Looking for some inspiration for a new side hustle or business idea? Often times, coming up with the right idea is the hardest part.
We’ve identified 36 inspirational female entrepreneurs that are running successful businesses today.
In this post, we'll walk you through:
- How they came up with their idea
- Advice & lessons learned through the process
- How much they're making today!
We've also created a table of contents for you to customize your search in order to get you started.
🍉 FOODIE IDEAS
Start a speciality foods business
Stacey Schlaman started Liberated Specialty Foods, which sells speciality foods and is making $100,000 revenue/mo.
I was working as a fitness instructor at the time and was already very aware of and “into” the paleo and keto diets for physical fitness. I had a background of working at a bakery in my younger years, and as a distribution manager for one of the largest retailers in the USA after college so had a little experience there also.
Find a mission that you really care about, something where the mission can push you through the hard times because there will be many.
Our daughter was diagnosed with a host of autoimmune diseases at a very young age including Epilepsy, Hashimoto’s, Celiac, Psoriasis, and a bunch more. Doctors had prescribed a number of very heavy pharmaceuticals (including shots) to treat these that would need to be taken the rest of her life. Worried about the side effects, I found nutritional options to treat which were supported by several respected doctors. The results were astounding, but forced me into the position of hand-making much of her food, from ketchup to crackers to cupcakes. It was a full-time job, especially for someone who had little food-manufacturing experience outside the home.
Start a healthy breakfast foods business
Ashley Drummonds started ABS Protein Pancakes, which sells healthy breakfast foods and is making $25,000 revenue/mo.
Before starting ABS, I was a personal trainer for seven years with a passion for helping people feel better and hit their fitness/weight loss goals. I always had a desire to do something bigger that allowed me to have more free time while still helping people. I am a foodie at heart and have a passion for breakfast food - specifically pancakes. Years ago, I came up with this protein pancake recipe that I used to make every day for myself as part of my breakfast routine.
At the start of 2014, I was going through a bit of a rough patch and needed to do some soul searching to figure out where I was headed with my life. I was still so passionate about the fitness/nutrition industry, but I knew that I couldn’t be a personal trainer forever and expect to make the money I wanted to make. I spent about two weeks meditating, journaling, and setting out clear goals of what I wanted my future to look like. I came out of that realizing “the answer” or “the how” would happen naturally through life, the universe, and God.
See your entrepreneurial journey as a marathon and not a sprint. It’s the daily things you do that keep you moving forward.
👩🏼🎨 CRAFTY IDEAS
Start a custom installation business
Rilee Acrey started Balloon Works, which sells custom installation and is making $7,500 revenue/mo.
BalloonWorks was born out of a desire for something more. I was done settling. Seven months ago, I took a leap of faith and put all of my trust in God’s plan for my life. I quit my crazy corporate job where I traveled a ton and had a secure income to build a company that is now known as BalloonWorks.
After leaving my job, I had a lot of faith but little clarity when it came to what my next step would be. That weekend, I was asked to use balloons to add a little pop to a friend’s gender reveal party. Two weeks later, I found myself at Paris Hilton’s birthday bash installing a 30-foot balloon arch up a spiraling staircase in the foyer of her home. Oh… and Kim Kardashian posted my work.
It was the boost of confidence I needed and the vision for what I was capable of. I immediately saw a need for newfound creativity in the world of balloons and knew I could put a twist on the standard, helium-filled balloon arches that have monopolized the industry for years. It was also the outlet I needed to put the corporate world behind me and walk into an opportunity that allowed me to be both expressive and creative while working with people to bring their vision to life.
Start a niche e-commerce business
Amanda Austin started Little Shop of Miniatures, which sells niche e-commerce and is making $4,000 revenue/mo.
I was unhappily working in marketing for a Fortune 500 insurance company when I started looking at ways to create a new income stream. I became interested in ecommerce and invested in a course to learn more. I compiled a list of keywords for products that had decent search volume and not terribly competitive to rank for in organic search. I used Long Tail Pro to get ideas--I had so many when I first started!
My business is a small, mostly passive income stream and I’m okay with that. There is so much more I could be doing with my store, but right now I am loving the extra income stream that allows me to work part-time at my day job and spend more time with my infant daughter.
