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.

Laetitia Lopez | Jewelry Maker and Automotive Color and Trim Designer

I have been lucky to work for multiple industries in the luxury market such as fashion, interior and automotive design. Those experiences taught me a lot about the manufacturing process of trimmed parts or products using noble materials such as leather. I am very attached to sustainability and try to avoid waste as much as I can. I realized that we have an opportunity to use the leather offcuts (and other materials) to save them from landfill. This is how this project came to life. I started to cut geometric shapes out of tiny samples and scraps to make Wall Hanging and then Jewelry. Read more>>

Taylor Jackson | Podcaster, Executive Assistant

I like to say that I didn’t come up with the idea for my podcast, instead it came to me. I always had the idea of wanting to talk about music for hours and being paid for it, but one summer I was going through a really rough patch in my life, and it just hit me to start recording about how I navigate the emotional journey of the early 20’s. The phrase “be who you needed when you we’re younger” is my mantra and what keeps me going with recording. I love the fact that I’m helping people figure out who they are and the tools they need, because it took a lot of work for me to do it for myself, so if I can help at least one thing I’m on the right path. Read more>>

Samantha Jean-Francois | Royal Richness

I started Royal Richness back in 2018. At that time, I thought that I had finally found a product that would keep my skin moisturized for the winter season, As far as I can remember, I always had trouble keeping my skin hydrated; growing up my skin was dry, itchy, and rough. One day as I was applying on the lotion, I said to myself, ” I like this lotion but what’s in it?” When I turned it around and read the ingredients, I quickly realized I had no clue what these ingredients were; let alone pronounce them. During that time, I was transitioning to more of a healthier natural lifestyle, and that’s when the idea about that maybe I should try to create my own lotion, with natural ingredients. I started to do some research and discovered body butters and how it benefits the skin. Read more>>

Mikayla Ricks | Death Doula, Healer, Poet, Author

I know this might seem silly, but I got into death doula work, specifically, because of a TikTok. In the summer of 2021, there was a video of this community of First Nations people that came across my timeline that I have never forgotten. This was around the time hundreds of kids’ bodies were being recovered from the Marieval Indian Residential School. The number had gotten up to 600 by the time I came across a video of the Cowessess First Nations community — along with other indigenous people and allies — traveling to that school and taking a month-long trip on foot to walk their spirits back home. Read more>>

Shunte’ McClellan | Melanated Campout Co-founder

Melanated Campout was started by three friends: Jocelyn McCants, Shunte’ McClellan, and Cayela Wimberly White – but only after Cayela made us believers. She insisted that we spend a full weekend with her so that she could teach us how to camp properly and have a great time. We were skeptical. Why would anyone want to sleep outside? She talked about the healing properties of nature and how good the sleep would be. We took her up on the offer and thoroughly enjoyed it. Immediately, we knew we had to share this experience with others. Read more>>

Katuria Bankston | Medical Aesthetician

The conception of my business was truly a natural progression of being in the beauty industry for over 25 years as a Master Cosmetologist. My mother opened a hair salon in my hometown when I was about two years old and along with my older sisters, we built a real family legacy. I’ve always loved fashion and beautiful things, and although it is easy to cover our outsides with hair, make-up and clothing, it was only right that I invested in myself to learn how to properly treat our skin and body. Thus, Eunique Radiance Aesthetics & Wellness was born. Read more>>

Bayleigh Vay | Astrologer & Women’s Spiritual Wellness Coach

As I’ve continued to grow throughout my life, I’ve gone through feeling sad, confused, and angry. I’ve felt lost in my life direction, and I’ve felt lonely. But I realized that I wasn’t the only one who felt this way. I realized that everyone in some way is searching for meaning in their lives, everyone wants to heal, and everyone wants to achieve success and happiness. My business idea came from my own painful journey of enduring a long term emotionally abusive relationship and finally learning how to heal from the negative effects it had on my life. Read more>>

Jaiden Banks | Bowie state University entrepreneurship major & Business owner

The idea or as I would say the meaning behind my brand came from a situation that happened to me recently. I launched my brand after the mere fact of reality that hit that showed me who my “friends” were. This brand is an apparel company founded on the principle that when certain opportunities come, those you call your loved ones – “friends” turn on you with no second thoughts on how that would emotionally and mentally effect you or as the brand states — “Stab you in the back”. The main goal is to inspire our community with the latest clothing and style trends and to also walk with your statement, meaning turn your pain into passion and you don’t need friends to make it happen ! Read more>>

Malikr Curry | Founder

Initially we wanted to create an online sneaker magazine. Our business was to provide the most updated information regarding sneakers, releases, and news. However, as our following grew we wanted to expand our business and start offering our own merchandise. That’s how our first collection ‘Stay Fresh’ got it’s start. Now we release loungewear annually under the ‘Stay Fresh’ brand. Read more>>

Kateryna Hutchens | Owner of Modern Shine Clothing Store

Fashion plays an important part in our identity. Ever since I was young, I remember being grossly fascinated with anything that’s shiny and glitters. I’ve always dreamt of creating a clothing line where I can use amazing jewels such as rhinestones to put a spark on even the most mundane clothes. I’ve always believed that great things can be born out of our creativity. When I moved to the US from Europe, I realized there was a lack of suppliers, at least for the dresses and clothes I loved. I searched far and wide, and sadly, there just wasn’t enough. So I decided to bring it here. I love anything with rhinestones, and I was sure that many women would agree. Bolstered by this, I built up the courage and started my online store, Modern Shine Clothing. Read more>>

Honey Harmonia | Spiritualist and Occult Sciences

Growing up I’ve always been very in tune with Nature & Spirituality. I always felt how much Life Naturality really has. I grew up in a Traumatic Household, but I just knew there was always a light at the end of the tunnel. I would Pray but to Nature and the Gift of Life. Honey Harmonia is a Business that I created with the idea that Natural Healing and Energy heals not only the Body, but the Soul embedded in the Body. Read more>>