Ideas aren’t everything, execution matters greatly, but starting often requires an idea and so we asked folks to think back and tell us the story of how they came up with the idea for their businesses. We’ve highlighted some of our favorite stories below.

Whitney Holofchak | Founder

Bonnie + Bud Bonnie + Bud was created in December 2014. At that time, my little ones were 1 ½ and 2 ½ and we had just celebrated Christmas. With children that age, I felt disheartened, as did many of my friends, that I did not have the time or resources to create thoughtful gifts for my loved ones for the holidays. Soon after Christmas, on December 28th, my Grandmother Marcum’s birthday, I had a dream that my husband and I owned a piece of land called Bonnie + Bud Farm. It had a garden and a pond and it was lush and beautiful. I woke up that morning feeling inspired by my dream and the idea behind Bonnie + Bud came together. Read more>>

Ereka Tamayo | Entrepreneur

I decided to develop Pivot Cleaning Services to create a path from Corporate America to Brand Building. I was at a place in life were I was working 60-70 hours a week and still felt under-valued and unappreciated. I wanted to start working hard for myself, instead of others. I have had many jobs that have prepared me to go into many fields and excel. Cleaning is something that I do naturally. When thinking of my transition, I wanted to do something with purpose. I thought back to the most comforting help that I received to motivate me to “push through” hard days. The one thing that kept coming to mind was the one time that I was really struggling mentally. Read more>>

wendi Blum Weiss | Success Strategist & Conscious Leadership

While working in the pharmaceutical industry, I starting reading about the power of affirmations to bring more positivity in your life. so I decided to buy some Sharpie markers and tee shirts and wrote inspirational messages them. They are started with a question “What is Your Destiny?” I decided to print them and sell them at trade shows and they became a big hit. (celebrities starting wearing them; Rachel Ray, Chelsea Lately, Whoopie Goldberg, etc). People started asking me for advice around the messages on the shirts-I wrote my first book containing the messages on the shirts. Read more>>

Shana Richardson | Designer

Growing up I was surrounded by people that showed me, anything was possible. My mother was a teacher and my father a solider. They made sure my bother and I understood the value of hard work. My father always had an entrepreneurial spirit and he instilled in us the same. My mother was a creative. She was the person everyone relied on for decor ideas, wedding planning; those types of things. Growing up in this environment lead me to want to start my own business. I just didn’t know how or where to start. Read more>>

Alisha Kumar | Founder, MPOC Marketing LLC

I started my brand, MPOC (Marketing Proof of Concept), to support minority owned women led businesses. After experiencing corporate culture in my first few years post-graduation after attending an extremely liberal undergrad college, I realized the serious gap that exists in minority representation in the workforce. It was really clear to me that minority owned brands didn’t have access to the same information, resources, or support that it’s non-minority owned counterpart did. Read more>>

Vern Hamilton | Online Fitness & Nutrition Coach

I started my fitness journey after the birth of my second daughter in 2011 literally transforming my body with a set of dumbbells in my living room. I was determined to return from maternity leave better than ever. Upon my return I started using the gym at work and people started to inquire about my journey! I used that gym every day Monday through Friday for 7 years. As I saw how inspired my coworkers were I decided to start an Instagram account strictly for my fitness journey which was Yntbfit. Read more>>

Travon Mills | Fashion designer and owner of Richie Duvon

I always had a passion for fashion, art, creativity, and a vision for helping others become brave by breaking out of their shell of fear. Richie Duvon stands for bravery and leadership. I believe to be successful, you have to be brave enough to take the risk and opportunity that you’re afraid of. A lot of us run away from our dreams and goals because we’re afraid of the “what if’s” and thoughts of failure. But a lot of people just don’t speak about it. One thing I’ve learned is that every successful business had/has “failure” which is ok, you just have to learn from the mistakes and keep going, no matter how much doubt you have as long as you believe in yourself that’s all that matters. Read more>>

Brian Weaver | Owner

Back in 2018, our oldest son was shooting a film and had sourced some military uniforms for his actors. We had custom hook & loop (like velcro) patches made for the uniforms in the military “scorpion” colors of bagby green, od green, and black. I asked the vendor if they could do full color patches and they said they could do any patch in thousands of available colors. I had been toying with the idea of doing a custom patch for our three local schools because our children were evenly spread out that we would have one in elementary, one in middle and one about to be in high school. Read more>>

Jason Brooks | Vending Guru

As a father, you always want to give your family an even better life than what you’ve had. I came up with the idea that would become VendDaddy after researching side hustles and realizing that vending machines could be a way to create passive income. I immediately discussed the idea with my wife and we decided to move forward with this plan. Read more>>

Ereyemi Medinat | Ayinkefoods

Growing up in a family were they believe the work of a girl is house chore is horribly🤦 and being the only girl of the family am loads with lots of work from cleaning, washing, cooking mobbing etc and most especially peeling beans for akara, moi moi and other beans related and picking cook beans is really stressful for, I remember I do cry when peeling and picking beans bcoz it somehow stress full This crying/grumbling when peeling/peeling beans continue still I was (16) cos then I was just 12 to 13years..when I was (16) I started looking for remedy on how to make picking/peeling beans easy for me, we are d type that do bulk foodstuff buying eg bag of rice, half bag of white beans (peeling), Read more>>

Ashley Campbell | Charcuterie Board Artist

Back in 2020, I was suffering severely with postpartum depression after giving birth to my third child. Being isolated and in quarantine for months, Instagram became more addicting than usual. On my journey trying to lose weight, I followed many influencers to see what methods they used to begin a healthy lifestyle. I stumbled upon a page and became an instant fan—I loved her personality and transparency. She became my friend without knowing it herself. Read more>>

Quiana “Queen” Whitfield | Educational Hair Chemist

I’ve always been passionate about hair in general from creating the latest styles and my very own custom hairstyles, colors , cuts , braids etc. Being my natural hair is 4c most the styles I love to wear required heat. Putting to much or not properly protecting your hair from heat causes hair damage. I never experience hair damage due to always educating myself on the Do’s and Don’ts. Being a hair stylist I feel it’s your duty let your clients know what will help improve hair growth and how to maintain healthy hair. Read more>>