MMA Podcast #1 Maria Galvan with Lucio Tailoring
Maria Galvan is the owner of Lucio Tailoring Co., a fine leather goods manufacturer. Lucio Tailoring Co.’s essence is to create beautiful and functional leather goods with specific purposes. They design unique pieces that are handcrafted and worked down to the smallest details. Lucio Tailoring started out by emphasizing in those who wear aprons. Even though they built focus in the culinary and mixology world, they have been creating a market within other trades, which gives us the opportunity to expand into many other leather goods.
Maria Galvan joins LNB’s Louis Borrego for a discussion over the tribulations and inspirations behind Maria’s journey through entrepreneurship with Lucio Tailoring Co.. They discuss the beginnings of Lucio Tailoring and how Maria has built her company into one of the top companies in Texas for fine leather goods. Watch the video above or read the transcript below.
Louis Borrego: Cool. Okay. Hey. What’s up, Maria?
Maria Galvan: How are you?
Louis Borrego: I’m good. How are you?
Maria Galvan: I’m good. I’m excited. I’m excited to be here.
Louis Borrego: Me too. If you could, tell everybody who you are and what you do.
Maria Galvan: My name is Maria Galvan. I am the founder of Lucio Tailoring Company, it is a company that creates high quality products for anybody that uses an apron, a tool roll up and we have an emphasis on the hospitality industry.
Louis Borrego: Awesome, so how did you get started with Lucio?
Maria Galvan: I guess the first steps that lead me into creating Lucio was that at the time I was trying to look for something that I could do for myself, and I knew I wanted to be my own, I wanted to do my own thing. And at that time I was little by little falling more in love with the cocktail industry.
Maria Galvan: I had a lot of friends who were bartenders, I was starting to go to a lot of craft cocktail bars and I feel like among my friends, the conversation about an apron was always there, and I remember at some point I made a few mental notes about that being a product that is gaining a lot of popularity and there wasn’t really many good quality aprons out there and then I worked in a few places, I bar tended for a little bit, I made on apron for a friend. He loved it, I got a lot of really cool feedback. I made a few more and sent them to other bartender friends and everyone just got really excited.
Maria Galvan: I got a great response from people, and from my friends and it was just like a little “ding ding ding”. I said that was it, let’s do it, and I got excited and made more and then I was like okay, this is what I wanna do.
Louis Borrego: Yes, that’s awesome, so I think what is amazing about that is if you don’t know Lucio in San Antonio and definitely in Austin she’s the top leather brand, I would say so, and if you check Google, Google says so too.
Louis Borrego: Usually if you’re a restaurant or a bar owner, you probably know the brand because she’s starting to become so prominent everywhere.
Maria Galvan: Thank you.
Louis Borrego: And so cool, and I wanna jump around a little bit, because one thing I was thinking about yesterday was what’s the craziest thing that had happened to you as a business owner and entrepreneur, what do feel is just the craziest thing?
Maria Galvan: I feel like there are so many crazy moments.
Louis Borrego: Because everybody sees a brand when they look at you, and I see how a lot of your colleagues look up to you, and a lot of them see Lucio, and everything is all primed and beautiful and perfect and, not that it’s not like that in the personal, but they also don’t see the craziness.
Maria Galvan: That goes backstage?
Louis Borrego: Yes.
Maria Galvan: There’s definitely a lot of craziness backstage all the time. I think one of the craziest ones … and I will say that it’s the craziest one because I was very new to my business, and I had just started and I got an order of 40 aprons which at that time 40 aprons just seemed like an insane amount of aprons, and I had no idea how I was gonna do it, and I said yes to the order, and I didn’t even have my industrial sewing machine, I didn’t have the right tools but I said “Yes, I’ll take it, I’ll see how I do it”.
Maria Galvan: I didn’t have a place to work so I had my family help me, I was making them in my mother’s kitchen with a sewing machine and then I had just like the starter kit for leather work and it was a very crazy time because my whole living room was full of leather, I didn’t know how to execute it properly, deadline was coming and I looked around and it was like ten people between friends and family helping me out because I was like, this is it, if I can make this one I think this is a great start for my business.
Louis Borrego: Oh yeah.
