Our city is home to so many incredible businesses and so we asked the founders how they came up with the ideas for their businesses and have shared their responses below.

Elaina Ortiz | Photographer

I first came up with this idea because of Instagram. I’ve always wanted my profile to look good so I would go out and have my friends take pictures of me with my old camera. I had a certain way I wanted them taken and I would edit them myself too. After a while, I decided to start taking photos of my friends instead. I got great feedback from doing so. From there, I decided I wanted to make this into a business. I made my own Instagram for Lains Lens and started booking clients. Read more>>

Arlene Mayén | Scroll Saw Artist

My idea was inspired by my amazing Dad. He started learning scroll saw art when I was little. I would come around and see him make this amazing art. At first I didn’t think much of it…but how wrong was I. As the Covid-19 Pandemic started earlier this year, I had to stop working at my regular job for the safety of my family and felt hopeless of what to do. That’s when my dad came around and told me about Scroll Saw Art. I thought to myself “Why not?” I’m a hands on leaner so I picked it up pretty fast and actually enjoyed it! My thought was “I should’ve started on this awhile ago!” and thus the business was born. My new found passion motivated me to offer the best to the everyone and to take on any challenge that came my way! Read more>>

Jamila Rowser | Writer & Publisher

The combination of my love for comics and Black women led me to start my own business. I love comics, but like society, the industry is racist and sexist and I wanted to do what I could to help change that. This desire led me to create Black Josei Press, a publishing company focused on publishing comics by and for Black and Brown women. Read more>>

Heath Porter

After 30 years in the food and beverage industry I had to look around and think what would make me happy. It had been a long grind and I knew I could never be separated completely from the business. So I thought about all of the things I loved about my career and the things I did not. I decided that food, wine, travel, service and entertaining were the things I could not do without. I had always traveled and studied intensely for my sommelier, culinary and leadership career. Daily my guests would ask about my travel and and the greatest food, wine and people I had ever visited. So I decided I should take guests with me on private, intimate and behind the scenes tours to the greatest wine regions in the world. Think adult Disneyland for anyone who loves food, wine and travel. Read more>>