Daisy Ramirez is the founder of Village Connect and a Nonahood resident. Read our interview with her below!
Nonahood News: What is your job?
Daisy Ramirez: I am the founder and owner of Village Connect, a business directory platform. It launched in August of this past year, and it’s dedicated to the businesses and the community. We’re trying to help the community find and support our local businesses before shopping elsewhere.
NHN: What does your day-to-day schedule look like?
DR: First and foremost, I make sure that my son is off to school and make sure that he’s got everything that he needs. Over summer, it’s a different challenge because we have to keep him entertained, but I make sure everything’s good there first. Then, check emails, respond to different requests and, most of the time, work on marketing. … It’s getting the word out on the platform that it’s available on Facebook and Instagram and then developing relationships, attending networking meetings, making phone calls to see what some of the ideas are in the area and what some businesses are struggling with to see what we can provide them.
NHN: What would you say is the most challenging aspect of your job?
DR: [The] Village Connect site is a startup, so you have all the startup pains. When you’re trying to scale and grow your business, it’s difficult if you don’t have the staffing and resources. Right now, I can think of maybe four people that I really need full-time to really do this. If the funding isn’t there, then you’re always struggling with that. So, I would say it’s resources to bring people onto the team and then the resources and funding to make sure that we can grow the business.
NHN: What would you say is the most rewarding aspect of your job?
DR: The businesses – if there’s anything I can do to help the businesses make a connection, to make an additional sale, to improve a process where they can save money. I’m just blown away because we’ve just gone through COVID, and it’s just a true testament to the perseverance of these businesses where they change everything and they make things work. I just want to be around that. I owned a business in California before I moved to Florida for about 14 years with my husband. It was a software development company. So, I’m really familiar with what it is that businesses have to deal with, like managing cash flow, talking to vendors, having tough conversations. I just love to be around it because there’s a lot of grit in what they do.
NHN: Do you have any interesting hobbies, collections or interests?
DR: Outside of spending time with my son and my husband, we love traveling. We got an RV during COVID, and we did a cross-country trip to visit our family in California. We love adventure trips where we throw everything in the RV and figure things out on the way. I also like to renovate. I like to build. I built my desk. I think it all started with all those home renovation shows.
NHN: Where do you see yourselves in the next five years?
DR: In the next five years, my son will have graduated from high school. That is a very pivotal time because we need to assess what the next chapter is. I think that’s why Village Connect is very important to me. I see myself then, if not now, completely engulfed in it. I would also love to travel to Italy, Greece and New Zealand.
NHN: What brought you to Lake Nona?
DR: My sister. My family lived in Florida. I had lived in California with my husband for about 15-16 years. We would always come visit here and stay with my sister here in Lake Nona. We had reached a point in California where the cost of living was tremendous; I had run into a couple of medical issues, and perspective started to change a little bit. Our son was getting a little bit older. He was about four years old, and it was time to decide where [to] raise him. We have an amazing family in California, but it was just time to just make the move.
NHN: Where are you from originally?
DR: I’m Puerto Rican. I was raised in Ohio.
NHN: What would you say is your favorite part about Lake Nona?
DR: The community. I think there’s something here that is unexplainable. I never feel alone here.
NHN: What would you say to anyone who is considering a move to Lake Nona?
DR: Do it. I mean, if family, health and wellness are things that are important to you, you know that this is the place that you want to be.