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.

Tim Garth | Co-Founder

Back in June when Covid was peaking, like so many small businesses in the US, it was having a huge negative business & financial impact on my marketing business. Kelli, my business partner, and co-founder of Involved, started to think about new business ideas. We had talked about starting an on- line clothing brand at the beginning of the year, but the global crisis really pushed the idea along for us. The news & social media channels were devoted to the tragedies of Covid, environmental damage like the wildfires, protests, and also the US presidential election. Kelli and I were watching closely, but it was interesting to listen to our sons & daughters who were living through the lock downs while getting ready to vote for the first time. They had much to say on all of these issues. Read more>>

Evan Stein | Artist Development & Digital Marketing

Have you ever heard of the French phrase “coup de foudre?” It literally means hit by lightning. My coup de foudre grew out of my love for the use of music in films. It hit me like a lightning bolt when as a teenager I first heard OMD’s “If You Leave” soundtrack the prom scene of the John Hughes classic “Pretty In Pink.” My fascination with these sound tracked moments led me to start my own music licensing, artist development and management agency which I’ve had for almost 20 years. I feel so fortunate to work with up-and-coming artists on their branding, imaging, messaging and help guide their careers. Read more>>

Mysteretical Podcast

We met at a Zoom game night during quarantine and we started talking about true crime and cases that fascinated us. Our friends were immediately put off by our conversations, but they still entertained our obsession for a few more Zoom calls. And then… they slowly petered off and it was just us. That’s when we decided, “Hey, we should start a podcast!” And thus, Mysteretical was born. Both of us grew up watching Unsolved Mysteries on TV as kids so we decided to focus on unsolved mysteries with a true crime aspect and some paranormal. We like to keep it light and humorous even though the subject matter can be quite dark at times. One of us tells a story each week while the other listens and comes up with their own theories which we then explore together. Read more>>

Kimberly Michalik | Hair and Scalp Wellness Stylist

I’ve been hairstyling since 1989. I entered the scene at an exciting time of spiral waves and voluminous hair. In an ever changing field I’ve specialized in geometric haircuts and coloring to create weight in fine hair, distributing weight in heavy hair and free up curls that lay static. My years of experience has given me the purpose of helping individuals look and feel confident about themselves. After nearly 3 decades in the business I have shifted my focus to provide my clients with solutions to their hair or scalp challenges. This has driven me to further my knowledge of the latest innovations of scalp wellness using safe science hair care products . The past few years I’ve dedicated myself to extensive education, creating a better version of myself, so I can serve those in need of hair loss or scalp issues. Read more>>

Kirk Nishikawa | Co-Owner

Too many beers were consumed, a drunken promise was made and Brewyard Beer Company was born. Isn’t that how most children are brought into this world? Read more>>

Steve Stewart | CEO & Co-Founder

I met my co-founder, Robert Menendez, at a startup he co-founded called SURKUS. He knew about my background in the music industry and we discussed some of the inefficiencies of the business and what some potential solutions might be. The main issue was artists not being able to convert fan engagement into currency, when resources might be limited. We looked at the music publishing model and thought there might be value in adding passionate fans into the equation. Read more>>

Esther Gibson | Hair Stylist & Owner

The Idea for Oath Hair Co. was birthed from a dilemma. I am a hairstylist and at the time clients would come in for hair extensions and have specific desires for color and texture, but the extensions they would bring would not allow the results. So I began searching for hair that would allow me to achieve the results that my clients desired. Read more>>

Corinne Fry-Rich | Master Chandler & Ceramic Glaze Engineer

During the recession of 2008 I closed my handbag company Corinne Rene Handbags and went to work for my father’s business in ceramic engineering, where we make custom glazes for tile companies, dinnerware brands as well as many historical projects around the country. I describe the business as both artsy and science (if that’s even a word) anyways I learned the engineering aspect behind formulating glass and clay materials to develop the colors for ceramics, it was great but I needed a creative outlet all my own so I started the candle line in 2014 and learned perfume molecule blending which I found similar to ceramic glaze formulating. I brought in a great potter I knew through my dad to throw my ceramic containers and that’s when the line took off. Read more>>

Lyna Cunningham | Custom Floral Designer & Personal Assistant

Doing floral arrangements and gardening has always been a really big hobby of mine. I just have a passion to grow and take care of something or to decorate with colors and flowers. I discovered the flower mart DTLA after being asked to help with someone’s wedding flowers back in 2008 I believe. Ever since that day, going to the flower mart has always made my day, it just makes me so happy. The flower mart is definitely my happy place! I love all the colors, the hustle and bustle of people carrying flowers wrapped in brown butcher paper or newspaper and the smell of the flowers really recharges my body, mind and soul! So after becoming a personal assistant, I had the opportunity to do weekly floral arrangements for the family I was working for. Then with that, I had created some really special holiday arrangements and that family and all of my friends were really adamant about me doing this as a business. Read more>>