Our community is comprised of some absolutely brilliant entrepreneurs and so we asked a few of them to tell us the story of how they came up with the ideas for their business.

Tenia Wright | Chief of Programming, Freeli TV

Freeli TV was born out of the goal to serve African-Americans and other people of color by providing entertaining content geared towards our preferences. Our CEO, Jack Carter, had the bold idea to create a linear-streaming platform that mirrors the traditional television viewing experience through a preview/channel guide, but whose content represents urban culture. Where other linear-streaming platforms may have a few channels geared towards this demographic, Freeli TV has over 50! I work with a team of creative individuals who are dedicated to bringing urban culture to the forefront of TV programming. We don’t just want to be in the room, we want to OWN the room. As Chief of Programming, I have the esteemed pleasure of scheduling curated and licensed shows and movies, but the real blessing is having a platform where we are able to partner with other urban content creators to provide a space where they can showcase their work. Read more>>

Aysha Treadwell (Cooper) | Family Centered Senior Care Strategist

I was an owner/operator of an adult day program in Snellville, GA since 2010. I decided to officially close the center offering adult day services in May of 2020 after we had been closed for two months due to the pandemic. During those 2 months of what we thought was temporary closure, I knew I still wanted to serve the caregiving and senior community. Over that 10 years, we had experience and helped caregivers in crisis. Caregiver’s not keeping their self care a priority while not being proactive in their loved ones plan of care either, that was the birth of McKinley Caregiver Resource Center. Serving caregivers and seniors with education, tools and resources to empower them in their caregiving journey. Read more>>

Ishmael Cotton | Music Producer & Musician

My dad, the late Alex Cotton, produced music when I was younger, so watching him growing up sparked something in me to want to do it too. I loved how he could take nothing and use his creativity to make it into something. Read more>>

Allison Ballard | CEO, Ever After Bridal Atlanta

I would say that ultimately it was of course working in the bridal industry that brought this hidden passion to the surface. But I can vaguely remember attempting to rearrange the pearls and lace on my mothers wedding gown when I was only 4-years-old. This lets me know that I’ve had a passion for bridal long before my work ever began. I always tell people that I started my journey in the bridal industry was found completely by mistake. God has a funny sense of humor. As I wasn’t necessarily looking for a summer job I was bored at home and decided to apply at a popular bridal store here in the Atlanta area. It was there that I knew I had a hidden passion for bridal and styling bridal parties. Read more>>

Tiera Lamb | Creator of Body Beautee

The idea came from a place of need. I’ve Freire several different location, creams, oils etc. nothing worked long term for me. I found myself having to reapply every hour or so. I have really dry and sensitive skin so I have to be very careful with I put on skin. After several failed products I decided to do make my own body butter with the ingredients that works best my skin. I wanted it to be whipped and easy to apply., non greasy, and fast absorbing. I wanted it to smell good to the point where I felt good putting it on. And more importantly I wanted it to last longer than 5 hours and have long lasting effects that would help heal my dry patches and skin conditions. After years of trial and error Body Beautee Whipped Body Butter was born. The perfect non greasy whipped texture, a smell that makes you feel beautiful and ready for whatever, long lasting moisture, benefits, and a glow like no other. Read more>>

Jacqueline Noble Foster | CEO | Author | Speaker | Empowerment Coach

The idea for my business actually came to me through a night of calm and peace. I am a two-time breast cancer “champion” and while recovering from my second season of breast cancer in 2015, the name, My Pink Window, presented itself through a dream. I didn’t know what I was supposed to do with it or how it would play a part in my already hectic world, but I knew there was a reason it was given to me. The name remained ever so present in my mind for three years until I decided to explore its’ meaning and decided that my purpose was to help women reveal their true selves, regain a sense of self-worth, and reinvent themselves for success. Read more>>

Kimberly Card | Copey Creek | Owner and Operator

My career started in elementary education and lasted for nine years. My time in the classroom offered up many opportunities for me to hone my communication skills. Interfacing positively with brides and grooms and their families has been such an important part of what I do. I’ve always had a creative side that I have been able to satisfy with portrait photography and digital art over the years. My eye for lighting, photography, and design has allowed me to bring worthy suggestions to the table when making plans with couples. With that being said, planning large scale events isn’t always easy. Couples and families with clashing ideas need gentle guidance and reminders to shift focus to what is most important. Namely, the marriage and all that it represents. In the wedding industry, stress is almost encouraged. I try to do everything that I can to derail that idea. Starting with the way we have formatted our wedding package, to the way I communicate, all the way to wedding execution. Read more>>

