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.

Beth Loughman | Founder, Tiny Elephant

At risk of sounding cheesy, the Tiny Elephant big idea found me. When the world shut down in 2020 I was looking for an outlet. I saw 2020 as a massive opportunity before the first quarantine happened. Lots of great leads, solid contracts and connections. But as we all know- just a few months into the new year, projects suddenly hung in the balance and businesses stopped operating all across the world. Read more>>

Andrew Byrne | Voice teacher and author

My own journey with my style of brain-and-body-based voice training grew out of my history as an injured musician. I started my career in New York playing for in the orchestra for the Broadway production of Les Misérables. During the course of this job, I developped chronic pain in my elbow that I thought was going to end my music career. I realized that there was nothing else I wanted to do in life, so I became dedicated to fixing myself. I did so successfully, and I have played the piano without pain for twenty years now. Read more>>

Dan Hertzog | Director/DP & Founder | In the Wee hours

Creatively, I believe you maybe have two or three truly original ideas in your lifetime. And I never wanted to be 80 years old in my rocking chair wondering what if, so I decided to take an idea I developed over the years and actually produce my game of uh… pretty quick wit, Thinking is Drinking(R). Inventing a drinking game seemed like a really good reason to form a limited liability company, and thus came about In the Wee hours. Little did I know that 25 years later I would own an award-winning creative production company, nor that the name would turn out to be so prophetic as I routinely toil away until three or four most mornings. Read more>>

Abby Ahlgrim | Owner & Creator

I am a Central Coast surfer and artist with a propensity towards sustainability. During the start of covid I spent most of my days in the ocean and hanging around a local surfboard making shop. While excited by the creative process and vibrant colors of crafting boards, I was shocked by the wasteful reality of the surfboard making industry – juxtaposed by the water-loving-earth-conscious people that is the surfing community. Read more>>

Arthur Bolden III | Private Chef & Actor

It all started with Netflix lol. I actually watched the documentary, called “Salt Fat Acid Heat”. This kick-started everything, giving me the ignition to learn how to cook. Prior to this show, I couldn’t even cut an onion. But, the chef broke down those 4 aspects (salt, fat, acid, heat) so simple that I ran to the grocery store that same day. I cooked my very first meal, and it was amazing! I love the process of seeing all the ingredients come together, and breathe life into an awesome experience. Read more>>

Nicholas Macris | Creative Director / Image Creator

I have been working within the clothing/fashion industry for 8 years now and it felt like a natural progression to start my own label 3 years ago. I got tired of being the consumer and decided it was time to create stuff I wanted to wear myself Read more>>

Ray Rhemey | Singer/songwriter duo

Vilda: Summer of 2021, I kept asking TaRhea to come by the studio to write songs with me, and each time I felt musically rejuvenated. I knew we had something special. We both have very different styles, however, they mesh well. TaRhea: After releasing individual projects as TaRhea Ray and Vilda Ray, it felt natural to come together to create our own material. It was a different feeling from the times we worked together before. We were totally in sync, like a light bulb came on. I asked Vilda if she would be open to forming a duo group and she said “ YES! I was thinking the same thing!” Read more>>

Denise LeMons | Executive Director

Like many others, our business idea came about because of a void, a need that was not being met. As mothers of autistic children, and disability advocates we identified a void in special need’s social skills training for more enriching, cultural, and fun experiences that could spur authentic social interaction for kids and families and serve as a bridge to fostering friendships for individuals with and without disabilities. Read more>>