Gabriel Suarez is a remarkable professional and a tenacious entrepreneur. The founder and president of the Natural Life Corporation, Suarez’s achievements in his industry have made him a visionary with significant contributions. A South American native, he started his career in the corporate world more than 13 years ago and owns over six businesses including a glass gallery, glassblowing studios, distribution center, smoke shop and the Natural Life chain of CBD wellness stores. His background includes a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Florida State University that he then parlayed into hands-on experience as a business owner. This combination gives him a full understanding of aesthetics and puts him in the best position to design the most attractive and successful retail establishments.
A founding member of The Florida Hemp Council and franchisor of Natural Life stores, Suarez has the unique ability to build and maintain incredible working relationship that set him apart from the competition. He attributes his success to effective and efficient communication, attention to detail, time management and making sure that he always brings his best self to the task with a positive attitude. An action-focused individual, Gabriel is a force in the retail industry.
A proud Seminole, Suarez is a Tallahassee resident. On the off-chance he is not working, Suarez loves flying wing suits as a licensed skydiver. He also likes skateboarding and finds spending time with his wife and son most fulfilling. Motivated by the desire to become a global expert in his field, he continues to stay current with industry news and educate himself so he can be the master of what he does.
His motto? To build strong communities, we must all fortify the root! This simple, yet effective advice motivates Suarez to achieve his full potential and help others do the same.
1. Tell us about the Natural Life concept.
Natural Life is the first chain of retail stores that specializes in cannabidiol (CBD) products, as well as other holistic plants such as kava, kratom, akuamma, and more. Throughout its stores, Natural Life offers more than 1100+ products and over 20 brands. Quality and safety are at the forefront, and the company ensures that these brands are compliant with all upcoming 2020 regulations. In addition, Natural Life does its own third-party lab testing, regardless if the manufacturer provides its own test results. It was founded in Tallahassee, Florida by Florida State University graduate Gabriel Suarez who wanted to help members of the community find wellness alternatives. There are stores currently open in the Tallahassee, Jacksonville and Tampa markets. Natural Life is one of the three founding members of The Florida Hemp Council, a nonprofit that works collectively to advance the Florida Hemp industry.
2. How and when did you become involved with Natural Life?
I founded Natural Life when I discovered the need to help those in my community find alternatives to their ailments without the negative side effects that come with most traditional products.
3. What was your background prior to joining Natural Life?
I started my career in the corporate world more than 13 years ago and now own over six businesses including a glass gallery, glassblowing studios, distribution center, and the Natural Life chain of CBD wellness stores. My background includes a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Florida State University that I then parlayed into hands-on experience as a business owner. This combination truly gives me a full understanding of aesthetics and puts me in the best position to design the most attractive and successful retail establishments.
4. What are some of the advantages in being a Natural Life franchisee?
A Natural Life franchise allows you to be your own boss all while living your values by bringing natural wellness to more people. Our CBD stores have seen an explosion of growth over the last two years, with consistent increases in sales. Additionally, we carry a variety of products from numerous suppliers, insulating our stores against shortages due to unpredictable events.
5. Who is your ideal franchisee?
We’re looking for like-minded individuals who value the benefits of living naturally. When applying, we’ll first require a background check, a credit score of 680 or higher as well as documentation of your current financial situation. We also request a resume of your management experience and qualifications. This ensures us you’ll be a good fit compared to our corporate goals, solidifying mutual success.
6. Tell us a little about the CBD Market?
With the legalization of hemp in 2018, CBD became a lucrative investment opportunity. Recent reports indicate that the cannabidiol (CBD) market is estimated to grow by 700 percent by 2020, and a report by market intelligence firm Hemp Business Journal projects that the CBD market will grow to $2.1 billion by 2020, an astronomical jump in value compared to last year's CBD market of $202 million.
7. What are some of the greatest lessons you’ve learned in growing this franchise?
I have learned the importance of a strong company culture based on the right principles, including the value of both people and purpose.
8. Do you have a mentor and is there someone you use for inspiration?
I have never had a close personal mentor, but I have been fortunate enough to receive advice and mentoring from many successful individuals and that collective advice has helped me get to where I am today.
9. What advice do you have for someone looking to acquire a Franchise?
If you’re interested in Natural Life, reach out to us right away! We can help you each step of the way. From joining the team, to finding the best location and then celebrating with a grand opening!
10. In your opinion, why do you think that Natural Life would be a great opportunity for someone?
With the CBD industry booming, consumers are always looking for a shopping experience that they can trust and that is safe. We pride ourselves in our commitment to quality products, which our customers always appreciate. This is apparent in the numbers – our existing Natural Life stores generate an average of $450,000 in first-year sales.