The goal of Hardly Hustle is to provide inspiration, drive and motivation in a 10 minute read or less. What you see is what you get. This is hot off the press without an editing team. Natalie Barbu is up. And...
In case you missed her story in 2022, you may want to start here first.
What is your name & current role?
Natalie Barbu, CEO/Cofounder of Rella
Explain to the audience what it is that you do, or if it failed, what you did do?
I am a content creator turned entrepreneur. I began my social media career in 2011 on YouTube. I have grown my following to over 380,000 followers throughout my platforms, received my degree in Industrial Engineering inspired hundreds of women to pursue a career in STEM, quit my consulting job at Accenture to do content creation full-time, and am now the CEO and co-founder of Rella, a management tool made for creators to organize their content and run their business.
In 2021, I realized that the tools creators were using to run and organize their businesses were incredibly inefficient and scattered. Creators were losing out on business and burning out quickly due to not having the right systems. That is when I founded Rella with the mission to have creators change their lives through social media like I did.
Since launching Rella in 2022, we have 16,000+ creators on the platform and have raised $1.1M in funding from top VC firms like Charge VC, Precursor Ventures, Liquid 2 Ventures, Goodwater Capital, and HustleFund making me one of the few Latina founders to have raised over $1M+.
I am also the host of The Real Reel Podcast, with over 1.5M+ downloads, it is a show where I speak to entrepreneurs, business leaders, creators, and everyone in between talking about the real reel - not the highlight reel.
Since you last shared on Hardly Hustle, what have you been up to?
We launched Rella in January of 2022 and have been focusing on being the go-to solution for organizing creative professionals so they can succeed in doing what they love. We started with just creators and are now expanding to creators, their teams, and any social media-powered businesses.
Since your last story, any responses you’d tweak or add to?
I would change our vision to: To be the go-to solution for organizing creative professionals so they can succeed doing what they love.
What have you automated or thought about automating in your day to day to make life easier?
What hire has made the most impact for you?
We have stayed a small and lean team, so besides our amazing front-end engineer from Argentina, Luis, we have the same team as when we started!
Has your work-life balance gotten better or worse, and why?
I think work-life balance goes through ebbs and flows. There are some seasons when I am working and don't have a social life, and other seasons when I need to avoid burnout and make time for friends, hobbies, and activities. There are never full seasons "off" though.
What’s one thing you’re bullish on or think is a good idea?
I believe content creators are the future entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs will become content creators.
What is one business tool or resource you can’t live without?
Rella for my personal social media and business as a creator. ClickUp for managing Rella's team and roadmap.
What is one "life hack" or one tool in your life, personal or professional, that has made a large impact?
A life hack for me has been time-blocking certain hours or days for one specific type of task. For example, Monday mornings are for marketing. Tuesday mornings are for networking with founders and investors. It helps to not have your brain constantly switch between different tasks and maintain focus.
# of Employees?
Any call to action?
We are looking to begin building relationships with Seed round investors! Happy to chat!