Today we’d like to introduce you to Paula Fraschetti.
Hi Paula, thanks for joining us today. We’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
I grew up in a small town in Michigan called Saint Clair. I came down to Raleigh in 2011 for school at NC State and pursued textiles. After a major change, I ended up with a degree in Design Studies and a minor in Business Administration. After graduating college, I immediately went on to get my real estate license thinking I had to have a ‘big girl job’ to attain success and praise. I ended up practicing for a few years until getting into property management and more recently, quitting my full-time job to grow my entrepreneurial pursuits.
I always knew I wanted to be an entrepreneur but wasn’t sure of my path and couldn’t muster up the confidence to make the leap. My first business started in 2017 and is called Oak City Yoga LLC. During my time in school, I became very ill with an autoimmune insufficiency and turned to yoga as a more holistic approach to my recovery and staying well. I decided to become certified in yoga, and it was shortly after that I started hosting yoga pop-ups and events at well-established businesses in Raleigh (e.g. The Raleigh Beer Garden, Little City Brewing). My goal with this business is to establish brand recognition in Raleigh and expand that across North Carolina and hopefully other parts of the U.S… We are bridging into retail, and I hope to sell the business in a couple of years, so I can focus on the next business.
Many people ask me if I want to open a yoga studio or when it’s going to happen, but I never saw myself owning a studio because I don’t feel that is where I can make the biggest impact. Yoga is a very saturated market, so with Oak City Yoga, I am straying away from the idea that we are a yoga studio but offering yoga as a part of who we are and how we want to show ourselves in the community. It is more about the unique partnerships and brand image that we communicate to our audience.
My experience with Oak City Yoga has taught me a lot about starting up a business, understanding the fundamentals and more. When COVID hit and quarantine was a thing, that was when my next idea happened. COVID caused quite a scare being that I have a compromised immune system, and we didn’t know much about how the disease would affect us. In times of illness, fatigue or any other symptoms I may have been experiencing, I always turned to food to aid in my recovery. A friend had given me their old juicer and that’s when I began experimenting. I juiced different foods, researched their health benefits and what foods paired well with each other.
Now, my father has invested in the business and we are preparing our launch in Fall 2021. The business is called Immunity Juice LLC. We conducted our market analysis, business plan, introduction into the market, and continue to prepare for our launch. I am hopeful for this business and truly believe this is where I can make the biggest impact on our society.
Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
The day I graduated college, I have been crippled with debt (like many other millennials). That has been one of the biggest things that has stopped me from taking the leap early in life and making my own path. Despite what some people say, money is important. It is very important to me, and I never had a lot of it. I always teetered with the idea that I needed to pay my debts off before I tried to make my own money and there was security in working for a corporation. Although that may be true, I wasn’t happy. I also lacked some of the self-confidence because of it. However, I knew I would regret waiting until I was 30 something to start (and I really want to be on the cover of Forbes).
I ended up getting COVID and being home for two weeks, stirring with my thoughts. Then, that was it. I decided to quit my job. I was over it. I was overworking in a job I wasn’t passionate about with people who were rude and irritated. I was over being told I was getting a raise, and it never happening. I was over waiting for the right time. I picked up a part-time gig to pay the bills and said adios.
There have been times when I first started hosting yoga pop-ups (in the dead of Winter), and I didn’t have any sign-ups. I would take it personally and wonder if it was me. Wonder if people didn’t like my classes. But that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Now, my classes sell out, friends come to class two days in a row, and I have the support of everyone around me. There will always be struggles and things that happen along the way. But, I will take that any day over sitting in a chair from 9a – 6p wondering if today would be better than yesterday.
Great, so let’s talk business. Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
I’ve told you a lot about Oak City Yoga, but I want to share more about my newest venture, Immunity Juice LLC. I am beyond excited to share this with the world. My goal with this business is to make you think about your food as medicine. We specialize in natural, organic juice with proven health benefits and immune system boosting properties.
Food has the ability to heal, prevent illness and reduce the risk for disease. That is my goal with Immunity Juice. I am extremely proud of the concept and branding for this business. I consider our packaging unique to the brand and look forward to sharing that in the Fall as well.
Immunity Juice will be available for local deliveries and pickup this year. The biggest impact I can leave is in the health and wellness industry and look forward to where that will take me in the future. I have big dreams for Immunity Juice, and I am excited to share my vision with the world.
What quality or characteristic do you feel is most important to your success?
- Email: email@example.com
- Website: https://www.oakcityyogaraleigh.com/
- Instagram: @paula_fresh
- Other: http://immunityjuiceco.com/
Jared Bundick for the yoga photos. Adam Temple for the logo and Andii Puliafico for the others