23 Best Business Ideas To Start In Oregon

Are you looking to start a business in Oregon, but not quite sure what to start?

Don't worry - that's completely normal!

There are so many business ideas out there and it can be a bit overwhelming to find something that's the right fit for you and your environment.

We've curated a list of 23 best business ideas to start in Oregon to get the wheels turning for you.

Here they are:

Protein water ($0/mo)

Sean Penrith started Mindful Proteins, a Protein Water business. They are now doing $0/month.

  • Location: Portland, Oregon, USA
  • Revenue: $0/ month
  • Started: over 2 years ago
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 0

It sounds a little dramatic, but yoga saved my life. It set in motion a series of life-altering shifts that had me brutally examine what I ate, what I thought, and how I moved. Considering my demeanor 10 years ago, it is a miracle my wife remained married to me.

Soon after I sold my business, moved to Portland and met my wife, I tore both meniscuses in my knees, preventing me from walking up stairs without searing pain. Before my mother passed, she convinced me to avoid any medical procedures and instead try yoga. Without much conviction, I followed her advice, purchasing a beginners’ disc by Rodney Yee. Within three months of daily practice, I could run for the train!

We have been bootstrapping the business since filing the company papers in June of 2018. I run a climate finance consulting company and we divert as much revenue as we can towards investing in this business.

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Sean Penrith, on starting Mindful Proteins ($0/month) full story ➜

Campervan rentals ($10K/mo)

Gretchen Bayless and Taylor Hood started ROAMERICA, a Campervan Rentals business. They are now doing $10,000/month.

  • Location: Portland, Oregon, USA
  • Revenue: $10,000/ month
  • Started: almost 5 years ago
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 5

We are two adventurous souls who met on the Oregon Coast in February 2010. In the beginning, it was all about traveling to find surf and deep snow without the crowds. We originally traveled around in a 1998 Toyota Tacoma with a canopy. It was a great vehicle for accessing all sorts of amazing places but when it turned cold and wet, it became quite uncomfortable, especially with our 2 dogs.

You have to play the long game, and during that game you will most likely be close to broke, SO YOU MUST LOVE WHAT YOU ARE DOING TO CARRY YOU THROUGH THOSE HARD TIMES. The ones who press on and don’t quit, are the ones who reap the rewards.

We always dreamt of having a vehicle that could keep us dry throughout the Northwest winters and allow us to access snowy mountains and desolate sandy beaches. In 2013, we upgraded our vehicle to a 2006 4x4 Ford Econoline cargo van. We threw a cooler, futon mattress and a couple seats inside, we had our perfect set up. 6 years later, we have a toddler and baby #2 due in May so we’ve upgraded the layout of a newer Ford Econoline to include a sofa bed that has seat belts for the car seats, a portable fridge/freezer and plenty of storage and room for the 2 pups and all our gear. As our life changes so does the layout of our van. See a little more about our family on our Instagram Highlight Reel.

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Gretchen Bayless and Taylor Hood, on starting ROAMERICA ($10,000/month) full story ➜

Mobile karaoke ($12K/mo)

Kelli L Bielema started The AirScream, a Mobile Karaoke business. They are now doing $12,000/month.

  • Location: Seattle, Washington, USA
  • Revenue: $12,000/ month
  • Started: over 1 year ago
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 2

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.

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Kelli L Bielema, on starting The AirScream ($12,000/month) full story ➜

Handcrafted food delivery ($14K/mo)

Lyla Wolfenstein started Full Belly Fare, a Handcrafted food delivery business. They are now doing $14,000/month.

  • Location: Portland, Oregon, USA
  • Revenue: $14,000/ month
  • Started: ago
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 3

After more than a decade in catering and food service, I left the industry to raise my children. During that time, I focused my passion for food on feeding my family and friends. In addition to my food prep background, my other professional focus has been on human services from an early age. I started out at the tender age of 17 workings with adults with mental illness (actually providing job training via a catering micro business!), and went on to work with homeless adults in a variety of roles, and finally, after my children were born, I worked for more than a decade with new families, providing allied healthcare services, parenting education, and more.

