We had the good fortune of connecting with Nathalie Yerak and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Nathalie, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
I come from a family history of entrepreneurs, I think it’s in my blood because I have always known that at some point in my life I was going to start my own business. However, in the last couple of years this thought became more prominent as I experienced different situations that made me feel that this was the right time!
I have a Masters degree in organizational psychology, I pursued this career path because of my love for using data to improve processes and lead positive changes in organizations. Making things easier, better and more efficient are some of the drivers that help me to lead a fulfilled life, where I have a sense of purpose and a healthy work life balance. A passion of mine is to help others achieve this lifestyle as well and with the Great Resignation amongst us there is no better time than now.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
After graduate school I had the opportunity to move to Washington DC for work, this was a tough decision for me as I did not want to move away from my family. My mom obviously did not want me to leave but she put her feelings aside knowing that this was a great opportunity for me and encouraged me to take the leap. I remember saying to myself, what is the worst possible scenario? If I hate it I can quit and come back home, I decided to take the job and told myself that I would try it for at least 1 year. Well, almost 5 years later is when I ended up moving back to Miami for another opportunity that offered me career growth.
The first couple of months in DC were tough, I didn’t know anyone and it was about to be winter but I kept telling myself that this was where I needed to be to get to where I want to go. There were some challenges along the way but what helped me get through them was counting on my safety net of friends and family that were always there for me. Talking through things, sometimes even just saying them out loud was helpful and would give me the strength that I needed to keep going. I was able to get the work experience that I needed to grow in my career and eventually find a job where I wanted to be, Miami.
If there is one thing that I would want the world to know about me and my story, is that I didn’t always know if I was making the right decision but you need to truly listen to yourself, what your gut is telling you and sometimes just go with it. It might be tough to see the benefits of it right away but in the long term you will know that it was all worth it.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Miami is a great city and there are endless things to do. If my best friend was visiting the area I would plan a couple of good food spots and activities.
We would begin the week at a slower pace having a nice dinner in downtown Coral Gables, there are many different restaurants to pick from, I would love to try Luca Osteria on Giralda and enjoy one (or two) bottles of wine while we talk and catch up. The next day we would start early, going to the supermarket to grab snacks and head to the beach in Key biscayne. After a couple of hours we would pass by Piononos to try their famous Pavlova dessert and then head to Vizcaya to walk around and take some pictures together in their beautiful gardens. After this I am sure we would be tired, a night in would be great to recouperate and start early the next day where we would go walk around Lincoln road and the Perez Art museum and grab a nice Spanish dinner in the area at Barceloneta.
This is where the weekend begins (Thursday- Sunday), thursday would be wynwood walls where we can walk around, see the shops, take pictures and grab nice happy hour at any of the bars or breweries in the area. Then on Friday I would suggest getting all dressed up and going to brickell city center, there is a lot do to there many places to shop and grab food. Ending the night bar hopping where we can hang out and enjoy the night. To end the wonderful week, we would sleep in and head to coconut grove for brunch at greenstreet cafe, then day drinking and walking around coconut grove. Closing the weekend with wonderfun food and happy hour at Sushi Garage!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I truly believe that behind every great woman there is a great army! There are tons of people that have crossed my path for one reason or another and all have helped me become the woman that I am today. I’ve had professors, colleagues, mentors, friends and family that have been there for me through the good times and the bad, they have shared advice and have guided me as best they could. However, If I had to chose just one person who deserves credit and recognition in my story it would be Ana Maria Yerak, my mom.
My mom is the definition of hard work and dedication. She has shown me how to be strong when I need to be strong, how to be vulnerable when I need to be, and most importantly how to truly care for others. As I explained previously, one of my drivers for launching Sama Solutions with my partners is to help others lead a fulfilled, purposeful and balanced life and this passion is rooted in the early teachings that my parents ingrained in me. Every human deserves to be happy and we are all here to help each other. Through Sama, we hope to work with organizations to put their employees first and to truly care for them.