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Natalie Barbu

Updated: Nov 12, 2022

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.

Natalie Barbu

Who are you and what do you do?

I am an influencer turned entrepreneur. I began my social media career in 2011 on YouTube in the beauty guru phase. I have grown my following to over 360,000 followers throughout my platforms, made it my full-time job, and pivoted multiple times. I am also the host of The Real Reel Podcast, a show where I speak to entrepreneurs, business leaders, creators, and everyone in between talking about the real reel - not the highlight reel - and most recently, I am the CEO and founder of Rella, a management tool made for influencers to run their business.

What did it take / how did you get started?

I started Rella out of a need that I had as an influencer. I was frustrated that I was using so many different project management tools that were not made for social media, disorganized spreadsheets, and a ton of different apps. It felt so inefficient and I felt so unorganized. I knew there had to be something better out there. I asked what friends were using and other influencers were using and everyone had the same response - tools that weren't made for us. That is why I decided to start Rella.

What does the future look like for you and your hustle?

We are building the leading tool influencers will use to run their business. I am excited to continue to speak with influencers and build this tool for them and with them.

What drives / motivates you?

The influencers in our community and the influencers that we speak to motivate us so much. We have a Slack group where we have a direct line of contact with them, we host frequent focus groups and one-on-one calls, we host free webinars. Our community is our biggest motivation.

What advice would you give someone interested in doing what you do?

Start putting pen to paper, drafting out your ideas, and talking to people. A lot of people get really scared of the unknown. Once you start and beginning networking and asking questions, the ball will start moving.

What has been the hardest part of the hustle?

As a first-time founder, I am learning everything for the first time. So processing the fact that I don't know everything and need to ask for help has been a challenge. Also, the never ending to-do list is always stressful, too.

What are a few resources that you'd recommend?

I am a big podcast listener. I recommend season 1 of Startup by Gimlet Media and How I Built This by Guy Raz.


Side or full-time hustle?

Full-time hustle. I currently do social media full-time and Rella full-time.

List the founders

Connor Boyce and Nick Kane.

How many hours a week do you work on this hustle?


# of Employees?

2 full-time employees, 3 part-time.

When did you start?

End of 2020.

How much did it cost to launch?

We have raised $115,000 so far.

What were your funding methods and ballpark amount raised?

Started with friends and family round.

Annual Revenue?

We are pre-revenue.

Projected Revenue?

Not Provided.

Any call to action?

We would love to talk to anyone who has started a tech startup!



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