Maria Galvan: I don think I’ve ever felt so much pressure in my life, it was the first big leather order. I think that was the craziest one because I was a lot more naïve about how to do bulk orders, now 40 aprons doesn’t sound like a crazy number anymore but there’s a lot of craziness happening, I mean just today.
Maria Galvan: I had to wake up at five thirty, by six I was in the studio because I needed to finish some aprons before heading over here and I feel like when it’s so rushed all kinds of craziness happens but somehow we always get it done.
Louis Borrego: With the 40 you got it done right?
Maria Galvan: Oh yeah.
Maria Galvan: They’re still going strong those aprons, I still see them around.
Louis Borrego: What does it mean to you, because before then I don’t know if you had that kind of pressure in your life?
Maria Galvan: I think you can compare it to when you’re in college and you have a deadline for a final and we … I don’t want to say that I procrastinated, more than anything I was still trying to figure out how I was gonna do it, until I realized I had maybe a week for delivery date and I was like, “I need to start doing this right now”. It did bring me back to finals.
Louis Borrego: Oh finals.
Maria Galvan: So its that kind of pressure. The only difference is it’s not about a grade, it’s about your business which you care I guess, a lot more.
Louis Borrego: A lot more.
Maria Galvan: I mean you care about your grades too, or I did care about my grades, but caring about your business a whole different level I guess.
Louis Borrego: I would say so, it’s your living you know?
Louis Borrego: It’s also the viability of the business too.
Maria Galvan: It’s also a very interesting process too, because it was a lot of pressure on myself as far as like can I manage to do these kind of things you know?
Louis Borrego: Yeah, absolutely.
Louis Borrego: Do you feel like you’ve been able to dive deeper because I was reading something yesterday about David Goggins, he was a navy seal and he talks about so many people work so hard up to 40% but they don’t really ever know how far they can really go. Like everyone just stops at 40, and they think that’s there limit, but there’s this extra if you really … you know what I mean? Do you believe that?
Maria Galvan: Absolutely, I think specially this last year I started paying a lot more attention to my patterns, to the habits that I tend to wanna have and then maybe I’ll have them for a few months and then I start slacking, but I find when I’m really good at it, or when I’m more organized or more on top of things, or more productive I get my work done in a lot less time and even better. I perform better, so I’m definitely always trying to push my good habits and get rid of the bad ones, and see what works, and what works make more of it. So I can improve and learn little by little, manage more myself, manage my time, be more productive, be more focused.
Maria Galvan: So yeah, I’m always curious to see how much more I can do, for sure.
Louis Borrego: What would you say is your inspiration, your daily inspiration, or what inspires you, lets just start there.
Maria Galvan: I’ve always had this dream that I’m gonna use whatever I’m working on now to help people, and I have a few ideas and things I wanna do to give back. This last year especially too, it’s been like the year that’s my most, my biggest inspiration. I have a few things I wanna do down in Mexico in my home town, and that’s my main inspiration.
Maria Galvan: I wanna grow my business, but for a greater good, I’m not really much interested in like, I guess we all wanna make money, we all wanna pay our bills.
Louis Borrego: Of course, absolutely.
Maria Galvan: But my biggest goal is very far from the money that’s being made, and that’s kind of what inspires me.
Louis Borrego: Especially for me, money is kind of like a means to an advancement of being able to do more things, not necessarily just to buy a Ferrari or buy a … or to make more money just to make more money. Its so that we have more opportunity to do what we want to do, and help who we want to help, in the way we wanna do it?
Maria Galvan: Exactly, I see the growth of my company not so much as like, oh I just made this much more money, I think more of like the more capital I can have, the more money my company makes, the more capital I have to do cool things and cool things don’t necessarily mean buying stuff for myself but like creating cool things and being part of sponsors and fund raisers and whatever I wanna do with people and help, like I will have a better opportunity I guess, the more I grow my company.
Louis Borrego: Absolutely me too. Sometimes I see it as … I think of the IRS. I’m just kidding, no I don’t. Well, you know we all do. It’s crazy because when you make a decent amount, you know more than you’ve ever done and you kind of calculate it and you’re like argh, and you just know that you worked so hard for it, and you’re pouring your heart out into it.
