Our community is comprised of some absolutely brilliant entrepreneurs and so we asked a few of them to tell us the story of how they came up with the ideas for their business.

Maggie Wilson | Chief Marketing Officer at Fruit Slabs and Metaphysical Author

I started Metaphysical AF because I saw a space in the community that needed more inclusive and diverse voices talking about spirituality especially Metaphysics. My Nigerian and Creole roots led me to becoming a Rootworker and ancestral guide and expert across many fields including many esoteric practices. Metaphysics origin starts with “meta-” meaning “beyond”) which refers to the title given to a compilation of Aristotle’s works on the subject. I grew up in Southeast Tennessee in a Jehovah’s Witness household – I ended up leaving the church at 12 years old – I started much earlier than my peers when it came to learning the mystical aspects of the universe. I was questioning everythign and in the early years of the internet I always dreamed of creating a space where people could listen and learn about the things they didn’t understand. Read more>>

Maxi E. Norman | Author & Owner Of Elnora Maxwell LLC

Elnora Maxwell is a small business bouquet that specializes in business support, event planning & broadcast media show production. The idea to come up with this business was birthed from me being a helper. I have spent the last 20 years in corporate america as an executive assistant , doing customer service and planning events. So I wanted to start a business that helps small businesses function on the same level as the super big corporations. The smaller the business doesn’t mean less quality. My motto is to help you Glow through whatever it is your going through. Read more>>

Ely Valdivia | Owner of Earthy Corazon, soy candles and natural body care

My journey with Earthy Corazon grew from my own process of healing. It blossomed in my recovery and reclamation to myself. I wanted to share the practices and tools that have helped me on my path. My path for self-discovery, wellbeing, (re)connection to community. I wanted to create candles and natural body care that not only show up as self-care, but also essential acts of liberation. Before Earthy Corazon, I was dealing with addiction and deteriorating mental health. I developed self-destructive behaviors, to numb, and cope. Finding a sense of self and community felt uncomfortable and vulnerable. But I wasn’t alone with what I was going through, the impact of trauma is experienced by all people, from the individual to the globalized world. I began to surrender to the recovery process and decolonizing practices, to not only heal myself, but for my ancestors, my family, and future generations. This became an accessible form of liberation for me. Read more>>

Josh Oaktree | Author, Founder, & Managing Director of Oak Tree Comics

Sometimes, adversity leads to adventure. When the pandemic hit, I found myself in a bit of a professional crisis. My background is in screenwriting, and my writing projects were on hold or over. I’m sure you remember April of 2020 and the abundance of time on our hands. Well, somewhere between binging Tiger King and not taking up sour bread starting, I had time for self-reflection. That time allowed me to think about what stories I wanted to tell. Growing up, I considered Snoopy and Calvin & Hobbes to be some of my best friends, and my love of them grew into a love of graphic novels. Looking back, it makes perfect sense that I’d start a company to make comics for kids. At Oak Tree Comics, our focus is on socially and environmentally responsible storytelling. Why focus on impact? I believe the best stories entertain while opening our eyes to a more empathetic world. Read more>>

Alyssa Quimby, MD and Sara Twogood, MD | Founders, Female Health Education Inc. Board Certified OBGYNs. Women Health Experts

We are both full time clinical OBGYNs and work in a multi- specialty group at Cedars Sinai. We have listened to patients every day for the last 10 years voice concerns about the lack of accurate, reliable female health information. We eventually came to realize that the time constraints of a doctor’s office don’t allow us to educate patients to the degree they need and want to be empowered about their health. Female Health Education is our answer to this structural flaw in our medical system. We provide online and in person courses and one-on-one consultations for female and reproductive health topics. Read more>>

