Each business has a story. No matter if the business is a Goliath like Wal-Mart, or a local business owned by a couple or family, the business has roots in an idea. For each business owner, the story of their journey can range from monetary needs or the passion for a unique project. Each story is different though the reasons may remain the same. No matter the tale, the background behind each and every business is what fuels each and every brand.
I Wanted to Expand My Hobby Into a Business
As a stay-at-home mom I discovered a hobby and talent of cake decorating. As my husband built the website and began to market my services I was soon getting more requests than I could handle. In December of 2010 my husband lost his corporate job. Due to all the demand, we decided to join forces and open our first custom cake and cupcake shoppe – One Sweet Slice. My passion for baking and decorating and his passion of marketing helped us grow rapidly. We now have two locations and the best part is we get to set our own schedule. It has been challenging but at the same time extremely fulfilling. I am now the baking expert for the local CBS affiliate, I won the Food Network TV Show Cupcake Wars and I am an author of a cupcake recipe book – ‘One Sweet Cupcake’. Starting my own business has enriched my life and helped me understand that I can control my own destiny.
Thank you to Janell Brown, One Sweet Slice!
To Pay the Bills
A little over 2 years ago I was laid off of work and started collecting unemployment, so i decided to go back to college. Money began to run out quickly and i needed a job that could pay the bills. So I start a company called Textbook Dollars. I came up with the idea while i was trying to sell my books back at the end of the semester and the local campus bookstore refused to buyback my books. That gave me an idea. How many other students does this happen to on campus every semester? I started to print out flyers and handing them to students myself (NO FEAR). Let me tell you the response i got was overwhelming! My business has started to really take off! I would love to share the whole story with you guys.
Thank you to Michael Rozinsky, Textbook Dollars!
Because I Lost My Job Due to A Disability
My reasons for starting my own business are many, but the main reason was due to losing my job because of a disability. Of course the company I worked for claimed otherwise, then EEOC had to get involved, then three long years later EEOC issued a determination in my favor. Then fast forward a few months, a new business for a product I created called Bebe PODPants, the brand name for a unique infant clothing garment due to launch the end of November 2013. That experience made me determined to try my best to never let allow a company or anyone for that matter to have that much control over my livelihood. The loss of that job cost me my home and my savings to name a few of my possessions but more importantly my dignity and emotional stability for a short while. I’m now in control now and working towards my dreams. As in the words of the great Frank Sinatra song My Way, “I faced it all and I stood tall; and did it my way.
Thank you to Tiffany Copon, Bebe PODPants
Because of Grief
I started bama + ry as a response to grief. My husband and I had just lost a twin pregnancy after years of infertility, and I desperately needed something to keep myself busy. I turned to a long-time hobby: jewelry making. It was easy to lose myself for hours in the creative process, and before I knew it, I’d created an entire line of jewelry that seemed to really strike a cord with people. I launched my online shop, and left my day job eight months later. What started just as a response to grief has turned into an ongoing source of healing, inspiration, and happiness. I am so grateful.
Thank you Jasmine Myers, bama + ry!
I Wanted to Create Tools to Help People
My focus is entrepreneurs and small businesses. And so, I always keep that in mind when creating new products. My goal is to make it easier for new entrepreneurs to launch businesses. I know how hard it is starting out, so if I can make that process a little bit easier- then I am all for that. I co-founded Triplefy to give small business owners an affordable online giftcard solutions. My ultimate goal here is to help people, be happy, travel the world, and make a great living while doing it.
A Hurricane Destroyed My First Business
I have often heard it said, and may have even repeated it a few times, ”necessity is the mother of invention*”, but in 2005, it became more than a catchy phrase. In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, and needing to move forward, a new found passion was revealed. There was no doubt that while operating and building my first business I forged great relationships with business owners and professionals, and these relationships took on a new light once my business was destroyed. I realized that I could use these relationships, and the skills that I had, my understanding of consumer thinking, social media, marketing and traditional media, to grow a new business. I began using my contacts and business skills to help other businesses and non-profit organizations to connect with the consumers they serve, and also began helping others, such as public figures in various industries, to connect with their communities in positive ways. That grew to where I am today: TLR Publicity and PR, Owner, Public Relations Professional and Director of Publicity. Helping small businesses to develop a strong and positive public presence, strengthening relationships with their consumer base, establishing partnerships through honest communication. Helping public figures and other entities to forge alliances with the communities that embrace them, using social media and traditional media to diligently communicate their accomplishments and philanthropic efforts. It’s a new day everyday and a fulfilling new start!
Thank you Toni L. Rousell, TLR Publicity & PR!
I Saw a Need in the Market for a Service
The founders actually created the app for their own use when they were a dog toy company, but found that people at trade shows were more interested in their app than their toys! They saw the need in the market for an app like theirs that caters to small and medium-sized businesses and thus launched Lettuce and sold their dog toy company. Lettuce is an inventory management program that consolidates the entire order, processing, accounting, inventory, forecasting, fulfillment and shipping process into a single click. It’s taken a task that spans multiple departments and countless hours and converted the process into a matter of seconds.
