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.
Julia Sylvestri is up.
Who are you and what do you do?
My name is Julia Sylvestri and I am the founder and owner of Orena, an inclusive athleisure brand supporting mental health. Through my brand and myself, I am breaking the stigma surrounding mental health while inspiring others to use their challenges as motivation create the life they want.
What did it take / how did you get started?
It took dedication, sacrifice, and fear of regret to get started. I battled with my mental health for a very long time and saw the stigma and gaps around it. The topic of conversation was always avoided or I felt judged for my emotions. I could see in myself and others how badly this effected us but nobody was doing anything about it. From then on, I knew my purpose was to change people's perspective and create more acceptance in the world. This is the mission behind my business. We stand for something positive while also making a positive contribution to society.
What does the future look like for you and your hustle?
The future looks really bright for me and Orena. We are on track to traveling around to colleges to speak on mental health and how we should not be defined by our past or challenges. Instead, we need to look at them as motivation to create the life we've always dreamt of. Our products also embody our mission and message and we can't wait to see more and more of you wearing our pieces and styling them to reflect you.
What drives / motivates you?
Fear of regret and creating my own rules.
What advice would you give someone interested in doing what you do?
No one is going to care about your dreams as much as you do. Don't listen to the opinions of others who have no idea what you're going through or have no experience in what you want to do. You should always be putting yourself and your dreams ahead of everyone else's. And if you don't start building your dream, someone's going to hire you to build theirs.
What has been the hardest part of the hustle?
Finding a manufacturer was the hardest part. It took me about a year of sampling multiple to find the right one that worked well with me and my vision.
How have you managed burnout thus far?
Mental breakdowns. I'll be honest. Starting a business is not pretty. There are a lot of late nights, early mornings, and imposter syndrome. But one thing that has helped me is listening to my mind. If I feel like I need to take a few hours-a day off for my own mental health, I will take the time off. My business is not going to crash and burn during those few hours. If I don't put myself first, then my business can never be successful.
What are a few resources that you'd recommend?
Reaching out to a business coach/mentor. You will need someone in your corner to guide you and be your voice of reason sometimes. As someone who had no experience in business/entrepreneurship, I needed help with some areas that were so foreign to me. Podcasts have been a huge help for me. The two podcasts that help tremendously are "The Real Business Owners," and "Real AF". They talk heavily on mindset but touch on creating and scaling a business in all areas.
List the founders
How many hours a week do you work on this hustle?
# of Employees?
When did you start?
How much did it cost to launch?
What were your funding methods and ballpark amount raised?
My funding methods were credit cards
What's the #1 thing you need right now?
I would like to hire interns for social media and bookkeeping. I am also looking into creating an advisory board.
LI: https://www.linkedin.com/in/julia-sylvestri-33770a137 Website: shoporena.com IG: j_ulezz and shoporena