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 entrepreneurship and brand.
1) It Was Something I Discovered
LoveGem Studio was founded in 2013. After being proposed to, my finance and I discussed the kind of wedding rings we wanted and came to the conclusion that the rings they wanted needed to be handmade. A desire for uniqueness let to a metalsmithing class and that was how LoveGem Studio had started. Also, my background is in energy efficiency and conservation, so green and sustainable business practices are important to my business. I use Eco-friendly sustainable materials for my jewelry, including recycled precious metal from reputable U.S. based suppliers. In order to give back more to the environment, I also partner with Trees for the Future to plan a tree for every piece of jewelry that is sold.
Thanks to Yin Yin Wu, LoveGem Studio!
2) To Change the Way People Eat
Two and a half years ago my husband and I started a business venture together. On our honeymoon in Cancun we discussed a product that he had been working on for several years. He simply asked if it was something we should pursue, or if he should let the dream of manufacturing a product die. Without hesitation we jumped into the incredible adventure of what it means to be an entrepreneur. Living off of one salary, starting a business partnership that went sour, a successful Kickstarter Campaign to jumpstart the business, and a myriad of lessons along the way. To put it simply we feel as if we are earning a Masters Degree in Entrepreneurship. We started this business not to make tons of money, but to create art that people can interact with. We love art, design and making people’s lives better. Our goal with the product that we have created (the world’s only detachable bowl and plate) is to ultimately change the way that people eat!
Thanks to Leslie Scharfe, The First Ripple!
3) To Provide a Solution to a Problem
Started and continued on a mission to provide a safe and affordable solution to a common problem around the world, and despite the naysayers, we’re doing it with ethical American manufacturing! Business sense should make Human sense. Our product, the Thompson Tee with Hydro-Shield Sweatproof technology, completely blocks underarm sweat. Not only is this an opportunity to provide a safe and affordable solution to millions of people in need (up to 35% worry about excessive underarm sweat), but we’re building an American company into a global brand supported by domestic manufacturing. Despite no money for advertising, we have loyal customers in every U.S. state and over 50 different countries! Featured on the daytime hit show, ‘The Doctors’ and an Editors Pick in SHAPE magazine.
Thanks to Thompson Tee Inc.!
4) Tired of Paying $4 for a Cup of Joe & Receiving the Wrong Order
I’m currently running a campaign for my newest company, Xpressivo, on Kickstarter because I simply believes in the process – the democratic, ‘all for one’ philosophy. That is the mantra which drove me to establish Xpressivo (an e-commerce, advanced single-serve coffee technology and beverage home-delivery company). Why the mission and the passion? Primarily, because I was tired of paying $4 for a cup of joe and receiving the wrong order. And, seeing my easily pronounced name scribbled incorrectly on the side of the cup. Simply put: I wanted to make authentic coffee and espresso as accessible and affordable as it is in my native Italy.
Thanks to Adam Lupa, Xpressivo!
5) To Create Something About the Client
Every business owner and entrepreneur sees a need to fill. We created our brand of fitness because we saw a need to service our clients not only from a training perspective but also from a customer service and culture perspective. Coming from a sales quota facility where everything was all about money, we wanted to create something that was about the client, about the atmosphere, about the training. That’s why we created Active Movement and Performance or AMP.
Thanks to Chris Cooper & Adam DiBella, Active Movement and Performance!
6) I had a Passion for Chefs and Food
I started working as a pizza cook when I was 15 and eventually became a chef and server at premiere restaurants in Canada the US, and Spain. As an employee I could see that a chef’s brand, TV appearances, books, and products, were a huge factor in their success. Meanwhile I knew, having moved many times as a child, that people have a strong attachments to their home town restaurants. The issue facing chefs was that branding yourself takes time away from core competencies. After using The Chef Shelf as a college project, we launched. Now The Chef Shelf works with chefs and restaurants all over Texas to create branded products and ship their food gifts all over the country. In addition to products we create videos and recipes to connect to our customers such as our 15 second cooking show on Instagram. I started the company out of a passion for chefs and food and the belief that we could create a platform that engaged our customers and helped chefs. We have the greatest jobs of all; we work with chefs and food all day but have weekends off.
Thanks to Tanner Agar, The Chef Shelf!
