Since the official name of the fresheners wasn’t really on purpose — it just came to mind for Ruben Dario Villa, CEO and Founder of Fuchila Fresheners and look at the success it’s had since its launch, well then it’s a project worthy of highlighting. Villa blames his weird sense of humor to the creation of Fuchila Fresheners because he yelled it out one day and realized how funny and unique the word was in the Latino culture so he decided to keep it.

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After Villa had secured the unique name the real work began for the company. He thought about who he might want to feature first, how the design would look and what scent they would be. His family and friends played a huge role in getting a lot of his ideas solidified and supported him all the way. Once he had some designs and the branding secured he approached Kickstarter, a funding platform for creative projects, and that’s where it all began.

Within Kickstarter he saw the grand support that existed in a community where the product didn’t even exist yet. From there on he knew his product was off to a great beginning in November 2014. By December supporters had already purchased the product and Fuchila Fresheners were for the first time hand-delivered on Christmas Eve. What a great and meaningful gift many received if you ask me! And the online store was launched on January 3, 2015.

Have you always had that entrepreneurship side of you?

Villa: I believe all Latinos/Mexicanos have entrepreneurship in our blood. We were brought up that way. My mom taught me how to negotiate at our garage sales and to collect cans and bottles for money. As cliché as it sounds, I started mowing lawns at the age of 10 going from door to door charging US$ 20 per lawn. We never called it “entrepreneurship” but that’s exactly what it was.

And although the name of the company came to Villa quite easy some real thought does go into what Chicano/Latino figures are portrayed on Fuchila Fresheners. Villa portrays those figures that have touched his life in some significant way as well as icons that painted the walls of his childhood memories.

One iconic figure that marked Villa’s life was the musical legend Selena so he wanted her to be the first icon he portrayed on the fresheners because still today she has this amazing power to inspire and make you fall in love according to the CEO and Founder. Selena freshener has been hands down the best seller and Villa is working on having the product re-stocked for all Selena fanatics since its currently sold-out. The list is endless as to who else he would like to portray, but to mention a few: India Maria, Pedro Infante, Cesar Chavez, Jenny Rivera, Edward James Olmos, Vicente Fernandez and many more.

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Why join this industry and what’s next?

Villa: I don’t see it as scented decoration for your car; I see it as a little piece of art, an opportunity for education for those who ride with you, and a token of pride for your cultura. It’s a way to pass along a legacy left behind by those who came before us. I am developing a line of scratch and sniff stickers as well as coloring books for children.

Villa enjoys the idea that customers have reached out to him to let him know that Fuchila Fresheners is a product that is getting shared with entire familias. His brand is not cold, boring or devoids creativity. Rather it is the way he manifests how he feels about his cultura: warm, embracing, bright with colors and always a sense of community.

What! George Lopez — to be featured on Fuchila Fresheners?

Villa: ¡Orale! One of my biggest idols! He is a down and brown Chicano! I was very fortunate to meet him recently and well I came prepared with my Cantinflas freshener in hand. He said “Wow that is cool! Where did you get it?” When I told him that I was the designer and Fuchila was my company he immediately said, “We need to make one of me! Can you do that!?”

So now Villa is working on creating Lopez’s own freshener titled “El Mas Chingon,” the look is yet to be determined and soon you all have the opportunity to buy it.

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Villa knows the sky is the limit for his company and is looking forward to working with companies such as Uber, Target and 7-11 to have his product featured. There’s a lot more to come for Fuchila Fresheners so don’t lose them from your radar.

A company that gives back directly to its community succeeds more than those who don’t and Fuchila Fresheners is committed to paying it forward. Villa started the Fuchila Familia Scholarship Fund almost immediately after sales started. He wants to target young, aspiring entrepreneurs ages 10-19 who have or want to start a business in art or design.

How are you exemplifying #AVivirLA?  

Villa: No matter what I ever do I know nothing is worth more than my familia. My familia is the very reason I do what I do. As a first generation Chicano, my parents did everything they could to set me up for success in life. That’s the reason why I earned 2 degrees and worked 3 jobs during college. My advice to people is don’t be attached to the outcome. Do what you want to do for the journey, not the end result. Do what you do because you love it. People can feel the difference. This attitude will exude from you in a way people can’t help but be attracted to.

Fuchila Fresheners is based out of San Jose, CA. Hey! Great and prosperous start-up companies come out of the Silicon Valley so I have no doubt this company is off to a very successful future. ¡Primero Dios!

You can find and buy online at www.fuchilafresheners.com, at some brick and mortar locations in San Jose and San Diego and at art and cultural events in the bay area.

Go buy this culturally relevant product and “Welcome to the Fuchila Familia.”

Website and Social Media?

http://www.fuchilafresheners.com/

TW: @fuchilafresh

IG: @fuchilafresheners

FB: /fuchilafresheners

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