For business owners, COVID-19 brought many, many challenges. Yet the last year or so was also a time when some aspiring 40-and-older entrepreneurs decided to act. In some cases, these entrepreneurs moved forward on business ideas they’ve thought about for years. In others, they pursued new causes that presented themselves as a direct result of the pandemic.
Here’s a sampling of these businesses:
Shakadi Arts – A paint-and-sip concept streamed via Zoom by Diana Daniels, a 66-year-old retired grandmother who lives in West Brighton, New York. As reported in this story, Diana began painting with her children and grandchildren via Zoom once COVID-19 lockdown shut everything down. Over time, her idea evolved into a “virtual abstract pour sip-and-paint class.” Her goal is “to give my participants a little distraction and have some fun.”
YesterToys – A Virginia Beach–based toy shop that sells old collectables. Owner Jim Augustine opened the store in August 2020 as a place to buy, sell and trade vintage toys. As this article explains, the 46-year-old “had always wanted to open a vintage toy shop, it just took a pandemic to push him to do it.”
Danielle Renee Beaute – A skin care and beauty line launched by Danielle Dials, who turned 40 in 2020. “We put so much pressure on ourselves to get things done in a timeline,” says Danielle in this article. “If this inspires another woman to start a business at 40, or older, that would make it all the more sweet.”
Diana Original Hoops – A hula hoop and exercise company started by Diana Miller. The 49-year-old from Baltimore took up hula hooping at the beginning of the pandemic. Now she holds socially distanced classes, which customers can attend free once they buy her custom-made hula hoops that she sells on social media.
Suzi Home Maker – A Peterborough, Ontario-based company that helps older adults with downsizing, de-cluttering, packing, donating and other tasks associated with a move. Founder Susan Dunkley, an active volunteer and member of her community for over 30 years, came up with her business idea in 2020 after a family member had to move while pandemic-induced lockdowns were in full swing. Her husband, then recovering from COVID-19, wasn’t well enough to help – so this job fell upon Susan. “I realized that there was a great need for elders in our community for this type of service,” she says in this article.
ADV Roof Tents – Thomas Parkes, 51, is the founder of this Bristol, UK startup, which sells foldout tents that sit on top of a vehicle. Before the pandemic, Thomas ran another company where he took clients on challenging off-road adventures. Although COVID-related travel restrictions squelched this business, Thomas found a new opportunity in the growing popularity of staycations. As he explains here, his latest endeavor provided a big plus: the opportunity to work with his son.