Our city is home to so many incredible businesses and so we asked the founders how they came up with the ideas for their businesses and have shared their responses below.

Melissa Sprinkle Brown | Mom, Wife, Entrepreneur

Growing up, I was always drawn to the idea that I could create a product and bring it to the world. My Mom was my guinea pig for all my business ideas and said I was a born entrepreneur. Most of my ideas never got beyond my Mom’s kitchen, but I always knew that I would someday create something for people to enjoy. In 2001, I studied abroad at University of New South Wales in Sydney Australia. I was fortunate to live in the beautiful towns of Coogee Bay and Bondi Beach and absolutely fell in love with the people, the culture and the aussie “no worries” way of life. Read more>>

Angel Lewis | Boutique Owner & Med Student

I’ve come up with the idea for my business with my obsession for affordable clothing. I feel as a woman not only do I love to dress comfortable but I love to dress sexy and be able to achieve it for under $100.00 Read more>>

Jamie Simon Sr | Master Barber/Advocate/Entrepreneur

Jamie has had a particular interest in the interface between mental health and generational poverty. The role that education, mentoring and indigenous leadership can play. His goal is to help people feel better about themselves in order to promote positive self-esteem. Read more>>

Ariel Powell | Photographer

So, I was always the photographer of the family. When we had reunions and family gatherings I use to always take photos so I decided to start my own business which Is Lioness Films & Photography. Read more>>

Kevin Thornton | Life Coach and Author

I came up with the idea of being a life coach from my experience being coached. In 2011, I was coached by Iyanla Vazant and her team. She was led to offer a free 9 week coaching to the first 100 black men that emailed her. That experience helped me on my journey of self elevation but it also showed me how much our men needs a space to go and be vulnerable without being judged, so they can heal and create the healthiest version of themselves mind, body and spirit. Read more>>

Leah Wiegand | Nonprofit Founder and Yoga Educator

Laughing Dogs Yoga was inspired by my two children and my past work as a teacher. Growing numbers of children are suffering from anxiety and other mental health issues. Our children are often over scheduled and over stimulated. I created Laughing Dogs Yoga to give students a place to learn coping skills and self regulation in a fun, engaging way. We also know that at least two-thirds of children deal with adverse experiences, so I made sure to include trauma informed practices in our classes. It truly takes a village to raise happy children, and our goal is to support the children who most need it. Read more>>

Autumn Vassell | Verified Travel Consultant

The idea for my business came from my love of travel. For the past 5 years, I have enjoyed traveling the world and experiencing new cultures. It have been my favorite hobby and what I am known to always do. My family and friends would always ask, “where am I headed next” or “when is my next trip”. As a result, I would get a lot of questions from them on travel advice or destination recommendations. This triggered the idea of making a business out of it. I knew with my experience that I could help a lot of people who aren’t familiar with traveling or are looking to travel affordably. Read more>>

Tanisha Naughton | Plant base wellness coach

My mother was diagnosed with diabetes and after I helped reverse it by eating plant base and making herbal teas it gave me the idea to start making herbal teas that can help cleanse the body and coach clients on how eating cleaner can help prevent disease. Read more>>