Our community is comprised of some absolutely brilliant entrepreneurs and so we asked a few of them to tell us the story of how they came up with the ideas for their business.

Jana Sarmiento | Homemaker & Entrepreneur

My personal advocacy started all of this. Kandilâ is a Filipina-American owned business that creates organic soy candles and wax melts. What started as a life-skill class activity has become a passion while maintaining the advocacy of supporting people with disabilities. Ultimately, our goal is to grow our business so that it will create job opportunities for people with disabilities. And equally important is promoting my cultural roots and heritage as a Filipina immigrant in this country. Read more>>

Melanie Kartalija | Jewelry Designer

A trip to Spain in 2019 was the inspiration for Santos Oñate Fine Jewelry. I have been designing jewelry custom engagement rings and delicate jewelry for more than 10 years including. While I had been to Spain many times before, on this trip, I felt like I was seeing jewelry designs in the balconies and ironwork of the towns my husband and I visited. The architecture, colors and textures spoke to me. I remember immediately thinking that I wanted to create jewelry that would make people feel like they have been transported to Spain. Because my heritage is Mexican and Spanish, I have always been drawn to those cultures. I felt like it was a perfect fit. When I think of Spain, I think of the Old World charm of the plazas and calles. It is a rustic beauty. One that is aged, but also elegant. There is so much texture all around, from the walls that flow from brick to stucco to stone and back. I particularly love the walls where old brick has been covered by newer stucco, but after many years the stucco has worn thin and the brick is revealing its historied beauty again. Read more>>

Amanda Peralta | Event Planner & Small Business Owner

I came up with Design Your Life Planner because I love celebrating people. I enjoy making people feel special, they matter and that they are heard. Ever since I was a young girl, I loved decorating for people’s birthdays. While I was in college, I interned as wedding assistant coordinator and worked as an event captain at the San Francisco Zoo. During the pandemic, I loved going on picnic dates with my partner, enjoying the beautiful outdoors. I love making our picnics cute and tailored to what we like. I wanted to show people a great way to just pause from this crazy time in life while being socially distant, It is as if they are on a mini vacation – nice view, greta ambiance and great company. Read more>>