We reached out to some of our favorite entrepreneurs and asked them to think back and tell us about how they decided to start a business. Check out their responses below.

Gregory Wendt | Wealth Management and Strategy Advisor for Impact Investors, Regenerative Economic Advisor

I have always been an independent thinker, listening to all of the ideas around me and looking where I am uniquely inspired, in line with my life purpose and where people around me need my help, essentially what they call ikigai in Japan. As always, journey of living and creating aligned with purpose is a process of discovery and ongoing adjustment to the trends in the world, and the ways that life creates opportunities every day. I have been inspired to listen to others who seek my help and to learn where I can respond in a way that advances my own growth, and expresses my purpose and passion. As a social entrepreneur, focused on serving the needs of the current AND future generations, it always is an interesting experience. My father was an entrepreneur, so I saw the benefits, and challenges, yet I presume I’m wired similarly, and am grateful for the insights I have gained to serve the creative process and build on what I have done before and move toward the vision I hold for the world, a better world, which has driven my work for decades. Read more>>

Nicole Leza | Creative Director & Event Designer

Like many people, after I graduated college I struggled with finding a fulfilling career. I was living in Santa Barbara after graduating from UCSB and I didn’t want to move to a bigger city where there were may have been more job opportunities because I loved Santa Barbara so much. One of my colleagues told me, “you either live somewhere you love and work in a job that you don’t like so much, or you live somewhere you don’t love to work for a job that you really love.” It sounds like a silly statement, although I know it’s true for some fields of work. That really stuck with me, and I thought that didn’t have to be completely true. I believed I could make something work for me in Santa Barbara. I took many part time and freelance jobs so I wasn’t tied down to one office for a 9-5. It probably would’ve been easier and paid more than the route I decided to go, but I felt like I could’ve got stuck trying to climb a corporate ladder if I took an office job. I was lacking a creative outlet and deep down knew I just wanted to work for myself. I’ve always had a keen eye for design and aesthetics, and loved the art of gathering. I wanted to be part of creating beautiful experiences for others to enjoy. Read more>>

Mark Allen Lachar | Co-Founder of Blossom Agency

Back in early 2017, I started the Blossom Agency with my business Michael van der Roest so we could help guide, nurture, and promote the careers of musicians. We were offering very hands-on marketing and promotional services for developing acts from day one. I have worn many hats in my career including artist manager, label manager, lighting designer, social media manager, booking agent, blog writer, radio host … not to mention performing in bands as a singer, songwriter, and guitarist. So with Blossom I get to combine the lessons I’ve learned in the industry and help artists achieve new levels of success. Read more>>

Len Horowitz | Owner/ Founder

I noticed more and more of the record business was falling in my lap as Otto got older. Otto Hepp was the engineer at Western Electric who built the cutterheads that made the first commercially available stereo records, among other inventions. There was a changing of the guard in the 1980s as the old engineers were dying off and there weren’t a lot of young people who knew this part of the business as well as I at the time. I faced a crossroad: Stay in the analog world or become part of the digital? I just couldn’t let the analog go. Now 30 years later it’s come back in a significant way. In all seriousness we had a chance to buy a piece of the phone company–Western Electric/ ATT. They were famous for three things: Talking Pictures; invention of the transistor; and the stereophonic record. All three still with us in one form or another. Not to mention the telephone. How is this relevant in the 21st century? It’s part of an educational process. The more people that get into this, the more important it is to teach them properly. Read more>>

Kathleen McGuinness | Watercolor Artist and Illustrator

I’ve always sketched and painted during daily breaks at Peets in Pasadena. People started asking if they could commission me to do a watercolor of a pet or family member. Next I put the paintings up on https://mcgraphics.us/art with prices. Next it was social media getting the word out on facebook, instagram, twitter, and linkedin. Read more>>

