20 entrepreneurs share their small business ‘aha moments’

  • Dreamers & Doers is a networking community of female entrepreneurs, creatives, and change-makers. 
  • Many of its members decided to create their own companies after experiencing an “aha moment,” or a time when they realized they wanted to fully pursue their passion projects or side hustles. 
  • Whether it was a personal need or a problem they wanted to help solve, these 20 women each say they had a pivotal moment where everything clicked and drove them to launch their businesses. 
  • “Having worked in Fortune 500 companies, I always felt like I was walking someone else’s road, so I decided to take control and build the road my way,” said founder and innovation strategist Teresa Comi. 
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

As most founders have experienced, entrepreneurial journeys are anything but linear. There are ideas that propel you forward, setbacks that challenge you, and pivots that have you starting from what feels like scratch. 

Yet despite the inevitable trial and error companies are bound to face, there is usually one moment — an aha moment — where the pieces seem to perfectly align and the vision becomes clear. While the path still isn’t easy, having that North Star to refer to can be essential when a company is still just a glimmer of an idea.

For these 20 female founders, there was a clear aha moment when they knew it was time to go all-in with their company. Whether that moment came out of a personal need, a lifelong passion, or a glaring problem that needed to be solved, their stories beautifully illustrate the significance of having one moment where it all clicks, ultimately igniting their passions to make their dreams a reality.

Read more: How the millennial cofounders of feminine-care company Blume raised $3.3 million in funding in just one month

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The 8 most controversial fashion moments of 2020, so far

The Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) hosted a catwalk show for designers of its first MFA Fashion Design class on February 7, which resulted in an internal investigation and the suspension of two administrators.

The New York Times reported Junkai Huang, 27, who recently graduated from FIT, had been unable to find any accessories to complement his designs when administrators suggested items including a pair of oversized lips and “monkey” ears which cost $10 apiece.

When 25-year-old model Amy Lefevre was presented with the accessories, she said: “I let the staff know that I did not want to wear these pieces as they were clearly racist and made me incredibly uncomfortable.”

According to the report, Huang was happy to let Lefevre walk without the accessories but the director of the show, Richard Thornn, had “yelled at student designers to move away” and pressured her to wear them.

The school’s president Dr. Joyce Brown, who is African-American, released a statement stating that “the styling and accessorizing used in the show were provided to him rather than chosen at his discretion.”

Huang, who is originally from Qingdao, Eastern China, and has lived in New York City since 2017, said that he was “sad and shocked.”

“I have only lived in the United States briefly,” he told The New York Times. “My understanding of American cultural references is still developing. In the future, I’ll be more aware about political correctness, cultural differences, and history.”

Representatives for FIT did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

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