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.

Ethan Massey | The Merch Shop Owner / Dispositions

For the Merch Shop, my business partner Andy and I came up with the idea while we were on tour with our band, Dispositions. I believe we were headed home to Fort Worth from Colorado and started thinking of ideas of how to help our band as well as other up and coming bands. Having a 12 hour drive home, we quickly whipped out the notes app on our phones and started jotting down everything we were saying. Being extremely inspired for the remainder of the ride home, we got right to work as soon as we got back. Read more>>

Steve Brodt | Paranormal Investigator & Content Creator

When I was 16 I started the South Glens Falls Paranormal Society, which was a non profit paranormal investigation group. We would conduct investigations of privates residences & business across NY & VT. We began hosting small public paranormal investigations as a fundraising program for various historic sites & our group. After about 7 years of hosting these type of events I began to think it was something I could succeed at on a much larger scale. So, in the summer of 2019 I launched Haunted Nights. The company hosts public paranormal investigations at some of the country’s most well known haunted locations. We have traveled to over 10 states bringing guests into historic prisons, hospitals & asylums in the past 3 years. Read more>>

Shantell Jennings | Owner, Aroma Creator & Poet

We are a pandemic baby. During my time of isolation, I had time to re- discover my creativity. I am a spoken word artist and thought I would explore candle making as another skill to my creative works. I wanted to fuse my poetry and the candle making process into one to create my brand. What began as a hobby, quickly turned into a drive to research, test, and explore the best process in creating well burning candles. As we strived to create atmosphere and aesthetics with our aromas, we added my words of poetry to bind the two crafts and thus Tell’em presents…Smell’em Candle Co. was born. Read more>>

Kim Wickliffe | Owner

Cleve & I have always been foodies. We have both baked for family most of our lives but Cleve had a true passion for baking. He was always baking cinnamon rolls for our friends and family. One weekend I told him I thought we should sell them. He told me if I could sell them, he would bake them. That evening, I posted them on Facebook for sale and by morning we had 12 orders! From there, the business started to grow. As it grew, we expanded the baking categories and both left our corporate jobs to pursue our passion full time. Read more>>

Denisecia Lee | Author, Teacher and Private Tutor

In 2020 following a shutdown due to Covid 19, many families were struggling to keep their scholars engaged virtually while still trying to provide for their household. Once I realized that there was a need for tutors to help support families, I tried to stepped up to fill the need. While still teaching virtually and managing my household, I began tutoring my hairstylist’s daughter. As a private tutor, my business has taught me that families globally need someone that they can trust to help their scholar grow socially, emotionally and academically. Parents not only need someone to trust, they needed someone to help encourage and empower their scholar. Read more>>

Azanel Bonuz | Photographer | Wife

The Goodness Captured.Photos began with a passion to capture memories and creativity through a lens. Since I was a little girl, I always enjoyed photographing our family trips and scrapbooking them to preserve the memories. My aunt would let me borrow her point and shoot camera and would print out the pictures that I would take. I would then allow the creative freedom with stickers, markers, and glue to tell a story with the photographs. About 4 years ago, my husband pushed me to create social media pages to share the photographs I had been taking. Since then, The Goodness Captured.Photos took off and is the business it is today. Read more>>

Skye Gouge | Dog Groomer

Owning my own business has been something I’ve been ready for all my life, but grooming dogs was the best career I ever fell into. When I was being taught, the end goal was always to buy Lucky Dog Grooming in Austin, Tx, which was the salon in which I trained, so when I opened my salon in Arlington, Tx., it seemed fitting to call it Lucky Pup Grooming. Read more>>