Once my children were grown, I was inspired to merge my human service background while turning back toward my roots in food. At the time, I had several friends struggling with chronic illness, who had very specialized dietary requirements and lacked the ability to meet their own needs in that realm. Seeing this gap in service in the community reignited my desire to offer anyone and everyone the pleasure of good food, made with love, that meets each individual person’s unique needs!

I did a crowdfunding campaign that offered gift cards for the service in exchange for “pre-investment”

Full Belly Fare was born from my desire for everyone to have access to flavorful, wholesome foods at a lower cost than restaurant food of the same quality. I knew there was a need from personal observation and it quickly became apparent that I had not overestimated that need! Full Belly Fare has many long term customers, who receive most or all of their weekly nutrition through our service! We also have many customers who come to us because loved ones purchased gift cards for them during a time of transition. I am constantly reimagining how to meet the varied needs of the wider community, and am deeply inspired by the stories I hear from customers about what brought them to Full Belly Fare and how our service has impacted their lives.

For example, the message below still means a great deal to me - and I receive similar fairly regularly - this is from a customer who is the (older grown) son of a 90 something-year-old woman and he sent her meals every week, throughout her last days in hospice even, via Full Belly Fare! It is always so thrilling for me to hear about a real person who is truly helped by the food we make - not just as food/nourishment but mentally and emotionally!

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Lyla Wolfenstein, on starting Full Belly Fare ($14,000/month) full story ➜

Craft granola ($8.3K/mo)

Ashley Chase started Birdseed Food Co., a Craft Granola business. They are now doing $8,300/month.

  • Location: Bend, Oregon, USA
  • Revenue: $8,300/ month
  • Started: over 3 years ago
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 1

Fall 2016 I moved to Bend, Oregon as a way to clear my mind and figure out what I wanted to do with my life. I had done some college, worked in management and also in a hospital but still wasn’t clear on what my “passion” was.

During this time I was reading books such as The 4-Hour Work Week and realized the power in selling a product online; I knew I wanted to sell something online and build a brand but didn’t know what yet.

I took a job as the manager at a coffee shop and would bring my own granola to work in the morning and one of the employees saw it in a mason jar and was like “Why do we have birdseed?” I replied, “That’s my granola!”. He even made a funny Snapchat video saying, “Ashley, you’re eating birdseed!! What are you doing??”

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Ashley Chase, on starting Birdseed Food Co. ($8,300/month) full story ➜

Loose leaf tea. ($75K/mo)

Andy Hayes started Plum Deluxe Tea, a loose leaf tea. business. They are now doing $75,000/month.

  • Location: Portland, Oregon, USA
  • Revenue: $75,000/ month
  • Started: almost 9 years ago
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 7

I started off with just a blog, I was living in Europe and writing about my adventures and experiences. My focus was really on enjoying a slower pace and appreciating the little things in life. I was working in enterprise software - my day job not all that interesting, but I did enjoy it.

You can read all the books you want about the different cycles and phases of businesses, but I’ve found that nothing replaces lived experience! Just focus on where you are and always be asking yourself, what is the NEXT RIGHT step. That’s it.

Eventually, I left my corporate job looking for something more fulfilling - I did consulting on the side related to my previous job, but started rolling out some advertising display ads and affiliate relationships to try to generate some revenue from my efforts. Back then generating traffic (at a low cost) was pretty easy, but I wasn’t able to generate a lot of revenue.

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Andy Hayes, on starting Plum Deluxe Tea ($75,000/month) full story ➜

Gluten-free pastries ($120K/mo)

Kyra Bussanich started Kyra's Bake Shop, a Gluten-Free Pastries business. They are now doing $120,000/month.

