Starting a business is a huge undertaking guaranteed to take years of work and cause you a ton of stress. On the other hand, it’s also an exciting adventure that could fill you with a sense of satisfaction and possibly make you very wealthy.
No matter the outcome, venturing out on your own is a unique path to take, most people find it easier to work for someone else than to risk failure with their own idea. With that in mind, we asked 10 Abound brands why they started their own business. Their answers ranged from practical to sentimental, to everywhere in-between.
1) Luther Cutchins, owner of Noke’s Granola
My brother used to make granola at our catering business and it started to get a bit of an underground following before he suddenly passed away in 2012. Two years later I opened “Noke’s Granola” in his name (nickname) to honor him and the granola everyone loved, his Ryan’s Blend.
2) Marek Adamski, director of Nunu Foods
My wife wanted to make a healthy and nutritious snack for our kids. She made some samples and our kids loved them. We thought it was a great business idea, so we moved on with the project!
3) Octavio Orozco, owner of Chilesquiles
I always wanted to develop a project that could teach my kids the processes required to start an income-generating business. One day I was talking with my ex-wife about this idea, the conversation spread so we decided to continue it the next day. I said, “Why don’t we have some chilaquiles for breakfast?” and she said, “I wish there was a sauce to cook chilaquiles and that way I could save the time of preparation.”
The next morning I went to look for a sauce for chilaquiles in the stores and I didn’t find it! I checked online to see if I could buy one but I only found sauces for enchiladas, tacos, fajitas, etc., but none that was just for chilaquiles! And that’s how the idea was born.
4) James Douglas, owner and beekeeper of Huckle Bee Farms
It started as a hobby and a backup plan. It grew into a full time profession. In this business, I am able to utilize my different skill sets from business, to the art of creating unique products. There is a form of peace when working with the chaos of bees.
5) Lacy Simon, VP of Marketing Sales for Knork Flatware
Innovative creativity can come from anywhere. That’s what happened the day Mike Miller went to a pizzeria with friends and struggled to eat pizza with a normal fork while trying to impress the ladies joining them for dinner. He then noticed an employee using an old fashioned rocker pizza slicer, imaged how that functionality could exist on his fork, and the rest is flatware history.
6) Natasha Byrd-Gaylon and Jennifer Peets, owners of Naked Bar Soap Co.
Natasha gave birth to her first child in 2006. Her son was born with a skin condition commonly known as cradle cap, or seborrheic dermatitis. Her pediatrician recommended using an over the counter medicated dandruff shampoo in order to treat it.
As she carefully rubbed her tiny newborn’s head with the chemical laden shampoo, she couldn’t help but feel apprehensive. It was nerve wracking to say the least. To her dismay, the cradle cap did not go away after the treatment. Highly reluctant to use the medicated shampoo again, she began researching natural ways to treat cradle cap.
She learned that using simple, natural ingredients found in the pantry were better skincare remedies than the over-the-counter medicinal quick fix. Extra virgin olive oil did the trick and the cradle cap was gone in an instant! This discovery led her into the world of natural skin care and green beauty.
7) Leslie Bradford-Scott, founder of Walton Wood Farm
We are a real working farm, and I created this business to provide diversified farm income for my family, to save our historic barns, and create rural jobs. We just completed the restoration of our beautiful barns! They are like cathedrals to our agricultural heritage.
8) Eli Ratner, owner of Bella Candle Factory
I decided to start this business because of my passion for baking and candles. I decided to combine it into one and create a winning product. Our candles look like a real dessert but there’s not an option to eat all the calories.
9) PJ McQuade, owner of Castle McQuade
Well, I always had a love and talent for drawing and creating art, so early on in my life I committed to making a living as an artist. It wasn’t easy, I had lots of other odd jobs early on, a bike messenger, waiter, bartender, I worked for a moving company, I was in stage production for a while.
But I chipped away, started promoting myself to art directors, and eventually started getting work as a freelance illustrator for magazines, newspapers, websites and advertising. I did that pretty steadily for about 5 years, still do here and there, but in the midst of that I opened an online store through Etsy and that really took off after a while, so I went all in a few years back.
10) Sabine Schoepke, owner of Shiny Little Blessings
I never intended to start this business. In a very difficult time of my life, I created pieces for myself to uplift, inspire and encourage myself. I got tons of compliments on those pieces and soon people shared their life stories with me and asked me to create custom pieces for them. A passion project turned into a labor of love and over the years into a serious business.