Thanks to Raad Mobrem, Lettuce Apps!
To Combat the Negativity
I started OwnerListens to combat the negativity spread by review sites and social media posts against businesses. I believe any complaint or problem can be solved by having a civilized conversation. I wanted to provide that alternative to businesses and consumers because all of us deserve better. Customers deserve to get great service and for an effort to be made to fix things that go wrong. Businesses deserve the opportunity to fix things before getting disparaged online. What I love about OwnerListens is that it’s truly a win-win business. It’s better for both sides of the retail equation and it’s a more fair and equitable way for the marketplace to conduct business.
Thanks to Adi Bittan, OwnerListens!
To Permanently Eradicate Hunger in America & Ensure A Bright Future
My company is Altered Seasons, for every candle sold, we provide a warm meal to an American in need through the Feeding America foundation. Approximately 50.1 Million Americans go to bed hungry, many of them children. That’s a major problem! How can we expect to raise up leaders of tomorrow if they’re going hungry and unable to focus in school? So we are doing our part and providing a meal to an American in need for every candle sold in hopes that we can permanently eradicate hunger in America and ensure a brighter future for all of our kids. Altered Seasons uses all natural eco-friendly soyblend wax to hand-pour our 100% American made candles in 42 unique fragrances.
Thanks to Kelly Reddington, Altered Seasons!
To Do More Social Good!
As young college grads, we wanted the challenge of owning our own business so we started building websites from our little shoebox apartment. As we grew and listened to thousands of inspiring stories from organizations around the world (nonprofits, faith and professional), we realized that having a great website was the least of their technical worries… their databases were negatively impacting their ability to raise money, run an efficient operation and deliver on their mission. We came together as a team and decided to risk it all by taking on the challenge of building a simple database to help nonprofits achieve maximum social impact while increasing their revenues and lowering their costs. In hindsight, our mission and drive for entrepreneurship really evolved as we matured and discovered what mattered to us most…enabling people to do more social good worldwide.
Thanks to Patrick, Jordan & Eric, Groopt!
To Fill A Need in the “On Demand” Market
I started Foxtrot because it fills a need in the “on demand” market. If we can order a cab or movie tickets instantly, why not a cold beer, snack and a magazine? It seems obvious that it would already exist, especially in a city like Chicago…but it didn’t. Let’s be honest, after working a long day and seeing an empty fridge, going back out to the store isn’t [Michael LaVitola] exactly something I was excited about. Having a store-to-door delivery of craft beer, high end wine, food pairings and other must-haves is what we all dream of in ideal world. Foxtrot now curates and caters to Chicago, bringing consumers what they want, at the right cost, quickly. We’re a part of an instant gratification culture, and the growing demand is something we want to capitalize on, and being in an exciting city and a part of a unique startup culture is icing on the cake (which we’ll also deliver).
Thanks to Michael LaVitola, Foxtrot Chicago
Because Medical Education Was Lacking
I left clinical medicine and started BoardVitals because professional medical education was really lacking. We set out to create an interactive, up-to-date, collaborative platform in which physicians can learn accurate and up-to-date medical materials for their exams from anywhere, any time. No more lugging around 4-5 heavy textbooks and studying from notes scribbled on scrap paper the way that until BoardVitals was the only way. We brought together all of the important players: Universities, publishers, and top physicians to create our one-of-a-kind platform that is revolutionizing the learning experience for doctors.
Thanks to Andrea Paul, MD, BoardVitals
To Make It Easy for Leaders & Entrepreneurs
After years of corporate life, I had an amazing opportunity to be a “paid entrepreneur”. A large company wanted me to run their startup business division. An amazing opportunity, based in Hawaii! However, a few months into the job I realized I was missing key skills to perform in this role. My past was at General Electric, where I picked up many different skills… but not all the skills to run a business. It was difficult, and despite all advances in education… it is pretty much learning from experience for business professionals. A process which is both slow and expensive (in terms of lost opportunities). So, I decided to make it easy for leaders and entrepreneurs to find experts who can accelerate their learning process, who can help them solve really complex problems… who are the best-of-the-best and yet, do not charge the outrageous rates of large consulting/ coaching firms do.
Thanks to Iqbal Ashraf, Mentors Guild
To Control My Income & Not Be Limited
I started my online business because I wanted to be in control of my income and not be bound by limitations of a traditional 9-5 job. I did not want to worry about getting laid off or working for a salary that may or may not adequately reward me for my effort. I also wanted to have the flexibility to make my own decisions and do what I feel and know is best for my company. Unless you occupy a top-level management position, that’s virtually impossible to have with traditional employment.
Thanks to Anton Ivanov, Dreams Cash True