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.

Sherricka Carpenter Stanley | Self-published Author & Bookstore Owner

I actually came up with the idea of having my own business in 2008 and cultivated the idea more in 2011 when I had a much clearer version of what it was I wanted to do. I came up with the idea of a Bookstore/Cafe in 2011 and wanted it to be a “Starbucks meets Barnes and Noble” for youth. I knew I wanted a place where young people could come, hang out, study and just call their own. I knew I wanted it to have a creative vibe to it and be a place that was family friendly. Read more>>

Leah Brownstein | Multi-Disciplinary

I have always been a maker of things! I used to sew fur purses, pillows, custom clothing and curtains for people. I often rescued furniture from the side of the road to recover them for myself. You can find me thrifting all over Los Angeles, collecting vintage clothing and various home items. For a stint, I worked for a company designing jewelry and accessories. Since having my two children, over a decade ago, and buying my first home, I dove right into the landscaping and fell in love with the process. I worked with some other designers along the way and learned a lot about interior design through them where my own unique eclectic style ignited. Read more>>

Jordyn Davis | Composer, Bassist, Singer/Songwriter, Arts Leader & Administrator

In 2013, I started my freshman year at Michigan State University studying Environmental Engineering and Geology but, growing up, I always wanted to be a professional musician and composer. After attending a composition workshop during my third year at MSU, I was ultimately encouraged to pursue music in my formal studies. I decided to change to Jazz Studies and Music Composition which also meant I would lose my STEM scholarship. To make this change, I had to financially support myself by paying for school & necessities on my own. Juggling three jobs, being an active leader, and pursuing two music degrees has taught me more than I could have ever imagined about who I am, who I want to become, and how to deal with the hardships life throws at you one day at a time. Read more>>