Immacula Paul, Cellars International Realty
While Cellars International Realty provides real estate services to the general population, the company has a special mission: to help women coming from domestic violence shelters build their credit and gain financing to achieve homeownership.
Immacula Paul is the Founder and CEO of Cellars International Realty, a full service real estate firm based in South Florida. Leveraging 13 years of real estate experience, Immacula started her own company as a way to provide assets and generational wealth to her children. While Cellars International Realty provides real estate services to the general population, the company has a special mission: to help women coming from domestic violence shelters build their credit and gain financing to achieve homeownership.
Immacula herself is a survivor of domestic violence, and shares that what made her stay in her past relationship was the fear of being homeless and the resulting financial instability. When she got the courage to leave, she was able to change her mindset, get her credit together, and start saving. Through her business, Immacula wants to be that resource for other women – to help domestic violence survivors integrate back into society and gain stability and independence through owning their own home. Immacula shares, “As a single mother, I’ve always dreamed of owning my own home, but life’s unfortunate events caused me to lose focus on my dream…I want to give women like me a voice, inspire, and bring life to the darkness that plagues our mind, body, and soul. I am here to let them know that you deserve to be…to live, to thrive, and to rebuild.”
Immacula started Cellars International Realty in 2020, right before the pandemic hit. While Immacula has more than a decade of real estate experience, she didn’t have any experience as an entrepreneur. And with the tough economic climate during the early months of the pandemic, Immacula needed help finding loans, grants, and other business development resources. In 2021, she was referred to PCV’s BusinessAdvising.org platform by another small business assistance organization and we paired her with PCV pro bono advisor Shi Hawthorne, Managing Partner at Business Flipper. Together, Shi and Immacula are working on foundational processes that elevate the company’s marketing strategy. Shi also helped Immacula prepare for her very first pitch competition at StartUP FIU, an entrepreneurship innovation hub based out of Florida International University. Most recently, Shi connected Immacula to other contacts that helped her craft a press release and other content for her company. Immacula plans to use that press release to showcase her business to potential partners and investors.
Immacula shares that because of PCV and her advisor, she got connected with resources she wouldn’t have gotten as a first-time solopreneur. “I’m grateful. And I mean every word of it, because PCV found the right person for me…it’s very seldom that I find someone that I can connect with…and the organization really just puts the entrepreneur first and makes sure that they’re not only there just to take space, but they’re all there to grow and thrive.”
Immacula is actively growing her business and looking for business partners to help scale Cellars International Realty. Success to her is being able to help as many women as possible with her business and to be a beacon of light to those in the same situation she was in many years ago. “I just have a heart of service for those women, and just being able to get the gratification once you get them into that home. And they’re so happy and they’re so thankful…that’s what brings me joy at night.”