Small Business Profiles
Growing up in Mexico, mornings for Nora Angeles were busy and often consisted of a trip to the neighborhood juice stand for a fresh juice or smoothie before school. This was an inexpensive and easy way for Nora’s mom to get her kids the nutrients they needed to start their day off right. After moving to America, this concept became the inspiration for Nora to start her own small business.
When Andrew McDowell set out to open his small business, he wanted to address a prominent issue he was seeing in his community—food deserts.
South Los Angeles is riddled with food deserts, meaning that many neighborhoods do not have access to healthy, affordable food within a reasonable distance from their homes, leading to high rates of diabetes and other health problems.
Cellie Mayol’s journey from CFO to entrepreneur was by no means traditional, but now she says she wouldn’t have it any other way.
For Mark Gisler and his family, a lack of good assisted living facilities in his area spurred two generations of Gislers to make their mark on the care home industry in Northern California—and to create a workplace where employees can feel like family.
During almost a decade of service with the U.S. Military, Virginia-based lawyer Matt Banks witnessed several cases in which disabled veterans were denied disability compensation for injuries or conditions sustained during their military service because they did not have the medical evidence to show that their injuries or conditions were “service-connected.” This experience coupled with his desire to be an entrepreneur inspired Matt to start a small business devoted to helping his fellow veterans.
My journey to entrepreneurship was many years in the making. As a kid, I was inspired by my father’s work as a carpenter. Whenever there was a problem around the house, he would fix it himself. Not once did we have to call a plumber, an electrician or roofer. If nothing was broken, he was always coming up with projects to enhance our home. It was my father’s creativity, self-sufficiency, and ingenuity that made me have a strong desire to become an entrepreneur when I grew up. And that’s exactly what I did.
Photo courtesy of Triston Dimery
Denver student Kamiya Willoughby is challenging preconceived notions about a popular type of food that is often construed as unhealthy and unsophisticated.
“Soul food is a legitimate cuisine, but most people see it as a snack or junk food that you can only eat every once in a while.” Kamiya said.
“It is such a classic American cuisine that deserves a spotlight and deserves a step away from the stereotypes,” added Tess Hurlbert, Kamiya’s fiancée and business partner.
When Camille Kustin visited Paul’s Automotive in Sacramento, Calif., for the first time, she didn’t plan to stay longer than it took technician Mike Spellman to repair her car. Seven years and three kids later, the two are working side by side at that very same shop, which Mike now owns.
When Noelle Curtis was working to clear up her acne and hyperpigmentation, she noticed not many spas addressed the specific skincare needs of women of color. So instead of continuing to look for someone else’s solution, she decided to become an esthetician herself. After a whirlwind corporate career Noelle went on to open Pretty Dapper Day Spa, which offers a variety of services to Chicagoland clients of all skin types and skin colors.
Cuando Maritza Gómez no pudo conseguir un trabajo, tomó el asunto en sus propias manos y puso en marcha un negocio.
Maritza, propietaria de MG Custom Printing en Riverside, California, se mudó a los Estados Unidos desde México cuando tenía nueve años. Después de comenzar su negocio, decidió estudiar administración de empresas en la Universidad Estatal de California, San Bernardino. Mientras estaba en la escuela, participó en los programas de administración de empresas en el campus, los cuales desarrollaron aún más su espíritu empresarial.
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