Louis Borrego: That’s you know, that’s what it is, it’s part of it. It’s frustrating, but it’s what it is.
Maria Galvan: What can we do?
Maria Galvan: Not avoid taxes, do not.
Louis Borrego: Not avoid taxes. Do not do that.
Louis Borrego: Another thing that I wanted to ask was, what is your, this is sometimes a difficult question but I love asking people, especially entrepreneurs because it is difficult but what is your why? Why do you feel you do this?
Maria Galvan: My what?
Louis Borrego: Your why.
Maria Galvan: My why? Why I do this?
Maria Galvan: First of all I started and I knew I wanted to have a business because I’m not crazy about following rules.
Louis Borrego: Not crazy about?
Maria Galvan: About not following rules.
Louis Borrego: Oh yeah.
Maria Galvan: Or having a set schedule or going against something that I don’t believe in, and not necessarily that I don’t believe in. I dunno, I don’t think I’ve ever worked at company that I feel I absolutely go crazy about everything they do, so all the time I was like I would be changing this. I would do it this way. So I knew I wanted to have my own business and I mean now the why I do it, its because of what we just talked about where I see that having my own business too gives me so much freedom to do other things that are not necessarily just making aprons like just having something of my own allows me to reach out and have different things that I can incorporate my company in, I think that’s why I do it, mainly for having freedoms and because I think everybody should do it.
Louis Borrego: That feeling of everyone should do it just because of the amount of freedom, or what makes you say that?
Maria Galvan: Yeah, the amount of freedom I think. I just think so many people are so unhappy with their jobs and I was that person too, I for a while started being very unhappy with the job opportunities that I had, and what I was currently doing with my life and that’s why I decided to make a change, and that doesn’t mean that I don’t get super stressed out and have rough days but it’s the freedom that I get to have and the fact that I get to navigate this boat the way I want it, it’s pretty cool.
Louis Borrego: It is cool.
Louis Borrego: What would you tell Maria when she first started, if you could literally transport back to that time, what would you tell her and like shake her like listen to me?
Maria Galvan: I think if I could go back to where it was starting I don’t know because I would say I would have loved to maybe spend a little bit more time organizing and putting all my ideas down instead of just like jumping into it. At the same there was no way of knowing that these are things now I know with experience.
Maria Galvan: Sometimes it’s good just to take it a little bit slower. Once I knew I wanted to do it I didn’t really take a lot of time planning or waiting to see what I was gonna do, I just kind like started and it was great, but it also brought me a lot of stress and a lot of setbacks that I could’ve avoided at the beginning.
Maria Galvan: I would definitely tell Maria four years ago like keep a planner at all times, write absolutely everything down and start from now to just be very disciplined, because that’s a really hard one.
Louis Borrego: Do you think discipline equals freedom?
Maria Galvan: Yes. I think so, when I find that I’ve been very disciplined with myself I find that I have more time off.
Maria Galvan: Because I’m getting everything dones, and I’m getting it done at the time I want it to get done and I have so much more time off when I’m disciplined. You know? But it’s so hard to stay disciplined.
Louis Borrego: Yeah.
Louis Borrego: Shout out to Jocko Willink because discipline definitely equals freedom.
Louis Borrego: What are some of the different ways that you market, what are all the different ways that you feel that you market your business?
Maria Galvan: Say that again?
Louis Borrego: What are all the different ways that you market your business?
Maria Galvan: That I market my business?
Maria Galvan: I think there’s , I think by now I’ve been doing a little bit of everything. There’s a few parts of marketing that I would like to push more this year but for now, for the first years it was just word of mouth. Word of mouth today I still think it’s my biggest marketing tool, and I use social media, we have the website too, I do a lot of networking events, special in the cocktail and hospitality industry. It’s a little bit of everything right, but I think the one honestly that works the most for me it’s been just being out there, going to events, networking, talking to people, talking to the right people.
Maria Galvan: That’s definitely my main one, being out there and making sure you have a presence and you go tot the right places.
Louis Borrego: Absolutely and full disclaimer we do Maria and us, LMD productions we do, or we’ve done her website, so we’ve done work together, also done the video and such.
