Haute in Texas CEO–Aquila Mendez-Valdez along with her husband, Orlando, were recently featured on the Athletes and Assets podcast, which highlights Athletes that have reached success in the business world. Fun fact: Aquila is a former D1 volleyball star at Western Kentucky University where she met her husband Orlando who after college went on to be a professional basketball player in Mexico City. Aquila shares on this podcast how she has gotten over the fear of stepping out on her own, building Haute into a multiple six figure business, and how her and her spouse’s athletic background translates into their careers. 

As I listened to the podcast, Aquila’s athleticism came as no surprise after I learned four out of her five siblings became D1 athletes in her immediate family alone! Not to mention her 6’3 mother was an All American at the University of Purdue. It is no secret the athletic world is immensely competitive, so as a former athlete Aquila discusses how she learned how to succeed in the cut throat environment of volleyball. This competitive nature she picked up has helped her navigate the dog-eat-dog world of business. Subsequently, social media nowadays plays a big role in an athlete’s success, between brand deals and athletic influencers, so it has added a whole new layer to sports. This aspect of the athletic world seems to have given Aquila a competitive edge when it comes to PR, since she has understood how to take chances and put herself out there from an early age.

Lastly, Aquila touches on what gave her that push to finally go off on her own. Many people fantasize about going out on their own and starting their entrepreneurial journey, but rarely do they ever do it. Letting go of the security of a salary job is daunting and intimidating. So, what made Aquila get over the fear of leaving her job and starting her own business? Aquila shared her decision boiled down to two factors. Firstly, it was Orlando believing in her more than she believed in herself, encouraging her that she was capable enough for this endeavor. Secondly, at the time Aquila was pregnant with her second daughter. She desired to create a life she wanted for her kids, and she knew the way to do that was through Haute in Texas. Aquila hasn’t looked back since, she is filled with passion and excitement for the projects she’s working on and the clients she’s working with.

If you’re interested in hearing the full conversation, find the podcast here or listen wherever you platform you prefer. Thanks to Noah Lack and his team at Athletes and Assets for having Aquila and Orlando on! We are subscribers for life and can’t wait to be continuously inspired by all the featured athletes turned moguls!

Kelda Kapoor is an Account Assistant at Haute in Texas. She is currently attending Southern Methodist University in the class of 2025. Her free time is filled with dancing, going to the beach, visiting museums, cooking, hiking, and more. She is an avid traveler and hopes to see as much of the world as possible.