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.

Elilsa Pupko | Founder, CEO, & Mom of Two

While I was working and auditioning in NYC as an actor, my “day job” was babysitting for families with young children in Brooklyn. One morning, as I was playing dress up with two 4 year olds, putting on costumes and making up stories together, I had an “ah-ha” moment that I wanted to create a theatre class that could nurture and encourage the amazing imaginations of young children. Read more>>

Elise Dufour | Ceramist artist & Ex Corporate Executive

My reinvention journey as a ceramist artist started in 2018 after moving from the east to the west coast of Canada. Guided by an aesthetic sensibility, shaped by 30 years of corporate executive work in the beauty business, transitioned naturally into art when by chance, I met a ceramist artist that lived in my seaside town of White Rock, BC. In fact, it is as if my creative journey went full circle, as a young girl, I was much involved in the artistic world but that phase of my life was interrupted during my professional career. Read more>>

Jenifer Klepacz | Head of EKstudio

I have always wanted to be an architect since I was young. I loved to draw and building little interior houses out of a shoe box. Aesthetics surrounded me in every aspect of my daily life and played a very important role in everything I did. Read more>>

Nour Jarmakani | Gallery Owner/Director

The idea of Belvedere Art Space came as a very natural transition for my partner and I who both studied Interior Design and Architecture and are art collectors as well. For us, art was always the true passion and the artwork selection and advising for our clients at the end of any project was always the best part. Having lived in many countries and travelled to many countries, I was collecting art and meeting artists for years. So when I moved back home to Beirut after being in Lagos, Nigeria for 10 years, I decided to continue my education with Sotheby’s in the UK to gain Art History and the Gallery business knowledge and opened our gallery in 2018. Read more>>

Bryon Lewis | Owner

My business began as nothing more than a stress reliever that I did in my free time right before the pandemic. My daughter and I started making banana bread together and I shared it at the office of my 9-5. It was a big hit and one of my co workers asked it I could do cupcakes for a birthday day party. From there it just grew more and more to sugar cookies, cakes, macarons and so much more. Read more>>