Maria Galvan: And custom form, and photography.
Louis Borrego: That’s the other thing I was gonna ask, because I think this is important and I think people even with larger companies, because Brandon and I were talking about it, Brandon my brother he’s the partner in our business. We were talking about you know Maria is one of the very few people. If she really wanted to , she’s smart enough, brilliant enough and she knows design, she went to school for design she could develop the website really well, and she could take photos and she could do a lot of this stuff at a high, high level.
Louis Borrego: We were like because sometimes some people have a DIY mindset sometimes, especially entrepreneurs, even larger business sometimes, why don’t we just do on our own, but then they try and see how much time it really takes, and how much effort it really takes without any of the brilliance or expertise that you have, and yet we work together with it so what are your reasons for that?
Maria Galvan: Time is money.
Louis Borrego: Yeah time is money.
Maria Galvan: Easy I mean I think I started looking around and trying to do my website when we met and I know I can do photography and I know how to edit it, and I know exactly what I want, but I don’t have time and I believe that it is a lot more effective to see, to make sure you know where you need to be. Like I need to make sure that I have my mind, and I’m spending my time where I need to be. As much as I can do my photography and I can do my website, there’s so many other things that are a lot more important for me to be focused on, that I much rather spend the money to get someone right away that I know is gonna do it right.
Maria Galvan: Not only do I spend time trying to figure out the website, or editing but since I’m doing it myself and I’m such a perfectionist. I could go on forever having a website that I snot finished because I keep changing my mind or I wanna change this, and it’s, it makes no sense.
Louis Borrego: That makes perfect sense.
Maria Galvan: I understand that, at first, and to this point sometimes, whatever is happening with my business I always ask myself, “Can I get this done fast by myself and make it good, or should I pay someone to do it?”. Most of the time I end up getting help, and working with other people to get it done.
Maria Galvan: But once in a while if its something I know I can just execute it and get it done, I can do it, but things like website, photography is just a lot of time that I should be spending doing something else.
Louis Borrego: I hear that, it makes sense. One thing I wanted to ask you from your perspective because it’s a lot more valuable, I wanna hear from your perspective, like what do you think we do? What would you say we do? If somebody asked you, “What do they do?”. What do you think we do with you? What would you tell them?
Maria Galvan: What I like the most about what you guys do for me, or for Lucio, it’s like I feel like I always run to you guys when I need a solution, and I think it’s great , because yeah you did my website and the custom order form, but everything that’s part of like the digital part of Lucio and how it looks on the internet I always think of you guys all right this needs to happen or we’re gonna do this campaign I run to you guys, I don’t have to explain much for you to know what we need to do and what I really like sometimes is that you guys are the ones who reach out to make and say “Hey, just remember Valentines is coming up, what are you gonna do about it?” Are you gonna run a campaign are you gonna do this? Are we gonna do something on the website and I like it because I feel like sometimes I forget about that since I don’t do much with the website, I tend to forget and I’m more focused on other that I think you guys help me stay on track with what is happening with that aspect of Lucio.
Maria Galvan: So it’s really nice that I don’t have to worry about it too much because I know you got it. You know?
Louis Borrego: It’s a collaboration but you’re right, I appreciate that.
Maria Galvan: And it’s the only part of Lucio that is completely done by someone other than me.
Louis Borrego: Okay.
Maria Galvan: So it’s really nice because I know that that part, I know it’s moving slowly but I know that part is, your job. I don’t have to worry much about it and its always gonna look good and get done.
Louis Borrego: Right on.
Louis Borrego: Thank you for that, appreciate that.
Maria Galvan: Thank you.
Louis Borrego: One thing I always wanted to ask, because I don’t know if you’ve ever seen inside the actors studio, have you ever heard of that?
Maria Galvan: What?
Louis Borrego: Inside the actor studio?
Maria Galvan: No.
Louis Borrego: No okay I’m just gonna do it because I think it’s funny, what he does, at the end of his talks he talks with Robert De Niro or whatever it’s like Brad Pitt or something and he always asks them if God exists, or if heaven exists what would you want God to say at the Pearly Gates?
Maria Galvan: I don’t know.
Maria Galvan: Was that fun?