Jackie McMahan | Owner| Executive Chef

The thought process behind starting Finesse Catering was simple… to create beautiful food that not only looks stunning but tastes even better than it looks all while creating unforgettable memories for our clients. Jackie and Genevieve, who both had strong passions for entertaining and hosting dinner parties, both made the choice to take their love of food to the next level and harness their raw talent by enrolling in culinary school. That is where the two met. Once observing one another in classes, they knew there was magic there, as talent recognizes talent. After culinary school, they both dabbled in other culinary projects before solidifying Finesse together. When we created this business we knew it was a perfect fit for our personalities, it’s such a perfect creative outlet for us. Every event is so uniquely different. There is always a different menu, concept, occasion and theme…(and we absolutely LOVE doing themed events). We knew we wanted to be a luxury brand food and liquor caterer no matter the obstacles. We knew being a women owned company was also going to come with challenges as it’s a male dominated industry which is why we take great pride in it. Read more>>

Nick Cardiff | Story Consultant and Screenwriter

I actually never knew I wanted to start a business as a Story Consultant and Script Doctor. I did know that I was a writer who loved collaborating with others. My business came as a result of the mindset to seize as many opportunities as possible and to travel down the paths that presented themselves to me. Five years ago, as I was poring over book after book on screenwriting and breaking down feature-film and pilot story structures to become a better writer, I frequently found myself being asked by friends and friends-of-friends to give feedback on their screenplays, stories, and sometimes their ideas. Before I knew it, I was doing everything from consulting to writing for new clients more than I was writing at my computer alone. And, having a background in theater, I really loved the collaboration. After naturally and organically heading down the path of story development, I was able to capitalize on that momentum by creating a business that fuels my love for writing, collaborating, and helping other writers bring their stories to their highest potential. I knew quitting my job to pursue starting my own business was a risk, but I stayed committed to the mindset of seizing opportunities and took it anyway. Thankfully, it’s worked out. Read more>>

Lori Escalera | Designer, Artist & Creative Type

The interview questions I was asked to select from, are wonderfully complex. The hardest thing is to pick only one to answer! The “thought process going into starting my own business” incorporates the other questions nicely because starting my own business involved “risktaking,” ideas of what makes me “happy,” and “success.” Going into business was fated some 40 years ago (1981!) The way I went about it involved almost no risk, really. The upside was rewards of major proportion for a hard worker like myself! Women were underpaid at that time in salaried position jobs in Graphic Design (my focus: collateral materials, communications marketing, and print) It was before the days of the internet and web design. Everything needed to go to the printer. There were always new mailers, magazine ads, corporate flyers, annual reports, business stationery, logos, folders, and book jackets, and paper information needing to be put into the consumers’ hands. There was no shortage of work at the time. I had been working for Ben Mayer Architect – Interior Design firm as his protege (1980-81). Read more>>

Maya & Miles Crosman | SPACE PARTY Co-Founders

When we created SPACE PARTY LLC in 2016, it was after years of discovering and identifying what the brand was, and what services it would provide. First and foremost, we wanted to create exquisitely themed events that immersed party goers as no concert experience has done before. Our love of sci-fi and electronic music seemed a natural pairing, and we imagined inviting guests to other worlds to dance with alien hosts as a story unfolded in real time around them. Simply put, we envisioned something that was not available on the market. We wanted to attend a SPACE PARTY, and the only way to do it was create it ourselves. So we implemented a myriad of media formats in order to make that dream a reality. With a combination of promotional videos, character improv and musical performances punctuated by theatrical moments, we were able to throw four parties that proved our concept viable, and even attracted sponsors. Our idea of mashing together festivals and movies came naturally. Our mother was an Imagineer at Disneyland and our dad worked in Visual Effects on feature films like Independence Day and Flubber. Read more>>

Nzinga Moore | Actor and CEO & Founder of “Empowered to Act”

