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XL Trailblazers Thomas Raybon

XL Trailblazers Thomas Raybon

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1. What was the first fashion show you ever walked in and how was the experience? The first fashion show I walked in was back in high school in some mall back to school show. It was awkward because we had to walk one time and then did mannequin poses standing there for like 10 mins at a time! Not enjoyable! I will say the first official fashion show I did was a couple of months ago for National Curves Day and it was quite the experience. Never walked before in my life and it was very exciting for me!

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2.What made you want to start a meal delivery service? So I did not start the meal delivery service. My partner Kenneth Watson is the Owner and Chef of Esquire Meals. I have been a constant partner for at least 2 years now. This was a dream he had back when he was in law school preparing food for his other classmates. As Kenneth grew up in the south, the food obviously was quite fattening. When Kenneth moved to Connecticut we were able to learn and engross himself in a much healthier lifestyle where the idea of meal prep for him came from. When I met Kenneth he was preparing meals for a couple of clients already but I knew that he could do more. He is very talented in his cooking skills and that is the thing I admire so much about him as a chef; the ideas for the new menu that comes out every week astonishes me and sets us apart from other meal prep companies!

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3.What’s been the most rewarding part starting and growing a business? Honestly, while this was not my original plan when Kenneth and I connected, I saw how passionate he was about this venture and I knew that this was something I wanted to be a part of. There are a couple of things that are very rewarding to this venture; one is our clients. The amount of positive praise we receive every week is amazing and continues to drive our company as each client continues to tell their friends and then they become clients and so on and so forth. It grows every single day.The second thing that is rewarding is seeing Kenneth’s dream come true! I learned over this time that nothing will make you work harder than pushing for someone else’s dream. There has never been a time where I was like “no I cant do this or I don’t want to do this. My philosophy has always been, if I fail, then I fail the business and I fail him!

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4.When did fitness become a part of your daily routine or had it always been? Fitness has not always been a part of my life. In high school, I played football but absolutely hated to lift and workout. I ended up at the University of MD-College Park where I walked on to the football team, up to that point I had gained a tremendous amount of weight and was at my highest of 330lbs. After college I struggled immensely with my weight, teetering back and forth between losing weight and gaining it back, being extremely skinny to being extremely obese. It was a difficult time for me. When I met Kenneth I was somewhat in a fitness journey and I decided at that point that I had to get myself right not only for myself but for my future and for our future, whether that be kids or whatever else, but to live a healthy lifestyle, Kenneth was definitely a big push in that.

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5.If you could tell your younger self-anything what would it be and why? I would tell myself to just let things happen…I have bouts of OCD and can be a bit of a control freak at times, sometimes I just need to step back and “chill.” I would tell my younger self that everything will eventually turn out to be ok, just let it happen and you’ll be fine!


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