Founder of The Well Nest, Valeria Ramirez is an advocate for happiness through healthiness.
The idea for her business sparked when her personal fitness clients didn’t have the time to prepare healthy meals to support their training – so she decided she could make it for them and have it delivered.
Today, this Telstra Business Woman Of The Year Finalist 2015, juggles being a Mum, health coach and personal trainer with her work in the kitchen at The Well Nest and inspires all who meet her to live their best life everyday.
We’re honoured to have the chance to catch up with Valeria between hustles, to learn more about what drives her to build her own professional path in Week 7 of our In Her Shoes Women In Business Summer Series.
Firstly, let’s get the facts:
NAME: Valeria Ramirez
BUSINESS: The Well Nest + The Well Nest Kitchen
YEAR LAUNCHED: 2011
Q: What was your professional journey before starting your business and how did your biz concept spark?
Believe it or not, I actually started out as a journalist, but very quickly realised that news wasn’t my thing. I was always interested in health, in particular how food impacted my body. After a failed magazine attempt, and hitting rock bottom emotionally, financially and physically I decided to look for a better way to make a living. I was inspired by the health professionals I surrounded myself with and took a leap of faith and attained my Personal Training accreditation. This was followed by a Holistic Health Coach certificate and then The Well Nest was born.
Since having a bub I had to look at more sustainable ways of making a living. I used to bring smoothies for some of my clients to have after training, and they would always ask me to consider making the rest of their food. The well nest kitchen started in 2014 as a treat business, but quickly grew to offer beautiful vegan meals. I now focus on the kitchen, and manage it around my little man’s daycare schedule.
Q: What gave you the confidence to dive in at the beginning?
I have always looked up to my very brave mother, Elena Gosse. She has always managed overcome adversity. We grew up in the former USSR, and she raised my disabled sister and myself on her own. Moving to Australia she gave up her career, her culture, and language and had to start for the bottom again. She now a very successful, and renowned business woman. Her strength and ability to make everything ok, no matter how hard our lives were, instilled in me the belief that I too will always be ok as long as I work hard.
Q: What has been some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced since launch and what lessons came from the experiences?
Balancing work and family. My husband and I both run our own businesses, and are trying to raise our 2 year old son. He is always my number one priority, so I am quite limited with how much time I can put into my business, but you can make it work. You just have to make priorities.
As a start-up business, everything is new. I have never had to manage staff or keep such detailed accounts. It’s all been a steep learning curve. We are so blessed to have so many cloud based applications to help run a business like Xero and Shopify. This has definitely made the journey a lot easier.
Q: How important is following your intuition in your business?
My gut feeling is integral in all my decision making. If it doesn’t feel right, most of the time it’s not right.
Q: What are 3 things you wish you knew then?
When I was trying to build my online magazine, I was so young and had little idea of what a business actually involved. Looking back I wish I slowed down and invested more time into research.
As a business owner you have to know how to sell, there are amazing books to help you with this.
Running a business can be a very lonely experience, it’s important to get out there, social and network. No one will buy from you if they don’t know you in some way. Social media is great, but nothing beats a personal connection.
Q: What is the key piece of advice you would provide others starting out?
Don’t rush into anything. You may have a great idea, and running on passion and the will to bring it to life, but don’t run out of steam. Pace yourself, do your research, get advice and make your dream a sustainable reality.
Q: What does it feel like to look back on what you have accomplished so far and know you have developed your own path?
It makes me feel old hehe. Seriously though the hardest thing to do is congratulate yourself for your own hard work. Many sacrifices have been made, but I’m proud of everything I and my team have created. I have learnt more than I would have ever at a University.
- A biz system/program/platform you can’t live without: Shopify + Xero
- What keeps you motivated (aka professional motto): I love this quote by John Lennon – “Everything will be okay in the end. If it’s not okay, it’s not the end.”
- Who do you admire in business: My mother and Lisa Messenger
- When I started, I wish someone told me…. get financial advice or a business coach.
- One day I hope to…. finally write that book.
Thank you for talking to Woman Rising.