It is one thing to be the lead in a story created by someone and another to be the lead of the story you created and wrote for yourself. Which do you think would be a more powerful experience? Achieving my dreams was solely up to me and my willingness to grow personally if I wanted to become the lead of my own story. I sincerely believe everyone should be able to achieve their dreams. But with every reward comes sacrifice, and so the question becomes, “are you truly willing to do what it takes to become the person who’s achieved their dreams?” In pursuit of my own acting dreams, I had to deal with my past trauma, or my dreams would never see the light of day. I knew my personal growth was standing in the way of my professional growth, so I hunkered down and went to work. I not only healed my mental and emotional states, but released anger, limiting beliefs, and self-sabotaging behaviors. I healed my past, essentially rewriting my destiny. A feat I am incredibly proud of. Then, I happened upon Oprah’s 2012 commencement speech to Spelman College’s graduating class. She said, “find a way to serve, as your greatness is determined by service. Read more>>

Danielle Hutchens | Artist / Creative

For me I feel there was less thought around starting a business and more of being motivated by an in ternal feeling. The feeling was that making art makes me happy and puts me in a flow state, and that flow state is something people chase far and wide. Its a magic state. And here I have it at my fingertips… when I can make time for it. So I decided just to make time for it. I read about other artists, and the work and dedication that it takes to make a career around art. And I came to realize that its a practice that I can commit to daily… in some form or another. And I’ve just been learning my own practice and thinking, “I can’t believe I waited this long.” Read more>>

Zaid Ammari | Digital Marketing Agency Owner

I have had plenty of experience working for agencies and thousands of clients, so starting my business was just the next step forward. It is also my way of gaining freedom and owning my time. Being a CEO is an honor and a privilege that comes with a lot of responsibilities. Having that position is like a puzzle solver trying to align all the pieces together in an ever changing environment. It takes a lot of time and energy to make sure the puzzle gets completed on time with no mistakes. If one piece is not aligned correctly all the other pieces are affected. You have to have problem-solving skills, ability to adapt quickly, identify and create opportunities. Behind every CEO is a team of exceptional employees that go above and beyond to drive the success of a company. Taking care of your employees and their wellbeing is the greatest responsibility of all, since any small action can have huge consequences on them. The CEO position is not just about being the boss, its about understanding, managing and appreciating all your employees no matter what role they play in the company! After starting my business. Read more>>

Ben Jaimen | Founder & CEO – ZigZag

The inspiration for what eventually became ZigZag sparked from a video that I produced for a song called “7 Billion People”. My entire professional life I’ve been in the music and entertainment industry, often working with charity organizations, specifically those dealing with children. So for the “7 Billion People” project we had the idea to create a virtual kids choir, asking kids from all over the world to submit a 5 second video snippet of them doing the 7 Billion People dance. The result was beautiful, but the work to make that video happen was A LOT! From collecting all the clips, to engaging a videographer that would mix all of them into one final mashup, and so on. That’s when the idea was born – “Hey, let’s create an app where users can invite each other and make videos together”. Of course the idea developed into something way bigger, you can not only create music videos together, but basically any form of video. But that seed spark of doing something TOGETHER is still the main driver of our app. Read more>>

Justin Gallen | Wine Importer, Distributor and Sommelier

For many years I had been working for other wine importers as a salesperson and then sales manager and while I had always imagined having my own business I never really had enough confidence to go out on my own. When I was let go from my last salaried position, by a company that subsequently went out of business a few years later, instead of panicking I decided to make the leap to opening my own wine import and distribution company. Read more>>

Lorrin Brubaker | Professional Dancer and Photographer

I’m a professional dancer with a dance company here in Los Angeles called LA Dance Project. I joined full-time about a year ago and we performed and toured in France until early March when the pandemic forced us all into lockdown. My love for photography grew exponentially once I had the chance to slow myself down and live in the moment. Photography brings me joy and so making it a profession was the natural next move. After graduating from The Juilliard School in 2017, I moved to LA with my girlfriend and I hustled. It wasn’t easy but I was determined to realize my dream as a pro-dancer. I freelanced with two companies in LA and worked various part-time jobs to support myself. It was while dancing for Jacob Jonas The Company that I discovered a passion for photography. As the dancers, we were constantly in front of cameras and working with unique photographers. I loved the collaboration aspect of dance shoots, but I soon became more interested in what was happening behind the camera lens. I made friends with some amazing photographers and bombarded them with questions. Read more>>

Shannon Bobo | Actor, Comic, Casting Director, Healer (Reiki & Energy Alchemist), TV Host. (Yes, I’m an LA hyphenate.)

