Born For Business is officially available for streaming (on Peacock in the U.S. and Crave in Canada) 🎉
The docuseries chronicles the lives of four entrepreneurs with disabilities who are defying society’s expectations to build successful businesses. Each episode sees laughs and tears, while offering an unfiltered look at the entrepreneurial journey in all its ups, downs, and everything in between.
If you binged all the episodes already, we don’t blame you. We did too and we’ve got thoughts and feelings on the top moments that had us rooting for the cast and the unique paths they’ve paved for themselves…
🚨 Warning: Mild spoilers ahead! 🚨
When Chris let us in on his goals and aspirations of securing a good future for his daughter, Shae.
Meet Chris Triebes: a driven single dad with spinal muscular atrophy (type III) making waves in the music industry.
Chris lets us in on a non-secret: he doesn’t have time for small goals. He’s looking to hit a home run so he can secure a good future for him and his daughter, Shae. He is a true serial entrepreneur who runs a concert production company called The Congregation Presents, co-owns two venues in Chicago and Indianapolis, and manages music festivals. It’s a tough industry to be in, but Chris recognizes the importance of grit and persistence to make it, so we always see him up for the challenge.
When Qiana talked about how lonely entrepreneurship can be.
Qiana is the owner of Culture’s Closet, one of America’s top curvy clothing brands, and is always on the lookout for expansion opportunities.
When Qiana notices that she’s mixing friendship and business, she is the first to acknowledge that she needs to do something about it. We see her gracefully handle a situation involving an underperforming employee who also happens to be a personal friend.
We know it and Qiana knows it: Entrepreneurship is lonely. On one end, it can be tempting to recruit friends for some extra help. And on the flip side, the mixing of friendship and business could get complicated real easy, real fast.
Watching Qiana masterfully navigate the complicated situations of running a business had us rooting for her from the start. You go, Qiana!
When Lexi let us in on her intense battle with anxiety.
Throughout the series, Lexi Zanghi takes us on an in-depth journey exploring anxiety and her quest to maintain her mental health and live life with passion.
From not making it past her college orientation day to being hospitalized, Lexi’s journey hasn’t exactly been a cakewalk. And we gotta say, it makes us appreciate her hustle, commitment, and dedication even more.
While Lexi’s anxiety caused her to drop out of college, she finds joy and inspiration in being the owner of Always Reason, a trendy womenswear boutique in Long Island, New York. It can be hard to see entrepreneurship as a viable path given the many challenges, but we see Lexi take on every uphill battle with stride as she takes her three-year-old business to the next level, and we 👏 are 👏 here 👏 for 👏 it.
When Collette was brought to tears because of COVID’s impact on her business.
Not only did the pandemic slow down business for Collettey’s Cookies, some of Collette Divitto’s employees took temporary leaves and her biggest new client cancelled their orders.
It was a big loss to take in after what seemed like a great growth trajectory right before the pandemic. Our hearts were breaking right along with Collette’s, though we won’t spoil the comeback story… 👀
Collette, a baker with Down syndrome, shows a level of groundedness and perseverance that would come handy in every entrepreneur’s toolbox. After prospective employers kept telling her that she “wasn’t the right fit” after graduating college, she started Collettey’s Cookies and hasn’t looked back since. You go, Collette!
When Qiana’s store was vandalized and looted but she tenaciously bounced back better than before.
During the May 2020 protests against racial injustice, Culture’s Closet was broken into and vandalized. Qiana watched the whole thing happen live on her security cameras. It was a devastating blow to the business – financially and psychologically. Eventually, Qiana decided to “take lemons and make lemonade.” Her and the team painted murals, fixed up the store, and pushed through a difficult time because the existence of their business is more important than ever!
An inspiration for us all, to be honest.
When Lexi’s lease for a retail storefront is approved and she is overcome with emotion.
Lexi knows a physical retail space would catapult her online store to the next level and we see her take every step to make it happen. Lexi doesn’t let setbacks like the loss of her dream space or hesitation from her dad (an investor) deter her from pursuing her dream.
When her lease for the space is finally approved, she recounts all the dark moments that led up to this milestone and it gets us in our feelings.
It’s the grit and persistence for us, personally.
When Qiana finds out she’s experiencing signs of an active lupus flare up and needs to rethink working habits.
At one point, Qiana admits she used to think she was going to die in her late thirties because of her lupus, an autoimmune disease that causes painful inflammation.
When Qiana’s doctor tells her that she is experiencing another flare up, Qiana becomes emotionally overwhelmed. Though Qiana confesses her fear of looking weak (which we can all relate to), she eventually takes the needed rest and bounces back.
Watching Qiana show so much resiliency in her day-to-day work is like watching a master class on navigating entrepreneurship. In the process, she teaches us about the importance of resting and refueling – not just for our professional endeavors, but for our personal and physical health too.
When the pandemic takes such a toll on Chris’ business that he is faced with the potential of leaving the events industry.
There’s no doubt about it: Chris does what he does for the love of it. When post-pandemic production resumes, cameras capture how difficult Chris has especially had it having to close his doors for months with no end in sight.
In the face of a catastrophic financial environment, he uses the same creativity that spurred him forward to adapt and try new things – like virtual events and livestreams. Financial ruin is a distinct possibility, but his goal is tenaciously unchanged: to continue his dream and do things on his own terms before the world changed abruptly.
When Collette and her sister have a tender moment.
Our hearts may or may have not melted when Collette was celebrating her 30th birthday with her mom and sister in San Diego. In the same episode, Collette admits the pandemic has left her lonely and isolated, so she takes a trip to the west coast to explore expanding Collettey’s Cookies there.
It is there that Collette and her family get a chance to reflect on her accomplishments. “What Collette has done is so remarkable. She’s accomplished so much in her 30 years,” her sister Blake says.
When Qiana gives her sons (and us) a life and entrepreneurship pep talk 😭
Okay hear us out on this one: Qiana is entrepreneur goals.
When things go sideways at her new family business venture, Munchiez, she pulls her sons aside and gives them a master class on what it means to weather the tough times when running a business. She emphasizes the importance of tackling problems head on instead of brushing them to the side and tells her son, Keenan, to step up into the future role he envisions for himself at the company.
“The environment may be hectic, but that’s life, baby. That’s life.” Preach, Qiana 🙌
As tough as things get for Qiana, she is always grounded in her end goals and values: growing her brand and laying the groundwork for her sons’ futures, just like her mom did for her. “My momma did everything for me so I wanna make sure you also got what you need,” she tells Kennan and Kameron.
Entrepreneurship changes lives.
Take it from us: Entrepreneurship is hard, it’s gritty, and it’s not glam. But entrepreneurship can change lives and unlock opportunities people never thought possible.
We get that not everyone sees entrepreneurship as a viable path, often because they’ve never seen someone like them pursue entrepreneurship and successfully run their own business. At Shopify, our goal is to highlight and celebrate underrepresented entrepreneurs and create a broader and more inclusive definition of entrepreneur by showcasing more stories and more triumphs—including the stories and triumphs of those with disabilities. We hope you enjoyed Born For Business as much as we did!