Tamara Rochelle Boyd | Fashion Designer

I came up with the idea for my business after my experience of working as a fashion designer for a small business apparel manufacturer. The advantage to working for a company of this size instead of a major brand is that I had an opportunity to fill many different roles as a designer. So considering my skills and abilities, I had found my niche market in small business apparel manufacturers, retailers, and start-ups. Companies of this size could benefit from contractor design services to ensure that the job is complete professionally in a timely manner without too much expense. I also provide consultation services which have come to benefit clients who are new to the industry or lack an understanding of technical aspects to design. Read more>>

Sonya & Necota Staples | Outdoor Experience Experts

We first began camping in 2016, so we could reconnect with each other and heal our marriage. Both our friends and family had a lot of questions regarding what we did while we camping. We soon recognized that in the Black community, there can be a huge gap in knowledge and experience, when it comes to camping and other outdoor activities. We then made it part of our mission to share out experiences and help create diversity in the outdoors. To help everyone feel safe outdoors, we now we provide consultations for the beginner or someone trying to upgrade their setup for camping, off-roading or overlanding. Read more>>

Doretea Burton | Author and Podcaster

My business idea came a truly odd source, my husband’s divorce lawyer! During our divorce trial, he was arguing that after nearly 25 years of marriage, I deserved little or no alimony. I had been in a relationship with my ex from age 17 through 46. At 22 we married, I didn’t return to college and began working while he pursued a career as a physician. When he graduated, we were 27 and I began staying home with our children. Eventually our family grew to include six children who were home educated. My ex’s assertion was that there was never love between us and that I hadn’t helped him become a doctor. His lawyer said, since I was “bragging about writing his medical school scholarship essay” which earned him a full ride through medical school, I should become a writer instead of receiving full alimony. I understood his comments were sarcastic, but I thought seriously, why not?. Read more>>

Michele Josey | Financial Coach

I wish I could take credit for my business and the name, but God gave me everything. I actually never had a desire to be an entrepreneur. However, in mid-late 2019, God put a desire in my heart to launch out. Even while taking steps, I had no idea what it would actually look like. As I continued to walk by faith, everything continued to unfold; the name, the logo, the training that I would l need, ideas and strategy. Read more>>

Casi Johnson | Founder of Sam Corley Publishings

Sam Corley Publishings was basically started out of inconvenience. I am a pediatric speech therapist by trade and when I first entered the workforce, I accepted a job in the school system. While I learned so many foundational skills for working with children experiencing language delays, the one aspect of my time there that I wish I could have done without were all of the meetings! I found myself in school meetings for a large portion of my day and week. This took away from the time I was able to work with the students that were already on my caseload. So, I decided that to make the most of the limited time I had with my students, I needed to develop an activity that was not only engaging and fun, but also able to target all of the language goals that each child had. So, I started writing children’s books. Read more>>

Mike Jackson | Founder

In May 2011, I was diagnosed with Stage 4 Pancreatic Cancer and given 4 months to live. I had a lot of things to think about such as what haven’t I done or what I could have done better. The 4 months went by and I continue to have these thoughts but I also thought about dying as well. Fast forward it’s Sept 2013, and God speaks to me and tell me that I am healed by his stripes, I tell my doctors and the all agree that I am a walking miracle. I was asked to do a tv commercial for Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa which aired in 2014, then I was featured on the 700 Club on 10/7/2016. It was 4 months later that I have an encounter with God, and he told me that he wanted me to impact the lives of children in my community. And I thought about my late Mother and what she meant to me and how she loved kids, and then I thought about other influential women in my life and That’s how The Women of Virtue Foundation was formed and we are going into our 10th year, and to be sharing this story at this particular moment is really SPECIAL because it’s Mother’s Day in a few days. Read more>>