I have been working in the industry for double digit years and have been encouraged from many different people over the years to try it out on my own. I was incredibly hesistant for a long time, then over the last few years I thought, “why not.” Read more>>

Miri Rossitto | Founder and CEO of Cowe Communications

When I started my business, I was completely alone in my belief that it was a good idea. My family had doubts, My friends didn’t make direct eye contact when they talked to me. My ex-employer told me that I had a zero percent chance at making it on my own. I truly had no support but that did not stop me. In fact, it fueled me. Not because I felt like I had something to prove, but because it meant that I saw potential where nobody else did. That meant that the playing field was wide open! For the 5 years prior to launching my business, I helped people construct their business plan. They had business dreams but often those dreams died not long after they built their plan because execution is the hardest part. I knew that I could help people realize their dreams through strategy and support and that thought process drove me and my firm to success. Now, five years later, we have a growing team, an office and a roster of incredible clients. My thought process relied on my gut instinct and for that, I will be forever grateful. Read more>>

Kayla Allen | The Boutique Bookkeeper

The Boutique Bookkeeper happened organically. When I was in my 20’s I got my Masters in Accounting and my CPA. I started as an auditor at PricewaterhouseCoopers, and that offered me a window into so many different businesses and their inner-workings. It was fascinating! Once I had my CPA I was looking for a new adventure, and that and so much more led me to open my first Pure Barre studio in 2013 and become a small business owner. I have owned and operated my fitness studios for eight years now. I own two locations, Pure Barre Brentwood and Pure Barre Santa Monica, and I have been through all the life cycles of a business: I have opened two, purchased one, sold one, operated them on my own, hired managers to manage them for me, and I have felt all the highs and lows only a small business owner can understand. And that is where The Boutique Bookkeeper was born. My training and experience naturally led me to start helping friends with accounting questions, helping with their bookkeeping, and now more recently with business operations. Read more>>

Elise Arndt | Performing Artist & Teaching Artist & Owner of The Elise Arndt Studio

I am a singer, actor, dancer, and teaching artist who has a background in yoga and meditation and a degree in Musical Theatre. So basically every job I have had has shifted so much since the COVID shutdown. I have always wanted to start a performing arts studio that focuses on wellness practices as its base. So much of how we approach teaching the arts comes from a “product” lens: i.e. who has the best turns, who is going to get cast as the lead, who is the best singer. Rarely are we seeing institutions at the ground level fostering kids as WHOLE artists. Kindness, empathy, confidence and courage are words I talk about often. Note that these are qualities that can be applied to any field of work. What happened if we trained young artists from the ground up with these principles and not the “who is best”, “who will be famous”, “I have to fit my type” mentality. Healthier, emotionally stronger, and in my opinion better artists would be born. This isn’t to say that technique and training is important – it is. But we are seeing a pandemic of such in artists when they enter the real world. Read more>>

Danny Herb | Film Stage Owner/Director

As a filmmaker, one of problems I kept running into was finding locations to film in. Renting studios was always a pain in the asst. After helping a friend set up his second studio location, I decided I should open my own studio. I wanted to make a filmmaker friendly space to film in. And it has the added bonus, I can film there whenever I want. Read more>>

Rebecca Peloquin | Food and Beverage Photographer

It was really simple- I wanted to be using my skills to make myself money vs a corporation. Throughout the years I have worked for a ton of companies in some capacity in photography, some big names and some small- some more fulfilling than others but at the end of the day no matter what team building the company promised to do, I was committing my energy to building up someone else’s product and creating value for them while still always being somewhat expendable. Working for myself I benefit directly from my work, for better or worse. Read more>>

