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“From Our Family To Yours”

When thinking of potential entrepreneurs, actors and actresses rarely are the first people who come to mind. In the past I have written about how Hollywood requires an entrepreneurial mind to make it. However, some take it even further than just Hollywood. Jessica Alba is not only one of the top grossing actresses of all time, but has used her business oriented spirit to create a $1 billion company.

 

Alba started The Honest Company in 2011, not long after the birth of her second child. It doesn’t take much research to see how her experiences as a mother shaped the company. When caring for her first child she was surrounded by people telling her which products to use. Everyone had a different product to recommend for everything from skin care to baby food. However, she found herself becoming more aggravated every day as the products not only rarely worked, but were causing her child to have terrible allergic reactions. She began to seek out more natural and organic remedies to help her sensitive baby. While she was having some success, she was nowhere near content. She recalls the aggravation to Forbes magazine saying “I want beautiful design like everybody else. But it shouldn’t be premium-priced, and it should, of course, be safe.”

It wasn’t until she met child health expert Christopher Gavigan that a business idea even entered her mind. During one of their many conversations about the health of their children and their aggravation with the baby product market, something clicked. They had a need, and wanted to fill it. Jessica immediately reached out to her husband Cash Warren (a popular entrepreneur himself) and started the wheels turning on what would later become The Honest Company.

There is no doubt in my mind that the massive success of her company comes from her very relatable angle on the matter. She was just a mom who wanted to help her kids have the healthiest childhood they could. Her drive then led her to creating an empire of organic and vegan products for sensitive children, or simply parents wanting premium products for their children.

 

Jessica Alba is a perfect picture of how we should not simply ignore our personal problems with markets and industries, but should expand upon them for inspiration. Chances are someone else is experiencing the same thing! Where there’s a problem, there’s a market.

Katie Phillips: Bread & Butter

Katie Phillips is a hardworking, family oriented mother of three. She graduated from Cedarville college with a double major in business and marketing. For years, Katie was employed by Pottery Barn, and absolutely loved her job. Unfortunately, the closest Pottery Barn was around an hour away from her house. Once she had kids, she realized that she needed to spend less time working and more time at home. Yet Pottery Barn saw how talented Katie was with decorating did not want her to leave. The company offered to keep her part time, so she would just come in occasionally to set up the displays for them.

Katie really enjoyed creating these displays for Pottery Barn, and did so for a long time. However, she eventually made herself quit because the driving time became too much. After this, Katie spent much of her free time volunteering to plan events for family and friends such as birthday parties, baby showers, and weddings. Her attention to detail and creativity earned her countless complements at all of these events. One time, she put her event planning services up for auction at her son’s school. To no one’s surprise, she was bought to plan a kid’s birthday party!

Katie had clearly recognized that decorating came easy to her and was something that she really enjoyed. Although she had fun doing the decorations for events, what Katie truly loved was home décor. She was constantly helping her family members stylize their houses. She also had fun decorating her own home when her family moved from Georgia to Virginia, and later on when they moved back to Georgia. Her sisters and friends were always encouraging her to create a business out of it. Although the idea sounded great, Katie didn’t begin to seriously consider it until a year ago.

Katie finally decided that she would “never know unless she tried” and that there was “no time like the present!” Last week, Katie officially launched her home décor business, Bread & Butter (https://breadbutterspread.com/). She is a co-owner of Bread & Butter along with her sister in law, Stephanie Phillips, and a close friend, Lee Barnes. This company offers custom room décor that meets any individual’s style preference. Katie is well experienced and already has a large group of supporters. It is a guarantee that her startup business, Bread & Butter, is going to be a huge success.

Are You Kidding

Sebastian Martinez was only 7 years old when he became a very successful entrepreneur, CEO, and philanthropist. It all started with his love for socks- specially ones with bright colors and cool designs. At five years old, Sebastian’s mother had the idea for him to design his own bright, fun socks. From his creative socks a company was born: Are You Kidding. His older brother acted as his director of sales and helped him sell $15,000 of his socks. His mother acts as the president of the company and helps with keeping the company on track to continue to grow.