A bunch of keywords in the dollhouse miniatures space fit the bill. I used Long Tail Pro and looked for keywords that were competitive--which on there is a score in the twenties or low thirties. I also wanted them to have at least 2,000 searches per month. This is not a ton, but five keywords with that search volume that are not that competitive can lead to a decent number of organic traffic if you build your site the right way. My advice to aspiring entrepreneurs is to find a niche with a nice handful of keywords you can rank for with quality content and a nice backlinking strategy. Don’t try to be number one for some saturated keyword that has a million searches a month. Go for keywords where you stand a chance of ranking--this is usually so-called long tail keywords that are really phrases--for example, “wooden dollhouse furniture” instead of just “dollhouse.”
🏠 HOME GOODS
Start a all-natural home goods business
Nan, Wendy and Jessica started Ocochi, which sells all-natural home goods and is making $10,000 revenue/mo.
We came up with the idea back in July 2016 when Wendy went out to China to spend a week with Jess who was living and working in Shanghai. It was on a trip to a nearby water town that we came across local women who were fluffing up handfuls of a candy floss looking fiber and using it to make duvets. This was where we discovered mulberry silk duvets.
The skill and artistry of the women were incredible, and we watched as they made everything by hand to the finest standards as exemplified in the fine stitching. We were enthralled and came away determined to find out more.
On our journey into the story behind mulberry silk, we also came across bamboo bedding and immediately fell in love with it because it, too, was sustainable, soft and beautiful to work with. We saw the two products as complementary, both in their environmentally friendly origins and in the way that they improve the quality of sleep.
Start a candles business
Lauren Costanza started Bluminary, which sells candles and is making $500 revenue/mo.
I was inspired to create Bluminary after dinner with friends. I was surrounded by entrepreneurs, and we were talking about how we wish we knew someone who created candles (all of us were continually burning candles in our home). That’s when I realized that the person could and should be me! It also helped I recently found myself between jobs and was looking for a new hobby to take up some time.
I instantly knew I wanted to create a product connected with my travels and portrayed my sense of adventure. The easier (nothing is easy when starting a company) part was knowing I’d use my photography for the labels and stick with more natural scents.
I spent an entire month joining Facebook groups, watching Youtube videos, and taking notes. I have a 5 page Google Document with everything I learned while gathering data. There was a month of testing wax types, wick sizes, selecting my containers, and fragrance oils to ensure they would align with my brand and attract customers. I created a handful of spreadsheets with columns and rows of numbers to craft a budget and gain an understanding of how much would need to be invested at each stage of the process - from gathering supplies to building a website, and shipping materials.
👕 CLOTHING BUSINESS
Start a niche wedding dress business
Vivian Chan started East Meets Dress, which sells niche wedding dress and is making $25,000 revenue/mo.
My co-founder, Jenn, and I met and became best friends during our freshman year at Yale. After graduation, Jenn had started her career at Google before working at several smaller startups and then joining a coding bootcamp. I started my career in education and nonprofits before joining an early stage startup that was later acquired by Facebook. Around this time, Jenn and I started working on the concept that would later become East Meets Dress.
When we first started, we had no experience in fashion, e-commerce, or entrepreneurship. We simply had our own experiences as consumers.
The idea for East Meets Dress (EMD) originated from Jenn’s personal struggles when she was looking for a modern version of the cheongsam, a traditional Chinese wedding dress. She wanted to wear a cheongsam for her wedding tea ceremony to honor her parents and heritage but finding a modern design that fit her aesthetics turned out to be near impossible. At the time, her options were limited to suspicious onlines sites or stores in Chinatown with poor service and a narrow selection. Ultimately, Jenn resorted to custom making her cheongsam at a local tailor. I was her Maid of Honor and we both felt that Asian-American brides shouldn’t have to be confined to low-quality options or scouring Yelp to find the one tailor who could make a quality cheongsam from scratch.
Start a women's boutique business
Emilie Casseday started Blush Boutique Co, which sells women's boutique and is making $25,000 revenue/mo.
For as long as I have had a dream for my life, the one and only constant one were to own a shop. This idea seemed so unattainable but it stood there, in the back of my mind, quiet but from time to time it would push it’s way up into the forefront of my mind. I have always loved the idea of self-employment and doing something creative while being a part of my community was so attractive to me. Owning a shop seemed like the perfect marriage of the two ideas.
I decided it was only going to be a dream. One that I hold dear but would let slip away in the midst of adulthood. It wasn’t until a road trip a few years ago where my dad asked out of the blue if I still wanted to open a store. It really took me about 2 seconds to answer YES, followed by inner panic. Yes, I will always want to open a store but how, when? It just never seemed possible. I decided that if I didn’t pursue this dream, this ache inside of my chest, that I would regret it for the rest of my life. I was tired of seeing everyone else do what they loved while I sat on the sidelines.
