Q&A with Isabel Castillo

Mar 27, 2021

Tell us a little bit about who you are…

I was given the name Isabel, I have the tendency to have an immense imagination. Will use the profits from IZANA to start animal sanctuaries around the world. Love spicy Korean food & Disney movies. Favorite book:” The Untethered Soul” by Michael Singer.

What is your story?

Graduated high school early, wanting to feel stronger and have paid college, I joined the Army. Served for 4 years and went to South Korea & Kuwait. Upon exiting, I started college and graduated with a physics degree from Vassar College.

What inspired you to start IZANA?

My experience as a soldier, veteran, and supportive friend of a cancer survivor sparked the creation of IZANA.

Imagine crawling through mud, with 90lbs of equipment on your back wearing a regular bra as a soldier. Not only did I have to worry about my survival while serving my country, I was distracted by pain inflicted by metal wires cutting through my skin. The “support” of my bra – a seemingly normal garment – made me realize – I was not the only one suffering.

After my return from the army, I came home to support a close friend who was recovering from a mastectomy. I saw her endure so many different forms of pain, but the one that hit the hardest was not being able to put on her own bra. She was in so much pain and the construction of the bras made for women everywhere was not allowing her to even latch it.

So I created the only patent-pending and inclusive front-latch, one-side alternating, and one-hand latch system to meet the needs of all women, INCLUDING the 165,000 single-arm amputees, the 3.1M breast-cancer survivors, and 32M women with low-range mobility.

Mastectomy patients lose mobility on the arm side where the breast was removed – they cannot reach the back to latch the brassiere. They need another person to help them, which most women testify as “demoralizing” not being able to do such a basic function. They are not alone because traditional bras do not work for millions of women around the world proving the need and untapped potential in this market. Women recovering from shoulder surgery and those suffering from arthritis lose mobility in ways that make it hard to dress themselves, as well.

What was the biggest challenge you have been faced with and how did you overcome it?

Posting on social media!! Feeling vulnerable & exposed. Daring to be vulnerable, I believe in the product and the company and if this is part of the growth then this is what I’ll do. The growth of the company is only limited by the growth of the founder. I’m growing with it.s.

What advice would you give to women who may be dealing with similar situations?

You will regret what you didn’t do, the chances that you did not take more than anything. Daring is brave & wonderful.

Did you ever have moments of doubt through starting IZANA?

Overwhelming sensation but not doubt.

How did you continue to push yourself to follow your dreams?

I’ve always believed that there is a way, a solution.

What inspires and drives you to keep moving forward especially now in the uncertain time the world is in?

Belief. Nothing is permanent & nothing is certain. All I know, is that if I do my best in the now, the future will take care of itself.

What advice would you like to share with others that has helped you throughout your journey?

Take a second to belief in your capabilities. Sit though the uncomfortable feelings and remind yourself that you are not your emotions nor your thoughts. You are observing them and as they leave your body you will feel a sense of calmness.

Are there any quotes that you “live” by?

The only person you need to ask permission to follow your dreams is you.

What does being Simply Unstoppable mean to you?

That my strength is greater than my fears and as I deeply believe that, what can truly stop you?

How can readers get in contact with you to learn more and continue this conversation?

You can reach me at [email protected]

IG/twitter: @izanawomen.com

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