Arts & Entertainment
Nebula Dance Lab
Devyn started her first business at the age of 5 when she offered to wash her family members’ clothes. She had slips that she would give each person and an amount that they would owe her for the service. It was like 25 cents, but back then that was big money, especially for a five-year-old.
As a visual artist, Callie always knew she wanted to have business of her own, especially since jobs at major motion picture or comic studios are few and far between. She started writing and illustrating game modules for Dungeons and Dragons with her husband, and they sold them online through their open-source platform: Dungeon Master’s Guild.
Daniela Zermeño Sanchez
Zermeño Dance Academy
For Daniela, teaching dance is amazing, but instilling strong values in young men and women is what really makes it all worth it. Most of her students will not become professional dancers, so their dance skills won't be used in their professional careers, but they will use the values and integrity that they learned in being part of her dance program!
Green & Social Entrepreneur
Mellin Works LLC - EazyHold
After a 35-year career designing for the motion picture industry, Kerry discovered through her own necessity a lack of simple grip aids to help people continue to be active through physical adversity. Designing inclusive products that allow the differently-abled more independence is the motivating force behind Mellin Works LLC.
Plow to Porch Organics, Inc.
Pam went into business for herself after her son was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at the age of 3. Before Plow to Porch, she was a speech language pathologist treating patients with head injuries, but the demands of taking care of her son's diabetes at his pre-school became too intense for her to keep that job, so she found something she was passionate about and ran with it.
Jessica Simon Baggarly
TinkleBelle Diaper Service
Jessica’s father was a small business owner, but she never had any ambition to be an entrepreneur! As wacky as it sounds, the idea of the cloth diaper service came to her in a dream and it wouldn't let go. Once she learned about how harmful disposables diapers were, and all of the benefits of cloth diapers she wanted to tell everyone she knew about them.
Health & Wellness
Ultimately what keeps Jill motivated as an entrepreneur is the opportunity to create something bigger than she could ever have imagined. Something that changes and potentially saves lives, and that makes a historical shift in society. On a small scale, she believes that Divinitree, their team, and offerings do that in our local community. She hopes that as the business grows, the impact will too.
Jacque started Desk Yogi because she really wanted to be her own boss. She was confident that she had a great concept and wanted to launch her business but she also wanted to be more present for her kids. Her passion comes from being the decision-maker for her business which ultimately allows for her creative expression. It energizes her daily to make an impact on the lives of her clients.
Pelvic Health Center of Santa Barbara
Dhara has over 20 years of clinical experience as a physical therapist. She has been doing pioneering work in the realm of pelvic health for over 10 years. What she enjoys most about being a her business is the positive change she can bring to her patients.
Hospitality & Tourism
Sugar Lab Bake Shop
Ali has been baking with her mom, Kelly since she was 3, helping to mix the batter and licking the spoon when they were done. While obtaining her degree from Cal Poly, Alison’s passion for cake decorating flourished after graduation. She continued to bake for family and friends with great success and turned that dream into a thriving business.
Gabrielle loves to eat amazing food and is obsessed with cooking. She wanted to be in control of her own schedule and her own destiny. She didn't want anyone putting limits on her professional journey, which is why she founded Seasons Catering.
Stacy Rebich Hespanha
Goleta Coffee Co and Loca Vivant Kitchen & Bakery
As a lifelong foodie and recovering academic, Stacy has been interested in applying her skills and knowledge of the food industry to develop innovative ways to increase economic justice, have less waste, and make an environmental impact, while promoting more localization and integration with the local economy.
Media & Communications
Coverly Professional Services
Lynnette had always wanted to be a business owner, but it wasn’t until it was thrust upon her that she took the leap. After she was laid off in 2010, she allowed herself to cry for 24 hours and then got to work. Within just two weeks, she had a business license and Coverly Professional Services was born.
Two Fish Digital & Little Movie Company
Liz needed a job that was flexible enough to allow her to be a new mom, work, and spend time with her family. She feels strongly that high quality video should be within reach for everyday people and businesses.
Your PR Girls
Growing up surrounded by entrepreneurs, Seana-Marie recognize that a traditional job was not for her. In her youth, she chose jobs with small companies where she studied and observed the business owners and management teams she worked with. She learned which actions were effective and successful and which did not allow for growth and a prosperous customer experience.