After a few setbacks, having a child, and finally quitting my actual day job, I received a text message from a friend who wanted a logo designed. I had experience in marketing, graphic design and photography so she asked if I could design her a logo for a clothing boutique. I immediately knew that it was now or never and asked if she wanted to grab a coffee. We sat for about three hours hashing out every detail we could think of and with a game plan in mind, Blush Boutique Co was created. I designed the logo, registered us for an LLC and Tax ID, found a CPA, created our social media platforms, and mapped out the layout for the shop in my basement. Neither one of us has any business background or education but we went for it anyway. It wasn’t glamorous, it wasn’t perfect, but it was a start.
Start a tall women's fashion business
Natalie Matthews started Height Of Fashion, which sells tall women's fashion and is making $10,000 revenue/mo.
I started Height-Of-Fashion from a personal need.
Being 6’3 and frustrated AF with the lack of fashionable options available to me, I always wanted to start my own clothing label from a young age, but it was only working in ecommerce and managing a number of online websites that I grew in confidence to fully understand what it needs and takes to run an online business.
Being 6’3 and frustrated AF with the lack of fashionable options available to me, I always wanted to start my own clothing label from a young age.
✏️ LIFE COACHING
Start a career transition coaching business
Lydia Lee started Screw The Cubicle, which sells career transition coaching and is making $10,000 revenue/mo.
My business originally started as a blog to document my ‘identity crisis’ going from employee to entrepreneur and grew into a full-time coaching and training business 6 years ago. To be honest, it was a place I could point friends and family towards when they asked me, “So, what are you doing with your life again?”
It wasn’t until a blog reader had sent me a message through my website to ask about coaching services that I had to google what a coach was. This was the moment that planted the seed that my work on the blog can expand to help in more helpful ways.
Since I was running a different business at the time, which was my transition business from corporate where I remained in the international education industry as an independent consultant, I wanted to explore whether coaching was something I would want to invest time and energy to do.
Start a self-improvement advice business
Sinem Günel started Personal Growth Base, which sells self-improvement advice and is making $10,000 revenue/mo.
One and a half years after starting my studies in business administration I came into touch with entrepreneurship and I immediately knew that I wanted to dig deeper into how to build your own business and be your own boss.
So I started reading books, especially biographies, of successful entrepreneurs.
Pretty soon I found out there’s one major component all of them have in common: They all talk about their personal growth and how they had to improve themselves so that their businesses could grow.
This immediately triggered me and I started digging deeper into the topic of personal growth.
Start a consulting business
Stacey Haynes started Thrivette, which sells consulting and is making $10,000 revenue/mo.
So many people complain about Mondays, and count down the days until the weekend. They live in big houses and buy fancy things to impress people they don’t even care about. They get caught up in their Monday-Friday work week and just settle, and before they know it, it’s time to retire and they still keep putting off the dream they had to change the world. Thrivette is here to tap into people, so they can start to uncover how to make their dream a reality. I believe that every person has a dream in their heart to do something more, but there are two excuses for why people settle and don’t take action: 1. Motivation and 2. Money.
Let’s take motivation, for instance. People start to make excuses like they are too young/too old, too big/too small, don’t have the degree, etc. Well, when I was ten I woke up and half my face was paralyzed with a disability called Bell’s Palsy. Typically in most people, it goes away in 2 weeks, but I have had it now for 23 years. For over a decade in school, I used to think this was going to hold me back and I couldn’t achieve certain goals because of what was wrong with me. Well, it took about another decade, but my mindset is changed and I am here, to show people that you can do anything you put your mind to, despite your past and your current circumstances, you just need to believe in yourself. I now do motivational speaking engagements. Audiences ranging from elementary schools through universities, showing the next generation that they are capable of changing the world and are meant for something big!
What many people see as their quirk, or something odd about themselves, is the exact thing that will resonate with people when you put yourself out there. Don’t be afraid to be authentic.
🎨 ARTSY IDEAS
Start a custom portraits business
Sarah Miller started sarahpaintspets, which sells custom portraits and is making $4,500 revenue/mo.
No one believes me when I say this, but I had never taken an art class before starting a career as an artist. I’ve always been a doodler in class, but nothing much beyond that.
