It takes a lot more than an idea to build a business, but there can’t be a business without the idea. So we asked folks who’ve built wonderful businesses to tell us about how they came up with the idea in the first place.

Jacqueline Coronado | Photographer and Content Creator

Growing up, my dad used to shoot film photography all the time as a hobby. He took his camera everywhere so he always let me take a few photos so I could learn. I then got into photography in high school and made the decision to pursue it in college. I attended Palomar college for a few years but I ditched my general Ed classes so I could just take every single photo and graphic design class I could. I’ve taken jobs left and right to build my network, but it wasn’t until this year I realized I was tired of working for a company. I took a leap of faith, left my job and began to work for myself. Read more>>

Veronica Jimenez | Founder & Chief Operating Officer

It all started when I was a young chica. I would often daydream about running my own special ice cream shop. Of course, I loved the classics but, in my mind, I’d dive deeper and imagine creating unique flavor combos with toppings that would make it more than just a satisfying treat- I imagined it as an experience all your senses could enjoy! As I grew, my ideas developed even more as I tried new foods and flavors. My newfound love for pickles was the spark when I was in a serious sweet and sour stage and knew it was a key piece to what I wanted to create. Read more>>

Jennifer Dineen-Cosh | Charcuterie board extraordinaire

My husband and I actually came up with the idea of Bleu Oak Charcuterie together! He has a culinary background and made them for many family events and the holidays. Myself and others pushed him to start a side business creating them for others. So we decided to start making them together as a side hussle on the weekends for friends and family as a way to also spend some time together away from our time consuming careers at the time. He had the culinary knowledge and I had the artistic flair. During Covid we both had job shifts, as did everyone, and he changed careers completely and I got let go from my company as they shifted so I took a giant leap and went full time with Bleu Oak Charcuterie and I couldn’t be more happy. I get to create food art and get to be creative with everything I do and also build a business which I never thought was possible. Read more>>

Paula Kettula | Psychotherapist & Transformational Parent Coach

People always ask me why did I choose became a social worker and a healing professional. The answer is simple – “I didn’t – it chose me!” My mother and my beloved grandmother who has already passed away, used to tell me how at age 5 years old, I would organize the neighborhood kids to play games, how I would coordinate and support everyone making sure no-one is excluded. I also remember a running competition on 1st grade where I was about to win easily by a huge margin but I stopped right before the finish line to wait for my best friend who was second so we could cross the finish line together. And we did! Having compassion, empathy and believing that we all get to be winners was apparently hard-wired within me. Read more>>

Ashley Catharine | CEO and Founder of Chouette Designs

The concept for Chouette Designs was born while I was selling jewelry in a high end department store. I was tired of telling customers who share my same ring and bracelet sizes that they would have to wait 4-6 weeks to special order items in their size. On top of that, they’d have to pay a premium before ever even trying the piece on. I knew there was a better way of doing business that wouldn’t alienate so many shoppers that just wanted to spend their money. It didn’t hurt that I also had a design background, and a plus size fashion blog that connected me to many of our future customers. Read more>>