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.

Christie Person: Founder and Owner of Stronger Than U Know

My daughter, Laila, was born 3 1/2 months early and was in the NICU for 3 months. This was an emotionally and physically exhausting time for our entire family. About four years later, God placed it on my heart to start a community focused on providing resources for parents of premature infants. I didn’t actually act on it until about four years after that initial idea came about. The early part of the pandemic provided me with additional time to focus on making the business a reality. My hope is that our resources will reach those who are most in need of receiving encouragement while caring for a premature infant, particularly African American families, who have the highest rate of prematurity in the US. Read more>>

Christina Abney: Songwriter and Cosmetics Business Owner

I love ALL things self care, especially skincare, I’ve also worked at cosmetics stores, and the last cosmetic store I worked at didn’t sell body butter, yet there were customers that would inquire about it. So while on furlough (due to the pandemic) from said job, I decided to create two recipes, one for people who workout out or deal with muscle aches/pain, and one that works for people who have sensitive skin/eczema, but suitable for all skin types. So I came up with Glacial Healing (fabulous for sore muscles, arthritis, menstrual cramps, pre/post-workout, headaches, the list goes on…), and CBDelight (your one size fits all that’s excellent for dry skin).
Being that my songwriting name is “Penning4YourThoughts” and I go by “Penni” for short, I decided to call my business “Penni’s Potions”, so it still ties into my first love (also hence the names of the products being inspired by songs). Read more>>

Jevadni Neale: Nail Tech & Artist

The way I came up with the idea for my business is actually quite surprising. During COVID I was not able to get my nails done that’s were I decided to do them myself. Everyday I would practice doing nails on myself and post it on Instagram. Next thing I know my followers wanted to book with me. So I said to myself if I’m going to do nails I’m going to brand myself and take it to the next level and so I did. Read more>>

Raquel Smith: Celebrity Stylist/Entrepreneur

As Beyonce’s longtime stylist, I was immersed in creativity. You never know where inspiration will come from.So it’s important to stay open to be inspired by everything. I had pulled some eyewear for Beyonce one day and Blue, Beyonce’s daughter, tried them on. That’s when I had the idea that it would be cool to get matching styles for Beyonce and Blue. I called the designer whose eyewear I’d pulled. The designer said that said that it could take up to four months to redesign and fabricate a pair in a suitable size for Blue. Needless to say, that was unwelcome news. And that’s when I had the idea to do it myself. I started sketching and reached out to friends in the eyewear game for guidance. I felt strongly that there was a niche for matching fashion eyewear for children and their parents. Read more>>

Dr. Glori Monroe: Your Covergirl for Everything Beauty! Spiritually & Physically

When I decided to start my business, I wanted to do something I personally enjoyed as a customer. So I began to brainstorm on things I like to do for fun and would pay money for. Spa’s has always been my go-to for fun and relaxation. So I thought, why not open my own sap. I believe if you are going to make money, you might as well make it doing something you personally enjoy. Read more>>

Jai Wright: Founder of Ajae Beauty

postpartum Psychosis. Post-Partum Psychosis only occurs in approximately 1 to 2 out of every 1,000 deliveries, or approximately .1-.2% of births. It’s a rare condition that is not talked about enough. As I was healing and going through the process of therapy, one of the techniques I learned was aromatherapy. Aromatherapy is the use of aromatic plant extracts and essential oils. I continued to use aromatherapy in my day to day life after postpartum. Since I’ve always had a love for skincare, I thought why not combine the two and I came out with my line of aromatherapy skincare products. Ajae Beauty is not just a skincare line though, it’s a community for women, mothers, and anyone that has suffered or is suffering with mental health. It’s a space to find resources and have the uncomfortable conversations. It’s a a space where we make sure self-care and mental health remain a priority. Read more>>

Danielle T: Fashion Enthusiast

As a kid I’ve always had a love for fashion. Putting together fun and creative looks always brought me joy. I even won best dressed my senior year of high school. So I always knew I wanted to be involved in fashion, thus launching my own online boutique Elle Selah. Read more>>

Abhita Austin: Founder of The Creator’s Suite

The Creator’s Suite is a company I started to support women DJs, producers, and audio engineers by providing them with access to education, increased visibility, and career opportunities. I began my career in audio engineering in the late 90s at Quad Studios in Manhattan. Noticing the lack of women in studio spaces back then, it planted in me that first seed of wanting to create a welcoming space for women in music production. In 2013, I began volunteering my time to support various community-based music production organizations. Overtime, I fell in love with supporting emerging women creatives and in November 2018 I officially formed The Creator’s Suite. Read more>>

Jenny King: Inspirational Speaker, Host, & Author

Honestly, I started posting on Instagram (or what I like to call micro blogging) more frequently about three years ago. And I noticed that people were actually interested in what I had to say. Truth be told I began sharing more because I wanted to develop my voice. See when you’ve struggled with low self-esteem your entire life it can be difficult to express yourself or talk about your own thoughts and opinions. That was something I wanted to work on and so I did. I put myself out there, poured out my heart, provided insight into my self-love and weight loss journey, and I can’t tell you how many times people would tell me how much my posts inspired them. That’s when it hit me, I could really make something out of all of this. I guess you could say the idea for my business came from my desire to want to help people overcome the same struggles that I’ve faced throughout life including low self-esteem, poor self-image, and weight loss. Read more>>

Sarah Daxton Taylor Couch: Sustainable Stylists

I have always felt very welcome in the world of fashion. A motto in my family, generated by my Grandma Marge, was “When you feel bad, look your best.” This clearly communicated to me at an early age the power of wearing clothes that project how you want to be in the world. As I grew up, I used this power to change my life without realizing what a skill it was. Wearing clothes that both looked great and made me feel good has become a significant coping skill for my lifelong depression. I have been a size 00 to a size 20 and, all along, I felt empowered to find clothes that fit me and who I wanted to be. It wasn’t until college that I fully understood that many people did not have this sense, that clothes were meant to fit them, and not the other way around. I now understand my privilege in feeling free to explore my style and knowing that clothes can be a tool, no matter your goals, size, or body. Read more>>