Understanding the WHY of what you’re doing is the most important thing. Your purpose will guide you forward because without having to question yourself, you are free from fear and doubt holding you back.
It all started my junior year of college when I decided to paint my boyfriend’s cat for our one-year anniversary in November 2016. The deciding factors were that Charlie is obsessed with his cat Merlin and I was too broke to buy him anything nice.
Start a hand lettered stationery products business
Jordyn started Jordyn Alison Designs, which sells hand lettered stationery products and is making $3,000 revenue/mo.
A few years ago, my boyfriend (now husband) went off to Boot Camp. In preparation for those months of zero communication, I started hand lettering and making long-distance greeting cards. I needed something to occupy my time… something more than just college!
When I first started my business, I was working full time as well as being a full-time college student. It was really hard to grow my business to what I dreamt it could be when I didn’t have a ton of time to spare. It’s taken me some time to not get discouraged from others’ faster success. However, looking back I really do appreciate my slow-but-steady growth.
In December of 2017, I graduated with a Bachelors in Graphic Design. I was looking forward to 2018 finally being my year to fully work on growing my business - but life happened, and let’s just say… moving across the country (22 hr drive non-stop) 3 times in 5 months really tires you out.
💪🏽 HEALTH & WELLNESS
Start a cryotherapy treatment business
Brittney Scarlett-Torres started Glace Cryotherapy, which sells cryotherapy treatment and is making $35,000 revenue/mo.
Back in 2014, I was unhappy in my current profession and had just left my job looking to get into something new, unsure of what at that time just knowing that I needed a big change.
Most of the time entrepreneurs don’t hit it right out of the gate - a failure can lead to your next great idea. It’s okay if it doesn’t work out just make sure it’s worth the sacrifices you will make and know when you need to make a change.
In the meantime, my husband had mentioned to Skyler that his buddy tried this thing called Cryotherapy over in Texas and that he should look into it being that he had studied exercise physiology and was thinking of going to physical therapy school. Skyler was immediately intrigued and spent time researching this new technology, shortly thereafter he found a place about an hour away ran by a former Olympian that had a Cryosauna and knew he had to try it.
Start a mobile bodycare experiences business
Jenni Jo started Jenni Jo - Tension Tamer®️, which sells mobile bodycare experiences and is making $2,000 revenue/mo.
I’ve had the Airstream Dream for about 15 years now. First of all, who doesn’t love the beauty of the shiny silver Airstreams? And to have a business on wheels, well, that’s the cat’s meow! I had gone so far to have owned 2 vintage Airstreams over the last 15 years but for one reason or another, I chickened out and became overwhelmed with the scope of the project and gave it up, selling my trailers.
Even when the ground feels shaky and you doubt and question everything, use that as a signal to go within and get quiet.
Then life happened. I got married, had twins and then got divorced 5 years later and during that time is when my midlife awakening happened. “It’s now or never.” So, the silver lining in my dark chapter in my life gave me the courage to go after my dream. And in my case, it’s a teeny, tiny, silver mobile body care spa. To be honest, the longer I was in the profession the less I enjoyed doing onsite gigs. Hauling equipment around is cumbersome and tiring. I bring ALL the gear. Towel warmer, body cushions, table warmer, lighting, music, aromatherapy. It’s not just a massage, but an experience.
☎️ MARKETING & PR
Start a web design & marketing courses business
Shannon Mattern started Shannon Mattern, which sells web design & marketing courses and is making $10,000 revenue/mo.
One day back in 2014, I was sitting in my beige, windowless office under fluorescent lights for the 2555th day in a row, finishing up a financial report that I dreaded doing every month, when I overheard this conversation outside my office door:
“Have you ever had 7-UP salad? It’s got lemon Jell-O, lime Jell-O, marshmallows…”
And I literally started to have a panic attack.
Start a customized digital marketing solutions business
Bryn Elizabeth Bonino started Bryn Elizabeth Co., which sells customized digital marketing solutions and is making $1,300 revenue/mo.
This is my third run at working as an independent marketing consultant. The first time was in 2009 when I passionately co-founded a business consultancy to help Projeto Morrinho, an art program in Rio de Janeiro. I was the marketing person, and this gave me tons of experience in working with remote teams. I also cut my teeth on all things digital marketing - SEO, content creation, social media marketing, and email marketing.
The artwork at Projeto Morrinho
But I wanted to be able to empower my clients more instead of doing everything for them. So next I started working as a marketing coach for creative micro-business owners. I would identify the tactics and strategies that could get them more traffic to their websites and better ROI on ad spend. Then I would train and coach them on how to carry out these strategies themselves.
