SideHustler#2: Iris, the juice maker. Career shift, when people want to live from their passion.

By Romain Jean-Jacques
Revised by Nicoleta Stoodley

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Facebook : Not your exotic juice

Whether it’s a disruptive event or whether it’s a desire to fully express their potential as individuals, career shifts come with its lot of challenges. We are looking back at the enriching and inspiring journey of Iris Linares, who has a bachelor degree in sociology and sexology. She started a cold-pressed juice business, Not•Your•Exotic Cold Pressed Juice , in 2015.

Her experience made her understand what most people have trouble understanding: being an entrepreneur is not all glorious and there are many sides to take into consideration. Her business was doing well, but she was unable to manage the growth of the company. She could have made a profit, but she was auto-financing herself. She didn’t know about all those entrepreneurship bursaries. So when she reached a point where big clients were interested she didn’t have the cash flow to send these orders to production, which is when she realized she had to gain more knowledge. That’s why she decided to go back to school in management so she could learn to run her business properly. Right now she’s doing a degree in Management at HEC, and, despite the fact that she had to stop running her business while at school, she is very proud of her decision. Making that switch is not always easy, and like many of her classmates, she is working twenty-eight hours a week as a waitress at different places as the William Grey Terrace, Perché and  Maggie Oaks while studying fulltime. She used to work from 5pm to 12am as a waitress/bartender and from 6am to 4pm at her juice company. Those long hours would kill anyone who does not take care of themselves. It did. Indeed, it affected her mental health for a while and even brought her to question the reason why she started a business.

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Let’s go further back, her passion for juices started in 2013. At first, she was making them for herself, then she expended her passion to others. It was important for her to share the benefits of a healthy diet, through an easy way and funny way: a juice. The fun part of her juicy business was to allow her to be creative with the recipes and to meet new people. She also liked the reaction people had when they tasted the samples. The interaction and the personalization of each service proposal would always allow her to put her own touch. That was what she liked the most about her daily work.

As we know, nothing comes easy so there are many unpleasant sides to be an entrepreneur. Notably the paperwork, especially in the food industry which requires a lot of licenses. When you put lawyers in the mix it can get pretty hectic! She also hates the accounting, and because of the lack of providers available in Montreal, the production can also get tricky.

Juicy business has its own issues. For most of the people, her company was just another green juice company, without considering the time and work someone has to put into something to make it unique and stand out. There’s no secret when you want to start your own company, you have to do a market research, analyze it and innovate. It is not necessary to re-invent the wheel, just adapt the business to the needs and desires of the costumes and the community.

“Please if you do have an idea that you want to materialize don’t do it like me, only out of passion. Be prepared, have a business plan that is solid!”

For Iris all those experiences allowed her to explore how to become better and give back to the people of her community. Her business did well, she loved what she did. Right, she is taking a small detour to grow her company by returning to school. She wishes to acquire her degree and to go work elsewhere to gain more experience, before re-starting her business.

Finish this sentence: In my punch’ I put

 Pineapple (duhhhhh lol ) +  a pinch of determination and tequila 😉

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Photo : Facebook Iris Linares
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