That one line became the foundation upon which they built their renowned tequila company.
In just three years on the market, a casual conversation between two friends about common interests and an appreciation for letting the good times (and a few glasses of Reposado) roll prompted the birth of a tequila brand that has taken the spirits industry by storm and become a pop cultural phenomenon.
Nick Jonas and John Varvatos started Villa One Tequila in the summer of 2019 to build the best tequila brand in its class and a true representation of what both men were passionate about: bringing people together as often and easily as possible.
Whether you’re a long-time Jonas Brothers fan who’s been riding the wave since the early 2000s or a seasoned fashion maven who’s appreciated and dressed the elegant yet timeless shapes of a John Varvatos garment, the names Jonas and Varvatos are instantly recognizable.
Tequila, on the other hand, was and still is a technical departure from what each man was good at.
Still, all three industries—music, fashion, and spirits—need to master three things that aren’t negotiable if they want to do well: innovation, connectivity, and a really great product.
“While it’s outside of the circles and realms in which we usually operate professionally,” Jonas says of the early stages of building out Villa One. “Our experiences together, collaborating and finding a really good rhythm creatively, brought us to some amazing places and we had great experiences, and we discovered that we both had a real love for tequila.”
And when we were not working, we would share tequila and speak about life, creativity, the universe, and everything else. I believe it was something we were both drawn to and talked about frequently—wanting to establish our own business and learning more about it.
We wanted to make sure that if we were going to enter this area, we were truly functioning as best in class and that the juice in the bottle was also best in class. It was almost as though the stars had aligned. “
To call Jonas and Varvatos perfectionists would be an overstatement; to call them experts in their respective fields would be an understatement.
But, if the two were going to start from the ground up and build Villa One, they wanted to make sure they did so with the highest degree of competence and quality they could find.
In the end, it’s all about having amazing things, because you may have the best packaging, marketing, celebrity, or whatever else you’re attached to, if you don’t have quality items.
But, in the end, the product must be fantastic, “Varvatos declares.” “And that is the thing that has survived.” So, whether it’s a song or a pair of clothes, or something else entirely, it’s that thing that sticks with you and that you return to. “
So, they asked master distiller Arturo Fuentes, who had been in the business for 30 years and was known as the “Godfather of Tequila,” to help them create the most unique blend of tequila possible without sacrificing quality or taste.
Villa One is available in three expressions: Silver, Aejo, and Reposado, and is made with a blend of earthy lowland agave and sweeter highland agave to create a spirit with a very smooth finish.
“It’s not overly alcoholic; it’s actually rather smooth, and even the silver and aejo have a good body to them.” “Not overpoweringly so, but some of those chocolate and caramel notes, which I adore as a Reposado fan, are present.”
The Villa One product range is described by Jonas. “The vanilla flavor does not overwhelm me, as it sometimes does. I think it’s a unique blend, and we’re one of just two tequilas in the world that does that.
When you consider how congested this particular column of the spirits market is, I believe this is a real aspect that sets us apart. And when you compare the Villa One to any other tequila, I truly believe there is no comparison. “
It’s clear that the men see making their tequila as an art form, because everything about it, from the ingredients to the way it’s distilled, is done with care.
“I suppose our thought was, why can’t we do something that’s best in class?” because we both enjoy tequila so much. Varvatos explains. “We look at everything else we do in our lives as an opportunity to raise the bar and be the greatest in the world that we play in, so why can’t we do it with tequila?”
Part of this was coming up with a brand idea that was easy to understand and stayed true to its roots.
The famous phrase “Life as it should be” from Villa One came from a toast Jonas gave to Varvatos and some friends while they were on vacation in Mexico.
We were down in Cabo enjoying a terrific time — great people, great food, and great music — and it was all happening in real time. And then there was a toast to ‘life as it should be.’
“As Jonas explains, And it’s all about those times when you’re with the people you care about, sipping a drink of tequila and taking a break from the chaos of life to just be there. I believe we attempted to convey it in the core and identity of the brand, as well as in the marketing surrounding it.