  • Location: Portland, Oregon, USA
  • Revenue: $120,000/ month
  • Started: over 11 years ago
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 24

Before I went to pastry school, I had a very uncreative and unfulfilling job, but I didn’t know what I was “supposed” to do with my life. Added to that sense of directionless was the fact that I had been increasingly ill for nearly a decade. I wondered who would even hire me, and felt like I should just be grateful to have a job that was flexible and allowed me to work from home when I needed it.

As my health got worse, the thought of a career that would fulfill me became more and more distant, and I found myself in and out of the hospital, doing chemotox infusions every six weeks, and more days than not, curled up on the couch in the fetal position in pain. I had been diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease but none of the medications seemed to help, not even the steroids that caused me to gain 18 pounds in a week so that my skin felt stretched like an overripe grape that was about to burst.

It wasn’t until my gastroenterologist wanted to remove the most diseased portions of my intestinal tract that I considered going gluten-free in order to reduce the inflammation in my body so that perhaps I would finally respond to the medications.

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Kyra Bussanich, on starting Kyra's Bake Shop ($120,000/month) full story ➜

Sports coaching ($4.76K/mo)

Sarah Wolfer started Girl Boss Sports, a Sports Coaching business. They are now doing $4,759/month.

  • Location: Mariánské Lázně, Northwest, Czech Republic
  • Revenue: $4,759/ month
  • Started: almost 2 years ago
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 1

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.

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Sarah Wolfer, on starting Girl Boss Sports ($4,759/month) full story ➜

Restaurant catering delivery ($250K/mo)

Tim Taylor started Spork Bytes, a restaurant catering delivery business. They are now doing $250,000/month.

  • Location: Portland, Oregon, USA
  • Revenue: $250,000/ month
  • Started: over 6 years ago
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 7

Working in the foodservice industry was something Chris and I experienced during our time at the University of Oregon where we worked in the catering department together one summer. After graduation, Chris began working in the hospitality industry while I went off to start a corporate career in finance.

Shortly thereafter, Chris began to notice that many local restaurants were struggling to effectively and consistently secure lunch catering orders from business in their area. From my vantage point, the example I shared earlier about eating the same pedestrian office lunches was something I personally experienced on a regular basis. Was it really that hard to coordinate good food from local spots? Apparently so.

Seeing a void and a potential opportunity sparked many conversations between Chris and I. Then, in early 2014, after numerous discussions about “could” and “should” we, Chris moved to Portland to live with me and we started Spork Bytes out of our garage. Literally. We used some of our initial funds to purchase equipment and stage catering setups in the garage to practice and learn what we were about to go sell to businesses throughout Portland.

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Tim Taylor, on starting Spork Bytes ($250,000/month) full story ➜

Mobile bodycare experiences ($2K/mo)

Jenni Jo started Jenni Jo - Tension Tamer®️, a Mobile Bodycare Experiences business. They are now doing $2,000/month.

  • Location: Portland, Oregon, USA
  • Revenue: $2,000/ month
  • Started: over 1 year ago
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 0

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.

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Jenni Jo, on starting Jenni Jo - Tension Tamer®️ ($2,000/month) full story ➜

Minimalist travel backpacks ($16.5K/mo)

Kelly Belknap started Adventurist Backpack Co., a Minimalist Travel Backpacks business. They are now doing $16,500/month.

  • Location: Denver, Colorado, USA
  • Revenue: $16,500/ month
  • Started: about 3 years ago
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 0

We came up with the idea for Adventurist about 3 years ago when Matilda and I were 21 and 24 years old, respectively. Since Matilda is from Sweden, and I’m from the U.S., we spend a lot of time traveling back and forth from North America to Europe (not to mention that we love to travel anywhere whenever we get a chance.) This means that a good backpack for us is an essential.

We had no idea what we were doing and how we were going to get the word out about our new company. But we decided to move forward with the idea and start an Instagram account, the only free way we could think of advertising our new brand.

