We had the good fortune of connecting with Mateo Villaquiran and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Mateo, maybe we can start at the very start – the idea – how did you come up with the idea for your business?
My dad from a young age really enjoyed cars and the car scene all together. Back then car meets were about hanging out around people who shared the same love for cars but recently this has changed. As I began taking an interest in cars and working on my own car I also started to go out to some car meets with the hopes of hanging out around people with similar interests and seeing some dope cars. However, I quickly realized that this was not the case since nowadays car meets typically result in “take overs” which is when people gather in spots to do donuts or drift until police arrive. From here they then race to another location or in some cases shut down intersections by once again doing donuts or drifting and holding traffic. While this may seem like fun and games, there have been multiple instances in which people are significantly injured or even killed because of these reckless actions and this is not what I wanted. I wanted to bring back the old car scene and host meets of my own where car enthusiasts could all come out and just have a good time. This was one of the primary reasons I began 954Streets. I wanted to build a large community of local car enthusiasts, which is where the 954 comes from, that could gather like the old days. At the same I wanted to learn more about cars myself and meet new people so I started reposting dope cars on my Instagram account (@954streets) while giving credit to the owner, photographer, and car crew or team they represent. Overtime this account grew to 1.2k followers and I wanted to create merchandise so I got a heat press and a vinyl cutter to do it all myself. At this time I had also began to develop a love for the gym and wanted to create a gym brand of my own that was associated with 954streets yet still its own separate brand. This was when I started Streets Fitness where I would create quality yet affordable gym clothing for athletes and gymrats. Now I have put both of these brands under one big company named The Streets Company and started my own website where I sell 954Streets merch and Streets Fitness gear.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I think what sets me aside from other is my work ethic. I’m 17 years old currently studying to get a bachelors degree in Mechanical Engineering at Florida Atlantic University while managing two Instagram accounts, a website, and clothing production. I wake up at around 4:30 in the morning monday through friday to go to the gym untill around 7AM. From there I go home and sit down to begin school work from 9am till 4 in the afternoon. In this time I am also posting on social media for both 954streets and streets fitness. After 4 or whenever I finish my school work I begin working on the company whether it be fulfilling orders (cutting and pressing shirts or hoodies), working on the website, designing, or marketing until around 10:30 or 11. While there are many people who probably work harder than me I take much pride in what I do and what I have accomplished and what excites me the most is that I’m not even close to where I want to be. There is so much for me to learn when it comes to marketing, designing, and managing and that’s one of the reasons why I love what I do. However, there are many times where work life balance becomes challenging. In my family we are all very close so spending time together is essential but there are times when I have lots of work to do and I simply can’t but i’ve learned that the same way I can sacrifice family time for work time, I can sacrifice work time for family time. Another thing I’ve had to learn to balance is work and school. Although I may not like it, school is a priority for me and so school always comes before work so the way I see it is that I must get through certain lectures and assignments in a day in order to be able to work therefore using that as a motivation. All I want is to be successful and enjoy life doing the things that I love which is why The Streets Company is the company built on the love for cars and the gym.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I’d say the the first thing we’d have to do is the typical Florida activity aka go to the beach and picking up breakfast along the way. Usually after the beach you get pretty hungry so I would take them to my absolute favorite burgers which is at a restaurant called Fuddruckers. After this I’d probably want to relax for a little by heading home and playing some FIFA or something but then later at night go out to eat at a restaurant or go get a sweet treat at one of South Florida’s most well known ice cream places, Jaxson’s.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Although friends and family have been very supportive, the people who have encouraged me and supported me the most are my parents. They raised me to be a hard working individual, to do what I love, and not give up. In addition to this they have supported me in absolutely everything I’ve done from studying to become a mechanical engineer at FAU to starting my own company. Whatever success I’ve had is completely owed to my parents for the life, love, and support they have given me.
Instagram: @954streets @officialstreetsfitness @mateo.streets