Start a publication about creative industries business
Natasha Magino started The Vibe Room, which sells publication about creative industries and is making $0 revenue/mo.
The cofounders of The Vibe Room, Isabel Yu, and Natasha Magino both majored in marketing which led them to cross paths at a digital media publishing company in downtown Washington D.C. They were both passionate about creative advertising and marketing. As their friendship blossomed the two of them decided to create a podcast that was themed around two millennials working 9-5s trying to figure out adult life, titled “We’ll Figure it Out”. During one of the recordings, the idea of The Vibe Room came to fruition.
Never let money stop you from starting anything.
As Natasha and Isabel bellowed over the microphone about how bored they were with their 9-5 routines, they eventually thought out loud. They thought of a space where people of all walks of creative backgrounds could come and escape the monotony of the corporate world that is the DMV (Washington D.C., Maryland, and Virginia). They realized that the DMV has an abundance of creatives but not enough spaces celebrating their talents. As they spoke, they eventually decided that they wanted to create a space for creatives where they can connect and network with each other. They also came up with a name for space, calling it “The Vibe Room”. A month later they decided to move forward with The Vibe Room but as magazine instead of a space.
Start a personal finance empowerment blog business
Michelle Schroeder-Gardner started Making Sense of Cents, which sells personal finance empowerment blog and is making $100,000 revenue/mo.
I was forced to learn about money at a young age. I have been working full-time since around the age of 14 (I was a full-time nanny for a job I had found on a bulletin board), and once that job was over I worked in retail for many years before I became an analyst. My dad passed away when I was a teenager, and there was no inheritance or anything like that, so I only had myself to rely on.
While I haven’t always been good with money, and I have definitely made mistakes in the past, I have learned a lot and enjoy talking about it. I also enjoy helping others learn how to improve their personal financial situation too!
Learn how to separate work and life. Being a blogger can mean that your work-life balance can get out of whack, and this is because it is so easy in today’s world to constantly be connected.
Start a editing & co-authoring services business
Pat Stainke started The Language Delegate, which sells editing & co-authoring services and is making $3,000 revenue/mo.
It was on a boat dock in Le Havre, France, that I first fell in love with Language. I had just turned ten, and my father had taken a post at the American Embassy. The two locals who met our ship were loading our luggage into the staff car bound for Paris. Spellbound, I watched as they waved their hands in the air, talking in tones and syllables I had never heard before. This new language was curious and beautiful at the same time! As I rubbed shoulders with a broad cross-section of people over the next few formative years—from local merchants to visiting dignitaries—I quickly discovered the unlimited potential of language.
No matter where our sphere of influence lies, we use language to break down barriers, level playing fields, embody personality, express goodwill, and to touch, attract, connect, and persuade. Although French was hard at first, I was fascinated with the endless mysteries and playfulness of language. I went on to study German, Spanish, and ASL. I later pursued my MA in Deaf Ed, because the challenge for deaf children hinges on language mastery. I have always loved to write, interpret, and teach. My greatest joy is to work with second language learners, equipping them with the skills they need to succeed in their chosen “life niches.”
Start a motherhood blogging business
Audrey Marshall started Mommy Enlightened, which sells motherhood blogging and is making $3,000 revenue/mo.
Blogging has been a crazy journey for me. I found out about blogging really randomly, and as soon I read the first article about it I decided I was going to go for it. I never once believed I would fail - and I think that’s a large part of why I didn’t. My partner and I had to sell our house and move in with my in-laws due to my husband’s job location. We were in a situation where we could afford to have me quit my job short-term. It was a risk because we were still paying off a large amount of debt (and desperately wanted to get back into a house of our own) but it was the first time in our marriage where there was a smaller risk associated with it. I planned to try it for a year, and if it didn’t work out I would go back and get a job. I worked 60 hour weeks - not only creating content but also learning about the RIGHT things. I invested a LOT of money in the first year, but I believe that’s necessary if you want to progress faster.
Before starting, I had limited knowledge of all things technology. I used Facebook and Youtube, but I had no knowledge of the technical aspects of it all. It was very frustrating in the beginning, but blogging is in large part about taking the initiative to do your own research and never stop trying to learn. So that’s what I did. It’s a huge learning curve, but it’s definitely doable. It helps that I have a myriad of new skills now. I can do minor coding, marketing, copywriting, SEO, and create/sell products. I have learned more in the last year and a half than I have from any other job - and it’s neat to think that even if I decide to stop blogging, I can get a job with many of my new skills.