But I believe we found a new way to look at it post-Covid, or even throughout Covid. The desire to return to the way things should be. It’s always crucial to see things from a fresh perspective, and we had to react and adapt in real time. But it’s been incredible to watch individuals really connect with that message and use those moments to appreciate the time they have with the ones they care about. “
The line’s underlying meaning is found in the brand’s true mission: to bring people together via shared experiences, good times, and, of course, some really good tequila.
The Life As It Should Be Contest, the company’s most recent venture, attempts to bring people and consumers together in a practical way by asking them what their “Villa One” is—their happy spot that transports them to another dimension of peace and contentment.
It’s a way for the corporation to put the concept of community and connectivity into reality—after all, the contest’s two grand prize winners will be rewarded with a vacation of a lifetime.
“We were discussing what Villa One meant to us as we developed in it back in the early days.” And then there was that first trip down to Mexico together, that wonderful vacation, and the night when the brand kind of came to life in our minds, and Nick gave his toast, and we started talking about what Villa One was to everyone.
What does that imply to you? And we truly considered it as a location, and as a location that transports you. “Varvatos explains everything to me. “It may be a special beach chair you have somewhere, such as a chalet in the highlands, Paris, or even your own apartment.
That’s that specific spot where you prefer to hang out and enjoy those memorable moments. So it became a question of wanting to think about how we could go about it and where we could go.
Also, Villa One will open the first-ever Villa One Tequila Gardens in San Diego. This will be an immersive experience where fans can enjoy their favorite spirits with friends and people they might meet, all while listening to music that Jonas chose.
In many respects, we see this as more than simply a tequila brand; it’s a lifestyle. We’re offering an experience to Villa One fans and those who simply want to get out, eat good food, and be in a good environment.
“The new initiative,” Jonas explains, “We’re really pleased about it feeling incredibly authentic to the base and roots of not only our tequila, but all tequila, and leaning into that heritage, even just the cultural feel and beauty,” says the company.
The in-person activations and contests are a big win for a company that had to launch when the pandemic was at its worst, making it hard for customers to live their lives as they should.
Imagining someone sitting outside a restaurant sipping a cocktail mixed with tequila felt like a far-off vision during the early releases of Villa One; traditional launches, parties, and tastings were out of the question.
“After going through the last couple of years, trying to get back to fundamentals, getting back to somewhat of a regular life, and enjoying those great times again,” Varvatos says, “we had no idea how significant that message truly was.”
But Villa One doesn’t seem to be slowing down. In fact, Jonas says that the pandemic and its effects gave the brand the “fire” it needed to keep coming up with new ideas and moving forward.
Of course, the two friends and business partners have used each other as a guiding force as they navigate the ever-unpredictable spirits sector and the ever-changing world of business ownership.
Because, along from having a high degree of creativity, connectedness, and a great product, having a partner who is both an inspiration and a friend is the margarita’s lime squeeze.
“You want to be around people that you’re learning from as well; the collaboration is multi-dimensional, and with Nick, I always feel like I’m learning something from him,” Varvatos says.
“With everything, he never wants to be a follower; it’s all about leading, and that’s kind of the mark of a winner, and that’s how I see Nick—a real winner at whatever he sets his mind to.”
When it comes to his admiration for Varvatos, Jonas would probably agree.
I’ve always liked John’s dedication and meticulous attention to detail. I believe he is a fantastic creative, but his business knowledge is also a valuable asset, “Jonas informs me. But, as partners and friends, I believe you must always lean on that person, trusting in their abilities and looking for ways to offer value to each other at every turn. This has felt like a very exciting and enjoyable experience with John. “
Varvatos will tell you that the “magic is in the bottle” when it comes to Villa One, but when it comes to how the two have been able to take their own friendship and level of connectivity and build a brand around that sense of community, commonality, and a commitment to the good times in life, it’s clear that the magic here goes far beyond what you’ll find at the bottom of your (hopefully empty) glass.