It takes a lot more than an idea to build a business, but there can’t be a business without the idea. So we asked folks who’ve built wonderful businesses to tell us about how they came up with the idea in the first place.

David Braun & Barrett Slagle | Co-Directors

We started out as a band in 2004, and a there was a big weird visual vaudeville component to our shows–we’d put together homemade videos, duct tape a projector to an aluminum ladder, force two friends to hold up a white bedsheet as a screen, and perform in front of it. We all had odd jobs during that time, but found that we loved those moments of mashing images and sounds together for our music and shows, and wanted to figure out a way to create freely full time. Read more>>

Dori Lancaster | Wellness Specialist

I started in the field of health and wellness in 1997. I did not know then what my career path would look like, but after I decided to enroll in a nutrition educator certification program in 2008, I came up with Healing Thru Food. I loved the name and it seemed to represent my vision. I definitely knew after completing my program that I wanted to help people heal with food and heal their relationships with food. Read more>>

Shannon Huang | Non-Profit Arts Manager & Small Business Founder

The idea for my shop, the soul edit, seemed to create itself. I began writing down what kind of energy I wanted to put into the world. I imagined people discovering or recovering their joy in everyday life through the appreciation of small things. I imagined how our physical spaces lend to our mental ones and how we can create the reality we want for ourselves starting with what we surround ourselves with. I wanted to create an avenue for inspiration and creation and to encourage others to intentionally select the art and home decor pieces they put in their spaces. Read more>>

Nitzia Arias | Latina Business Owner

The idea behind my business came from my love and passion for home decor. I wanted to share that passion with others and thought that just how I looked for a certain aesthetic for my home others did as well. I wanted to provide customers with that aesthetic and one of a kind decor but also make it and experience when shopping from A One Way Stop. I have always believed that the space you live in should give you joy and fullfillness when you enter it. I wanted to share and provide pieces that would brighten and give that joy when entering any room in a home or office. Read more>>

Nadia Okhunova | Co-founder of digital media agency k917.studio

From freelancing to your own business: the story of the K917 agency Nadia Okhunova and Natalya Gladysh, the co-founders of K917 digital media agency, talk about how to open a niche agency, survive among competitors, build a culture of self-government and launch special projects with global brands. Read more>>

Robyn Rapaport | Founder + CEO | Robynro

The idea for Robynro almost forced itself upon me. I was doing laundry in my apartment, washing my underwear, as one does, and I pulled out a pair for $23 underwear I had purchased the week before only to find that the lace, as usual, had torn. I, along with most of my friends, had been wearing this same brand of underwear for as long as we had been old enough to wear thongs. Read more>>

Leonard Buschel | Publisher/Editor

On a single day I realized I had read over ten news articles dealing with my area of expertise. Addiction to, and Recovery from life threatening addictive behaviors. It took dozens of websites to give me the information I felt to be interesting, important and relevant. In an instant, I decided to aggregate all these articles in one place, and send it to my 7,000 professionals contacts. Read more>>

Nancy | Fashion, Travel & Photography

I’ve always loved to travel, fashion and photography. I would share my tips with my family, friends, colleagues and FB followers. My mother passed in 2019 and six months later Travelladyshops was created as a way to honor my mother! She loved to travel, had a unique sense is style, and enjoyed taking photos! My goal is to encourage and inspire women of all ages to travel, find beautiful clothes and take their own photographs. Read more>>

Amanda Cey DeMonaco | Event & Retreat Planner

It was February of this year when the news really started circulating about the virus and I slowly started to panic. I had a 500 person event for the Google Next conference here in San Francisco in April 2020, and a similarly sized event for Oracle’s Design Group. I had been waiting to get Google as a client since I started ABCey Events in 2008, and almost overnight my business seemed to vanish. Everything I had worked so hard for was gone. Read more>>

Tameika McPhaul | Lifestyle Expert

I’ve always had a passion for entertaining and decor. From setting beautiful tables to sharing delicious recipes. I began sharing this love with my family and friends which extended to sharing on social media platform in past 6 years. I’ve gotten lots of questions of where I purchase lots of my pieces so the ideas came to me during the pandemic shut down to launch my own entertaining line which will start with charcuterie cutting boards. Read more>>

Amy and Nancy Harrington | Sistera and Co-Founders of The Passionistas Project

We were first inspired to expand our Passionistas’ brands by launching The Passionistas Project at the height of the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements. We wanted to add to the important conversations that were taking place by telling the positive stories of women who were following their passions to inspire other women to do the same. Read more>>

Jessica Wright | Therapist & Business Owner

I came up with Speak 4 Yourself through my own personal experiences. I went through a very ugly divorce that resulted in a bitter custody battle. At the time, my ex husband put the children in the middle of adult issues. The divorce was mentally exhausting and there were times that I just wanted to stop the process because it was just too much. My son, Christian, who was 5 at the time attempted suicide because he did not know how to process what was going on. The adults could barely process it! Read more>>

Ash Marinaccio | Documentarian & Ph.D. Candidate in Theatre and Performance at The Graduate Center, CUNY

In June 2021 I launched Docbloc (docbloc.org), a theatre company that brings together artists working across the documentary genres of theatre, photography, and film. Docbloc exists to explore intersections between theatre, lived experiences, photography, film, and journalism and build a community of multi-disciplinary artists working across documentary genres. Read more>>

Nina Faulhaber | Co-founder & Co-CEO @ ADAY

My co-founder Meg and I met years ago at Goldman Sachs in Investment Banking – so probably as far away from apparel as you can imagine. It soon turned out we also shared a passion for innovation and making the world around us better. Yet starting an apparel brand happened sort of accidentally. We both owned a lot of clothes but felt like our wardrobes were not good enough: often uncomfortable, not breathable, and a lot of pieces simply didn’t last. Read more>>