There are no fast hacks to success. You have to do a lot of grinding to see success, and there aren’t any shortcuts to success.
Start a short term luggage storage business
Sangeetha started Cubby Inc, which sells short term luggage storage and is making $2,000 revenue/mo.
Have you ever looked at you’re vacation pictures and wondered if you could get rid of the bags or luggage photobombing the otherwise perfect vacation photograph? That’s our eureka moment! As a mom of five-year-old, I'm constantly clicking pictures of my son to keep up with him growing up so fast. After one of our vacations, I was trying to find the perfect picture to design for a keepsake. It didn’t exist.
Imagine my horror when I went back in time and still couldn’t find a picture without luggage. They were mostly ruined by either the stroller lurking around or the luggage staring back at us. Our sentiments were shared by our friends and we decided to do something about it. It got us thinking about how it could be changed. It then dawned on us that we had to lug around all our luggage because of the unavailability of lockers to store them when we didn’t need them.
Digging more into it, we soon realized that, lugging due to lack of convenient storage lockers were a huge problem and resonated with vacation rental guests, hotel guests, long layover air passengers, event attendees, etc,.This meant there’s definitely a need for a luggage storage solution. It must be simple, convenient and also affordable. Cubby was designed to keep these key factors and most importantly the safety of the bags.
Start a luxury vacations business
Marissa Daniels started Spread Your Wings Travel, which sells luxury vacations and is making $2,000 revenue/mo.
I was blessed to grow up in a two-parent household with a loving and caring set of parents. My father was in the military and because of that, I was born in California in ‘94. I’m a Georgia Peach all the way, but I was born in California. Unfortunately, in September of 2018, my life shifted when my father passed from cancer. It was pretty quick. In July, he was diagnosed and in September, he took his last breath. I was a Daddy’s girl to the FULLEST, so you can imagine the pain I went through - and still going through.
Do research before starting. If you want to start a business - research before you pay anything.
Fortunately, he was there to see me graduate from Valdosta State University in 2016. I majored in Mass Media with a Speech Communication Minor. Growing up, I loved to be in front of the camera (my father was a photographer) and I would record the video announcements at my church, as young as 11 years old. I also recorded the announcements in elementary school. I just knew Broadcast Journalism was something I was interested in.
Start a photoshoot & travel business
Robin Finney started Wandering Aunt , which sells photoshoot & travel and is making $1,800 revenue/mo.
In May 2018, I quit my corporate marketing job of 11 years to follow my dream of traveling the world. I let go of my apartment, sold my furniture and many of my belongings, and bought a one-way ticket to Australia. When I left my job, I had about one month’s pay and a little over $500 in savings. I traveled to Australia and Thailand for 7 weeks. During that time, I was clear that I was living my dream and wanted to continue to explore. I came back to the states and sold my car so that I could continue to fuel my travels. I traveled through the end of 2018. During my 7 months of travel, I visited 11 countries across 4 continents. When I returned to the states, I knew it was time to think about work again. I knew I wanted to continue this lifestyle; I just wasn’t clear on how to sustain it. I picked up a couple of freelance writing jobs to tide me over.
In January 2019, I enrolled in a 5-week book study to support people in building retreat based businesses. During the first call, I received a download to lead group experiences for people who want to travel solo and aren’t ready or wanting to do it on their own. I created a simple landing page with a waitlist. I had many people sign up for the waitlist. It’s been nearly a year since I created the waitlist, and I am just now launching my first retreat for May 2020 in Spain. Over the past year, it took me a while to step into the idea of being a business owner. It’s one of the most challenging things I’ve ever taken on. I had no idea how much inner work and healing would take place for me to feel confident and believe in myself enough to run a business.
I signed up for a year-long intensive coaching program to support my business and leading retreats. My coaching program has supported me in discovering my intuitive gifts. I’m a little more than 6 months into my program and have just started gaining traction in my business. I now feel that I am in a place to fully put myself and my services out there. Just in the past month, I have had 2 clients sign up to work with me and have brought in nearly $2,000.
🎁 GIFT SERVICES
Start a handmade gifts business
Sarah Davidson started Australian Woodwork, which sells handmade gifts and is making $20,000 revenue/mo.
