Author Archive for cafaroje1

Smiley Face Sponge Becomes a Jackpot

Aaron Krause, the creator of Scrub Daddy turned a simple idea into a million-dollar company. Scrub Daddy was founded in 2008 by Krause. He later partnered with Lori Greiner, a business mogul on the shImage result for scrub daddyow “Shark Tank”. The company sells smiley-faced dish washing sponges that change its texture and feel depending on the temperature of the water. The features of this sponge is that it is scratch-free and odor resistant, as well as dishwasher-safe. Krause had always had a passion for invention and even as a child would be constantly inventing. Scrub Daddy originally was not invented to dish washing Krause engineered the sponge originally to be for washing his hands after a long day as a factory worker and his hands would be covered with chemicals and grease. One day, he had a eureka moment and realized that it would be way more useful for washing dishes. Plus, the hole would allow for it to be easy to hold when scrubbing pots and pans.  Krause’s story is inspirational because he simply revolutionized an everyday item into a million dollar business. His story shows that just simple changes to an already utilized product can result in a huge success.

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Actress turned Entrepreneur

JImage result for jessica alba the honest companyessica Alba is a well-known address who recently ventured into entrepreneurship. Several years ago, she was pregnant with her first child and as most new parents do she researched how to make her home baby safe. After one load of laundry, which she washed in “baby-safe” laundry detergent, she broke out in a rash. She thought,” If I had such a bad allergic reaction, I knew it couldn’t be good for my baby. So, I set out to educate myself.” After months of research, she saw there was a social injustice that the average family couldn’t easily find or purchase healthy products. So, she created to make a better world for her children and other families. Today, the Honest Company sells everything from household cleaners to makeup. Jessica Alba saw a way that she could make a difference for healthier and safer families and used this as her motivation to create the Honest Company. Today, her role in the company is the visionary leader. She also guides overall strategy, creative marketing, and product innovation.

Cookie Monster’s Favorite Company

Seth Berkowitz is the founder of Insomnia Cookies. As a college student, at the University of Pennsylvania, a lot of his friends were finding investment banking internships, but Seth wanted a different career path. As a student, Berkowitz baked the first batch of cookies himself, and started giving away samples on Penn’s Locust Walk; the cookies became an instant success. His friends even said they would pay for him to deliver the cookies.  Within a couple of years, Berkowitz received FDA approval, set up his first retail shop in New York, and found angel investors.  today, Insomnia Cookies is a chain of bakeries that specialize in delivering warm cookies, especially late at night. His target market is college students, especially because they could spread the word about the business on campus. Today, Insomnia Cookies has over 100 locations, especially in college towns. Berkowitz wasn’t intimidated by the fact that most restaurants and food service companies end up failing. He was a risk taker and was not afraid to forge his own career path, which clearly paid off.

Julia Engel: Meager Beginnings to Forbes Top Fashion Influencer

 Companies today are more commonly not investing in big advertising spots on TV or through other methods and are turning towards influencers on social media to give a voice to their products. Millennial influencers are the new stars of web advertising, especially on platforms such as Instagram. Julia Engel is the founder of the popular fashion and lifestyle blog “Gal Meets Glam”.  She started blogging in 2011 as a junior in college for a creative outlet and now she is on Forbes Top Fashion Influencers of 2017 list. In 2013, she was making enough money from the blog to pursue it full time. She is constantly innovating and is never okay with just being average in anything she does. Her feed is brimming with high fashion and now has over 1.1 million subscribers. She generates revenue using the popular app, which sends followers direct to websites selling the clothes: if they buy, she gets a commission. She, like other bloggers, saw a niche market and has gone full steam ahead to get the products she advertises into the hands of her followers. Having stand- out social media accounts did not happen overnight. At first, her only readers were her parents and friends. Now, the products that she advertises sell out instantly. She notes that there was a steep learning curve to each step, but she stuck with it.

Teenage Ingenuity

Links to his past Kickstarter campaigns:

My brother, Joey Cafaro, is an entrepreneur on a small scale with a unique story. At the age of 14 (2 years ago), he and his friend were bored during the summer and felt the need to make a new product. If you would have asked them frankly they would have told you it was a way to beef up their college applications, but they truly enjoyed ideating. Joey sat around the house toying with ideas and thinking about everyday problems. Then one day an idea came to him. He saw the need for a phone stand that you could use to prop up your phone to watch videos, but also wrap your headphones around so they did not become completely entangled when you weren’t using them, and thus the Smile Stand was born ( at this time there were no equivalents on the market). Next, they manufactured prototypes at TechShop Pittsburgh and decided to hire a photographer to pitch the idea on the website “Kickstarter” to raise capital to manufacture more product. Moreover, to spread their product they attended craft shows to get their product into the pockets of consumers and applied for a patent to protect their idea, with legal help from my Dad. They had a very successful campaign and went on to raise over $5,000 on Kickstarter. After this project, they really wanted to revolutionize the wallet after analyzing other successful wallet Kickstarter campaigns. They created what they pitched as, “An elegant wallet crafted from eco-friendly hardwoods featuring a uniquely convenient design to protect your valuables.” In this project, even my brother would admit that they got overconfident in their creative ability and were overconsumed by their desire to create an eco-friendly revolutionized wallet. The design and idea was never a real hit.  None the less, they ended up raising over $2,000 on Kickstarter. At the current moment, they aren’t creating any new ideas, but my brother continually mentions problems that could have a feasible solution. He is always thinking! He inspires me because of his creativity and resilience. Moreover, he wasn’t afraid to fail, even though he was only 14. He learned a lot from creating these products and will take these lessons into the rest of his life.


Smile Stand



Urbn Wallet

Airbnb’s Brian Chesky revolutionizes a Sleepy Industry

Brian Chesky, the co-founder of Airbnb, found a way to change an industry that hasn’t seen changes in decades. After graduating from the Rhode Island School of design school, he moved to San Francisco with his college friend Joe Gebbia. At the time, San Francisco was having a design conference and hotel rooms were in high demand and the whole area was booked, so the pair came up with the idea to rent out a room in their apartment and give their guests breakfast too in order to make a few extra bucks to afford their rent.  After years of ideation and innovating they slowly scaled the idea into what is now Airbnb. Airbnb is an online marketplace and hospitality service, that enables people to lease or rent short-term lodging all over the world. Chesky is driven by innovation and constant improvement. Currently, he is working on revamping Airbnb into a full-service travel company. Chesky is an inspiring millennial entrepreneur because of his ability to see an opportunity in the market and scale it into an international business that changed the future of travel as well as the hospitality/ hotel industry. I recently stayed at an Airbnb in Manhatten and it was a simple way to feel like a real New Yorker. Additionally, I think that Airbnb is a particularly inspiring company because it allows its hosts to also be entrepreneurs in their own space by renting out their space to other travelers. From Chesky’s story, others can be more aware of problems and freely imagine solutions even if it seems like there are insurmountable barriers because Chesky and his team were able to do so.