How a drag queen challenge among friends changed their lives
Virginia and Jose barely said a word to one another when they ended up sat next to each-other on their first day of university in 2001.
Yet, neither could have imagined that one year later, skipping class to grab a coffee would join their paths forever.
Jose, from a small town, was unsure about his sexual orientation. But living in the city and meeting open-minded people like Virginia helped him realise and accept he was gay.
As their friendship flourished, they knew they’d have each-other for the rest of their lives.
Jose was told he doesn’t have what “it takes” it be a drag queen.
But their lives forked into different paths after university. Years passed, and in 2014, a series of unexpected events ended up reuniting them.
Virginia, born with bone marrow aplasia, had a bone marrow transplant.
While that same year, Jose found out he was living with HIV and his mother was diagnosed with terminal bone cancer. The impact of such news made Jose start questioning all he’d always believed in.
Suddenly, nothing was important to him.
Getting wasted in late-night bars into the early morning became his routine every weekend. During that time, he became a regular in the night-life scene and became friends with some drag queens.
Jose fell in love with the wigs, the heels, and the makeup that are the foundations of drag, before one day joking about doing it himself.
Up until this point, Jose had never been serious about doing drag. His drag friends didn’t take him in earnest.
One even said to him: “You don’t have what it takes to do it.”
Now challenged, giving it a shot is exactly what Jose decided to do.
Jose and Virginia reunited for their shared love of drag.
The first step? Finding the right outfit.
Jose quickly searched tirelessly online, tab after tab, to find his look. It didn’t take long for him to realise that there was no dedicated online store for drag queens.
“How is that possible?” he thought. “How do drag queens manage? Well, many of them may make their own costumes, but what about everyone else?”
He decided he would create that site, but he couldn’t do it alone. He asked Virginia, a drag queen fan who had seen every season of Rupaul’s Drag Race, to join him.
It took them a couple of years before they were ready to launch The Drag Queen Closet.
Yet, without a budget, the pair had to find a way to make it possible with just their passion for the craft.
“This is just the beginning,” says co-founder Virginia.
Two years now since they launched The Drag Queen Closet and they can say that they’re closer to achieve their goal – make life easier for drag queens.
A simple challenge among friends became an adventure for the pair. “This is just the beginning,” Virginia said.
They are now working on a new site which will come with many surprises: new products, new suppliers and a better customer experience to make sure drag queens can find what they need, in just one place and without having to go out.
Nevertheless, this would not have been possible without their friends David and Alice. They’d met them in London some years earlier.
David, a drag queen himself, and Alice fell in love with the project from the very first moment and were willing to join Jose and Virginia in their expedition.
Most importantly, they became a family working together and that is something customers can feel, too, whenever they make a query.
Customers who have connected with David via email know that already. He’s done drag for years, so he really understands customer needs.