Creating Your Identity With Jun Arnaiz of Neutria
It's not uncommon to find creatives venturing out into their own startups but it is a bit more unique to see them dive into the realm of health and natural supplements, a space that is highly competitive with mass-pharma and can take years of R&D and approval. So, what does it take to dive into this world? We sat down with Jun Arnaiz, a longtime friend and man of many talents, to learn a little bit about it. Jun got his start in the Toronto-nightlife scene, rising up as one of the city's best club videographers by night, while experimenting, formulating and testing supplements by day. As he got deeper into the nightlife world, his sights set onto DJ'ing, which has now grown his name even further as a certified nightlife double threat; but he didn't forget about the pharma. In 2023, Jun and his business partner Andrew Daye launched Neutria, an all-natural supplement brand rooted in ancient herbs and remedies to help those eager to excel do so in a clean and sustainable way. Jun has a lot to say about breaking down barriers to follow your passions. Read through the conversation below! Jun, you seem to have your hand in so many pots and never shy away from opportunities. How does someone like yourself approach all of these new things? Naturally, I'm a very curious person and I have a bunch of interests but I'm very careful to ensure if I do something, it's of quality. It can be daunting but anytime I'm exploring a new craft, I know it will require me to put myself out there no matter what because that's how you get new opportunities. It requires you to be vulnerable but it's necessary. Especially for artistic crafts, showing your work is the only way to get booked. If we reverse engineer that to figure out how to build the confidence to put yourself out there, it really comes down to putting in the reps. You have to practice. Once you really commit and practice, you build the competence in the craft and then you build the confidence. That confidence will be the fuel to put yourself out there in the world and that's when opportunities will come to you. Do you ever feel stuck diving into new things? Luckily not so much but it took time. I think the number one thing that stops people from taking on a new craft is imposter syndrome. People think "I'm not this person, so I'm not going to give it my 100%." I realized that the antidote to that is building up enough evidence for yourself that you do embody this person to the point where it can become your identity. For me, it was hard as a nightlife videographer, who's identity was so ingrained in that, when I wanted to start DJ'ing. I knew people might not take me seriously but I was serious. I didn't want to be a videographer that could also DJ. I wanted to be a DJ. In order to do that, I needed to be consistent. I needed to show up every day. I needed to do shows consistently. I try to embody this mindset with every new thing that I do. It wasn't even up until maybe a couple of months ago that I finally was confident enough to call myself a DJ because I felt like I wasn't there yet. I didn't have that identity yet but I was always pushing for it. Just remember, success isn't an overnight thing. You have to work on it every day but the only way to get there is to start. Can you talk about what pushed you to start Neutria?
I worked in a pharmacy for five plus years, so I saw firsthand how people are so reliant on pharmaceuticals just to get by. We're at an age, societally, where people are becoming more health conscious. My partner, Andrew, and I have always been obsessed with finding ways to optimize our health, wellbeing and mindset. We were always experimenting with these different ingredients in college and university. So we've been exposed to the world of natural supplements and natural remedies. We never really had the intention when we were in our early twenties of doing this. It was just a passion to help us optimize our businesses at that time but we sensed this paradigm shift of people who want to excel in their careers or their crafts and find remedies to do so without harming themselves in the process by using synthetic drugs, like Adderall, or excessive melatonin or caffeine. So, we started Neutria and all three of our products are a response to a synthetic version. We have an all-natural sleep support product that uses herbs that have been used for thousands of years, melatonin-free and that's kind of like our counter to melatonin. We have a focus blend that's our counter to excessive caffeine or Adderall. We're not doing this to profit off of people. We're doing this to offer a sustainable solution to these specific needs that we saw. Lastly, what is one of the biggest learnings you've discovered so far as a brand owner? As an e-commerce brand, it's easy to dehumanize the business and diminish it to just numbers and digital screens. For the first half of our existence, Andrew and I lived on our screens and we weren't getting any sort of physical feedback from customers. It was all online-everything. So, one thing that we introduced was more events and collaborations with other brands to get out into the physical world and connect with and build our community. We started selling in local markets, sampling with groups and getting actual feedback on our products. The human connection was also important to help remind us of our purpose and why we started the business, which was very motivating. We really learned the importance of th at macro view on why you do things and I think going physical, going offline as much as possible does that. Make sure to check out Jun and Neutria on Instagram and keep it locked to Pier Five for more conversations with creatives and entrepreneurs just like this!