John Paul DeJoria
“I was sitting around with a good friend of mine, and we were drinking the tequila of the day, and we thought there had to be something better,” explains DeJoria of the origin of his involvement with Patron. “So he found some pretty good tequila in this dinky little town in Mexico, and then we sent a mixologist down there from the states, who worked with the brewing guy down in Mexico, and we made what we found even smoother. My partner Martin [Crowley], who was a great designer, designed the bottle. We knew it was going to be very expensive because it is very expensive to make. And if it didn’t sell, I thought, ‘Well, I made 1,000 cases—12,000 bottles—so for the next ten years everyone I know is going to get a bottle of tequila for their birthday, wedding, everything.’
As it turned out, America was ready, it took off really strongly and then it really took off.” Today, the Patrón Spirits Company is, as the company touts, the number-one brand of premium tequila in the world.
So what is it that has led DeJoria to success in not just one, but two huge entrepreneurial adventures? According to Ed Brown, Patrón’s current president and CEO, DeJoria’s triumphs have come as the result of the right mix of optimism, enthusiasm, and generosity. “Because John Paul grew up on the streets and didn’t have a silver spoon in his mouth, he has an uncanny ability to look at things in an extremely positive light,” says the company head. “This ability allows him to look at companies and products in a way that most people could never dream of. This is why he has been successful with so many different types of business. His famous quote ‘success unshared is failure’ is exactly the way he lives his life and runs his companies.”
Always on the cutting edge, DeJoria has started a new venture, John Paul Pet, with the mission to “create products for the pets where the pets participate.” DeJoria’s Golden Retriever, Jack, helped pick out the scents for the shampoo. The products match the pH of the species, and there is a line for both dogs and cats.
As DeJoria explains, John Paul Pet started when “my friend John Capra wanted to develop a pet line, and he came to me with the idea. I said, ‘It’s a deal—as long as we support animal welfare associations.’” Consequently, John Paul Pet is an avid supporter of Last Chance for Animals, the World Wildlife Federation, the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, the Humane Society of the United States, and PAWS, to name a few.
Looking back over what he has created and co-created, DeJoria says “it’s much more” than he ever imagined, and his outlook remains positive. “The world is becoming a better place. The frequency of our planet is rising. It’s going to be a better place as the years go on for more and more people. More people are getting involved doing things to change people’s lives for the better.” It’s a refreshing outlook from a prolific creator not just in the business world: DeJoria is father to six children with his wife, Eloise Broady.