7) We Discovered a Lot of Inefficiencies within a Company
Procurify started out as a school project in Operations Management. During the discovery phase of a term project, my co-founders and I discovered that there was a lot of inefficiencies within the company we were assigned to work with. Instead of just writing a report and telling the company where they could improve, we decided to develop a very simple software prototype they could use to better manage their procurement process. We quickly realized that there was an opportunity to help other companies by getting them to use the same software and we decided to start a business. Our school project turned into Procurify. We had a lot to learn and very little money but we were full of passion and maintained a belief that business software could be improved. We believed in a simple, yet profound idea: to be the change that improves business, and the lives of those working at them. We would find a better way. Fast forward a couple of years and Procurify has landed Mark Cuban, BDC and Nexus Venture Partners as seed round investors. Procurify’s cloud procurement solution is now being used in over 50 countries.
Thanks to Aman Mann, Procurify!
8) I Started My Company Out of Burning Frustration
I started my company out of a burning frustration at the lack of healthy food choices in my children’s schools. Instead of a lunch menu my husband and I could feel good about, my kids’ schools presented us with pizza, fast food, and in one son’s school, no lunch program at all. Pregnant with my third son at the time and more tired than I care to remember, I wanted to give parents like me a break. Wholesome Tummies was founded in July 2007 on that dream. The dream grew again when we received numerous inquiries to bring our concept to other towns in and out of Florida. We franchised the business in 2010. Now, four years later, we are up to 25 franchised locations in 15 states….and looking forward to putting a WT Cafe in every community across the country in the next 10 years.
Thanks to Debbie Blacher, Wholesome Tummies!
9) I just Wanted to Change the World
Contrary to what one might expect, I hadn’t planned as a kid to become an expense report magnate. Rather, I just wanted to change the world — and this opportunity presented itself as the next step in a lifelong path. In fact, I picked expense reporting because it was literally the dullest thing I could possibly imagine, in order to convince a banking partner that my radical product idea was low risk. It worked, and I used the boring veneer of expense reporting as a Trojan horse to launch my radical product — 100% intending to drop expense reporting the day after launch. But after launch, I learned that my radical product wasn’t nearly exciting as the boring one: expense reporting is an oft-overlooked space, but an incredible one. Just like search was deemed a boring backwater (we forget, but it’s true!) before Google proved it to be the most valuable real-estate on the internet, sometimes it takes an outside perspective on an old space to see it for the enormous opportunity it truly is.
Thanks to David, Expensify!
10) To Find the Perfect Dressing Gown
Icreated SoffiaB based on my own personal quest to find the perfect dressing gown. After many years of searching on both sides of the Atlantic, I decided to design my own exclusive collection. In my pursuit I bought many iterations of a dressing gown, some big, fluffy, toweling styles, some lacey, lingerie styles – adequate, but neither combining the style and comfort I sought. Hence SoffiaB was created, with attention to detail that is perhaps hard to find on similar products, “a significant factor in my purchasing was quality. Robes that quickly began to lose their shape or seams that became unstitched were a constant irritant. All dressing gowns are produced in New York’s Garment District where they are known for their quality and attention to detail
Thanks to Sophie Burkart, SoffiaB!
11) I Had a Big Vision
I started my business, Money Ripples, because I had a bigger vision than with the previous company I had help create. That company was doing a great job working with a specific niche market of business owners. However, I wanted to educate a broader range of small business owners. The best way I could do that was to create my own company where I had more freedom & control to run my business the way I thought it should be ran. I’m so grateful that I made that leap of faith to control my own destiny and serve more people than before!
Thanks to Chris Miles, Money Ripples!
12) We Wanted a Fashionable Alternative
We created the idea one summer night when it was too hot for a coat but they still needed protection from the rain. We wanted something more fashionable than a plastic poncho, hence the RAINRAP was born. We created a fashionable alternative to traditional raingear. The RAINRAP is very soft, lightweight, and completely water repellent. You can literally stick it underneath a running faucet and the RAINRAP will come out completely dry.
Thanks to Stacy Struminger & Rachel Teyssier, RAINRAPS!
13) We Were Looking for Something Fashionable & Functional
Colleen and I have traveled extensively with our families and whether we were on a ski lift, horseback, a hike or just shopping, we were constantly looking for a fashionable and functional way to carry our phones without the frustration of the frantic search through our bags. With that, Bandolier was born…. a chic phone case and cross body strap that creates an elegant luxury accessory which is practical and stylish.” Colleen’s vision for Bandolier is simple: “To show women that fashion can be functional without sacrificing elegance or expression. Bandolier serves a greater practical purpose than jewelry or other accessories, yet it can still make a bold and distinctive statement.
Thanks to Maggie Drake and Colleen Karis, Bandolier!