Arts & Entertainment
The Organized Artist Company
[Carpinteria] When Samantha was a full-time actor in LA, she taught a workshop to help her creative friends increase their productivity. That led to the creation of The Organized Artist Company, which provides a secure, compassionate, goal-oriented environment for creatives through books, workshops, webinars, keynotes and live events. Every product focuses on helping them overcome procrastination, perfectionism and self-doubt, so they can get their work out into the world and even make some money.
[Carpinteria] In 4 years, Nicki has grown HEAT Culinary from a single culinary school and a food truck into 3 culinary schools throughout Southern California, focused on 100% hands-on instruction in an atmosphere that makes students feel like family. They also offer catering services and large team building "Iron-Chef" competitions. In addition, Nicki has created a non-profit sister company named HEAT C.O.R.E. that uses organic food waste to develop aquaponic vertical farms in a perma-culture framework.
Laura Gross Studios
[Santa Barbara] Laurie is a nationally known artist recognized for her extraordinarily inspiring and spiritually based work. She reaches into biblical text and her Jewish tradition to create works embodying universal themes and rich metaphors. Beginning as a weaver building a body of fiber sculptural work, over the past four decades her studio has expanded to include a staff of other creative artists who, as a team, have created many award winning projects for synagogues.
Green & Social Entrepreneur
[Ventura] Emily started VISIONALITY to help nonprofits by handling their business operations so the organization can focus on doing what's necessary to deliver their missions. VISIONALITY has grown from Emily's passion project to a team of eight professionals dedicated to developing and implementing creative solutions for nonprofits. They have raised tens of millions of dollars, brought nonprofits back from the brink of bankruptcy, and taken an organization from day-one-launch to national news in a month.
[Santa Barbara} Caleigh created RoHo as an ethical accessories brand providing consumers with unique, quality products handmade by over 400 artisans in Kenya. Her line includes sandals for women and children, coin purses, reusable bags, traditional beaded jewelry, and cowhide totes, clutches & journals. RoHo pays their artisans wages far higher than the industry standard and ensures they’re working in a safe environment as well as providing education grants to send their children to quality schools.
The Refill Shoppe
[Ventura] When Michelle started her business 8 years ago she was a pioneer in the zero-waste movement. Her business is a bath & body store that challenges our single-use, throwaway culture and has refilled over 30,000 containers! They are increasing that number with their new, innovative refill pouches that allows them to ship zero-waste refills to ecopeople all over the country! The Refill Shoppe’s ultimate purpose is to encourage and enable people to live a more sustainable lifestyle.
Health & Wellness
The Aerial Studio
[Ventura] Carmen Curtis is flying high as one of the premiere experts in the world of aerial yoga and fitness. She turned her love of aerial into The Aerial Studio, offering classes for kids, teens and adults in the aerial arts, fitness and AIReal Yoga with a safe non-competitive curriculum. They are at the forefront of bringing aerial and circus classes into the mainstream with recreational classes for fun and fitness along with a pre-professional Cirque performance training program.
Martial Arts Family Fitness
[Santa Barbara] Melodee is a best-selling author, speaker, radio host, and mentor who has taught thousands how to love themselves lean, fit, and healthy. Her Self-Mastery System helps leaders and entrepreneurs create the life they want, in a body they love, so they can change the world. Her business, Martial Arts Family Fitness, is an educational mentoring center that teaches children and adults leadership skills, physical fitness, mental discipline and personal safety.
Power of Your Om Yoga Studio
[Santa Barbara] Adrienne has taught yoga for 10 years, has owned and operated two yoga studios, is a certified Tier 3 Baptiste Yoga Teacher, a FIT to Lead Graduate, and currently leads a bustling community of yogis in Santa Barbara. Her company, Power of Your Om, is a Baptiste Power Yoga Community that empowers and challenges everyone to sweat and move past the limitations of our minds, creating a transformation from within and developing strong bonds by doing it together.
Hospitality & Tourism
Santa Ynez Vacation Rentals
[Santa Ynez] Leanne used her twelve years of experience in the hospitality industry to found Santa Ynez Vacation Rentals in 2006. It is the Valley's first network of symbiotic vacation rentals connecting travelers from around the world with local property owners. They offer the largest selection of vacation rentals in the Valley and specialize in unique, opulent, ranch properties that are not just a home to sleep in but a true farm-stay experience. They also manage the Valley's most iconic property, Mattei's Tavern, for both overnight accommodations and events.
