It takes a lot more than an idea to build a business, but there can’t be a business without the idea. So we asked folks who’ve built wonderful businesses to tell us about how they came up with the idea in the first place.

Anita Rajendra | Innovator, Marketer & Entrepreneur

It’s interesting because I have 3 children and you would think I came up with the idea for La Belle Bump during one of those pregnancies. But no; that’s not when. I came up with the idea a couple years after my last pregnancy. I was working at The Coca-Cola Company but was ready for my next career adventure. I had always wanted to have my own business but didn’t know what business so I was in the process of brainstorming business ideas and researching options. One day, at work, I was in a meeting with a colleague who was pregnant; she was complaining about buying maternity clothes. That sparked something in me. I agreed with her; maternity clothes are expensive and frankly, I never wanted to spend a lot on “temporary clothes”. So that one conversation was the catalyst for La Belle Bump. Read more>>

Guildia Lopez | Visionary, Event Planner & Curator

The name Brothers and Briefcases came to me in a dream. At the moment, I didn’t know what it meant. This was April 2016. I wrote it down on a piece of paper and placed it inside of a book. That same year I noticed that my anxiety was being heightened due to all of the police brutality and the death of countless black men just like what we are going through now back then it was Philando Castile while we were recovering from Alton Sterlin and the countless black men life cut short at the hands of the police. I knew I couldn’t live like this and I wanted to do something about it. I wanted to highlight Black men in a positive way. I wanted the world to see Black men through my eyes. I wanted them to see them as humans! I called a close friend of mine and I told her I wanted to have an event highlighting Black men from different walks of life. June 2017, I had the 1st Brothers and Briefcases event, now we have a total of 27 alumni. Read more>>

LaShanta Smith-Tott | Custom Cake Designer

Well when I started baking I started with Cookies, hence the name “Cookie Crumbz”. I had this insane idea that I was going to offer an endless amount of flavors for cookies…traditional and non traditional. I thought it would be a good idea to have a cupcake to match each flavor of cookie. I started on the cupcakes and forgot allllll about the cookies and it’s been cake and cupcakes every since. But I’ll return to cookies soon…I promise! Read more>>

C. Nathaniel Brown | Writer, Filmmaker & Coach

Expected End Entertainment was created to merge my interests in the written word and images – still and moving, So we created the company as an incubator for all things media and entertainment, including book publishing, film production, and consulting and coaching services for creatives. Read more>>

Amy Leavell Bransford | Esthetician & Salon, Spa and Tattoo Studio Owner

The idea for SparrowHawk Studio was sparked by a female tattooer in town, Cori James, and ignited by my desire to expand my other business, Aviary Beauty + Wellness, where we provide hair and skin care services in a boutique setting. In 2017 I was feeling the itch to grow as a business owner. One day Cori was in the shop and expressing her frustration at the tattoo industry and how she didn’t feel like there was a shop that fit her personality. Standing in the Aviary she said, “I don’t understand why I can’t tattoo in a place like this!” It was a really good point…at the time there really wasn’t anything that supported a tattooer who felt like they didn’t fit the mold of traditional shops. So I recreated the idea of what a tattoo studio could look and feel like and SparrowHawk Studio was born. Read more>>