Isaac Quintanilla

AUSTIN, Texas — Sometimes, the path that’s the hardest to travel yields the best results. Our next guest has navigated this sort of path – with twists, turns and cliffs – all challenging his will to continue – without any wavering doubt, guided by total faith.

Please welcome, Isaac.

What You Need To Know

  • Born in Houston but has lived in Connecticut, Illinois, Arizona and California.
  • Can find you a home and also make you the best cup of coffee in the city.
  • BIG Soccer guy.
Connect with Isaac at — @the_master_connector

Isaac and I grabbed time together at one of the most unique places I’ve yet to visit in Austin – Casa De Luz. As you enter this botanical oasis, the overwhelming sense you feel is healing, tranquility and peace.

We snag a shaded corner of the gardens and dive into things.

“I was born in Houston and I’m a Texas boy through and through – However, we moved around a lot as a kid as my dads job changed from city to city – from Connecticut to Illinois to Arizona to California – we bounced around” Isaac explained. “As a young kid it was pretty hard to keep friends and figure out what the world is and who I am, what music I like and how to dress – especially when moving from different cities with different cultures.”

When talking with Isaac, it’s now clear why he chose this place for us to meet – his authentic deposition is chill, tranquil, and open.

“We finally made it back to Texas when my dad landed another job in Round Rock – but I was very much an odd ball once we got back – the style I had from living on the west coast really didn’t translate here and it was another big transition for me. It was hard to make friends, people were looking at me weird and really, it was a re-awakening for me. However, I’m about to be 29 and I’m so glad I went through all of that because it tee’ d me up for what life would throw at me later.”

Life tends to teach us some lessons here and again, but these learning often aren’t revealed in the moment – they creep up on us later in life and provide perspective and teachings that allow us to look back and harness these learnings as a compass for guidance.

We dive into college life and the initial stages of post grad.

“Originally, I went to the University of Houston, but I started to get really depressed – so I decided to switch it up and go to Texas State – it was the best decision I ever made. “Isaac explains. “I met new people and purposely didn’t hit up any high school friends – and right around this time I started working as a bank teller which ultimately led to me being promoted as a member services officer – that allowed me to make so many connections with people at the bank which started the journey that led me to where I’m at today.”

My interest level is at an all-time high, I wanted to know more.

“I ended up meeting my friend Vinny who owns a party bus business – he was saying he needed to rent more, and I needed to make more friends, so I started meeting people and helping him get referrals – that’s how I started to connect with so many great people.” Isaac explains. “This led me to meet Garth and Jonah who are now my business partners – so the connections and opportunities were a chain of events – it’s pretty crazy to think about.”

Before we get into Isaac’s current project – we must make a quick pit stop.

“So after I graduated, I went in 100% being a financial adviser – but was pretty broke – to be honest, I think everyone should experience the insecurity that comes with that first post grad job – getting hit in the face hard by life is essential to finding out what you truly want to do.”

We continue.

“I met my life mentor when I was working at New York Life, I wouldn’t be who I am today with out him, a respectable man – he was able to guide my heart and my mind in a positive way vs. many of my friends.” Isaac explains with conviction and sincerity. “I pivoted away from NY Life and started working as a Senior Financial Advisor for the state and learned about the first time buyer finance program, which allowed me pivot again into the real estate game – and this is where things really changed. I was talking to a friend about opening a coffee shop and that’s what led me to where I’m at today.”

Isaac sits up in his chair, leans forward – and dives in on his life’s passion.

“When I was an Advisor for NY Life – I would always meet people at coffee shops – it’s where I did all my business. I was thinking to myself, there are great coffee shops and terrible coffee shops – and I started to build a mental inventory of what I did and didn’t like.” Isaac explains.

“Around this time, I went to visit Garth in Tulum – I was there for 5 days and really digested the aesthetic there. A lot of natural designs – each shops energy was created by the people, not what the shop looked like – you didn’t have to be anyone other than who you are – every time I was there it felt spiritual, then, the idea to open my own coffee shop consumed me from this point forward.”

The anticipation is killing me.

“Then, Garth comes and crashes with me here in Texas for a bit and I’ll never forget what he said – one day he pulled me aside and said ‘Dude, I don’t want to hear about this anymore – either open it or not, if you want to do it, I’ll be the first to invest’ – Isaac explained with slight smirk.

“From there, I put together an investment and concept deck with Garth’s help, gathered some other investors, found a location, signed the lease – and all hell broke loose!”

Wait, what? Hell broke loose?!

“We had so many issues at the start – we needed to find an architect, deal with fire permit issues – you name it, we dealt with it. But I was all in, I quit my job – and put 100% of my time into opening this – cashed out all my accounts and went all fucking in – and that’s how The Cauldron was born.

The Cauldron is a coffee and cocktail joint – located on West 24th near campus – I’ve visited Isaac’s spot and the vibe is impeccable – it’s clear that  Isaac’s passion and drive are palpable – his vision is clear, mind focused – willing to do anything it takes to make this dream work which can be seen by how The Cauldron is setup.

We close in typical fashion, advice for the future.

“Don’t ever give up – my Mentor Will and I didn’t always get along, but he was man enough and mature enough to allow me to boomerang back and forth. You must follow your heart – don’t live a life that’s someone else’s.” He explains.

“There is a direct correlation on where your life is going based on three things – Amount of hands you shake, How frequently you calibrate your energy before entering a room – and your credibility. I constantly remind myself of these key elements and am leaning more into them in my 29th year – never give up on the most important person in the room, yourself.”

As we end and walk out – I’m humbled by Isaac’s story – I’ve known him for quite some time, playing soccer with him at sphere, but never truly KNEW him.

At the end of the day, that’s the goal of these stories – learn something new about someone you may have seen out, but never connected with. Because it might just be that one time when you should have shook that hand that led to a new connection that could change the course and destination of your life.

If you happen to make it over to The Cauldron, make sure if you see Isaac to shake his hand, say hello – and charge the room with your energy – because at the end of the day, the design of your life is not charged by the clothes you wear or the car you drive – it’s charged by you being, you.

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