Joy by the Spoonful
[Santa Maria] Diane wanted to support her family and rather than go back to work as an administrator and bookkeeper, she took the start-up plunge. She loves to cook healthy food and realized she could share her creations with others. A batch of Tomato Soup with Fennel for friends led to a growing business. Joy by the Spoonful is a local food delivery service for Santa Maria and nearby towns. Specializing in healthy, gluten-free and delicious soups and salads. She also offers the Joy Club, a meal service with entrees that are cooked with love and delivered with a smile.
Grapes and Hops
[Ventura] In the location of Ventura’s first bar and speakeasy, Tammy has created a place where the quality is only out shined by the elegance. Grapes and Hops is Ventura's premier gathering spot providing more than wine, beer and food. It is a place for local artists, musicians, winemakers, and brewers to showcase their skills as well as community members and visitors to gather and celebrate. Tammy and her team actively support their community, e.g., during the Thomas Fire, those who were displaced could come to Grapes & Hops to get a change of clothes and relax.
Media & Communications
[Ventura] After becoming a mom, Denise decided to take her experience in television/station management and start a company helping clients effectively manage their media. Consortium Media + Public Relations offers help on all levels of outreach - from creative to digital through web and social platforms and legacy media such as radio and TV, and publicity. Their cultural strategy works to ensure the client’s brand messaging reflects what their target consumers most wants to hear and understand.
Hollywood & Wine
[Solvang] Seduced by the cooperative nature of the wine community and challenged with building brand visibility for small, artisanal wineries, Jamie launched Hollywood & Wine in 2004, inspired by a wine-themed documentary produced by Square One, a company also founded by Jamie. Hollywood & Wine is an integrated marketing communications, brand development, and sales management agency geared to limited production California wineries, as well as to others in fields of hospitality.
WitMark Marketing & Branding Group
[Santa Barbara] Marjorie started Deco Marketing Group in 2006 and then in 2017 merged with Media Spinach to rebrand as WitMark Group. WitMark Group is a creative, powerful, strategic agency that combines analytical business consulting with fresh, witty marketing strategies. They work with clients across the country with a focus on best business practices to grow revenue with innovative, intelligent creative and the right advertising mix. When they put pen to paper the goal is to make a big splash.
Girls Rock Santa Barbara
[Santa Barbara] After recording her own music and selling some songs, Jen created Girls Rock Santa Barbara, a program that instills self-confidence through music in girls aged 7-17. Since launching with 100 girls in 2012, Girls Rock has worked with more than 4,000 students, and now includes an after-school program, a summer sleep away camp, and day camp. Their programming combines music and art education, mentorship, and social justice to empower youth from diverse backgrounds to express themselves, build confidence, and treat each other with respect.
[Solvang] In 2011, Sue’s husband bought her the book "How to Form a Nonprofit Corporation in California" and away she went. NatureTrack is a 501(c)3 nonprofit focused on providing docent-led and curricula-aligned outdoor field trips for students during the traditional school day. There is never any cost to the schools or students, and NatureTrack even pays all transportation costs. Teachers can choose from over fourteen different locations where students can learn outdoors, where learning literally comes alive! NatureTrack has grown from 600 students in 2011 to nearly 4,200 last year.
Karen Lee Stevens
Therapy Dogs of Santa Barbara
[Santa Barbara] Karen is the Founder & Executive Director of Therapy Dogs of Santa Barbara. Their mission is to empower people to live more fulfilling lives through the human-animal bond because they believe when people spend time with a pet, stress levels go down while happiness levels go up! She is also a Certified Humane Education Specialist, a Meditation Teacher, and the author of two books, including the children’s picture book, “Animals Have Feelings, Too!” as well as a contributing writer to PetFinder.com’s award-winning book, “The Adopted Dog Bible.” Therapy Dogs of Santa Barbara's
[Santa Barbara] Lisa is a Certified Matchmaker, Speaker, Columnist, Best Selling Co-Author, and Founder of Amador Matchmaking; a discreet, upscale boutique matchmaking company servicing successful, selective, commitment-minded singles who are looking for awe-inspiring relationships. Her services include helping clients to date safely and successfully online, designing their personalized dating strategies and holding them accountable.
Sara Caputo Consulting
[Santa Barbara] Sarah lifts up the hood of people's internal organizational systems to get an honest, clear picture of what's happening - then helps fix the areas that need attention. Her business works with individuals, teams and small businesses to transform how they navigate workflow and productivity by focusing on the nuts and bolts of strategy execution to find strategies and solutions that work specifically for their brains, their goals and their lives.
Matilija Law Inc.