Thomas Liu | CEO, Co-Founder, & Boba Master of Loose Leaf Boba Company

I was actually selling out of a swap meet in West Covina, CA in early 2012. At the the time I was doing it with my girlfriend Jasmine ( Co-Founder of Loose Leaf). She was a senior in High School & I was a freshman in College. We got the idea of selling boba at the swap meet from sitting outside a local boba shop where we saw that it wasn’t just Asians that were enjoying these unique drinks. It was everyone. For so long, it remained very niche. Boba to Asian Americans was something we grew up with. That Boba “Culture” is part of the Asian American Identity & Experience. Seeing people outside of the community finally starting to accept warm, gooey, chewy, little balls in their drinks is huge… At least to me it was. I admit that when we started selling at the Swap Meet, there was no purpose but to make some extra cash to go out on some dates. But as I got to engage, educate, & meet the guests we serve; I fell in love with it. It was a way for me to share a piece of my cultural upbringing with the world. Sharing culture & brining people together through food & drinks. Read more>>

Davin Sanchez | Artist & Entrepreneur

Everyone’s experience during the pandemic was different of course, but on some level we all grieved the loss of intimacy and connection with friends and family this last year and simultaneously, at least for my wife and I, developed a newfound appreciation for how meaningful and powerful those relationships are. We tried our best to keep human connection part of our day-to-day lives during quarantine with the usual methods of communication like Zoom, FaceTime, email, endless texting, but in addition to those, sending postcards became our special way of reaching out to the people we were missing. Postcards felt more personal–taking the time to hand write something unique to the individual takes a little more effort than the digital equivalent–and there’s something really nostalgic and joyful about them too. The element of surprise of receiving a postcard in the mail too, and thinking about the journey that little piece of paper went through before it found itself in your hands, feels so much deeper in terms of connection. Read more>>

Nicole Marcione, PhD | Longevity Advisor | Aging Expert

Very few people plan for their retirement… I mean truly plan and not just randomly thinking about it. Usually this planning only entails the financial aspect (401k’s, IRA’s, investments, etc.); answering the question “will I have enough money to retire?” My question is will you have enough health and longevity to enjoy that money when you’re retired? So, similar to hiring a financial advisor for retirement, why not also hire a longevity advisor. That way, you can have the financial freedom AND the energy and vitality to pursue all your dreams in your later years. That’s how Integrative Aging came into being and the concept of a Longevity Advisor. Read more>>

Francisca Francois | Creator, Entrepreneur, Cosmetologist & Beauty Enthusiast

I worked behind a lot of beauty counters and saw a lack of beauty products with a range, for people of color. As a person of color, I knew I wasn’t the only person who was experiencing this issue. I wanted to provide a solution and create an inclusive line that catered to all hues. I started experimenting to create my beauty line. My first test was creating a perfect match for one my favorite beauty products, highlighters. For years I had to use eyeshadow to give myself a highlight glow. I eventually created my first products, my perfect match highlighter “Golden Hour,” Before I launched I extended the range to 4 more shades that would cater to other hues. I then had my first set of products to launch my brand. Read more>>

Kevin Cho | Music Producer

The company we created is called “Your Name Creative”. It is a professional media company centralized around music based out of Los Angeles. The name has a dual meaning, one being that we as service providers, create in the name of all the artists we work with, utilizing our industry experience to create in the service of others and two, that we create in the name of God. The name was given to me by my girlfriend at the time (now wife) who actually told me she received the name in prayer. The name of the company was originally “G.O.A.T. Creative” which means “Greatest of All Time Creative” but somehow it just didn’t feel right to me. One of the main reasons was I realized I was creating the business for my own benefit but was at a point in my career where I felt I needed to graduate from self-serving goals and ambitions. I had accomplished some major milestones in my career, like selling over a million records and to make a comfortable living through my craft. Once I reached these goals, I felt great for awhile…and then I didn’t. Read more>>

