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.

Carlos Toledo | Illustrator and creative

Honestly, everything was born a bit by chance and above all from the moment. I have always been a very imaginative person, I have liked to imagine things and put them on paper. From a very young age I have used illustration to express myself and over the years I have realized that in addition to being a means of expression, it has also served as a method of disconnection. Read more>>

Aspen Williams | San Diego based Photographer

At the end of the day photography was the only thing I could see myself doing long term! I didn’t have a well thought out plan or business model, more just a love for it and the willingness and ability to try and make it happen. Read more>>

Kathy Burnell | Co-Owner of PupLid & Veterinarian

PupLid was created out of a need to protect our dog, Buddy’s, sun-sensitive eyes. While Buddy has always loved the beach, we started to notice that on bright days his eyes became irritated by the intense sun. At times he would even frantically run to try to escape from the sun. My husband Tony and I needed to help Buddy but could not find a well-fitting, stylish hat on the market that shaded Buddy’s eyes, so we set out to make one for him. Read more>>

Ben Burley | Full Metal Burgers Founder

Before starting Full Metal Burgers, I was working in the foreclosure industry throughout the 2008 housing crash and aftermath. By 2015 I was tired and angry from working in a field where profit and success was directly linked to other people’s worst days and misery. I had been a backyard warrior grilling and trying to perfect my ideal burger for a while and the opportunity arose to start selling them on the weekends. We booked more and more events quickly and with the support from my old boss and mentor, family and friends I was able to transition my hobby and passion into a full time position by 2016. Read more>>

Joana Quijada | Wedding, Couples, Portrait Photographer

It was always a thought in the back of my mind for so many years, honestly since I was in high school to have my own business of some sorts. Did I know exactly what type of business, no not at all. All I knew was that I was never meant for the 9-5 office job for the rest of my life. I needed to thrive in my passions which included traveling and taking photos. Starting in 2012, fresh out of UCR, I decided to venture into wedding, family, maternity photography but I wasn’t focused enough to go full on with creating my photography business. Instead, I did what young twenty year olds do and that’s work retail jobs so I could travel, party and live life (so I thought)! Throughout this time I was working on my photo and editing skills by taking photos of my friends and my travels. Read more>>

James Terwilliger | Pizza Maker

I decided to start my own business because I think I have a unique set of talents and experience. With those two things combined I feel that I can provide the best of what Southern California has to offer , on a pizza . We use a unique blend of local flour and source all of our ingredients as locally as possible . These are tried and true culinary techniques and we try our best to bring it all to your table . Read more>>

Patricia Buddie | Fitness trainer / owner Buddie Fitness studio

I decided to change my career after having twin daughters. I always loved the idea of being a personal trainer,,so I decided to get certified and began working at a local women’s gym. As my daughters demanded more time, my thoughts were to build my Buisness from home. I converted my garage into a small fitness studio Read more>>

Bright Coal ( Josh Whiting ) | Church Logo Designer

I’m a big believer in “niching down” and finding a super specific tribe of people to serve with your creative skills. For me, this is logo design and churches / youth groups. I see a lot of bad design in “church world”. I love serving the local church and feel honored to be able to bring my experience in advertising and branding to help out! Read more>>

Kayla Maggy | Dog Mom & Content Creator

Like most pet obsessed owners, my personal Instagram was flooded with mostly pictures of Brewski. I had mentioned to my friends and husband that I wanted to create him his own Instagram page but never actually got around to it until the start of the pandemic in April 2020. I had always been interested in social media but little did I know that this massive, wonderful dog community on Instagram even existed. What started as just a fun place to post pictures of my dog has now turned into a place where I have created a community with followers and have met actual friends over the similar interest of our dogs. Read more>>

Roxanne Hillis | Kayak Fishing Business, Owner/Operator

My career in Hospitality Management was on hold due to Covid, and I had been wanting to start my own business for a long time, but just needed the right idea. When I had the idea to open our own Kayak Fishing Business in San Diego, with my husband as the lead guide, We immediately knew it was a winner! The whole process has been amazing, and with the right niche at the right time, it’s been busy and growing all the time. Read more>>

Omid Rejali | Trial attorney and Founder of LawPer, Inc.

I was frustrated with personal injury lawyers taking advantage of people who were injured. As a personal injury lawyer, I would hear the stories repeatedly of how personal injury lawyers were taking too much money out of the injured persons recovery and leaving them with little to nothing of the total recovery. So, I set out to change that. I created LawPer so the injured person would have a better online experience in being able to find high quality personal injury lawyers who will put more money in the injured persons pocket. Read more>>

Hector Bernal | BLAKDES.S Custom Furniture- Designer

BLAKDES.S initially came about as a clothing brand idea back when I was a freshmen in college. I wanted my clothing to be handcrafted with a variety of material combinations. As I got further into college, I decided to pursue a degree in Interior Design. It was during that time when I realized how much I enjoyed the architectural aspect of Interior Design and how much I disliked picking out furniture… which is why most people get into Interior Design in the first place. Read more>>

Melanie Rigden | Digital Marketer, Creator of Hello Ruby Doodle

Hello Ruby Doodle first started out as a way for me to share all the photos I take of Ruby with friends, family, and other dog lovers. After a couple of years, I became more serious about photography and was further into my marketing career. I decided to be more strategic with Hello Ruby Doodle and create more of a purpose with the content I was sharing. I consider Ruby my child and she does just about everything with me because I truly enjoy sharing all of life with her. This led me to want to inspire others to do more with their dog(s) and became the new purpose behind Hello Ruby Doodle. Read more>>