Baby yoga. Athletic wrist bands. A music tech company. Those are just a few of the businesses launched by people who put everything on the line to move to Nashville and take a chance on their dream.
Several business owners said they chose Music City because its array of interstates, the population growth potential and resources like the Nashville Entrepreneur Center.
A newborn take on yoga
When Jennifer Derryberry Mann gave birth to her first child in Minneapolis, a yoga community of mothers helped her through her pregnancy and early parenting.
“Becoming a mother, it changes so much about your life,” Mann said. “Sometimes it can really feel like you’re navigating it alone.”
The help provided by the Minneapolis yoga community led Mann to realize her dream of starting her own yoga studio.
As Mann scouted out locations, she settled on the fast-growing city of Nashville.
“I would just drive neighborhoods looking to see what’s happening, what’s developing,” Mann said. “When I first moved to Nashville and drove Charlotte Avenue, there were a lot of pawn shops and auto shops.”
Two years after her move, Mann opened Blooma Nashville Yoga along Charlotte Avenue.
“There were times when I thought, ‘What have I gotten myself into?” Mann said.
“There are a lot of things that are challenging about owning a business and being a mom and trying to be a good wife and a good friend. To hear the feedback from women that Blooma Nashville Yoga has been such an important place to them, that makes everything worthwhile,” she said.
A friendly Bohnd
Cody Hutchins met his best friend Jeremy Raley when the two were in first grade.
By the age of 13, the friends came up with the idea for tradable bracelets that featured NBA logos.
“We were 13 and never did anything with it,” Hutchins said.
Hutchins and Raley got to college and started to drift apart.
“We said we got to start hanging out. We got to do something,” Hutchins said. “We’re going to start a company together, and that’ll make sure that we hang out all the time.”
During their senior year of college, the two won a business contest, which provided a cash prize to launch a company. The idea they used was the one for tradable bracelets they had developed as children.
“We really wanted people to be able to connect with other people and kind of share their story,” Hutchins said.
After graduation though, Hutchins went to work for an agriculture company in Beijing, China, while Raley moved to Nashville.
Not completely fulfilled with his job overseas, Hutchins decided to quit, move to Nashville and focus on his childhood dream.
“A lot of my friends and family, they’re like, ‘You moved back from China, working for an agriculture company to sell bracelets to kids and athletes’? And I’m like, ‘Yeah,’” Hutchins said.
Hutchins and Raley launched Bohnd Bracelets in January 2017.
“What they are is two-piece bracelets that anyone can wear to represent colors that mean something unique to them,” Hutchins explained.
“Let’s say you and me meet and have a really good connection, I can kind of swap colors with you, give you a piece of my story and then you can trade with me and then we kind of have that connection, so you take out this middle part and still have a piece of yourself, but also another piece of the other person’s story.”
Hutchins said the company is completely self-funded.
“Most of everything that both of us have just goes straight into this without question. We’re just like we’ve got to spend money on this, we’re just going to do this,” Hutchins said.
“Every morning, I have to write in this little five-minute journal and it’s kind of just me and God being like you can do this. I put you here for a purpose and I believe in this.”
Ten-percent of profits from Bohnd Bracelets fund local student community projects. Learn more about the first Bohnd Bracelets Pitch Night on Sunday, April 9.
Making music in Music City
While living in Chicago, Marcus Cobb came up with the idea for Jammber, a music business startup.
Jammber is a platform “that manages the entire music production process, keeping track of everyone involved, making sure the work flows, letting collaborators sign off on important steps digitally, and helping labels and artists file forms correctly in minutes.”
In short, Jammber gets proper credit and fast payment to people in all aspects of the entertainment industry.
“I really believe there’s no other city in the world where we could’ve done this and grown as fast as we are,” Cobb said. “What I like about Nashville is it has this humble swagger to it. It doesn’t have to overstate itself.”
Cobb said his company works with the world’s top record labels and film studios. It has earned more than $1.2 million since its inception.
“If you serve this community well, then they serve you well. If you help their dreams come true, they help your dreams come true. If you come here just for the gold rush, it might be a little harder to find your place at the table,” Cobb said.
Turning tragedy to triumph
Dealing with the unexpected deaths of her father and brother in Philadelphia, Tiffany Heller decided it was time for a major life change.
“[Nashville] was one of the first places I looked and I just I fell in love with it,” Heller said. “I fell in love with the people. I fell in love with the city.”
Heller picked up and moved to Nashville, a city where she knew just a handful of people.
With a passion for party planning, Heller also decided it was time to start her own company, Events By Heller, specializing in corporate, private and social events.
“I wanted to be able to give people experiences so when they had a loss in their life, they’d be able to look back and you know, have that in their heart like I do,” Heller said.
“It’s a lot harder than you think. Everyone thinks they can throw a party. There’s a lot of detail and time involved and that’s why you hire me.”
In less than one year, Heller said she’s working on big events at Bridgestone Arena and the Nashville City Center.
Heller is a one-woman show. Serving as the company’s president and CEO, she is the only employee; however, she expects to hire help in the coming months.