Kim DiVine | Founder / Jewelry Designer

The idea for Loveable came to me last year just before the pandemic. I have been selling handmade jewelry for years and as I was researching new packaging options, I thought long and hard about the investment I was about to make before ordering a large quantity of product. During that time of business reflection, I felt compelled to do something bigger, something more, and BOOM, it hit me! I want to create an online boutique space where people can find meaningful, high-quality jewelry but also unique and fun gift-able goods. I knew a lot of other women like me – artists and budding entrepreneurs – who were looking to get their reach new audiences for their products. Out of this, the idea for Loveable was created. All of the handmade goods featured on Loveable are crafted or designed by female artists and entrepreneurs based in sunny California. Read more>>

Ruby Sinclair | founder/designer of girl of the earth

I grew up to nutty antique-dealer parents, so I’ve been exposed to vintage and secondhand since birth and would consider myself somewhat of an expert. Recently, people have become more aware of the fashion industry’s impact on the environment, especially as it’s only gotten worse and worse and worse since the 1970s. After graduating with a Master’s Degree in Entrepreneurship from London College of Fashion (2017), I wanted to start an eco-friendly brand, but simultaneously was horrified by all the greenwashing (aka misleading or exaggerated information in attempt to market “eco-friendly” products that often aren’t eco-friendly at all) happening in fashion, with ‘sustainable’ brands often pushing ‘organic cotton’ and other fabrics that are only minimally better than the norm. Read more>>

Evan Berger | Walking food and drink tour owner

My cousin, Erin. She started a food tour on Catalina Island and at the time, my mom was living there and she called me one night and said, you have go to do what your cousin is doing – it is perfect for you. Read more>>

Artheena Regaldo | Spiritual Advisor & Intimacy Advocate

Heart of Milele, which means infinite heart in Swahili, emerged at one of the saddest and most devastating times in my life. I was diagnosed with a chronic autoimmune condition and was scheduled for a really serious surgery where I was having my chest cut open. And at that time I was forced to realize my own mortality in a very short amount of time. It was very overwhelming and my priority was to make sure that my daughters somehow had access to me even if I didn’t survive in physical form. The solution was to pour my love out to them through my actions. Actions of self preservation, gentleness, showing them warmth and resilience and acceptance too. I wanted them to think of me and be reminded not to be afraid to love and live their truth. Read more>>

Brittany McCarthy | Entropnenur Mom & Communications Specialist

My daughter and I love to color together. Every time we walk into a store she says ” mommy can we color” meaning that I must buy a coloring book. I myself as a child love to color. But, I notice i did not see any coloring books with little black faces on it. I want my daughter to feel and know that it is normal to see different color skin people working together. This sparked the idea of creating a coloring book where children can learn but also feel included when they see the cover. Read more>>

Virginia Guarddon | Founder, CEO

It was a summer day during the Covid 19 pandemic in 2020. Life had been very stressful not just for me but everyone, I had just gotten laid off from my previous position as a Regional Sales Manager for a multi-million dollar skincare corporation, it was hard finding a job or career due to the pandemic, and it just came to me while I was driving on a sunny day that I needed to take charge of my life and start my own career. I didn’t want to be dependent on others any longer or feel disposable ever again, so I decided to unite my two passions into one, poetry and skincare, and I created our Skin Poetry for Poet’s Garden Alchemist. I had so much experience in the industry and also a ton of knowledge about holistic ingredients that I felt this was the way to go. I never looked back again! I am so happy that I took the risk and move forward with my vision! No regrets!. Read more>>

Nicholas Andresen | Founder & Captain

I grew up steeped in the magic of natural remedies. Half Norwegian and half Korean, I learned about both Scandinavian folk medicine and Asian herbal tonics handed down for generations. I grew up exploring the outdoors and learned to harness the power of plants. I went onto becoming a chemist in Colorado, where I befriended an herbalist and a mixologist. Together, we created bold bitters designed to be powerful potions that could “heal the soul and spruce your cocktail.” Inspired by 16th century Strongwater shops where spirits were used as medicine to heal, we set out to create unique mountain elixirs for a more inspired take on bar staples. Read more>>