Arran Javed | Data Jam Founder, and Tech Enthusiast

I wanted a change from my previous role at a corporate juggernaut of the media world, and decided to make the leap to a brand new job, with much more of a start-up vibe just weeks before the pandemic took full flight! Who knew back then it would have been that crazy a year. Having handed in my notice at said juggernaut, and having had to take a delay to the start of my new role, I was left with some time on my hands… I have spent the bulk of my career in advertising, working in Media buying, specifically, Out of Home advertising (Billboards), and I knew the limitations of understanding how consumers moved around day-to-day. With my co-founders, we soon realised that that hole in the knowledge we have around real-time movement data was not only something that is needed right now but something that we could solve. Being able to have alerts sent to you when your venue or store is over capacity, or about to be over capacity so you can act accordingly, or even being able to predict when the peak footfall might be based upon external conditions was something the world would need. Read more>>

Shanay Marshall | CEO & Creator of Shay Lemae Collective

I always knew I wanted to be an entrepreneur…as a kid and even now I’ve always been a very creative person and I love bringing things to life. My friends and family always rely on me to be “that person” creatively whenever they need something. With all of this in mind, I figured it would be best for me to create a business that will accommodate everyone’s need, whether the need is for party supplies or custom apparel. I want to be that go-to person for everyone. Read more>>

Erin M. Jacobson, Esq. | The Music Industry Lawyer

After graduating law school and passing the bar exam, I started getting clients on my own from referrals in the industry. As my client list grew, I realized I had more freedom than if I worked for someone else, and I was getting to do things I wouldn’t have done as a first-year associate at a firm, such as interface with clients and handle business development. I really enjoy the CEO role in addition to the attorney role and have grown my business exponentially over the past 10. Read more>>

Aleya Sneed | Owner and Creator of The Londyn

If I had a penny for every time someone told me, “You should profit off what you’re doing because I can’t do that!” I would be rolling in the dough! I have always been a “do-it-yourself” kind of person and I have always been creative. I grew up a dancer but always had a love for art on the side. So, as I sat in my new home, searching the internet for wall art and essential oil pillow spray to help me sleep, I decided I would just learn to create my own. And that is what I did! I did not set out with the intention of starting my own business, it just came to me. Read more>>

Lyndsey Cone | Owner/Designer at Aiyia

I knew from an early age that I could create something that made people feel something. It was time for me to be more hands on in using this to develop connections between myself, my work and my community/customers. The idea of Zero waste product, aside from environmental impact that the fashion industry is becoming known for- I believe adds character to my garments and is what makes them truly one of a kind. Those tiny improvisations made somewhere in the creative process or a mistake that has been corrected in an unexpected way, leads to a product even I couldn’t have foreseen. Sharing these stories, the process and my enthusiasm is how I know that I have landed in exactly the right place. Read more>>

Adrian Ghila | Serial Entrepreneur | Investor

I could never see myself as an employee following someone’s directions. Since I was a child I had the urge to change things. Make them better, faster, and probably try to make cool things popular. I started multiple businesses and succeed in many. I also lost interest in some and exit others. My thought process is always to start a business with the idea of a change towards a better, faster, and more efficient all around product or service. Read more>>

Melissa Martinez | Baker & Owner of Vegancitas

I was a Social Worker, a Mother, and I acquired a chronic illness. All three being difficult to juggle, I needed to find a new way to support my family. I had an obsession with food and cooking since I was nine years old. My love for my culture and handmade traditions kept me always creating in different ways. In my healing journey, I used plant based cooking and baking to navigate my path. I became really good at it. It gradually became something that empowered me while finding healing and having a family. Desserts in their simplicity are beautiful. They are filled with emotion for some and filled with stories for others. Reminiscing on comfort and love from a particular time makes me so happy to see in folks when they eat a vegan concha, or have a polvoron. They haven’t had that memory in years and I was able to help them find that again. We now have pastries at two coffee shops in the Inland Empire, as well as provide custom cakes, pastry boxes, and custom ordered pastries (all vegan). Read more>>

