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.

Lisa Mecham | Creative Entrepreneur

My first business was born out of necessity. At 21, I was pregant, single, unprepared, and completely broke. One of the first baby supplies I shopped for was a diaper bag ….. and I quickly realized that I couldn’t afford any of the ones in the store. I even went to thrift stores to see if I could find one in my price range second-hand, but couldn’t afford any. Read more>>

Dontaiz Rouse | Cosplayer, Designer, Construction Estimator

I came up with business through a combination of trail/error and taking personal inventory of what my actual skills are. I’ve always been a creative person, but never though of my skills monetarily until pursuing my day job as an engineer. In my spare time I would paint and alter my clothes. Day after day, my peers told me I should sell my work. I pursued commissions as a sneaker customizer not knowing the creativity I was nurturing would turn into something else the very next year. Read more>>

Radesha “Desh” Dixon | Author, Model, Poet, Certified Life Coachh

I’ve always been someone to dream big. I have vision boards. Years ago, I was engaged. I realized I wasn’t happy and progressing like I envisioned. He was a good guy, just not the right guy. Unfortunately, we grew apart. After the breakup, I went on a spiritual self empowerment journey. I didn’t date anyone for awhile, just really focused on me. I read a lot of personal growth and development books in addition to books on spirituality. When I say spirituality, I mean books by Gary Zukav, Marianne Williamson, and Michael Bernard Beckwith, for example. I have always been into performing arts. I use to dance and write when I was younger. I picked up modeling and pageants in my teenage years along the way. Read more>>

Yohana Oshun | Spiritual Artist & Creator

I suffered through a lot of trauma in my life and I grew up very angry and shut off from the world. At the age of 28, I had a bit of a revelation and just wanted to be better as a person. In the journey to better a better person, I realized that I had a whole lot of healing to do, but I didn’t know the first thing about healing from my traumas. I had always been super creative and found calm in doing DIY projects. So I went to the craft store and bought a few canvas’ and paint. I had no idea what I wanted to paint so I just let my hands move. By the time I had finished that painting, I felt lighter, more calm, so I kept painting. Shortly thereafter, I was told I could make money painting. Like, “I can make money while healing myself, while being creative! Why not?!” And so here I am… Selling my creations, that I’ve infused with so much healing energy and love. I’m just grateful to have found my passion and purpose. Read more>>

Judy Manivanh | Charcuterie Creator

I started creating boards for my own consumption & eventually started to share when friends or family would come over. Then a few of my friends asked if they could pay for me to make one for them to take to parties or small get togethers. It really didn’t come into a business thought until during Covid. I started to drop off small boxes at friends & families doors for a small snack & just a “I’m thinking of you guys” thing. & then BOOM! Honey Melon + Board was born. Read more>>

K. “Pendu” Malik | Dancer, Choreographer, Director, Movement Trainer

My idea for my business actually came gradually over the years but really stuck with me when I was teaching a workshop in Toronto , Canada and this slightly older woman just blurted out that my class just so “Afro” and “so Sexy” and at that moment I was like “ah ha that’s it” During the course of my career I always loved fusing technical dance with moves of the African Diaspora and loved attacking them with sensual intent. At first I did it for fun but then it became a thing and everyone I teach or choreograph for always loved my choreography. Once I did all of the office stuff with logos, trademarks, patents and etc I had to make a mission statement and that mission is to empower women using dance, culture, sensuality and alternative art forms to explore our beauty no matter what size, color, background. We are all beautiful! And I do apply this to men but most of my audience has been women for the past 6 years but I definitely include men whenever they want to come. Read more>>

Anne and Gina | Co-Creators/Hosts of the Dames who Dish Podcast

We are neighbors and friends (Dames actually) who enjoy a good podcast AND reality TV. Just a couple years ago, reality TV had a definite stigma around it – it was known as a “guilty pleasure.” We found it a bit embarrassing that we actually watched it and honestly didn’t admit it to each other until a few years into our friendship. Soon after, we found every time we got together that’s all we talked about! Our other friends had no idea what language we were even speaking! We then realized there were no podcasts in this reality tv/after show arena where the hosts were closer to OUR age. Our perspective (as “ladies of a certain age,” 55 and 57) is much different than a person in their 20, 30’s or even 40’s. So, we decided to start our own podcast! Read more>>

Rachel Nipp | Content Creator

So I actually started selling pieces with jewelry in 2015. I was a college freshman and home for the summer. I’d always had a lot of different artistic interests and wanted to try out making products. I remember smashing seashells in the garage to fit them in a tiny jar, and buying little glass balls and string on the internet. The first necklace I sold was shaped like a Cheeto, and it broke in the mail. I also started painting watercolors that summer. I sent one to a friend who was at camp, and she suggested I paint some places around our college town (Athens) for our dorm room. I did, and another roommate suggested I sell those. That’s when I really got started. Read more>>

Larry Smith | Life and Spiritual Coach

This is an interesting story. I have always been the person everyone comes to for advice. I don’t really know why, but I believe that it is because I tend to be non judgmental, direct, but logical. One day I was speaking to a group of people, and one of them suggested that I should give Life Coaching a try. I immediately ignored the suggestion, because my own insecurities told me, that I was not good enough to be a life coach. Over the next few months, I heard something about Life Coaching all the time. I took this as a form of divine messaging, so I enrolled in 2 courses, a life coaching course and a spiritual coaching course. I found the materials to be very interesting, and in line with much of what I already believed. Read more>>