Meishel Kearse | Brand Strategist and Social Media Marketer

I decided to get into brand coaching to help other women start and grow their online businesses. I help women avoid the same mistakes I made, which almost led me back to a 9-5. When I originally started my graphic design business in 2018, I had no leads or connections, and I failed more times than necessary. And while I knew I wasn’t owed anything, I still believed if it were me in a position to help another fempreneur, I’d do it in a heartbeat. I almost quit, it burdened my marriage and ate me up with mom guilt. It wasn’t until I reached out to a woman in my industry who took me under her wing. Unfortunately, it didn’t last long, but the short time I had with her is invaluable, and I will always appreciate her time. Read more>>

Stef and Chris Schaldenbrand | From A.M. Smash

We were inspired by the great smash burger pop-ups all over the city and thought- hey, we could offer an AM option and do this with homemade breakfast sausage! The idea really took off from there. We spent a couple months perfecting the recipe for our sausage and smash sauce, deciding on just the right muffin, sourcing our ingredients and coming up with our name and logo. A.M. Smash is where we landed. Read more>>

Hannah V. Robinson | Brand & Website Designer, Marketing Strategist

HVR Studio was born from my entrepreneurial spirit when I realized untapped potential in the small business marketplace and the lack of time, freedom, and flexibility that so many business owners dream of. My mission began there: to enable these passionate people to focus on the most important thing – actually running their business or creating products – while generating a steady stream of leads and revenue through creative, effective and affordable marketing tactics. One of my favorite tactics is designing a completely custom Squarespace website that truly reflects a client’s brand and business goals – complete with anything they need to run their business online: eCommerce, online booking, live chat, multiple language functionality, etc. One of my clients in Newport Beach is amazed at how much time and money she’s saved since I set up an appointment scheduling system on her new website (plus, she no longer needs to pay for a full-time receptionist!). Read more>>

Twanna Toliver | Creative Business Coach

I started coaching women who wanted to take the talents, skills and gifts outside the confines of a corporate office because it was I experience the same frustrations while I worked in corporate. At the time finding a business coach or mentor was hard to come by and I found myself feeling isolated and joining several community and business groups in order piece together the knowledge I needed to start and build my brand. I want to be the business coach that I wish I had back when I first started. Read more>>

Karl Rowley | Graphic Designer

When I started remodeling my Palm Springs condo in the mid-century modern style, I couldn’t find new home decor items that had a retro feel while still being stylish and modern. Then one day I discovered a service that produces custom home goods on demand. As a graphic designer, I decided to create my own exclusive designs. This was the spark that started my online store. Read more>>

Maya Delgado | Actress, Singer, Philanthropist

I believe becoming a good actress and singer requires training, learning from as many avenues as you can, and above all, dedication. It’s also a big financial investment. Throughout my professional training, I noticed that some students were not able to continue classes because they did not have the financial resources to continue. It made be frustrated because they were so talented and many of them, I looked up to. I felt I had to do something to help them continue their training. So in 2016 (I was 10 years old!), I founded HeARTS of Maya (HOM), a non-profit, 501c3 foundation that provides educational scholarships to youth who want to pursue the arts, specifically music, acting, and/or dancing. To date, HOM has awarded over 35 scholarships to deserving youth in Dallas, TX and Los Angeles, CA, who have a passion for singing, acting and /or dancing. This has been my greatest accomplishment! I just established a Los Angeles chapter to be able to do the same for LA youth. Through this foundation, I hope to not only assist talented youth, but encourage others to “Find the ART in their HeARTS,” because everyone deserves to have a creative outlet. heartsofmaya.org. Read more>>

GenevaMay Colcol & Kev Luu Mid City Flannel | Music Duo

We started our band, Mid City Flannel, in Mid City, Los Angeles in 2019. We decided to add “Flannel” due to its universal appeal across multiple music genres and cultures. The “flannel” layer is also symbolic of the layers that can be found in our artistry – whether it’s in the meaning/story, the instrumentation, vocals/harmonies, our purpose & mission. Read more>>