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.

Elham Raker | Board Certified Pediatrician and Parent Coach

As a pediatrician and a mom, I realized and valued the importance of a mentor or a guide in parenting. Even as a pediatrician, bringing home and taking care of a new born baby was hard! Over the span of my career I have worked in many different settings; such as urgent care, emergency, office visits and in home visits. What I’ve realized is that my love for what I do stems from the connections I can make with families, the time spent answering questions, counseling and guiding. In most traditional settings our time was limited. It left parents looking for more, sometimes from family members, sometimes from google or Facebok groups. Which is how Ask Dr. Mom was born; a virtual platform consisting of telemedicine and parent coaching where parents can get reassurance and guidance from the comfort of their home through a trusted resource. Read more>>

Shaina Fawn | Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Founder and CEO of Therapeutic Bridges

The idea for my business started before I even really realized it when I first met my partner, who is an actor, 11 years ago. At the time, we worked together at a middle school in inner-city Denver. I was a case manager, and he was an acting teacher. On our first date, over sushi, we discussed the overlap between our two industries, how we both hold space for the human experience, how we both desire to make the world a better place. I finished a Master’s Degree in Social Work, and he pursued a Master’s of Fine Arts. Over the past decade, I have developed my career as a Trauma-Informed therapist, and he has developed his career as an actor, writer, and producer. We have continued to have conversations about how our respective industries intersect. Read more>>

Lydia Gomez | Educator + Entrepreneur

Early in my twenties I was fascinated and intrigued by the idea of being my own boss. I attempted other business ideas in fashion and accessories that did not workout. From those experiences I gained some important information about starting a business because I did tons of research on the topic. I also realized a few key aspects of myself that contributed to (most likely) the reason why those ideas did not work out. In my journey to finishing my Bachelors of Science degree in Biology, I gained valuable experience working in the Education field. I noticed that all the jobs I had were in different areas of education and it was what made me feel the most happy and fulfilled. I worked as a Floortime Specialist for kids with autism, an after-school teacher at an elementary, and as a program coordinator at an elementary that promotes social skills and problem solving. More recently I was a Child Development Specialist, assisting children with early childhood developmental delays (online and in-person) as well as parental education. Read more>>

Jenny Huynh | Baker and Health Coordinator

My grandfather owned a wholesale bakery for 20 years in Tuy Hòa, Vietnam before fleeing Vietnam in 1979 to seek a better life for his family. As refugees resettled in the United States, he continued to bake, sharing with friends and family as a way to express his love and keep traditions alive even when distant from the country he once called home. I grew up watching my grandparents make mooncakes, sticky rice and mung bean cakes, and many other traditional items during big holidays. I always grew up interested in learning more from my grandparents but never committed to the idea because I was concerned our stubbornness would prevent us from doing so. COVID-19 lockdowns allowed me the opportunity to ask more questions and learn techniques the traditional way. What started as a bake sale to fundraise for APPI organizations has grown into so much more. It has become an outlet for me to express my creativity and innovation skills inn ways my full time job does not allow me to. Read more>>

Paul Nicholas | CEO & Independent Educational Consultant

I was working as the Academic Director of an educational company in Beverly Hills in 2011 and I had fundamental principles of disagreement with the owner and how they ran their business. By that time, I had grown the company from barely getting by, to having month-over-month growth consistently for a few years. Rather than do that for someone else, with the support of my amazing husband Sam, I left and founded Alma Mater. The words, alma mater, were always a core part of the arching educational philosophy of my high school, The Potomac School, in McLean, Virginia. I thought…what better way to connect and communicate the mission statement of my company than the Latin words, Alma Mater. The nourishing mother of education that all students are nurtured by. Now we are proudly celebrating our tenth year in business faithfully serving our students. Read more>>