We two, that’s us, Gregory and Sarah, have always liked traveling and exploring this wide brown land of ours, stopping in little towns, sampling the local produce, looking through local galleries, visiting the big regional markets. These wanderings resulted in the pleasing discovery of a strong culture of skilled woodworking that existed in Australia which prompted us 27 years ago, to open a stall in Sydney’s Rocks Market with the idea that lots of other people would appreciate it too.
We went on to open our Darling Harbour store and then our purpose-built Hunter Valley Gallery, (both now closed) and of course, our online shop.
The genesis of our online shop originated with the next generation, our son, who we happily acknowledge dragged us, with only a little kicking and screaming, into the 21st century, but we remain a small family business with all that implies - we know our products and our woodworkers intimately and customer inquiries will always be attended to by one of us.
Start a mobile airstream business
Kelli L Bielema started The AirScream, which sells mobile airstream and is making $12,000 revenue/mo.
The two of us met while working at Deloitte. I (Kelli) was an operations manager with an extensive background in event and entertainment production including creating live experiences at Universal Studios Hollywood. Vanessa was a year one CPA fresh out of the University of Washington who realized within just a few months in at the fall tax deadline that this was not her jam. She decided to jump ship and start a DJ & Karaoke Service. Barely a year later, I left the firm, as well as my then part-time event production company, began to take off & I was finally able to commit to it 100% when I got a contract with Boeing.
In just months after both launching our businesses respectively, our client rosters began to grow. Vanessa’s company and namesake moniker, Baby Van Beezly, dove into the private and corporate event vendor realm, spinning party tunes and wedding marches. My clients with my company, Shindig Events, began to move away from private individuals to corporate entities such as PopCap Games, Adobe, Boston Consulting Group, Oculus, and Facebook. I was able to hire Vanessa for all sorts of gigs over the course of the next 6 years.
While Vanessa’s Baby Van Beezly biz began to really take off, my Shindig Events were coming to a close. After 7 years I was ready for a change, a stress break and launched back into day-job land, where I currently reside. But there’s always that itch to do something creative and event-related so a side hustle was inevitable.
Start a beach weddings and elopements business
Sha'Quanna Davis started Dreams & Details Events, LLC, which sells beach weddings and elopements and is making $0 revenue/mo.
I came up with the idea of Dreams & Details after losing my job for 5 years during a tough time in my life while being a single mother to an 11-year-old son. Failure was so scary.
I was at my desk one day and after being notified of the job loss I decided that I was going to follow my dreams of event planning. I had worked in public service for 10 years and served 8 years in the United States Army.
My mos in the Army was an Automated Logistical Supply Specialist and I hold a Bachelor of Arts degree in Speech Communications so I knew I had what it took to host, plan, manage events and execute events. I have always enjoyed planning events and organizing projects.
🐶 IDEAS FOR ANIMAL LOVERS
Start a mobile veterinary service business
Lisa Aumiller started housepaws, which sells mobile veterinary service and is making $580,000 revenue/mo.
I ALWAYS wanted to be a vet. There was no other option. When I was in high school I would read the stories of James Herriot who was a traveling vet who did large and small animals. I thought the idea of doing this was serene and romantic but not practical in this day and age.
Once my husband and I started our own family we decided to have midwives and have our children at home. Those experiences made me realize you can do good quality medicine in the comfort of one's own home. If you can do it for people why not pets? I watched technology change and people wanted more convenient services and I thought it was the perfect time to try going mobile. As I was researching how to create a mobile vet practice I got released from my job. That was the catalyst that made things develop full throttle. I went to a local networking meeting and walked out with an attorney, an insurance agent, a car wrapping company, and an accountant. Within a week I had an LLC, business insurance, and was ready to roll to my first appointment.
Start a animal accessory business
Chelsea Rhoads started pup•eeze, which sells animal accessory and is making $0 revenue/mo.
Elizabeth Hess and myself have been friends now for over a decade. We came up with the initial concept of pup-eeze years before without even noticing.
In 2008 we took a 2 month road/camping trip around the southwestern US. From that trip we realized how difficult it was to travel with our dogs.
We couldn’t leave them in the car or the tent and there are more places we couldn’t take them into than places that we could. We wished there was something that could help ensure their safety.
🏃🏼♀️ PERSONAL TRAINING
Start a fitness programming software business
Aimee Tawhai started ALTR Project, which sells fitness programming software and is making $7,000 revenue/mo.