Maria Galvan: That’s a good question.
Louis Borrego: I still like that answer, was that fun, almost like it was a ride and did you enjoy the ride?
Maria Galvan: Was that fun?
Louis Borrego: I feel like you’re such a free spirit in so many ways and I feel like he would look at you like that, like you’re-
Maria Galvan: Like how’d you like that?
Louis Borrego: Like you’re just a kid enjoying the ride the entire time. Sometimes-
Maria Galvan: Like a kid, you have fun but then you cry and you freak out, and you kept screaming and had fun.
Louis Borrego: You know part of it is, and you know part of it is, success and entrepreneurship, I feel like a lot of entrepreneurs are just big kids in suits a lot of the time. We’re able to tap into our inner child because a part of it is we don’t want rules. I don’t want rules, I don’t want your rules, I wanna believe in what I believe in, you know what I mean?
Maria Galvan: Yes.
Louis Borrego: But a part of the love and the imagination because sometimes I feel like it gets sucked out of us, so young. The first thing you’re taught is raise your hand if you wanna talk, and in this world there is no raising the hand, it’s like hey, you gotta pay attention to me, I don’t care who raises their hand, I’m who you should pay attention to. Right?
Louis Borrego: As entrepreneurs you gotta get in front of their face like, “Hey, I’m Maria” move move move. It’s just how it is, there is no raising the hand. If you raise the hand you get left behind. I dunno what do you think?
Maria Galvan: Absolutely. I do believe that we’re almost kind of like kids because we’re doing what we want, and this is the way I do it, and this is how I like to do things, and to have your own business whether it’s creative or not, you always have to be picking your brain like what else can I do, and how am I gonna do it? And you get really stoked with that too, almost like a kid.
Maria Galvan: I think when we start growing it’s really hard to be stoked about something and just let it suck you in, and do everything for it, everything starts being very superficial and having your own business and being an entrepreneur you have to be creative in everything, the way you run your business, the way you’re a leader, the way, how you want to navigate this. It’s really fun, because you really are like a kid, you really get into it and you can, I mean even if I’m exhausted some days and maybe some days I don’t wanna talk about work, some other days I can just go until four or five in the morning just learning something for my business an di get really into it.
Louis Borrego: That’s beautiful.
Maria Galvan: I don’t ever see it as like ah, I’m working, I just get really excited because I can’t wait to apply it to my business and it is like being a kid?
Louis Borrego: It is right?
Maria Galvan: Yeah I think so.
Louis Borrego: When I left my job a part of me was freaking the hell out, because of course you’re freaking out because oh my God, and then something else kind of emerged and I feel that it was my kid. What you lose when you grow up, and I feel like sometimes an entrepreneur you have to retain that, you have to rekindle it, and understand it but work together with it because sometimes it can kind of go off the rails. But a lot of the time it can spark an immense beauty in what you do and it’s like when we were younger. Remember when you were a kid it’s almost like anything was possible, like anything was possible.
Maria Galvan: Yes.
Louis Borrego: It’s just sucked out of you somehow, some way but I feel like-
Maria Galvan: And you start thinking like that now that everything is impossible like now there is no way that I can do that. No you can’t do that and being an entrepreneur is being like all right, I’m not sure how we can make it work but let’s see what we can do?
Louis Borrego: Exactly. Probably a couple of months before you did those 30 orders you would think I would never be able to do that in this time, and then it happened. If someone had brought that to you, and I need this at this time, and this at this, but you probably would have thought “I can’t do it in that time, it’s almost impossible” and then somebody and you’re like yes, I’m gonna do it. But you still do it, and you did, and that’s why you’re awesome.
Maria Galvan: Thank you.
Louis Borrego: So with that, I’ll end it there, also thank you Maria, you’re awesome, you’re amazing.
Maria Galvan: Thank you for having me.
Louis Borrego: Yeah absolutely.
Maria Galvan: Super excited.
Louis Borrego: So Lucio tailoring, go to Luciotailoringco.com co.com and if you need an apron you’ve gotta get it there and if you don’t everybody else will so.
Maria Galvan: That’s right.
Louis Borrego: Awesome thank you.
Maria Galvan: Thank you..