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.

Vasudha Deming | Instructor Designer, Skills Trainer and Business Coach

I’ve spent 20 years creating skills training programs for businesses and organizations. Again and again, I’ve seen people light up when they learn something new that will help them be successful at work and in life. That might mean learning how to communicate in a more positive, productive way or it might mean overcoming the challenges of their job role. And many other things as well! Eventually I was inspired to expand this training (and coching) from the corporate world to the wider community. I’ve heard so many people say, “You know, I learned something in a sales training program 10 years ago that has helped me in my family life ever since,” or “To this day, I still practice that technique for staying calm when challenged.” I also wanted to enhance classes with uplifting products and other resources. So I moved Noble Learning out of my home office and into a vibrant brick-and-mortar space in Normal Heights. We have a shop full of unique books, journals, activities, cards and other products that immediately spark inspiration and joy. Read more>>

Whitney Yarnall | Founder, Sojourn Healing Collective

Sojourn Healing Collective was inspired by a desire for support and community as I navigated my journey of healing myself physically and emotionally. In my early 20’s, I actively sought holistic wellness, optimal mental, physical, emotional and spiritual fulfillment and found that the healers or programs that were most impactful for me were in separate spaces, even requiring me to travel to different states at times. I dreamed of a space that had a variety of healing offerings under one roof and a community of supportive, like-minded people on their own personal healing journeys. Read more>>

Chef Queen Natifa | Private Chef and Caterer

The idea for my business started within me as a little girl. My best childhood memories are of family gatherings and Sunday dinners, filled with lots of laughter and delicious soul food. I have always loved to eat good food and was intrigued by the magic that would happen in the kitchen with my granny. I fell in love with all of the components of cooking and eating. I would always say, “I’m going to have my own restaurant one day.” As a young adult, I began working in the food and beverage industry. I’ve worked as a host, server, cocktail server, pool attendant, bartender, and cook! I ended up landing a food and beverage manager position at a restaurant inside of an autograph collection hotel. Being a F&B manager taught me so much about myself. After careful scrutiny, I realized I was equipped and experienced enough to start my dream. Read more>>