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.

Lisa Hackney | Artist & Owner

I wanted to share my gift with as many people as possible. “Love, Li Art” focuses on custom black art and mobile paint parties. My paint parties are unique because the majority of my parties start with a blank canvas. I truly enjoy teaching and I love watching people beam with pride once their painting is complete. Read more>>

Demetria Barlow | CEO/Branding Design Specialist

I have always been a creative person and always had an entrepreneurial spirit. Making shirts actually happened on accident. A friend had asked me to pick up some materials for a project she was working on. While at the store I was talking to the attendant there and she actually told me that the equipment I currently had to make invitations with my other business Fresh Focus, Read more>>

Kristal Bryant | Owner and Operator of K & J’s Elegant Pastries, LLC

I studied Culinary Arts for 4 years so cooking has always been my passion. After working in the food industry for many years, I started branching out and baking cakes. The baking side allowed me to be more creative and expand my passion of the industry, and that’s when I decided to open a bakery. Read more>>

Tylar Norman | Freelance Photographer

The idea for Taken by Tylar was initiated by my love for photography and taking photos of everything — and I mean everything — growing up. When I was in my freshmen year of college, one of my family friends trusted me with doing a shoot for her birthday. After seeing how serious I was about taking pictures of others, my mom surprised me with my first camera the following Christmas. Read more>>

Laurencia Burt | Body Sculpting Technican & Clinical Social Worker

It all started with an Instagram ad. During the pandemic last year I acquired a bit of a gut and knew that as a very busy wife, mother, and full time employee I would need a solution that was time efficient. Read more>>

KC Sullivan Curating Confidence | Personal Fashion Stylist & Image Consultant

My business idea was born out of a chance opportunity to help a woman struggling with body image insecurities due to a double mastectomy find a formal dress for an event that was very important to her. Read more>>

Thad Oviatt | Micromobility Expert

One day in college a friend looked really sad. I asked him what’s up? He had two of his $1,000 road bicycles stolen in a week. When the second bicycle was stolen the thief left a sticky note on the cut bike lock chain that said “THANKS!”. My friend said “hey, you’re an engineer, make something to prevent bicycle theft.” At the time I was looking for a senior design project. Read more>>