Brianna Bullentini is a young entrepreneur and designer out of Reno, Nevada. She sat down to talk with us about what made her take the leap into entrepreneurship and the health/wellness industry, juggling 5 businesses, how design impacts everything she does, and why she decided to leave New York and return home to start it all.
I saw the opportunity with RAWBRY when I was working on other design concepts for juice, and just saw a niche market with somebody that needed to bring it more attitude. Call somebody in that would otherwise want a hamburger. How do I bring that guy in that’s on the corner that would never come into a juice bar. So I brought that in with attitude, I mixed in hip-hop, black on black, and created this whole new niche market that has applied to maybe not your average juice drinker. But it came through my creative eye and then learned the business side. So I took the leap and then design still finds it’s way into my everyday, and my career still finds it’s way in, but yeah that initial first step outside the norm was a little nerve wracking.
It’s just my lifestyle right. So I wanted to show that in concept where other people can enjoy it too. I was always finding myself going to certain models and seeing just a way that it can be improved, whether that’s in a larger city or back home where there wasn’t anything like this in Reno. So I think as a creative kind of visionary you just see this concept and you bring it to life, and they all happen to fall in line with the lifestyle that I live. And they all talk to each other too, so it’s made it easy to open 5 businesses in one year, it’s made it easy that they all talk to each other and are a collective.
Reno’s on this boom, a massive renaissance, definitely like an urban revival happening to the town. So with that it’s an opportunity right, and with Nevada no state tax, so financially it made a lot of sense. Me personally, I feel you can only go so far, there’s a ceiling in larger cities. Whether you’re in New York, LA, Chicago, there’s only so far as an entrepreneur that you can really do and create impact within your area, within your demographic. So I saw that as, if I’m gonna do this I should do it somewhere where it truly will affect the community and we’ll see from there and almost use it as a sandbox model. If it works here then what if then we can take it back to Brooklyn, to these other neighborhoods.
It’s been unbelievable. I was a little nervous at first, because again when you come with a very forward thinking, progressive concept you never know if people are gonna turn a cheek or understand our price point, and it’s been a home run. So that’s just been part of the Reno story as well, that not just me but several young entrepreneurs and creative thinkers are coming to that area to test their model and actually have an impact in their community versus just being one in a million out here.
I would love at the end of it all, not to get too lofty and heady, just to see that you’ve made an impact. And that can be with one person, that can be with just a few people that you inspire to go and be a business owner or leave their 9 to 5 and go test the waters. So I think that just inspiring others to create awesome concepts. I meet people everyday that are like, ” I kinda wanna work on this, I’ve got this awesome idea for this cool company…”, so just being that guy in their life, that’s the ‘Why not’ guy, to kind of encourage them I think that’s “success” to me or something that I feel’s rewarding that RAWBRY’s been able to do.
Accomplishing just the idea of kind of creating this life on my own. I think millennials at large are doing that where they’re sculpting kind of the career that they want to have, or the lives that they want to have, or the neighborhood they want to live in and being a walking living proof of that is incredible everyday to see that you’re literally designing your world around you.
It’s insane! Literally owning 5 companies this year’s been nuts. On top of all of that, having a social life, and attempting to try to still meet these people and network even more. It’s crazy. I always joke that, “Thank goodness I own a juice bar, because it can fuel me and I can have that natural energy.” But I swear by and can’t emphasize enough about scheduling. I’m old school, I write everything down, I have a million sticky notes, but that keeps me on track and that keeps the visions that are in my head on paper to become reality and to be time managed. Other than that, as a creative mind you forget what time it is, you’ll stay up all night, you have an early morning pitch. So I think scheduling is kind of a magic tool to stay on track.
Taking care of yourself. Sure you may have to sacrifice here and there, but as soon as you let your health go or your sanity go you’re done right, all of the businesses will fail. So kind of both of those in check and with that it’s the perfect recipe to just keep adding more to the plate.
Design’s everything! I’m even the obsessive one where I’m saying design is part of my diet, design is part of my thought process, design is part of my handwriting, design is part of my house. So I think design isn’t a physical entity, it’s not a career, it’s just the way I live and walk through the world. As a creative mind that’s just how I think. Some people are methodical and very math driven and number driven, and that’s not me. Those are almost like the opposite. I just think that’s how I problem solve, that’s how I exist is just through this design mentality. Even though I’m in very brick and mortar juice bar, salad bar, design has it’s very strong place in each one of those concepts.
My team; I mean all of this is great and I’m the one that initiates, but I literally couldn’t get out of bed without my team. So that’s been so helpful to be able to be inspired by them and their hard work that they’ve put in everyday is so inspiring. They’re almost treating it as an ownership too which is super encouraging.
I think fearless is what every single entrepreneur but even anybody this day and age needs to have. I think society will inject fear in you in every aspect that they can. Whether that’s applying for college, or you gotta go get your job, or even in a relationship or friends, like there’s always this fear, this anxiety. I think to kind of go through life fearless and just make that mistake because you’re never going to end up in a lesser category. You’re always going to be growing and learning, and what’s the worst that can happen, you’ve gained experience. I think that’s something that I’ve exorcised from a very young age from so many different chapters in my life. I’m always the ‘why not’ right. You either suffer the consequences and you learn or it catapults you farther than you ever would have thought. Absolutely fearlessness is number one recipe for an entrepreneur.
Expanding the brand of RAWBRY and seeing what avenues that goes down. Not to get too nitpicky, but going into delivery, going into wholesaling, a lot’s happening locally with RAWBRY but also nationwide with RAWBRY. Also going into this urban planning that I never would have thought. As a designer you’re looking at one project and now my scope has grown to this. So that’s kind of what’s next is taking the city at large as my project and I’ve never worked at that scale before. So I think this year’s going to be interesting and challenging.