Natalie Barbu is streamlining creativity
Running a business

Natalie Barbu is streamlining creativity

Name: Natalie Barbu

Location: Raleigh, NC

Business: Rella

Tell us about your business.

Rella is a digital workspace for content creators, and we really wanna help content creators with their entire workflow. So starting from the content idea to the execution to even keeping track of revenue and keeping track of brand deals, we really wanna touch all aspects of the creator's workflow and kind of be their assistant while they're trying to do this full-time and to grow on social media.

How did you decide to start a business?

I started as a content creator back in 2011. It started as a hobby for me. And it eventually turned into a business as I was making more money, I was working with brands, I started building even a team. I had a manager that came on board. I had an editor that I would send my videos to, and I realized that this was actually a business.

I remember talking to a friend and we were complaining about what we were using as content creators. And I was just complaining that everything is so disorganized and I don't know how to, you know, keep myself organized. I'm using an, everything's scattered through email, through project management tools, through scheduling tools, through spreadsheets. And we both had that same problem. And that was the light bulb moment when I was like, wait, why doesn't something exist to fix this? Because instead of using ten tools, I would love to just use one that really had everything that we needed.

What was the biggest challenge in the first year of business?

I think when I was first starting out I was, you know, entering college, I was doing this one, this thing, which was really weird at the time. I mean, 10 years ago, social media was not cool. No one was an influencer, or no one was considered an influencer. I don't know when that word was coined, but back then it was just weird. So I would just tell myself to just have confidence in what you're doing, and if you have an idea, actually go for it and be proud of it too.

quote image
Have confidence in what you’re doing.

What do you think the difference is between Gen Z entrepreneurs and other generations? 

Gen Z has social media and we have the internet at our fingertips. I think we don't limit our window of opportunity to just what's around us or who we know. We now have LinkedIn where we can message the CEO of a really cool company and ask them to sit down on a Zoom call and talk to them. We can see what other people are doing all around the world. And so it makes us feel like we can also do what they’re doing. 

How do you maintain work/life balance?

I've always been someone that balances a lot of either different businesses or different hobbies or interests. And so right now I do content creation. I have a podcast, and I also have Rella, which is my startup. And for me, it's fun to do all of these different things because it's something that I'm interested in and something I wanna go after. They're all intertwined within one another. 

What advice would you give to other small business owners just starting out? 

I think it's really important for small business owners  to have some sort of plan because it's not gonna be viral growth. It's not gonna be a road to success right away. It can take a lot of time. Of course, there are success stories of going viral on TikTok right away, and you know, selling out all your products or all of a sudden being able to do it as a full-time career. But that doesn't happen for most people. Most people have to have years or under their belt before they see a difference or see major success. And so I think having a plan, having a consistent structure, making sure not to give up if the first month doesn't necessarily go the way that you thought it would go.

What financial advice do you have for other Gen Z entrepreneurs? 

Having multiple streams of income is important because you don't rely on just one thing, and you're able to kind of see different avenues within all of these different projects that you might be doing. If I never started multiple social media platforms like YouTube, Instagram, TikTok, podcasts, I would've never had the idea for Rella. 

What’s the best part about being your own boss?

Being my own boss and being self-employed and working for myself is the best feeling. You have so much freedom. Even though I like to have structure — I like to have a routine. I try to log on at a certain time and log off at a certain time. But the freedom and flexibility of being able to choose your own schedule to work when you want to work where you want to work, and also to be able to build your own team.

How does being a business owner make you feel?

I feel very proud to be a tech founder because I think there's not a lot of tech founders that look like me. There's not a lot of female tech founders. There's not a lot of Hispanic tech founders. There's not a lot of young tech founders. So it's been really empowering to see the influence that I've had on my community. People that have been following me feel like they can also do what I'm doing, too. They can also take the leap and start their own company, even if they don't have all the skills that they need. Even if they don't have all of the background that they think is going to make them more successful.

Recommended for you

Mail icon
Get the latest to your inbox
No Thanks

Get the latest to your inbox

Relevant resources to help start, run, and grow your business.

By clicking “Submit,” you agree to permit Intuit to contact you regarding QuickBooks and have read and acknowledge our Privacy Statement.

Thanks for subscribing.

Fresh business resources are headed your way!

Looking for something else?


From big jobs to small tasks, we've got your business covered.

Firm of the Future

Topical articles and news from top pros and Intuit product experts.

QuickBooks Support

Get help with QuickBooks. Find articles, video tutorials, and more.