As an art student, Pauly Ramirez didn’t see herself in the business world –– but that didn’t stop her from becoming an entrepreneur. After graduating from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) in 2016, Ramirez co-founded Hermit, a platform that uses a unique algorithm to match artists with buyers looking to commission original work.
But Ramirez’s journey as a 24-year-old business owner hasn’t always been smooth sailing. “It was extremely difficult, not because I didn’t think I could do it, but because I thought I didn’t have the skill set,” she says.
Ramirez, who came to the United States from Mexico at age 6, is the youngest of five children and the first in her family to earn a bachelor’s degree. It took time for her to build confidence as an entrepreneur.
“It was learning from zero,” Ramirez says. “I had to find my mentors.”
While attending SAIC, Ramirez became an entrepreneur-in-residence, where she received support to get Hermit off the ground.
Ramirez and her co-founders have been bootstrapping the platform, currently in the beta-testing phase, with plans to launch it publicly in the coming months.
Watch the video above to see how Ramirez overcame her insecurities and grew into the entrepreneur she is today.  

This content was paid for and produced in partnership with the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, which works in entrepreneurship and education to create opportunities and connect people to the tools they need to achieve success, change their futures and give back to their communities.