Maya Terro | Co-founder and Eecutive Director at FoodBlessed

I always get asked this question and pretty much every time I always say the things we love always find their way to us. That pretty much sums up my journey with FoodBlessed. When describing myself, I always say I’m a life-long activist. In spite of the many challenges Lebanon faces on a daily basis, I have taken it upon myself to lead by example and be the change I want to see happen around me. That being said, I think I’ve always been a food activist way before I knew that “food activism” was actually a thing. With FoodBlessed, I was able to turn my passion for food and my pursuit of empowering others into a humanitarian mission that “nourishes” individuals, communities, and public institutions to promote positive change in their country, one meal at a time. As for starting FoodBlessed, with huge amounts of food wastage globally and so many needy; it was only a matter of time before I felt the need to act. It all started in 2012 as part of a competition organized by CSR Al Ahli. Read more>>

Doctor M. Brown | Founder of The Brown Medical and Educational (MAE) Foundation

I wanted to start the Foundation as a way to contribute to my community. As a physician it is important for my community to see those who look like them active in the various roles within leadership and service. Read more>>

Devantae Carter | Brand Creator. Business Owner. Artist.

The process started without me even knowing it. I was young and already had business ownership & entrepreneurialism instilled in me. I just needed that spark, and that spark came from seeing my family & elders around me grind so hard at a typical “9-5” for someone else’s dream. I knew growing up I couldn’t work for someone else, I had to have my “own” ! Even when I did have the typical job, coworkers will see me creating profitable ideas or even in our conversations, you can hear the passion in my voice, whether I’m talking about something I want to do, or plan to do. Once I set my mind to something I go after it by all means, and people saw that. Everyone doesn’t have that. I knew I needed to go into business for myself once job after job after job didn’t bring me happiness or fulfillment. It was more of an obligation. I couldn’t see myself growing old working for someone else’s company. I’m well then capable of making my own, and I did & I’m Forever grateful. Read more>>

Kyler Nipper | Founder of Kyler’s Kicks

I started Kyler’s Kicks as my own healing at 11 years old. I was stabbed in my chest in school over my shoes. After emergency surgery saved my life, I struggle with PTSD. I wanted to prevent what happened to me from happening to others, so I started collecting, cleaning and giving away shoes to those in need. After my own family became homeless due to my medical bills and lack of mental health coverage, I expanded Kyler’s Kicks to include Kyler’s Kicks Lounge to provide free teen inspired mental health therapy to any teen in need . My thought process is always focused on changing the world by healing through giving. Read more>>

Chelle Franklin | CEO – Dripping Candles & Designs Created by Chelle

My thought process behind my business was really about taking a risk. A few months ago I was in the process of creating scents for my candles, scents that I imagined and carefully curated, and then I lost my job due to COVID. Like millions of Americans, COVID disrupted my life. I was now unemployed, an uninsured diabetic, and a disheartened dreamer. It felt like I lost and for a moment I felt stuck. It was scary and honestly still is. I was faced with questions. Where should I use my money, Is this a good idea, can I do this, where do I invest my time, how do I continue to provide for my son? Questions, stress, and doubts were all I was certain of. I am in my 40’s, I am a black woman, a single mother of 4 beautiful black young adults, and a survivor. I have spent a large portion of my existence operating as a caretaker, chasing my dreams in the moments my attention wasn’t called to by my kids, work, or bills. I’ve come face to face with adversity in so many forms. Now again, I was a place of vulnerability in a pandemic. It was that moment I had to make a choice and a commitment. Read more>>

Lisa Gillette | Equal Pay Activist, Keynote Speaker, Executive Coach

I started my business BIG SKY Coaching & Consulting because I saw the need and I knew I could fill it. I’m often asked how I transitioned from working as an executive in sports television to becoming an equal pay activist, keynote speaker, and executive coach. Honestly I’ve always fought for pay parity, and when I discovered a solution or strategy to advance in my career I was happy to share it with others; especially when it came to negotiating a better salary, inspiring a team or leading with ‘executive presence’. Relatively early in my corporate career, I earned a reputation as a rainmaker; a fast learner who delivered quickly in the most difficult of circumstances. In turn, I negotiated handsome rewards in title, salary, stock options and other perks in my ascent up up the ranks of management. Then one day, about a year after I was promoted to Senior Vice President, I realized I’d hit the glass ceiling. I clearly saw there was no room for women, let alone even one woman, in the row of C suite offices where I worked. And that’s when I started formally organizing and advocating for all women’s career advancement. Read more>>