Antonio Adkinson | Health Fitness Specialist & Barefoot Trainer

Its really my lifestyle. I just turned it into a business. I love to see people healthy and that starts with nutrition. Read more>>

Shon Barnwell | Chief Master Sergeant, USAF, Retired

Upon deciding to write a book on leadership, it was very important to me to chart my own path. As a result, Barnwell Publishing LLC was founded. Additionally, it was equally important to create a platform where people who served in the military – especially women and minorities – could also share their stories with the world. Read more>>

Talia Leslie | Stylist and Sustainable Educator

There is a saying – “do what you love, and you’ll never work another day in your life.” The ironic part about starting my business is that I had been fueling my passion and molding myself to live my dream for my entire life. During my adolescent years, I shared several moments with my mother who had a special gift for scoring great finds in thrift stores. From my “first day of school” outfits to my homecoming dresses, my mother and I would thrift to find the most stylish pieces at a good value. There is such a rewarding feeling to find the perfect fashion piece while on the hunt in a thrift or consignment shop. I desired to help other individuals feel that same feeling, so I channeled my passion and started a business where my clients could benefit from a vary of services to include personal shopping, styling and even authentication of luxury items. One of my favorite parts of the experience is showcasing just how far your budget can stretch – which gained a heighten focus from customers when the pandemic hit. You can learn all the tips I have to offer in my book Stylish Minds, Frugal Finds. Read more>>

Rose Diggs | CEO/Founder of Down 7 Up 8 Incorporated

The way I came up with the idea for this business was thinking about the facts that I was and had been a foster parent for 4 years at the time, and I was finding out a lot about the Foster Care System from both the children in care as well as my foster parent experiences. I felt at the time that there was a great need to help these children I was caring for as well as others in the system. Many of the children I fostered did not have any idea about simple things of life such as, having or building high self esteem, the difference between a debit versus credit card, the importance of getting a solid education such as finishing high school and getting a trade or higher education degree, the importance of having financial knowledge, how to dress for success, and more. Read more>>

Vanya Francis | Perinatal Yoga Instructor & Holistic Birth Doula

Cherished Life Yoga + Wellness was birthed from my personal passions, and recognizing there was a void in the yoga and wellness industry I could fill. My passion for holistic wellness started with yoga and later expanded to include holistic health coaching, wellness products and doula services. They all work in tandem. In talking with yoga students about the importance of wellness for mind, body, and spirit, I also wanted to be able to educate them on nutrition and lifestyle factors. After supporting clients during pregnancy with yoga and health coaching for nearly a decade, I made the leap to also include doula services, allowing me to provide the same holistic care I offer throughout pregnancy during birth and beyond. Read more>>

Carter Pope Jr. | CEO and Co-founder, Creekside Recovery Residences

I’m in recovery myself, so launching this business was a passion project for me. After I left treatment, sober living seemed like a good option as a next step in my journey. I had specific criteria, including a location close enough to family in Buckhead, a tailored approach to my program that would allow me to work on my professional life, personal life and my recovery, and a living situation that provided privacy and space. There wasn’t anything out there that fit my needs so I decided not to go. I was lucky enough to have an incredibly supportive cast that helped me in early sobriety. Many of my friends didn’t go to sober living for the same reason but unfortunately didn’t have a strong support system at home — and ultimately relapsed. I started Creekside Recovery Residences to fill a void in the Atlanta marketplace by providing luxury sober living homes in Buckhead with individualized, tailored recovery plans for residents. Read more>>

Katherine Kise | Author, Board-certified Health and Wellness Coach + Global Business Consultant

As a child, I suffered from a severe nut allergy and asthma. Throughout childhood, I had numerous anaphylaxis reactions, which worsened over time, and in some cases, I barely survived. As an adult, I developed additional allergies, auto-immune imbalances, and chronic illnesses, despite a “healthy” and active lifestyle of eating low fat and low-calorie foods and following weight-management and longevity-building best practices. A menagerie of doctors and experts dealt with my symptoms from breakouts, to severe fatigue, to multiple sclerosis-like symptoms. Of the many doctors I saw, only one thought to dig deeper to get to the root of all these issues!. Read more>>

Langston Jones | Advocate, Creator, Orginator & Stylist

EYE-den-ti-tees were founded by Kansas City native Langston Jones in hopes to set a positive influence on people off all cultures, backgrounds, and creeds. Throughout his teenage years, like most teens, Langston struggled with self esteem, and image issues. With the inspiration to have a voice and be seen, he then started to create this “classic” yet “chic” controversial line, EYE-den-ti-tees. Working alongside top models, countless fashion shows, and endless fashion opportunities, Langston’s main goal is to bridge the multicultural gap between generations. Read more>>

Rickkita Riddick | President & Founder of Sisters Healing Sisters Inc.

