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.

Naomi Volain | Science Cartoonist

I drew pictures and cartoons to help my high school science students learn in a visual way. I also had them do their own drawings in the labs and assignments I gave them. Later, outside of the classroom, I saw that comics could be really powerful as a nonfiction narrative. I read graphic novels tackling mental health, immigration, isolation and solid waste. They inspired me to create science comics. My comic strips focused on plant research, and plants in the environment. Read more>>

Paul Chakalian | Founder, Joshua Tree Distilling Company

In 2010, I moved from Los Angeles to Olympia, Washington for college. In Washington, I was quickly schooled in the talent of craft beverage appreciation. I soon realized that everything I thought I knew about common food items, like coffee or beer, was wrong. There was a greener paster, a whole other world of exquisite beverage experiences that awaited my discovery. The space between Seattle and Portland was my Mecca for small batch craft products, each one more interesting, more rewarding than the last. My pursuit of high-quality original food and beverage experiences was born there. Read more>>

Arielle Ellis | Owner of FiftyShadesofKayLLC & Healthcare worker

I have been completely obsessed with sunglasses since I was a young girl. I always catch myself reminiscing of when my obsession began. My mom bought me a pair of sunglasses when I was about 5/6 years old, and I wore them whenever I played dress up, up until I couldn’t even fit them anymore. She then bought me another pair because she noticed they were too small for my head, but I honestly didn’t care as I still continuously wore them . I then began to wear sunglasses as a teenager as I felt this one accessory can express my vibrant personality. Read more>>