Mehdi Dalili | Physical Fitness Coach

I’m very passionate about helping people, changing their life style, and being healthy. Helping people as their fitness trainer and getting them to their fitness goals has been my passion from very early age of 23. I started my first fitness facility in 2008 in my home country, Iran. I expanded on my original facility in the years after. This business soon felt like my second home. After few years, I moved to US, land of oppurtunities, and I started Top Notch Fitness. Read more>>

Alexandra Ray | Art Advisor and Founder of Eye of the Huntress

I have been an art advisor and curator of pop up shows for almost 20 years both here and in my early days in London. I had always dreamt of having my own gallery but these brick and mortar commitments are costly and unnecessary. 75% of art is bought online in today’s current climate so I saw the reality to move with the times. When the pandemic happened and the inability to travel to see shows, it gave me a pause, to dream up my next iteration of my vision for how people could view and buy art. Eye of the Huntress is a virtual online exhibition series that art lovers would subscribe to, to get amazing desirable works of current art brought to them, yet delivered in a context of an architectural home space- moving away from viewing art in impersonal, sterile gallery spaces. I know how much art I see per week through my various feeds, and even I get overwhelmed by too much art saturation- it is hard for people to find anything these days, as a lot of art platforms have diluted their focus or brand. Read more>>

LaTonya Reliford, M.A. ED | CEO and Founder

My love for teaching and the desire for all scholars regardless of ethnicity to have access to quality and affordable educational resources is why Full Potential Educational Resources LLC was born. I have been in education for over 16 years and understand how challenging it can be for teachers and parents to find the right tools for their child’s educational journey. Our mission is to enhance the educational process for all scholars by providing quality yet affordable resources that are strategic and rigorous with the understanding that all scholars have the ability to thrive given the right tools to reach their Full Potential. If you notice, we call our students scholars. It is important to our company’s purpose that students recognize their role in their academic career and how being a scholar, one who goes above and beyond academically, is not just a word but a lifestyle. Through our commitment to our mission, we have partnered with the nonprofit, Project Educate, to assist in their purpose of educating our homeless and underserved men, women, and children. We are so honored to be a part of such an amazing movement and look forward to the awesome events an projects happening in the upcoming months. Read more>>

Amy Wilson | Publisher, Red Dirt Press

Red Dirt Press, headquartered in Shawnee, Oklahoma, was established in 2013, and is devoted to publishing contemporary North American New South Literature that addresses the complexities and diversities of the New South, and global perspectives that intersect with issues of regionalism and social justice. The press grew out of a desire to provide an alternative to both emerging and established authors who have produced manuscripts of merit that could be overlooked by traditional publishing houses. Red Dirt Press’ primary objective is to provide a “home” for these manuscripts. At Red Dirt Press, we embrace the poet Sharon Olds’ adage: “Poetry should be sold at supermarket check-out stands.” We believe all genres of books should be sold at check-out stands, so we look for traditional and non-traditional venues for book sales. We have sold books at local hardware stores on consignment to major online venues, and everywhere in between. Recently, Red Dirt Press has published Los Angeles poet and Columbia University Business professor, Bruce Craven. Read more>>

Julius Eulberg | Founder of JULISIS SKINCARE

I studied the Paracelsus sciences and thought what is applicable for homeopathic medicine would be beneficial for skin care, after all it is our largest organ. All the products at the time on the the market labeled organic were greasy and oily and not pleasant and efficient enough. In 2002 I developed a serum for the day with liquid gold to activate and protect skin (gold elexir day), and a serum for the night with liquid silver to detox and regenerate (silver elexir night). I had no money and used the train to visit spas and salons which was challenging then German Vogue featured me which was an essential step stone to our success. Read more>>