I was 23, working in my second ‘graduate’ job (I say graduate loosely as I was still studying on the side to finish my Statistics degree), as a statistical & systems analyst for High-Performance Sport NZ. Despite actually enjoying my job and the people around me, I had the typical entrepreneur trait: I hated the thought of working for someone else for the rest of my life. So, ALTR was born.
I had come up with a few business/app ideas in the past, tried to learn how to build an app through Google tutorials (lol), and, obviously, failed. I didn't have any extra income to spend, so anything I built had to be cheap and done by myself.
Then, something that completely turned our world around happened. Our family house burned down.
Start a sports coaching business
Sarah Wolfer started Girl Boss Sports, which sells sports coaching and is making $4,759 revenue/mo.
As an athlete and coach myself, I have experienced many situations that left me feeling dismayed at the state of affairs for women and girls involved in sports. I recall one such instance where I was playing at a very competitive level and the head coach screamed at me from 2 inches away with every expletive he could think of in front of our entire team because I asked him a question about the drill that was being done. I still vividly remember the spittle flying out of his mouth and hitting me in the face and not knowing what to do. The powerlessness I felt at that moment, coupled with the lack of appropriate response by the system when I reported him left me feeling hopeless for my future in sports. I ended up quitting soccer and refused to touch a ball for an entire year.
On the coaching side - as someone with 16 years of experience now, there are still instances in which I am treated differently than my male counterparts. One such example was when I was on the sideline waiting for the referee to come over and check my team prior to the start of the game. I was dressed in my coaching attire, had the whistle around my neck, the clipboard in my hand, and the player cards ready to be presented when the referee walked over to our sideline. He made eye contact with me and then proceeded to walk over the dad who happened to be on our side tying his daughter’s shoe and assumed that he was the coach.
Take time for yourself! Being an entrepreneur is hard work and you can’t do it to the best of your ability if you haven’t taken time for yourself to rest and rejuvenate. Self-care is integral to success.
Start a mindful workout meal planner business
Dianne L Chen started Arise Performance Labs, Inc, which sells mindful workout meal planner and is making $0 revenue/mo.
At 24, I climbed up flight stairs - and was suddenly out of breath. I realized I was at my heaviest weight, sitting most of the time, and eating out every other day. Determined to change, I jumped right into keto and cardio classes. Spoiler alert - it didn’t work. Next, I exercised like crazy while under-eating at the ill advice of my trainer. Burnt out, I decided to track calories & macros. For 18 months, I spent hours calculating and logging my food. Although I had lost 30 lbs, I could NOT keep up the lifestyle anymore.
I wanted a way to eat healthily and get results without the daily food obsession, logging, and time spent calculating recipes to fit the numbers.
That’s when I thought - what if there was an app that answered “what, when, and how much to eat”? Especially for workout days. One that took care of macro-planning, carb-cycling, and nutrient-timing for my body type & goal. An app that helped me practice mindful eating.
💎 JEWELRY BUSINESS
Start a jewelry and apparel business
Stacey Bowers started Bang-Up Betty, which sells jewelry and apparel and is making $6,000 revenue/mo.
When I began making jewelry, I had no intention of starting a business.
I bought some steel stamps, took an old paint-splattered hammer my dad had given me, and watched a lot of videos on YouTube about how to stamp metal.
I just wanted to make some funny holiday gifts for my friends with silly phrases and curse words on them.
Start a custom necklaces business
Aziza Browne started Aziza Jewelry, which sells custom necklaces and is making $5,000 revenue/mo.
I first started making jewelry as a hobby when I was a little girl. My very rudimentary jewelry somehow became popular with family and older friends of the family and they actually bought some of my early jewelry pieces believe it or not! From childhood, I was always very encouraged to continue with my art.
I attended art schools for most of my life and I intended to study jewelry design in college, however, once I started taking jewelry design classes, the program didn't appeal to me, so I chose to study ceramics instead. After college, though, I resumed my love of jewelry design by taking several types of different classes at various art studios in NYC. I studied all types of jewelry making techniques from glass bead-making to metalsmithing to working with PMC (precious metal clay). After graduating from college, I took about 10 different types of jewelry making classes over the years.
After making connections at a glass bead making studio, called Urban Glass, I gained enough confidence in my designs that I was able to start selling some of my early glass bead jewelry at the Shop at Urban Glass.
There you have it, 30 rock-star women that came up with brilliant business ideas and are now running successful businesses.
We hope you got some inspiration from this post. Thanks for reading!