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.

Elise Mireille | Actress, dancer & director of THERAPY OF DANCE

I created THERAPY OF DANCE in 2019 because I needed an antidepressant and I couldn’t afford therapy at the time. I was living in Berlin, it was winter and the days were endless grey blurs. It was a struggle for me to stay optimistic within a sea of black clothing, sleepless techno filled nights and a heavy drug culture while I was battling dependency issues, so out of a dark place I realised I needed to reconnect to dance. I danced competitively within a crew for 10 years growing up back home in Aotearoa/New Zealand, and that crew felt like home to me.
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Christy Lin | Creator and Host

I had a hard time fitting in with a lot of the kids because my family was one in only a handful of BIPOC people in my hometown. Race dynamics wasn’t a widely discussed issue, so I just spent a lot of time alone instead. Read more>>

Andrew Borenzweig | Founder & CEO, The Beverly High Rye

I wanted to change the face of American whiskey. Before creating The Beverly High Rye, I worked for a high profile whiskey company for several years. I really fell in love with whiskey, and I have always been drawn to brands that capture and influence culture — I wanted to do something different. Read more>>

Michelle Macrohon | DJ and Creative Director of ISOULATION

Back in 2019, before being a DJ, I did a boudoir photo shoot in order to combat my low-self esteem due to ACL surgery. My friend and I ended up creating an alter ego named Sedusa out of the photoshoot for jokes. I actually wanted to use the name if I ever became a rapper (I liked freestyling with friends). Few months later, I joined the Academy of DJs and “Seduza” sounded fitting. Read more>>

Sara Moore | Creative Director + Founder of Silver Lining Stuffies

I came up with the idea for Silver Lining Stuffies in 2020 when the world was reeling from the COVID-19 pandemic. Children everywhere were facing new challenges and we, as a society, were talking more openly about mental health, particularly with children. A topic typically brushed aside was slowly being de-stigmatized. As someone who was diagnosed with depression and anxiety at a young age, I empathized greatly. It was hard to sit by and watch the massive toll our circumstances were taking on children. Read more>>

John Savage | CEO & Co-Founder

Being a California Notary Public, I found myself trying to figure out how to grow my business by leveraging my efforts. I began to ask the question, how can I have customers find me online without me having to always go door knocking, calling around, driving to banks, care homes, law firms, or working on my website constantly trying to figure out how the algorithms work til 2 am in the morning? I figured, there must be a better way for my customers and Notaries to connect with each other without all the additional cost and time it can take to successfully secure a Notary when needed. Read more>>

Liz and Lloren | Co-owners + Creators

Business partners, and recently engaged, we both come from a diverse lineage; incense, crystals, and practice had always been an integral part of our spirituality. Lloren was working full-time in the film industry, unfulfilled with the production lifestyle, while Liz was studying sociology at UCLA.  Read more>>

Rene Rainey | Television Producer and Personal Care Product Business Founder or Bubble Bath Maker?

I’m a television producer with a hectic schedule and one of the ways I’ve always decompressed is by taking a bubble bath. It’s a little bit of ‘me time’ that goes a long way for my mental health. The television business is fickle, especially as a freelancer; sometimes you work and sometimes you don’t. Because of the inconsistency,  Read more>>

Sally Z | Speaker & Speaker Coach

I have always loved two things: being on stage, and sharing an idea I hope has an impact. I learned early on how powerful the “stage” is to lead from. I remember playing a character role in a high school play, and the moment I made the audience laugh – like, really laugh!. Read more>>