My purpose and life experiences led me to start my nonprofit organization. My purpose is to help others and using the trials and tribulations I went through led the way for my organization’s formation. Read more>>

Bianca Marsh | CEO-LipsBYB

I have always loved makeup and fashion. I decided that I would like to develop my own lipstick/lipgloss brand. Lipstick and lip glosses are the most commonly used makeup among women. Most women want something on their lips whether they are going to work, running errands, or headed for a night out on the town. I wanted to develop a brand that offered something for all ages and skin types. My goal was to offer top quality and affordable lip products. Read more>>

The ATL Blacklist | The Database Connecting You With Black Creators & Businesses Around Atlanta

During George Floyd and many other tragedies, we realized that we needed to figure the next steps for the Black community and also a centralized place for resources. Resources from those within our community and for those that look like us, specifically in the Atlanta area, hence The ATL Blacklist. Read more>>

Edi Hayes. MHRM, SHRM-CP | Career Instigator, DEI Enthusiast & Talent Advisor

Her Career Café was birthed from my frustration of working in Human Resources (HR) over the past 15 years and seeing people of color unfairly treated during the recruiting process and in the workplace. As an HR professional and a double minority myself, I’ve always made it my purpose to advocate for underrepresented minorities, but felt like I could do more. Hence, I thoughtfully created Her Career Cafe to help people of color navigate their career and inspire them to reach their full potential, while being their professional, authentic-self. Our tailored career solutions to include; career consultations (i.e. pay negotiation, workplace conflict resolution, job search strategies), resume revamps, interview prep and overall – career coaching are for everyone; college students, 9-5’ers, and blue/white collar folks (I hate those labels) at all levels. Read more>>

Shavon Carter | Owner, Purposed Publishing Company, LLC

I started Purposed Publishing Company in 2011 after following a prompting to write a book. Since I was a little girl, I have always journaled to capture my thoughts and emotions, so I loved to write. In 2007 I started writing daily devotionals and emailing them to a group of family and friends. They started sharing them with others and my email list grew to over 1,000 subscribers. After writing the daily devotions for a few years, I was encouraged by a family friend to compile them in a book. When I started researching info about publishing a book, I realized there wasn’t a lot of information available about how to publish a book from beginning to end. I had to do a lot of researching and consulting with other authors to figure that out. Eventually, I published my first book “Living For Today: Inspirations for the Soul” and thought I would just publish my books. However, after publishing my autobiography “Dear Ms. Wholeness” in 2016, I was prompted to begin helping other authors publish their books. Read more>>

Jacquelyn Cade | Owner, Arianna’s Kloset

You may have noticed the name of my business is Arianna’s Kloset but my name is not Arianna. Arianna is my second child and oldest daughter. As a mother who is also a business woman, I wanted to give my children the gift of entrepreneurship. For each of my children I have started or plan to start a business that as they grow they are able to participate and learn the ins and outs. It will be amazing if these are areas they grow passionate about and become even more involved. As with my oldest he has taken his learnings and is using it to create and monetize a YouTube channel. Read more>>

Tonice Joyce Taylor | Motivational Speaker & Entrepreneur

In 2012, Glamlon Beauty Bar started out as Glamlon Ministres which consists of a Women’s Prayer line, Bible teachings, Encouragement, Building a personal relationship with God and much more targeting social media. The prayer line would operate M-F 7:00am-8:00am & Sunday’s 10:00 pm. Fast forward to 2017, I have been modeling for various hair companies, hair shows, not to mention doing outstanding projects with well-known mentors. During that time, I gained knowledge and understanding on how to run a professional hair boutique. Read more>>