Ideas aren’t everything, execution matters greatly, but starting often requires an idea and so we asked folks to think back and tell us the story of how they came up with the idea for their businesses. We’ve highlighted some of our favorite stories below.

Rashad Moumneh | Restauranteur & Chef Falasopher

Before starting Falasophy, I had a job that required tons of travel. Often,I would find myself in a large city, (Chicago, NY or Dubai were common), in a hotel room and hungry at night. Instead of going to a fancy restaurant, I would roam the streets looking for good street food. Usually I would find myself at a busy falafel or a shawarma spot. Growing up in Lebanon these places took my back to my childhood and I loved them all. My nightly walks to discover new spot became the highlight of my trips and I very much looked forward to it every time I traveled. I had always wanted to start a restaurant brand and eventually all these places I visited served as the inspiration for Falasophy. Read more>>

Zuzana Newman | Art Teacher

I lost my job and I have to find a new one in this pandemic situation. I was always creative, full of energy. I had to find something what can be challenging and creative. As a former art teacher I came up with an idea to make art classes for kids. Read more>>

Daniel G Garza | Entertainer, HIV Patient Leader and Advocate, Reiki Master & Intuitive

How did I come up with the idea for my business? I knew since I was young that I wanted to be in entertainment. I acted, danced, and liked to host events. In September 2000 I was diagnosed with AIDS and decided to learn as much as I could to educate folks in the Latino community so I became an educator and advocate. Then I started my journey in energy and spirituality in 2012 and became a Reiki Master in 2016. I wanted a way to put it all together as a business and Lilmesican Productions was already running as my content company for social media. Then I learned the term ‘social enterprise’ and I knew that’s what I wanted to do, create work that not only grew my business but put out information that educates, entertains, and energizes. Read more>>

Robin Psota | Owner

It’s an interesting story about how the idea of this business in estate sales came up. I was a creative director and had worked in advertising for many years. When the internet and web design became big, print marketing design substantially slowed down. I started to sell on ebay and in antique malls, vintage goods I would find at yard sales and flea markets, for extra money. The idea of an estate sale business was just gaining traction, and there were very few companies in business, even in major cities. It seemed, as recommended by a great friend, that it would be easier to run sales and make a larger profit, than just sell items one by one. It took hard work and effort, but didn’t take any real seed money to get it off the ground either. It took very little time to exceed all expectations and have a thriving estate sale company. Read more>>

Mike Vannelli | Head Video Producer

I started my video career producing music videos for artists like Three 6 Mafia and Machine Gun Kelly. A friend from high school was working for Three 6 Mafia as an Engineer and reached out when they needed some new and fresh music video produced. I wanted to get more into commercial and film work so I phased out of the Music Videos sector. I started from the ground up, with some of the equipment I had, to start making commercials. At the beginning, I did a lot of different styles of videos and commercials, to see what style I liked and what I knew I could do well. Then, Envy Creative started getting attention. Companies, brands, products, and startups started asking us to make their videos and commercials. From then on, I have been making commercials, ad and explainer videos, mostly for business, products, brands, and tech. Some videos we make are large-scale productions and some are smaller, to fit the budget of bootstrap startups, for example. To date, we have produced over two thousand videos. Read more>>

Bruce Palmore | Founder & Owner

As a kid, I was always interested in technology. I took my first computer apart around 7=8 years old. When I was in the 8th grade Nextel/Boost was really big. They had glowing backs, glowing antennas, and you were able to change your ringtones. I was fascinated with the ability to be able to do that. I started selling ringtones in the 6th grade. I had all the MIDI versions of songs and when the i730 came out, I was able to put real music as the alert. Everyone on my campus had custom ringtones. While I was in high school, I would always go to the mall and shop for new cases. You can say that the idea for my business was instilled into me since I was a kid. To make a long story short, Due to unforeseen circumstances in the music industry as a manager, I was forced to change my career path in order to make a living for myself. Read more>>

Howard Chen | Store Owner

As I had a booth selling at comic book conventions at 16 years old it was a dream for me to have a storefront business selling what I love1. Read more>>