It takes a lot more than an idea to build a business, but there can’t be a business without the idea. So we asked folks who’ve built wonderful businesses to tell us about how they came up with the idea in the first place.

Chris Bailey | Co-Founder & Owner

Studio Pod is all about elevating the process of creating a nice portrait, headshot or profile photo, by making it more convenient, more accessible and easier for individuals and teams to produce high quality professional images. I began to develop the idea of Studio Pod in the first couple years of running my photography business, Chris Bailey Photography. I noticed how inefficient and difficult it was for businesses to capture headshots in a consistent and reliable manner. Business portraits, especially head and shoulder portraits taken in the studio, are fairly standard and simple to produce. But I noticed that the process of finding a photographer and then scheduling an entire team of people was difficult and costly for almost any business. Coordinating individual and team schedules to align with our studio’s availability was a job in itself. Read more>>

Calandra France | Financial Literacy Advocate & Serial Strategist

I studied finance and economic systems in college and then ended up working for the nation’s largest bank in their affluent client division. I knew how money systems worked from a mechanical standpoint, but really hadn’t grasped how to apply that knowledge in the real world. Through helping those high net-worth clients I learned how to bridge the missing pieces of information between what I learned in school and how to apply it successfully to manage my own personal finances. Read more>>

James H. Allen | Educator

As a life-long educator, I’ve always been concerned with the well-being of all students. I certainly understand that we each come from varying backgrounds, but I believe that each of us should maximize the potential that has been bestowed upon us. As I examined the educational framework that is in place, I observed that there were cases where the opportunities for educational success were not in place. This is not to say that the educational framework is flawed, only that it excluded particular cases that needed addressing. Cases such as those students who may have made poor choices or were products of dysfunctional environments. I wanted to create an educational environment that provided students who made such poor choices and dropped out of school, a second or sometimes third chance to “get it right” this time. Read more>>

Misti Buard | Mobile Food & Beverage Expert

After falling in love with one particular food truck, I had an aha moment. I began to think of ways that I could bring positive exposure to the food truck community. Unfortunately, some people don’t see the beauty in food trucks – how they’re able to express so much creativity in small paces, but I wanted to show the world that food trucks often times have some of the most creative chefs you’ll ever meet. So, I started an “Instablog” titled Tasting & Talking. No matter where I traveled, I scheduled time to stop at a local food truck (or two, or three!), try their food, and meet their chef. The stories that the food truck owners shared inspired me, and I wanted to share that inspiration with the world. As I continued to blog about food trucks and their unique menus, I realized that I wanted to combine my love of food trucks with my love of marketing. Read more>>

Shaun Wilkins | Graphic Designer & Communicator

I had been running one of my church’s social media accounts which involved creating original graphics, posting on a schedule, creating flyers, and editing videos. A few people complimented me on my eye for design, and over time, I realized not only did I have talent for it, I also really enjoyed the creative process. After attending a branding/networking event with other entrepreneurs I was convinced part of my purpose was in starting this business that can be a real help to someone. Read more>>

Camryn Wells | Spoken Word Artist & Children’s Book Author

My first book in The Color, Feel, Play Series is titled “What Color is Your Day?” and it was inspired by the very real and ever-changing emotions that we ALL experience but especially children. When my son was 2 years old, he was going through a bedtime transition and he started feeling certain things for the first time: fear, discomfort, anger. I wanted to make sure he not only knew how to appropriately express these feelings but that he felt safe and supported exploring them. As I started talking to more parents, teachers and caretakers, I realized that this was a common conversation. So I wanted to share my experiences and offer support from the perspective of a parent raising young children. While book two in the series, The Memory of Play, is certainly a children’s book, the message is equally for adults. Read more>>