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Meet Alvaro Palacio of Paramount Athletics in Sugar Land

Today we’d like to introduce you to Alvaro Palacio.

Alvaro, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
My life story begins in a 1-bedroom apartment in Riverside, CA. I was born in the Republic of Panamá and moved to America when I was almost two years old with my parents and older sister. I graduated from the University of Memphis with a Bachelor’s in International Business and received my MBA from there also. Those two degrees opened many doors and helped get me to where I am today; however, I attribute almost all my success to my parents. My parents were not only my guardians growing up, but they were also my mentors. They educated my sisters and me on life skills that were necessary to survive in this world. In June 2018, I got married to my extraordinary wife, Cristen. It was around that time when she told me something that really hit me and sort of gave me a new perspective on life. Cristen said to me, “Alvaro since I first met you, I could just tell you were meant for something bigger in this world.” That was the turning-point in my life and when “the spark” was thus created. I have always been a “tinkerer” as a kid- I took things apart because I wanted to see how things worked, and I wanted to improve them in some way. I noticed there was an opportunity to improve weight training gloves.

After research, I found that the large majority of ‘gym gloves’ out there were the cut-off ones. I do not mind them, and they work well. But I also figured not everyone in the gym wants to look like they just left “bike night”. I created the Phantom Grips as an alternative- a more sleek and luxurious look designed for women and men. The gloves provide incredible grip and are engineered for comfort and functionality. When you have a better grip, you can produce more repetitions in a set, and it is those last few reps that make all the difference. Additionally, the Phantom Grips help reduce calluses from forming on hands, and the 4-way stretch design in the center of the palm allow for a greater range of motion making them versatile for athletes. Two of my best friends, Lantei Takona and Jefferson Brant, provided incredible support on how to make all of this work. Lantei is a genius in content strategy and marketing tactics, and Jefferson is excellent at providing unbiased feedback. With their advice, I focused on the minutiae and looked at everything from the outside-in. It was up to me to take what I had on my sheets of paper (the drawings, the logo design, my timeline of events, etc.) and make it all a reality.

The Phantom Grips by Paramount Athletics launched late October (2019). I currently use social media as a marketing tool to reach my audience (any female/male athlete or anybody that simply has a passion for fitness and sports). It has been a lot of fun being able to create something and have the ability to nurture it the way you want. Often, I find myself randomly jotting down notes at a stoplight (I promise I’m not driving), or while I’m training, I’ll stop and create a reminder to look into something when I return back home. I am learning something new every single day, and I am thrilled for the many ideas I have planned that are coming next year.

Has it been a smooth road?
I would say the biggest struggle was trying to give life to this idea while taking care of a newborn. My wife and I had our first little girl, Isabela, this past summer. Our families don’t live close by, so it is just Cristen and me. Most of the time I had Isabela on my lap while I worked on my website. It was either that, or I was up at 4 am trying to get work finished before she woke up. The lack of rest made everything ten times more difficult. There were times where I forced myself to work even on three hours of sleep after training in the gym. Forming the actual business wasn’t much of a struggle, it was the middle stages mentioned above where it became most difficult.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Paramount Athletics – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
I am known for living a healthy lifestyle, and I take pride in helping people reach their goals regardless of age or gender. I get the most satisfaction when I hear, “I couldn’t have done this without you.” I created the Phantom Grips to help take away the mind from the grip so an athlete can focus exclusively on his or her training. Female or male, the last thing that should be on your mind is, “this bar hurts my hands” or “the weight is slipping out of my hands, I can probably only do one more.” My design mocks the human hand with a thicker barrier on the inside palm area that creates great comfort while providing superior grip. This extends all the way into the fingertips. Aside from the gloves themselves, I hand-write a personalized note on every order. Thank you emails are great and show appreciation, but I think a traditional hand-written message has a deeper meaning and goes much further.

Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
I love the fact that athletes are made here. There’s a camaraderie that exists in this city when it comes to fitness- we are all one. Moreover, everyone supports each other in this city whatever the cause, and that is something unique and special about Houston. If I had to complain about one thing, it would be the amount of construction that takes place causing major traffic delays!

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Professional (high quality) shots go to Hozana Arceri (@hozana_arceri)
Select Studios (@selectstudios)

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