Behind the Scenes NYC: Starting a NY-based company from another Country

Behind the Scenes NYC: Starting a NY-based company from another Country

Chamber Member News Post Date: 03/08/17 Source: Behind the Scenes NYC By: Fernanda Paronetto

Starting a NY-based company from another Country
By: Fernanda Paronetto – Founder of Behind the Scenes NYC

I’m Brazilian (Yes! Not a New Yorker!). Which is actually better, believe me. Most New Yorkers I know are not really interested in exploring their own city, and area always going to the same-exact-eternal-places-they’ve-always-gone.

I always had this indescribable passion and curiosity for NY, so I was often here visiting, always uncovering the best hidden spots, events and brands. The city is just so dynamic, alive, full of novelties, so multi-cultural, beautiful, with an intense energy…the list can go on forever.

Initially I wanted to move right after college, I had a couple of plans, but then you start working, having serious relationships…then suddenly BOOM!…you’re over your 30’s and still back home.

I tried so hard to come to NYC back in 2011. I spent an entire year shooting emails, staying late hours on LinkedIn, researching every single MBA and 1-year-course in multiple schools in the most diverse fields that I was interested, having crazy hours of Skype interviews, reaching out for contacts I had through friends living in NY, etc. It was c-r-a-z-y, and exhausting!

Conclusion: Nothing worked. Something wasn’t quite right during the interviews, I missed the course’s application deadlines, LinkedIn contacts simply faded away… I was devastated.

Everyone was always moving to NYC, and WHY couldn’t I move too?

Years later, on April of 2014, I decided to come to NYC for 4 days, during Easter Holiday, with my sister. One random day when we were exploring Williamsburg, we decided to have lunch in a Polish place that had recently opened, called Dziupla. In the middle of a random conversation, I interrupted my sister and said “You know what? In 1 year, I’ll be living here in NY.” Obviously she looked stunned and asked "How" I was going to pull that off. I had no idea, but I just knew I was moving.

Just days before this 4 day trip, I was researching “hidden spots” I’d like to visit with her, decided to create an Instagram account and started shooting posts.

After a few days of working on it, a New Yorker sent me a message saying: “Hi there! I was born in NYC, have lived here my whole life, and hadn’t heard about this restaurant. I went to it last night, and simply loved it! Thank you for the tip!”
I thought: “WOW! I’m in Brazil, in my room, giving tips to New Yorkers that are actually enjoying them…and thanking me!!! I must be doing something right…”

I wanted to write about the best hidden spots in town, far away from the crazy, touristy scene, teach people that New York is definitely not synonymous to Manhattan, talk about places Upstate, engage with the amazing local community…so, the name couldn’t be more perfect.

I have a huge group of friends that lives in NYC, so back then I reached out to all of them, told about my new project and asked them to be my curious “eyes” in the city (until I was able to move). During their free time they’d feed me with the best, updated places, events, secrets, while I was starting Behind the Scenes NYC from back home. One of the best ways to start something new is reaching out to you own group of friends, family, acquaintances, etc.

So, for a full year, I barely slept, working countless hours, but felt just so happy and certain I was moving to NY in 1 year. Certainly persistence, the desire of creating something new and the certainty that what you are doing is going to benefit millions of people, gives you strength and focus to carry on. If you work on a egocentric project that benefits only you or the focus is only money, the chances of it working is practically ZERO.

On September 2014 I went back to NYC. Landed and went directly to my first meeting with my (future) lawyer to talk about the work Visa I wanted. I talked a bit about my career: 2 years in 2 different Import/Export companies, 3 years in Marketing at Kimberly Clark, 3 years as an Executive Producer at Vogue Brazil magazine, 2 years leading a startup of a global concierge company called Quintessentially, and last, before moving to New York, as a Tenant Mix Manager at the biggest and most renowned luxury shopping center group, called Iguatemi (Jereissati Group).

I told my lawyer: “I want a work Visa, to work for any industry and company that wants to hire me in New York and legally earn money, declaring all my taxes”. You might be laughing now, right? Well, so did he. He replied: “Every person coming to NY would love a Visa to work for any company and declare taxes accordingly.” I simply said: “Don’t laugh. I’m positive we’ll get it.”

You don’t need to know “How” you’re going to do it, you just need to know “What” you want to do. That has to be clear in your mind. The “How” will come to you through the most unexpected people and situations, trust me.

So, after going over all the different types of Visas I could apply for, we found the perfect one for me! I started working on it from October/14 until late November. Then I had a sudden health issue which put it on hold for almost 50 days. Curiously, I didn’t freak out…I just kept thinking on all I had to do for my Visa’s paperwork when I got better and how life would be amazing when I finally moved.

On January 5th, 2015 I got back on it and back to my job. I handed all the paper work in the beginning of February.

During the entire time, I was already preparing myself for the move. Talking to people and companies I wanted to work with, organizing my entire monthly budget to understand how much I would “cost” in NY, looking at the apartments I wanted to visit as soon as I landed, asking referrals for Accountants, making up my mind on which Bank I would open my account in and every other detail involved in moving. It was all planned once I left Brazil.

New York is a very, VERY competitive city, as we all know, so just wanting to move is surely not enough. You have to be 100% prepared.

So, 5 months and 780 pages later, my Petition was submitted and my approval came in only 10 days, instead of the default 60!

As planned…I arrived in NYC on April 20th, 2015. My dream come true!

The day that I was at Dziupla and said that I was moving to NYC in 1 year, was April 20th, 2014. I moved exaclty 365 days after saying I would. The power of words! I really believe in this. It’s a combo: thoughts, words and actions. They don’t work separately. What you think, is what you say, is what you do. In every aspect in life.

Now, being a “New Yorker by choice”, things are clearly easier for me (work wise) and our team of Contributors continues to grow and grow…as does our +100k online and offline community.

I can say with property that constancy of aim and effort, creativity, loyalty to your brand and mission and being open hearted to flaws and change are what helped us reach this limitless growth in our community, through the power of Social Media. We are growing strong and with a robust foundation that will help maintain the quality and objective of our work.

We launched our Website last year, which has become a great database of the best places, brands and events in NY, with an extremely unique curation!

We work with major companies hosting their executives and organizing events/meeting/dinners/outings/experiences, plus, we offer a huge range of services for people that visit or live in NYC. You can see more about our work here (

Obviously starting from scratch in a new country is very challenging and the “no’s” you receive are countless, but if you believe in your work, that you deliver the best for your client and for the community, you have a greater goal (other than simply making money) and you work on strengthening your resilience, then you only need time for your work to mature and be recognized by others. Manage your anxiety and continue doing what you do best…the world will see it.

One of the beauties of New York is the endless networking opportunities with like-minded, interesting and creative people, so taking advantage that you are in a unique city like this, is certainly something not to disregard while in the process of creating a brand or company. People are opened to innovative and disruptive ideas! Explore yours!

As we always say: “We’re Uncovering New York, strengthening the local Community and disrupting the status quo of New York’s tourism far from the touristy scene.”