Words of Wisdom & Inspiration from Entrepreneurs to watch in 2019
Kelsi Sheren, Brass & Unity: After returning from Afghanistan, Sheren found it incredibly challenging transitioning back to civilian life (with PTSD). She created Brass & Unity to tie in the military inspiration with brass shell casings (bullet casings), and they donate a portion of our proceeds to various charity organizations that offer direct care and programs for Veterans. “Build your business around a common goal that is bigger than your business. Something that benefits the world, or other people… A mission of change. Our goal is the save Veterans lives… this is a selfless act that many people are very passionate about, and can get behind. This provides a motivation for everyone to march in the same direction. The more we achieve that goal, the better off the employees are in return.”
Nathan Garrison, Sharkbanz: Created after a real-life shark attack a friend experienced, Garrison made it a mission to keep others safe in the water. With a decade of research, the first shark deterrent band went to market. Nathan Garrison is a lifelong surfer, diver and the Co-Founder of Sharkbanz, the world’s first shark deterrent band for anyone who spends time in the ocean. Nathan believes that through education and common sense risk reduction measures, humans and sharks can share the ocean in harmony. “Ocean conservation is a big part of our mission, and we donate 3% of profits to organizations that work to prevent new offshore drilling, reduce plastic pollution, and establish new marine conservation areas.”
Bear Walker, Bear Walker Skateboards: Struggling to find put his passion for design to work after college, Walker started creating skateboards carved from wood without the need for grip tape. He has since collaborated with Grant Gustin (The Flash) and sold out limited edition boards in just minutes. “As soon as I rode it I knew that this was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I can use my passion and creativity to make badass designs. I can use my love of technology to create innovative grip. I can use my craftsmanship to combine those into the highest quality skateboards on the planet. And my perfectionism made it so I could do it consistently. The part that surprised me is how much I would like to make them for people. Getting to hear people’s stories and ideas and embodying them into a piece of functional art has given me fulfilment and drive… it’s given me a dream job.”
Sari Davidson, BooginHead: Seattle resident and Mompreneur is celebrating a decade of success at her children’s products company, BooginHead. From patented sippy cup holders to custom pacifiers, teether bibs and more BooginHead is always ahead of the curve, constantly innovating, bringing new products to make life easier for infants and their overworked parents. “I believe if you are truly passionate about something, nothing will get in your way to succeed. It’s that very drive and passion I try to draw on every day and to inspire in my employees.”
Elliot Benitez, Nuni Tortilla Toaster: Benitez saw a problem occurring at his dining table. His mother was constantly excusing herself from the table in order to warm more tortillas for their meals. The realization that his mother had been warming tortillas in the same manner since he was a young boy became the inspiration for Nuni. “By determining the amount of time it takes to warm a single tortilla, I was able to calculate that my mother had lost 60 days over a 20-year period to warming tortillas for our family. This figure was unacceptable to me, so I set out to find a better way.” Benitez created the first ever tortilla toaster that perfectly warms 6 tortillas in 60 seconds.