The Entrepreneurial Spirit: Spotlight on Julian Chavez

Within the Villanova community, one will find students passionate about achieving success and fulfillment in their journey throughout school and beyond graduation.  Scholars, athletes, and nationers alike find themselves choosing majors they believe will help them on their paths to success.  For sophomore VSB student, Julian Chavez, Villanova is about gaining the skill set he needs to build upon his already successful foundation.

Julian is a management major with humble, yet outgoing personality and an amazing story to tell.  His success story begins with one of his passions, the key ingredient to success as an entrepreneur.  Oddly enough, the passion that became the launching pad for his first business was sneakers.

With $5,000 in savings and only a high school education, Julian went out on a limb and decided not to take the typical route like his peers, and head off to college; he instead moved down to Austin, TX.  Beyond having distant relatives in the area, Julian was in unfamiliar territory but knew Austin had a reputation for its young, entrepreneurial spirit.  As a true entrepreneur, he began with very little resources.  “I was 18 years old, selling my barely worn size nine sneakers I had collected over the years,” Julian described thinking back to his early beginnings.

In striving to create strategic relationships with some of the brand-name companies, Julian attended a trade show in Las Vegas.  With the help of the connections and partnerships he made there, including Converse, Vans, and New Balance, Julian opened his sneaker store, Sole Fresco, in the heart of the city and began collecting a loyal following and committed, hard-working employees.

Julian received several buy-out offers just a year after opening. “It was my baby. I couldn’t sell that experience,” Julian said recalling his passion for growing his business.  However, just two years after moving down to Austin, Julian began to reconsider his refusal to sell.  After discussing his options with family, he realized he had taken Sole Fresco as far as he could with his current resources and background. He sold his business for an enticing offer, and decided to set his sights on getting his degree at the Villanova School of Business.

VSB has fostered Julian’s entrepreneurial nature and he is currently working with a few other Villanova students on a new venture, Feel Good Food Trucks.  FGFT strives to unite the culture and cuisine of Philadelphia with nearby, suburban college campuses through food trucks.  “I never realized how interesting and distinct the culture and beauty of Philadelphia was.  And it seemed as though the students of Villanova never really get the opportunity to experience all that Philadelphia has to offer,” Julian said, speaking about the inspiration for his idea.   FGFT will be hosting their launch event at Villanova this fall.

Until Feel Good Food Trucks takes off, Julian is still coming up with new problems that need solving and potential opportunities to exploit.  Who knows, Julian Chavez could be the next great entrepreneur… guess we will have to wait and see.