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.

Carlyse Thomas | Founder & CEO, The Curly Cape

It all started during a scheduled “wash day” weekend in October 2019. If just the thought of wash day doesn’t make most naturalistas already hesitant enough, I knew that I had a long weekend ahead with the process of taking out my crochet passion twists, detangling, pre-poo, shampoo, deep conditioning and then styling. Furthermore, I have low porosity combination 4 type hair so I knew that the detangling and pre-poo portion of the process was not going to be a walk in the park. In the process of using a creamy conditioner and tons of water to pre-poo my hair, I became annoyed with the constant dripping of product onto my shoulders. I was forced to constantly grab a towel to wipe the product and water from my skin. Desperately trying to find a remedy for this annoyance, I wrapped a towel around my shoulders hoping it would help with protecting my skin and tank top. Read more>>

Lucy Richardson & Joan Castañeda | Empanada Experts

They way we show love is through our cooking. We both come from different food backgrounds that we brought together and had so much fun doing it! People would request for us to cook for the church and their families. We also have a heart for people and families in need. One day we decided to open our own catering business to diversify and unite our community through their palettes and hearts. Read more>>

Elana Frank | CEO & Founder, Jewish Fertility Foundation

When I went through infertility I felt hopeless and alone and thought I was literally the only one going through it. It affected every part of my life and especially my relationships with my husband, family, and friends. It was not something I ever spoke about at first with anyone – even my family, until after I had my first 2 kids in Israel via IVF and found myself in the Atlanta JCC pool speaking with other moms. Suddenly – we were talking about how much our babies cost us – I couldn’t believe so many other people went through this same experience that I did At first, I wanted to just help people financially so they would not have to go through the financial hardship of having children via fertility treatments. Then we realized it was so much more than money – money is great and so helpful but additionally, people really needed emotional support and educational training. And so the mission of the Jewish Fertility Foundation began. Read more>>

Jared Olkin | Founder & CEO, Revolution Gelato

It was fueled by personal need. I grew up eating super premium, full-fat dairy ice cream in my mom’s homemade scoop shop in North Carolina. Later in life I slowly started moving toward a plant-based diet. I tasted the options that were on the market and just found them disappointing. They were okay at best. So I started making my own non-dairy ice creams and just got obsessed. Once I realized I had a recipe that was better than anything on the market and that it was a sizable market, I began to see and pursue it as a real business. Read more>>

Ryan Blythe | Founder, Georgia Trade School

I had worked for a technical school in Atlanta that taught welding and industrial maintenance. The school had ownership issues and lacked a business plan or modern equipment. After limping along with 90 percent of its revenue coming from government grants the school finally closed in 2011. Despite that failure I was convinced there was a tremendous need for alternatives to college and the career skills being taught were in high demand. Location would be critical as would finding the right staff and developing a sound business plan. We chose the suburbs of Atlanta where there were more high school students that would be seeking a pathway after graduation. Additionally locating close to a large public university afforded us student housing opportunities for our students coming in from other states. Read more>>

Morgan Findlay | Transformation Specialist & Actor

After our team collectively have spent many years in the fitness industry, working for other people, gyms, studios and other organizations, we saw a need that was only partially being fulfilled. Fitness, we felt wasn’t to be pigeonholed to simply virtual strength or HIIT classes, but needed emphasis on the rehab and recovery side of the industry, the education behind movement and the ‘why’ we do what we do, which was heightened during the lockdown phase of our current pandemic, and particularly within the online sphere. Mindfulness and meditation is something that everyone can participate in, and obviously reap the rewards through a better understanding of self worth and self love. We developed a hybrid class that catered to all three elements of the mind, spirit, and body. Read more>>