A former high school science teacher who left the classroom to raise her three daughters, Kristie was stuck in traffic when she got the idea for a children’s museum in Ventura County. She called around to see if anyone was already working on something like KidSTREAM. Eventually she determined that creating her own organization would be the best way to make her dreamy a reality.
Rocio owned a successful SCUBA diving and eco-tourism business in Baja Mexico for 8 years Due to the nature of the business, she was always in, on, or under the ocean. She moved to California in 2002 when she married a native Southern California surfer. MERITO was designed to protect our planet and all marine life, but also people, especially young people who rarely have a chance to experience the ocean.
Students for Eco-Education and Agriculture, Inc.
Mary comes from a multi-generational dairy farming family. When she arrived on the Central Coast over 20 years ago and saw the bounty of local agriculture and farms, it inspired her to educate local school children about the origins of their food and to respect growers, farmworkers, farmland, and the food on our tables.
Juliana decided to start her own business out of necessity, however, once she went through the Self Employment Training program at WEV, she learned that she could do more than just creating a job for herself. She was empowered to make a difference in the lives of her clients and empower other women to create a career by providing them with a job.
Deborah Shaw Restoration Landscape Inc.
Debbie started a business because she believes the sky's the limit. She is driven by her passion to improve the environment, create landscapes of beauty and function, and work together as a team to manifest dreams.
Urban Planning Concepts, Inc.
Laurice has a passion for learning about new processes, laws, procedures, and fighting through new challenges for the projects she is working on. She was able to take what she learned working at UCSB and the County of Santa Barbara Planning Department and apply it to private projects.
Pura Luna Apothecary
Ashe and her wife, Christin started their first business 13 years ago. They chose to go into business together because of their entrepreneurial spirit and their desire to challenge themselves to grow their own wealth. They were in their twenties, optimistic and naive when they took that leap of faith and they’ve always been glad they did.
Birkenstock Footprints of Ventura
After having back surgery, JoAnne was advised by her orthopedic surgeon to get Birkenstocks-and they changed her life. She used to have sciatic itch and pain down her legs but after wearing Birkenstocks the pain and itch subsided. Twelve years later she purchased the store because of her deep belief in the brand and its positive impact on her health.
Mandana Montecito Boutique
Mandana has used her years of education in nutrition sciences and business to create an atmosphere that focuses not only on fashion and outer beauty, but most importantly on inner beauty. Her boutique’s approach is about appreciation of the person as a whole being not just as a customer.
Science & Technology
Rashi Bahri Chitnis
After seeing her son had learned his ABCs by watching cartoons on television, Rashi found herself wishing he could learn her native tongue that easily. Shoonya was started out of Rashi’s pain-point of wanting her children to learnHindi so that they could communicate with their grandparents authentically.
Anacapa Clinical Research
After working for a large medical research corporation for many years, Courtney dreamed about helping smaller companies use the same strategies and technologies to bring innovative technologies to market instead of increasing market share against competitors. Also, as a mom of triplets, being able to set her own hours allowed her to be more present for her family.
Theresa Padilla Chaparro
Rakar Aerospace Corporation
Theresa is passionate about manufacturing and has a photographic memory about complex projects. She derives a tremendous satisfaction in working with her hands, problem solving, and the eventual successful resolution as the product is shipped all over the world to our clients.
Wholesale, Manufacturing, Online Retail
Scrubs on the Run
In 2011, while working at a local hospital, Reyna realized that the city of Ventura was missing a scrub store that offered a convenient shopping experience and a variety of styles and prices. She started as a mobile business, providing on-site scrub sales at local clinics while maintaining a full-time job. Six months later she found the perfect retail location and opened her first storefront in Ventura.
Rêves de Sabine
As an art director for package design, Sabine was putting her creative heart and soul into showcasing products that, unfortunately, did not always live up to her own standards. She was often encouraged to sell the natural skincare products she’d been crafting for friends and family since she was a teenager. When her responsibilities as a single mom eased up, she decided to take the leap, quit her job, and follow her heart.
Mary Beth Larkin
Mary Beth wanted to start the first fashion company that actually solves the a problem women face. The fashion industry is very discriminating against age whether it is in the hiring process or to whom they cater. InLarkin is a fashion business that solves the problem of feeling comfortable and beautiful through the aging process.