Along with generating revenue from his socks, Are You Kidding also teams up with organizations to help raise money for cancer and various illnesses. These organizations include: American Cancer Society, Live Like Bella Foundation, Discovery Arts, and The Hue Studio.

I think its amazing how such a young kid had a passion for something that seems so random but his family saw an opportunity to make something of it. I love how it doesn’t stop at revenue though. They really love making an impact and difference in others lives.

Nested Knife Set

There are many different ways that people have innovated kitchens to save space. None of them seem as innovative as this Nested Knife Set by Mia Schmallenbach. They have made it so that 4 knifes fit into one another and form a seemingly solid stainless steel block. All the user has to do is slightly put pressure onto the tip of the blade they want and then grab the handle and pull it out.

These knives would be great for so many people’s kitchens. Not only do they have the practical purpose of being space efficient, they also look really cool! The picture shows how they all fit smoothly into the stainless steel base and create a smooth flat surface. This design is not only practical, but sleek and efficient.

The only problem with this knife set is the cost. The price for it is a whopping 900$ minimum. This is a very high quality item, not only with how the knives are made, but also with the material used, so it is expected for the price to be high. However, this price understandable turns away a lot of customers and possible users.

All in all, this Nested Knife Set is a great way of taking new innovation into a sleepy market. Not many people are dealing with how knives are being made, but rather what they are being made of. This innovation takes a new look at how the shaping of the knives could be improved and makes it a reality.

Deglon Meeting - Nested Knife Set

The Mind Behind Mozilla Firefox

Blake Ross epitomizes what it means to be a millennial entrepreneur. But before Blake’s story is told, here’s a word about Netscape.

In the late 1990s, Netscape Communications Corporation, an internet suite, was competing against the Microsoft giant, Internet Explorer. One could hardly call it competing, though, because Internet Explorer was beating their competition to a pulp. Netscape needed a better product in order to survive against Internet Explorer. So in 1998, Netscape made development of their new version open source, meaning that any programmers could help develop it. This is where Blake enters scene.

Blake loved programming, and by the age of 10 he had constructed his first website. At the age of 15, he started developing with Netscape. He and two others, David Hyatt and Joe Hewitt, would eventually become the major minds behind Mozilla Firefox through the Netscape open source project. In 2004, at the age of 19, Blake helped release the first version of Firefox. By 2010, Firefox surpassed Internet Explorer as the most popular web browser in Europe, and Firefox continues to be successful to this day.

Blake started working on another project in 2006 called Parakey. It was a computer interface that he wanted to be able to perform the same functions as an operating system. Shortly after its development in 2007, Facebook bought Parakey for a multi-million dollar deal.

Blake Ross excellently shows the benefits of starting young and getting out into the entrepreneurial world as soon as possible. He took something that he enjoyed doing and was able to use his skills to do big things in the field of technology.

Moon Walk

No, not actually walking on the moon. Entrepreneur Sean Whalen developed a product that allows people to exercise at less than their actual body weight. He started the project when he was 23 years old at Stanford (with a little help from his dad working at NASA), but he is now said to be worth an estimated 10 million dollars. His product idea is called AlterG. This is the treadmill of the future if there ever was one. As supposed to a normal treadmill, the AlterG takes the normal pressure of earth’s gravity (the feeling of it anyway) off your feet. It does this by changing the air pressure around your feet. It is super comfortable and highly precise.

It is truly a technological accomplishment. One of the great benefits of the AlterG is its effectiveness for those in rehab.  It enables the user to exert as much energy as they want, while greatly reducing the amount of pain running would normally cause on their body. Those recovering from an injury can effectively strengthen their legs which would otherwise be too painful to move. Overweight and elderly people can benefit too because it helps them incrementally build muscle back up.

If you are really really interested in seeing the technology in action I’ve included a clip below!

