWN means to me that I am capable of great things and make a difference, perhaps inspire others to build something, to be the truest and highest version of themselves.
Where are you looking to expand to next throughout 2019?
I will be adding 1 or 2 new products and be entering the major retailer market.
Image taken by Amavello Photography