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.

Berlyn Komar | Marketing Consultant

Planted Marketing has evolved from a love of small businesses and helping others make their dreams a reality. Before knowing anything about marketing, I was a photographer doing some content creation for a small business. They asked me if I could help with their Instagram, which then turned into influencer marketing, which then grew and grew as most roles do when working for a start-up. I quickly realized that I loved all of the different aspects of marketing and enjoyed getting to bring in a variety of creative outlets. Read more>>

Rebekah Brumfield | Curator

During the height of the pandemic, like most, I was home scrolling social media and watching several celebrities promote products that definitely wouldn’t be functional for the average consumer. I’m a 5’0, curvy Black woman, and watching a few of these celebrities post about adhesive bras and air fryer meals, I knew some of that couldn’t be true. So, I decided to test out products I was interested in and gave my honest opinions. Little did I know, my followers began to trust my word, thus, I came up with the idea for the JeanEllen Home and Lifestyle Collection. Read more>>

Denise Cullins | Groom Concierge | Event Planner

I have always had a passion for event planning. I started interning for Flawless Weddings and Events in 2012 and overtime became a Lead Coordinator. While assisting with weddings I realized there was an untapped market that we were over looking, the wedding from the Grooms vantage point. We always focused on the bride and making sure she had the best day ever, but I wanted the groom to have the same feelings about his special day. So I thought about all the things that can potentially happen prior to the wedding and on that day, thus The Groom Effect. Read more>>

Davon Mcdonald | Business owner

I spent the majority of my young life trying to “fit in”. Not undertanding that I was made to stand out. After losing my job in 2019, at 35, I decided I will no longer fear starting over and if I wanted to be happy then I needed to persue my passions. And one of passions was to start my own brand. I didn’t want to just make T-shirts and sell them, I wanted there to be a meaning behind it. If this was going to be my brand, then it had to represent who I am. Read more>>

Elizabeth McSwain | Restaurant Co-Owner & Non-Profit Executive Director

Food is Life, Food is Love! For me and my family, food has helped to strengthen our bond, create fun memories, and foster deeper connections. 1n 2016, the McSwain family opened the doors to Beola’s Southern Cuisine and we also, launched Caramel Connections Foundation (CCF) to help fight food insecurity in the Inland Empire. Our family believes that if you make money in a community you must give back to that community. Read more>>

Yoni Levenbach | Wholesale Floral Shipper.

I was working for a wholesale floral shipping company and I noticed a pattern. All relationships with florists who had a particular airline serving their cities were flourishing and growing in leaps and bounds when compared to florist in cities serviced by other freight carriers. In 2006 when I opened my business the napkin a from said airline had a map of all the cities they flew to, so I based my business off that napkin and only called upon florist that operated in those cities. Read more>>