We are both fans of Scandinavian minimalist design, and I loved the style of all of the backpacks we saw people wearing in Sweden, as well as Denmark, Finland, and Norway. They weren’t just a tool to carry your stuff around in, but also a fashion accessory in which you could accentuate your personal style - and most importantly make your outfit look even better by wearing a backpack, not worse.

how-this-husband-wife-duo-started-a-backpack-brand-that-gives-back

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Kelly Belknap, on starting Adventurist Backpack Co. ($16,500/month) full story ➜

Freelance writing ($10K/mo)

Arlie Peyton started Writing Income Accelerator, a freelance writing business. They are now doing $10,000/month.

  • Location: Lake Oswego, Oregon, USA
  • Revenue: $10,000/ month
  • Started: about 2 years ago
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 1

I came up with my idea after failing at a digital marketing course I bought for $1,000. When I was finished, I tried to apply what I learned but I forgot most of it. In a way, I thought the course was too good to be true. However, since I spent a lot on the course I decided to retake it and master the business model. I ended up getting my first client two weeks later and making good money. To this day, I still own a boutique marketing agency that provides a steady income for minimal work.

I thought the course was genius so I wrote the owner. I offered to do a free write-up on the course and what others have achieved. The owner was delighted with the idea and I got it published on Medium.com.

A few weeks later, that article went viral. Also, it got ranked on page #1 of Google for several key terms in the social media marketing agency (SMMA) industry. The owner was surprised and hired me to write other articles for him. This time I charged him!

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Arlie Peyton, on starting Writing Income Accelerator ($10,000/month) full story ➜

Skincare products ($15K/mo)

Leslie Eisen started AlmondClear, a skincare products business. They are now doing $15,000/month.

  • Location: Portland, Oregon, USA
  • Revenue: $15,000/ month
  • Started: almost 3 years ago
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 0

I have no background in business, in fact when I came up with the idea for Almond Clear, I was ten years into my career as a middle school teacher!

I loved teaching language arts and social studies, but I was also one of those people who was constantly coming up with new business ideas.

For the rest of that school year, I woke up at 5:00 a.m. to work on my business plan, and once the school year was over I resigned from my teaching position.

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Leslie Eisen, on starting AlmondClear ($15,000/month) full story ➜

Independent premium spirits ($100K/mo)

Umberto Luchini started Wolf Spirit Distillery, a independent premium spirits business. They are now doing $100,000/month.

  • Location: Eugene, Oregon, USA
  • Revenue: $100,000/ month
  • Started: over 3 years ago
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 5

I was born in Italy, schooled in the UK, started my career in France, then entered the spirits industry in Monaco. When I was given the chance to take a lateral transfer to the US in 2003, I jumped at it and moved to San Francisco. By 2007 I knew America was my home and became an American citizen. By the time I started my own company I had worked in marketing for about 25 years, 15 of those with Campari USA, the U.S. arm of multinational Campari spirits.

For the first 24 years of my career, I had marketed products produced by others. Then, in the 25th year, I was tasked with creating and launching a brand for the company, and Espolòn Tequila came to be. I am proud to say that it is often called “the Tito’s of Tequila” for its rapid growth, and this success gave me the itch to create my own products, rather than market others’. I tried to do this within Campari, presenting many models to show how this could work, but we could not come to an agreement.

So, in my mid-40s I walked away to launch Wolf Spirit Distillery, with the mission to live courageously with great purpose; to be honest; and, frankly, hell-bent on upending the system. Every day, I aim to inspire richer life experiences and to satisfy a literal and figurative thirst for what’s real.

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Umberto Luchini, on starting Wolf Spirit Distillery ($100,000/month) full story ➜

Air tours ($18K/mo)

Corey Rust started Envi Adventures, a Air tours business. They are now doing $18,000/month.

