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.

Laura Olivieri Wood | Counselor, Advocate, Survivor

When I was very young, I knew I wanted to be a counselor. I always knew that the feeling of alone-ness, of not quite part of the club, the self-doubt and shame that I was feeling as a person who experienced childhood trauma was something that others must be feeling, too. I knew that there were more people out there who just needed to be seen, to be heard, and to be shown their human value. Something I say all the time, “it doesn’t have to be this way” really rings true for me from a very young age. Read more>>

Laura Beardsley, Gretchen Schubert & Allison Irwin | Founder, Just Try It

The idea for Just Try It came out of a lunch with friends called the annual “Favorite Things” lunch. There were about 12 of us involved in the group and the concept is that each person chooses one of their favorite things from that year (must be $25 or less) to give to everyone else. Over the years, girls have come with anything from a jar of their favorite salad dressing to a new kind of hairbrush to a handy kitchen gadget. Each gal would come home with 11 new amazing products that they didn’t know about before. After a few years, it began to gather some traction – and we would get phone calls from our Moms, sisters and friends asking “What did you get from this years favorite things lunch? What’s new and exciting that I need to know about!?” Read more>>

Lawrence Ayala | Product Developer & Residential /Commercial Painter

My background is a residential and commercial painter for 35 years. I’m constantly on Step A-Frame and Extension ladders. I started painting at the age of 16, I would paint on the weekends to earn extra money. I’ve always loved the final outcome of taking a house, cabinets, furniture and refinishing them back to life again. My idea for the MONKEY RUNG® PRODUCTS actually resulted from a serious ladder fall in the year of 2014. Read more>>