[Ventura] After 25 years of working with some of the top law firms in Silicon Valley and Ventura County, in 2016 Melissa launched Matilija Law in to deliver practical and thoughtful counsel in an efficient manner suited to the needs of contemporary businesses including those in the water and agricultural sector. Sayer believes that careful attention early is always preferable to litigation later, and strives to make sure issues are identified and resolved in advance.
Scrubs on the Run Medical Uniforms & Accessories, Inc.
[Ventura] While working at a medical center, Reyna was frustrated by the lack of options when shopping for scrubs. While maintaining her full time job, she set up scrubs sales at local clinics, after doing this for 6 months she had an opportunity to open a retail location. Today, Scrubs on the Run offers a great selection of quality and affordable scrubs at locations in Ventura, Oxnard, and Thousand Oaks as well as an online website.
Claudia Cordova Rucker
Aqua skin and nail bar, Inc
[Santa Barbara] Claudia has developed a socially-conscious business that delivers beauty and self-care while also creating economic empowerment for her employees. Aqua skin and nail bar is an award-winning self-care oasis offering facial experiences, rituals for hands & feet, and other body treatments. Their mission is to consistently delight clients with relaxing and revitalizing beauty and self-care experience in a beautiful, clean, and health conscious environment.
Leslie Person Ryan
Letter Perfect Ink, Design & Nature, Alessaro Designs, Beach Cottage Confections
[Santa Barbara] Leslie was told she should fill out an SOE application her “empire”. She’d never thought of her businesses in those terms but it is a good description! Her empire includes Letter Perfect’s Ink Design & Nature, (stationary and design shop) Letter Perfect Summerland Gift & Gallery, Alessaro Designs, Inc. (handmade keepsakes), and Beach Cottage Confections (edible organic products).
Science & Technology
Martin Materials Solutions, Inc
[Camarillo] Grace and her husband John have combined their love of the space industry with years of technical expertise, customer knowledge, and business development skills to create a unique business model. Martin Materials Solutions provides specialty glass products that protect satellites from radiation in space to ensure mission success. Their customers are domestic and international satellite subsystem and their products are integrated onto satellites built by companies like Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, and SpaceX.
Adriana Jadranka Mezic
[Santa Barabra] Growing up, Adrianna had numerous teachers tell her if she could “sit still” she would actually amount to something. Well, she still can’t sit still but as the co-founder of AIMdyn she has definitely amounted to something. As a cutting-edge Artifical Intelligence (AI) software, research and consulting company which develops general and customized algorithms and software products for broad use in government and industry, AIMdyn is changing our world by creating AI tools that tackle health, security, and environment problems.
Above All Aviation, Inc.
[Santa Barbara] Before founding Above All Aviation, Shawn worked at several aviation companies and each time a student came in with an issue or a concern she thought, "this could be done better." Above All Aviation has been doing it better for 9 years now, offering flight training, charter, and scenic flight services for the local and international clients. They have trained more than 100 Private Pilots, 40 Instrument-rated Pilots, and 30 Commercial Pilots. Safety is at the core of the operation with over 40,000 flight hours and zero accidents.
Wholesale, Manufacturing & Online Retail
Sun & Swell Foods
[Santa Barbara] Kate started Sun & Swell to bring healthy food to woman on-the-go. All their products are made of real food ingredients without any added sugars, preservatives, flavors, or chemicals and are vegan, gluten-free, and organic. In a world that prioritizes convenience over nutritional value, Kate is working to give consumers both. She is also passionate about reducing the plastic waste created by the food industry and is proud to lead the packaged foods industry’s shift away from plastics. Sun & Swell will be one of the first food companies in the US to offer compostable packaging.
Mothersun and the Captain
[Santa Barbara] When Lindsey became a mom, she started cutting off the sleeves of her t-shirts to make it easier to breastfeed, and that led to her finding her niche in maternity wear. The Motherersun and the Captain's product line features her breastfeeding tanks, trucker hats, drinkware, home decor and posters featuring her signature artwork. Her website's blog educates her +17,000 followers on a variety of topics for moms. Last year, she launched a business teaching women how to build a Shopify ecommerce store, start and grow a business, and market on social media.
Glop & Glam
[Santa Barbara] After having her first child, Andrea was in a salon wondering why there were no kid’s hair products available. She saw an opening for high quality salon products for kids that worked at a professional level but were also safe, fun and fashionable! With her husband Nathan, she created and launched Glop & Glam, selling hair products for the next generation. Glop & Glam is now a multi-national brand and leader in the children’s hair care market, offering a vegan, cruelty-free line that is an alternative to harsher adult products, while maintaining the same professional salon quality.