  • Location: Portland, Oregon, USA
  • Revenue: $18,000/ month
  • Started: over 3 years ago
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 3

Growing up in Troutdale and learning how to fly in Troutdale, I always loved to fly in the Gorge past all of the waterfalls. I’d hiked the trails by the waterfalls countless times and knew what it was like first hand, but the aerial perspective was always one I enjoyed. Since I loved it, surely everyone else would love it to– right?

My quest to start an aviation-themed business started about seven years before I actually did. Back in 2010, I was working full-time, going to school full-time, and engaged to be married. So to make things more stressful in my life, I also decided to start a shoe company.

I had so many people say to me that this wouldn’t work. Because I ignored that and made my best effort to make it work, I’ve proven every single one of those people wrong. For me, that’s success.

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Corey Rust, on starting Envi Adventures ($18,000/month) full story ➜

Cbd cigarette ($275K/mo)

Evan Marshall started Plain Jane, a CBD Cigarette business. They are now doing $275,000/month.

  • Location: Chatsworth, Ontario, Canada
  • Revenue: $275,000/ month
  • Started: over 2 years ago
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 16

At MIT, Duane and I grew weed in our dorm room and were really interested in learning more about the plant. After college, I went to work for a tech startup in San Francisco as a software engineer.

Duane created Miramix, a supplements manufacturing and branding company. Over the few years we were out of college, we saw the tides turning for cannabis legalization and knew we wanted to be involved.

When 2018 rolled around, I quit my job and Duane flew out to California.

how-two-college-roommates-started-an-online-cbd-business

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Evan Marshall, on starting Plain Jane ($275,000/month) full story ➜

Kids vegan footwear & apparel ($185K/mo)

Lisa Will started Stonz, a Kids Vegan Footwear & Apparel business. They are now doing $185,000/month.

  • Location: Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
  • Revenue: $185,000/ month
  • Started: over 16 years ago
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 7

My story started in 2004 with a dream that I could go anywhere, at any time with my 9-month-old, at the drop of a hat! That meant easily and spontaneously getting outside, no matter the weather, and he would love it as much as I did!

As a lover of the outdoors, I was frequently outside, doing anything from tennis, running, windsurfing, skiing, paddle boarding, hiking, biking, camping, or just long walks. To this day I need to be outdoors doing something! So many people told me once you have a child this all would change. I could get my head around not being able to play tennis every day, or continue driving 7+ hours often to Hood River windsurfing Friday night through Sunday, but I couldn’t get my head around not still having spontaneity in my life.

Bringing my infant son on adventures with me was going to be part of life...I was determined. When my son Lachlan was 5 weeks, my husband Mark and I headed to Hood River, Oregon camping. We wanted to see what it was like with an infant and see just how hard this really was. It was mostly a successful trip - we camped in our VW Van with only one trip-up...we overheated our son by wrapping him in so many blankets with worrying about him being cold. Our learning; no matter what it is our kids will tell us. That was the most he cried. Other than that he loved the fresh air, new places, and keeping on the go. More on that to come! I spent the rest of my maternity leave walking, carrying, or strolling him around just to get him to sleep!

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Lisa Will, on starting Stonz ($185,000/month) full story ➜

Framed tweets ($25K/mo)

Zach Katz started Framed Tweets, a Framed Tweets business. They are now doing $25,000/month.

  • Location: New York, New York, USA
  • Revenue: $25,000/ month
  • Started: over 3 years ago
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 0

I dreamed up the idea for Framed Tweets a year prior to starting it.

It was December 2015, and I was holed up in my room, avoiding the New Year’s party my parents were hosting downstairs. I was scrolling through Twitter, when suddenly, I thought, “what if you could frame a tweet?” (Honestly, that’s how most ideas come about, at least for me. They just randomly happen.)

