Our Founder, Fê Paronetto, was recently featured on Bond Street. They are a startup focused on transforming small business lending through technology, data and design.
See below an excerpt of the interview, but she sure to read in full. Fê talks about how she landed in New York City after dreaming for over 10 years about it.
Plus, her inspirations, the Visa process, why New York City, how it was to run a business form over seas. Wait! And still, how the curation process works, favorite collaborations and what’s the most rewarding part of her work!
Fernanda Paronetto always wanted to move to New York City. It was something that was constantly on her mind, even as she danced between a variety of different professional pursuits at home in Brazil. She made frequent visits to the Big Apple, but it wasn’t until 2014 that she made the resolution that in a year, she would be a resident of the city of her dreams.
Prior to visiting New York in April 2014, Fernanda started an Instagram account to highlight local haunts out of the spotlight — a tourist guide for those who wanted to experience NYC in an non-touristy way, so to speak. Although under a different name, Behind the Scenes NYC was born, and quickly picked up traction gaining nearly 60,000 followers in the following two years.
Although Paronetto is now a full-time resident of Fort Greene, her first year of BTSNYC operation was run from her bedroom at her mother’s house in Brazil — 5,000 miles away. And this was on top of a full-time job.
What distinguishes Fernanda Paronetto from others in the booming Instagram category is her commitment to delivering top-notch content, uncontaminated by monetization.
That’s right, since the beginning, Paronetto has built BTSNYC into a thriving platform without selling out. Rather, she has expanded upon her original vision by monetizing offline with concierge services — corporate and private travel planning and management, art tours, private event organization and relocation services to name a few.
With a website launched this March, Paronetto has given anyone — from tourists to natives — the opportunity to discover a unique restaurant, rooftop bar, beauty salon, day trip or other miscellaneous finding that they never knew existed. Not to mention, each recommendation is packed with enough additional information to serve as a mini-brochure for the respective spot.
Below, we talk with Fernanda Paronetto about her “Aha” moment, the value of collaboration and how she has built a business without compromising her values….
….to be continued here. See what she answered for:
- How would you describe BSTNYC in a sentence?
- What inspired you to start BTSNYC?
- Was your Visa process difficult? Did you ever think that you might not make it to New York?
- Why did you choose Behind the Scenes New York City (and not another city)?
- What was the process of starting Behind the Scenes NYC like?
- You ran BTSNYC from Brazil for a year before moving to New York. How were you able to manage that logistically?
- Have you raised any outside capital? What was the experience like?
- What is the curation process like?
- You started BTSNYC as an Instagram account. What can you share about how to grow that channel?
- Social proof?
- I noticed on your website that BTSNYC offers concierge services. Can you tell me a little more about this? Was this a part of the original vision?
- How do you determine who to work with? What has been your favorite collaboration to date?
- And, what has been the most rewarding part of starting BTSNYC?
- What is the one piece of advice that you would give to someone looking to start their own business?
- Your 5 favorite independent businesses in New York!