Small Business Profiles
Just six months after Suhyoon Wood concocted her very first batch of kombucha, she decided it was time to turn her passion project into her very own small business. When her signature recipe—a blend incorporating organic green tea and honey—gained popularity among her friends and community members, she launched Beejou Craft Kombucha: Columbus, Ga.’s first and only craft and brewery kombucha taproom.
When Shalini Khanna immigrated to Northern California, she found that the majority of jobs available to Indian immigrants were in tech and IT. Uninterested in sitting behind a desk all day, she knew entrepreneurship was for her.
Unfortunately, she didn’t know many entrepreneurs she could turn to for advice and had no hands-on experience running a business despite having an MBA, so she decided to take the route of franchising.
She says, “I didn’t have anything in the bank or any experience, but I knew I wanted to own my own business.”
California small business owner Dr. Wendy Talley and her team are redefining “essential worker” with their much-needed support services throughout the pandemic.
With unprecedented times come great amounts of uncertainty and mental stress. Not only are we reckoning with a devastating public health crisis, but we are also still adapting to a new normal that can be isolating and overwhelming. It’s no wonder Dr. Talleys waiting list at Thelese Consulting Group is longer than ever before.
The past year has stretched many households to their broadband limit with kids learning virtually and parents working remotely at the same time, but for rural small business owner Shayai Lucero, this isn’t a new challenge.
Why shop small? Because $0.67 of every dollar you spend at a small business gets invested back into the community. For Jeff Rogoff, owner of Sazza in Greenwood Village, Colo., this philosophy holds true. At Sazza, not only are the pizza toppings and cheeses locally sourced but so is the silverware, tables, glassware and branded merchandise.
“Being mindful of our community, working with our community and being a part of our community is all very important to us,” Jeff says.
Most first-time business owners struggle to be profitable during the early stages of their business venture. But when you add a global pandemic into the mix, the chances of being profitable essentially go out of the window. This was the case for Nichole Jackson, a former educator who decided to pursue her entrepreneurial dreams and become a restaurant business owner in 2019.
Entrepreneurship has been a way for many Americans to avoid unemployment throughout the pandemic. So, when Michelle Youngblood’s corporate office shut down with a round of layoffs, she realized this was the push she needed to launch her own brand, Brooklynn & Blake.
Johana Hernandez has been surrounded by fashion her whole life. Growing up, her parents worked in sewing factories in Los Angeles, which enabled Johana to learn all about garment design and the production of high-end clothing firsthand. In the beginning, making her own clothes was simply a hobby that Johana and her mother enjoyed doing together in their spare time, but soon it became a passion and her path to entrepreneurship.
Starting a small business may seem daunting for most people, but for those who take the risk like Tierra Henderson, it’s a matter of seeking mentorship and applying yourself.
Starting a business venture with a friend seems like something out of a child’s imagination, but it is the case for best friends Kristina Gutierrez-Carreon and Sheena Rosell. After deciding they wanted to create healthy food together using high-quality ingredients, they opened Fresh Cut Catering in 2014 in Chino, Calif.
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