That night, I tweeted the link to some random people who I found by searching Twitter. The next morning, I woke up to find Framed Tweets featured on Product Hunt, Mashable, Uncrate, and a few other websites.

how-i-stumbled-into-a-300k-business-framing-tweets

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Zach Katz, on starting Framed Tweets ($25,000/month) full story ➜

Zero-proof balsamic beverage. ($4.5K/mo)

Aaron Weast started Drink Shrub, a Zero-proof balsamic beverage. business. They are now doing $4,500/month.

  • Location: Portland, Oregon, USA
  • Revenue: $4,500/ month
  • Started: almost 4 years ago
  • Founders: 3
  • Employees: 1

In February of 2015 I made one of the most difficult decisions of my life. That was to enter a treatment program for alcohol addiction. I’d been struggling to contain and control my habit for a while, and everything I’d tried had failed. With an incredible amount of support from my family, I entered a treatment facility where I could focus on solving the problem once and for all.

When one’s focus is on a substance and how to get the next drink you put all of your life dreams on hold. Now that I had clarity of mind and energy to put toward living out my dreams it was time to get started. The first of my life dreams to tackle: entrepreneurship.

It is common for folks to have cathartic moments while going through such a significant life change. In my case, two things became acutely clear. First, I wanted to be a better person. In the recent past I’d been selfish and hurt a lot of people. I wanted not only to right the wrongs as much as possible but also pay forward what my support network had given me. So whatever I did, a portion of the proceeds would go toward an organization that helps folks in need - particularly those that don’t have the robust support network I do. I’m proud to say that since day one, Drink Shrub has donated a percentage of revenue to LifeWorksNW.

how-i-conquered-my-alcoholism-and-built-a-non-alcoholic-beverage-brand

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Aaron Weast, on starting Drink Shrub ($4,500/month) full story ➜

Idea management software ($750K/mo)

Rob Hoehn started IdeaScale, a Idea Management Software business. They are now doing $750,000/month.

  • Location: San Francisco, California, USA
  • Revenue: $750,000/ month
  • Started: over 11 years ago
  • Founders: 4
  • Employees: 53

I started the company ten years ago with my friends Vivek Bhaskaran, Jessica Day, and Josh Folk, because we kept hearing this question from our business contacts: “how are we supposed to get answers to the questions that we don’t know to ask?”

I was working at a bank as a programmer and moonlighting on some start-up projects with Vivek. Josh was a White House intern who had started his own sports and technology company and Jessica was a freelance marketer. So we really were just piecing IdeaScale together in the time that we had between our other projects.

This question of shining a light on our blind spots has always fascinated me. It’s something that we stumble on as individuals constantly, so of course it’s something we stumble on as a business or government agency. What we realized is that if we could help organizations gather ideas… they would start finding answers not just to the questions that they knew to ask - but to questions they’d never even thought of before. But it couldn’t just be a suggestion box - it needed features that would allow anyone to help select the best idea, improve it, and move it forward.

how-we-launched-a-750k-month-idea-management-software

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Rob Hoehn, on starting IdeaScale ($750,000/month) full story ➜

Growing equipment for plants. ($3.1M/mo)

Nate Lipton started Growers House, a growing equipment for plants. business. They are now doing $3,100,000/month.

  • Location: Tucson, Arizona, USA
  • Revenue: $3,100,000/ month
  • Started: about 9 years ago
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 50

I wanted to get into the cannabis industry following graduation from the University of Oregon in 2010. The industry was starting to take off. I had recently finished an internship at Morgan Stanley, which put the final nail in the coffin determining that I would not be joining the financial sector--I’m just slightly too alternative to join the mercedes driving, country club crowd.

The month following graduation I moved into my brother's apartment in San Francisco and parked on his couch, applying to probably 30-50 cannabis-related companies a week. After about three weeks of my brother and his girlfriend probably thinking “how long will this kid crash here?” I got a couple of calls back, and I ended up landing a position as a mid-level manager at a dispensary. I worked at the dispensary for about six months before taking a job at another company that focused on selling cultivation equipment online.

