Our city is home to so many incredible businesses and so we asked the founders how they came up with the ideas for their businesses and have shared their responses below.

Mercedes, a.k.a. Rev. Mercy Ibarra | Bilingual Interspiritual Minister and Ceremony Officiant/Flamenco Dancer, Teacher, and Choreographer

Well, when it comes to my business as a Bilingual Interspiritual Ceremony Officiant, I don’t know that I necessarily came up with my idea for my business as much as the idea manifested itself in my life over a few years. Everything started in 2014, when I was volunteering for hospice. I was visiting dying patients who were of different religious faiths and I thought I should learn more about those different faiths and what their ideas were around the end of life, that way I could have more understanding of what my patients were facing emotionally and spiritually. Read more>>

Lulu Favela | CEO, Cabronas4theWorld

In 2019, I was in a toxic work environment with my boss. I became severely depressed and contemplated suicide. I felt worthless and afraid. It was a horrible time in my life and the worst part was no one understood or made me feel safe enough to open up without being judged or labeled as “crazy”. A year later, I was laid off in the midst of the pandemic. I was still depressed and traumatized. Most importantly, I couldn’t bring myself to secure a regular job. I knew I wanted to start a business to make a little income and work at my own pace. Most importantly, I wanted to create a safe space where I could share my experiences with mental health and build a community of empowered women. I never wanted anyone to feel the way my boss made me feel. Read more>>

Sonia Hare | Certified Personal Trainer and Holistic Health Coach

When I first started on my journey in the fitness and health industry, I looked at the different avenues and options for a career path. I could join a big box gym and have them feed me clients, I could get an internship at a private training facility, I could be a group fitness instructor at an established studio, all options that would allow me to get my foot in the door, and build my business while working for someone else. I ultimately decided that I wanted to be my own boss. I didn’t want to help build someone else’s business, I wanted to build my own. Read more>>

Khandice O’Kelley | Taylor’s Mom & Head Pink Chawkulitier

Like many other families, the pandemic changed our everyday routines drastically. I was working from home and my daughter, who was in kindergarten at the time became a virtual student. Little did we know that she would spend her entire year in first grade in virtual school as well. During this time I realized the need for hands on activities to reduce her screen time. If she had her way, she would watch TV and use her iPad 24/7. We would bake together, make crafts and we even started an indoor garden. All of these things were great distractions but the lure of the TV was so strong, and momma (that’s me) was gaining weight from all the cookies and cakes we were baking. Read more>>

Sophie & Izzy Uwins | Chief designers

It started at school. We were forever switching between pencils and highlighters when annotating textbooks. One day we came up with a simple hack to combine them, by taping a highlighter to a pencil. Soon we noticed our friends started doing the same thing. When we showed our parents, they went to get us a real product that would do the same thing. But they quickly found that none existed. So we decided to design one ourselves. 1 year later, SOZY Pencils and The Annotator were born. Read more>>