Today on the blog we have the lovely Janine Vasquez of Eager&Co. a new local urban men’s footwear brand. I met Janine at my church and on one of our chats discovered how passionate her and her husband Tim are about making a difference through their business.
Established in 2014, Eager&Co. has since been featured in the Weekend Edition, Fashion Journal, Peppermint Magazine, Festive Fete and is also in the upcoming Young Summer Fashion Show 2015. The aim of Eager&Co. is simply to make good quality, hand made shoes by fusing street style and classic cuts, bringing sophistication to the wardrobe. Janine and Tim founded Eager&Co. on the belief that they not only want to focus on building quality footwear but also build quality men.
Please welcome the lovely Janine into the sisterhood.
WELCOME TO THE SISTERHOOD – JANINE VASQUEZ
+ Maya Angelou once said that “We delight in the beauty of the butterfly but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.” What changes have you gone through over the years that have shaped you as a person and have developed what you do at Eager and Co?
When my husband and I started Eager&Co. I was 21, fresh out of university and just married. People thought we were crazy at the time starting a business with each other, especially in our first year of marriage. To be honest though, the marriage part was the easy part compared to running a business. We had started from scratch and we really both had no idea what we were doing. As a person, the biggest change I made was trusting my partner more, and more importantly, trusting in God. Working as a team for me, was easier said than done. I needed to swallow my pride at times, let go of the reigns a bit and trust my partners in decisions a bit more. We needed to make sure we were constantly communicating, which I think also helped our marriage.
I think if I had just gone into my field like what was expected of me, I really wouldn’t have to surrender and trust God as much, because there wouldn’t be as much risk and big decisions I would be accountable for. So for us I think the most important thing was that we were in constant prayer and communion with God, trusting in His plan for this business. Surrendering without comprise is the biggest change that has and still is occurring in my life.
+ What inspired you to start on the journey of making men’s shoes?
Both my husband and I have always loved menswear fashion. So for us, it just seemed as the logical path to go if we were going to start a business. When we started, we really just felt like it was the right time, and had nothing to lose going for it. When I think about our business, one thing that motivates me quite often is the parable of the Talents in Matthew 25. I’m not just going to sit around and do nothing and say to God…”You do all the work”. I’m going to work my butt off, take leaps of faith and increase whatever it is that God has already given me, while constantly in prayer and communion with God. Luke 12:48 says “To whom much is given, much will be required in return”.
+ What is your vision for Eager & Co?
If you had asked me when we first started, I would probably throw around words like Success, Longevity, Worldwide global leaders etc. Don’t get me wrong, of course we want this business to be successful and have longevity. However, while that’s all well and good and we work towards that everyday, our hearts desire is that God will use this business in whatever way He wants to use it. Money is here today and gone tomorrow. Our aim and hope is that we can somehow make a lasting positive impact in our society through using Eager&Co. We don’t know how we will do that with shoes today, but I do trust that God has a plan for this, and all we need to do is be faithful to the here and now.
+ How do you like to connect with God and practice your spirituality?
I try to not make God just a part of my life, but the reason for it. Having my alone time to read the Bible and pray before I start the day sets me in the right headspace and helps me face any obstacles I may face that day.
+ How is it possible to keep your mind, body, spirit and business healthy at the same time?
I think keeping your Spirit healthy is the first and foremost. I always check my heart and priorities, and ask myself what is most important. Being faithful to those convictions helps me keep committed to what I have to do. Normally, I start my day with prayer, and then go off to exercise, and then work etc.
+ What are some of the rules and rituals that help you feel grounded, connected, inspired and blissed?
- Don’t sacrifice family time
- Don’t worry
At the end of the day, I know God’s got us in the palm of His hand. It has only been by the grace of God that we have gotten as far as we have today. We really couldn’t take any credit, because every opportunity we have been given to better our business has been through the strangest and oddest circumstances that only God could have designed.
+ If my days had one extra hour I would…
Dance more. I love to dance, but I think I’d need an extra 3 hours, not 1.
+ The not-so-hot days. We all have them. How do you combat overwhelm and self-doubt?
I normally search the Bible and try to remind myself of who God is. And if I don’t, my husband normally does. Sometimes it’s hard, but I find the best thing is surrendering those self-doubting and sometimes self-destructive thoughts to Jesus and trusting in Him and not in my own works. One verse in particular that I repeat to myself when life gets overwhelming is from 2 Corinthians 12:9 :
My Grace is Sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.”
It’s comforting to know that when we are too weak to walk, we have a loving Father that will carry us through.
+ What is the most important piece of advice for anyone else who has a dream to change the world or make a difference?
Search for God’s Will for your life. When you find it, go the full 100% and don’t compromise. Because I really believe God’s Promise + God’s Timing + God’s way = God’s Best.
Thanks so much Janine for your beautiful responses. What have you taken away from this interview? Comment below and let’s get a conversation started. If you liked the post please share using the buttons below.
You can connect with Janine >>
Facebook , Eager&Co Website, Instagram, or Email : firstname.lastname@example.org