BizChair.com

Sean Belnick became an entrepreneur at the young age of fourteen. He is the mind behind the company of BizChair. He started his multi-million dollar company with an advertising budget of $500 and a web hosting budget of $100. With that small startup budget Belnick was able to create his website BizChair.com; an online store for business chairs. At a young age Belnick enjoyed selling on the internet via eBay. This source of enjoyment stemmed into an idea for an online business for office chairs that became a $50,000,000 company, which now offers other office and home furniture in addition to the office chairs. Belnick is an especially innovative entrepreneur, as he was able to create an incredible online business from an everyday piece of furniture. Chairs are not exactly new, so the fact that he was able create such an incredibly successful business is truly impressive, especially since he was only fourteen when he started out.

 

 

 

 

Interview With Sean Belnick – Making $50,000,000 A Year Selling Business Chairs

The Value of Encouragement to Other Young Entrepreneurs

When Sabirul Islam was 13 years old, his cousin, who was a young entrepreneur, offered him a job at his company. However, only a few weeks later, Sabirul was fired. To take matters in his own hands, Sabirul and six of his friends created Veyron Technology at age 14. Veyron Technology is a website design company, and within two weeks, he had made his first $1000. When he was only 17, Sabirul published his first book, The World at Your Feet, in which he provides direction and inspiration to young people hoping to turn their entrepreneurial idea into a reality. Offering his best expertise, Sabirul’s book has sold over 60,000 copies. Additionally, Sabirul created an entrepreneur-themed board game, started a publishing company for hopeful teen authors, and has spoken at nearly a thousand speaking engagements around the world.

Today, Sabirul continues to work on and develop his website, write three more books, and mentor young entrepreneurs. Now, he says his cousin is jealous by Sabirul’s greater success as a young entrepreneur!

Image result for sabirul islam entrepreneur

Tina Hovsepian, Cardborigami

Tina Hovsepian is a 29-year-old entrepreneur who has successfully combined her education, skills, and humanitarian passion. As a Los Angeles native, Hovsepian grew up surrounded by the enormous homeless population and grew empathetically towards their struggles. Hovsepian graduated from the University of Southern California in 2009 with a degree in Architecture. While at the college, she was able to begin working on a project for temporary shelters made of folded cardboard. After graduation, Hovsepian continued to develop this idea, turning it into the business “Cardborigami.”

Cardborigami seeks to provide cheap and accessible shelter made from cardboard to support the homeless. As it has developed, Cardborigami has become a non-profit focusing eqully on the product and the mission. As such, Cardborigami is not simply a producer of these structures, but also an avid provider of all around support for the homeless and disaster-stricken. The most exemplary thing about Tina Hovsepian is that she managed to successfully transition a part-time school project into a successful full-time social venture outside of college. Surely, she could not have done this without being driven so intensely by her empathy and compassion for the homeless.

Image result for cardborigami

Most interestingly, Cardborigami innovates in its use of construction materials. While cardboard shelters are usually seen as degrading and pitiful, Cardborigami uses principles of design and architecture to differentiate and improve upon the classic refrigerator box. In this way, Cardborigami can shelter the homeless efficiently and cost-effectively, while simultaneously improving the living conditions, beauty, and dignity within the homeless community.

Cardborigami

Liquid Offices provided by WeWork

WeWork is an office space rental company that gives individuals, freelancers and corporations the ability to rent out shared office space. Its popularity has grown especially with young entrepreneurs because it provides a cheap and flexible working space where users can build community, exchange ideas, and collaborate. This idea is great for millennials because the offices are open 24-7 which is perfect for those who need flexible schedules. Along with providing a workspace, WeWork gives access to basic office needs like internet access, conference rooms, and coffee. This idea is perfect for small companies that have few resources.

A big problem that young entrepreneurs face today is finding access to a liquid network. In my experience, one of the roadblocks to starting my own business would be having access to a productive workspace. I could use my parent’s basement but it would be difficult to exchange ideas because of the lack of social interaction. However, WeWork would solve this problem by providing an office as well as provide the people necessary to grow my idea.