My goal in working for diverse cannabis-related companies was to understand the industry holistically and figure out my best long-term place within. In the beginning, I first thought I would open a dispensary. Around 2011, opening a dispensary was for cowboys i.e., people with a high appetite for risk, willing to take on the possibility of law enforcement raiding your establishment--depending on the current local political climate. I decided this was too risky for me.

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Nate Lipton, on starting Growers House ($3,100,000/month) full story ➜

Apparel and accessories ($500/mo)

Corey Rust started 37413 Gear, a Apparel and Accessories business. They are now doing $500/month.

  • Location: Troutdale, Oregon, USA
  • Revenue: $500/ month
  • Started: 9 months ago
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 1

In 2017, I started to become friends with a guy whose name sounds like a 1970’s TV show police detective or an Indiana Jones-esque character. His name is Jack Blazer, and Jack is one of those kinds of people that can be very intimidating but has a heart made of gold. Ask anyone that really knows him, and I think they’d agree with that.

You worked hard. You sacrificed. And you made it happen. No one can take that away from you, nor should you let anyone take that away from you.

In early summer 2018, Jack was diagnosed with a form of cancer that was not only rare but ridiculous; as is all cancer. Jack was a Portland Police Officer, and I viewed Jack as the epitome of what a fighter is and should be and someone who rarely let anything defeat him. So, at the time and for a long time after, I optimistically looked at this as just another battle he had to fight and that he would win. I suppose many shares that view, when someone that is close and we care about, is diagnosed with something so terrifying. I wasn’t any different.

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Corey Rust, on starting 37413 Gear ($500/month) full story ➜

Ice cream ($16K/mo)

Stephen Layton started The Good Scoop, a ice cream business. They are now doing $16,000/month.

  • Location: Sacramento, California, USA
  • Revenue: $16,000/ month
  • Started: over 4 years ago
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 1

The backstory for The Good Scoop is that one of my good buddies from school and I were kicking around the idea of starting a business together, we went through a lot of different concepts and ideas along the way. After some time, we came upon ice cream. The conversation actually started with the idea of us buying out an existing ice cream shop in the Sacramento area but quickly evolved into making our own. We started making ice cream on the weekends and having a lot of fun while doing. Then came the realization that this might be a great business that could help put smiles on people's faces.

I had been working in the consulting industry for a number of years and I knew I wanted to do something different with my life when I went to Portland Oregon to visit some friends in February. They took us down to Salt & Straw ice cream and the line was out the door even though it was a rainy Portland winter's evening. That really got me thinking, if an ice cream shop could be that busy in the winter in Portland, how about the summer in the Central Valley of California?

When I returned back to Sacramento, I really dove into the local market looking at who was there making ice cream and although there were a lot of really great ice cream shops in the region, I felt like there was some room for some innovation along the lines of what some scoop shops in New York City, Los Angeles, and Portland were making. It was from these ideas, and playing around with the concept that I decided to help bring artisan ice cream to the Sacramento region. There are a number of other individuals in this area working in the same market, which I personally think is great. I think the more Artisan ice cream makers we have the better off we all are.

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Stephen Layton, on starting The Good Scoop ($16,000/month) full story ➜

Coffee subscription ($26K/mo)

Jon Butt started Blue Coffee Box, a coffee subscription business. They are now doing $26,000/month.

  • Location: United Kingdom
  • Revenue: $26,000/ month
  • Started: over 3 years ago
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 5

I have been running my own businesses since I left school (that means I have grey hair). During my travels in the USA a few years ago, I read about speciality coffee subscriptions that curated from various niche coffee roasters. In the UK, subscription services tend to only supply from the one roaster and are more for convenience of reordering rather than discovery of new coffees.

this-father-and-son-created-a-coffee-subscription-business

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Jon Butt, on starting Blue Coffee Box ($26,000/month) full story ➜

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Starter Story,   Founder of Starter Story

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