9 young entrepreneurs in Greater Birmingham under 35 years old you need to know

Dippi CEO Rashad Grimes. Photo via Matthew Niblett for Bham Now.

Part of the magic of The Magic City is all the courageous entrepreneurs who pour their heart, soul, investments and business savvy into creating something for the rest of us. Today, we want to introduce you to nine of the area’s young entrepreneurs under 35. Keep reading to meet them.

1. Rashad Grimes—Dippi Delivery

Dippi CEO Rashad Grimes. Photo via Matthew Niblett for Bham Now.

The city has been raving over a new alcohol delivery app called Dippi.

The CEO is Mr. Rashad Grimes—age 27 years. Grimes is an Ensley native who got his start in the business realm at 8 years old, shining shoes at his father’s business. He continued to shine shoes while in college and it soon became a main source of income.

However, Grimes wanted to start his own business, much like his father, so he used his professional and business background to bring Alabama its first alcohol delivery services, right here in The Magic City.

Dippi officially launched October 28, 2021. What makes this app different is that it is the first and ONLY alcohol delivery company that delivers spirits. Grimes says Birmingham is a brilliant place to work and made it his mission to bring his business and headquarters to his hometown.

2. Willie Williams Jr.—Studio 2500

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Studio 2500 founder Willie WIlliams Jr. Photo via Studio 2500

Our next young entrepreneur in Birmingham is Mr. Willie Williams Jr., owner of Studio 2500 art gallery—age 25 years.

Williams’ art gallery came about as he was approaching the end of his college career. According to Williams, graduated artists typically wait for the chance to be discovered. He decided to take another route that led him into the entrepreneurial world. He wanted to create something sustainable for himself once he graduated.

Williams started Studio 2500 in an industrial warehouse space the summer leading up to his junior year. The gallery is not only a space for him to showcase his artistic pieces, but a space for other young artists in college and coming out of college to exhibit their work.

His art emphasizes themes related to African-American/Black culture in a positive way. Studio 2500 stands in North Birmingham—a predominantly Black area, which is perfectly placed to show how Black people can thrive economically through the arts.

3. Alexander Cox—Watercraft Warehouse

young entrepreneurs
Watercraft Warehouse Owner Alexander Cox. Photo via Watercraft Warehouse

Meet Alexander Cox, a 21-year-old Entrepreneurship and Marketing student at UAB and the owner of the Watercraft Warehouse.

Cox got his start as a business owner at only 11 years-old when he began selling/buying toys on EBay. This allowed him to build capital and invest in the stock market, particularly Apple. At 15 years old, Cox began buying and selling enclosed trailers, dump trailers, car haulers and more. Now, Cox is selling water-sport vehicles.

“About four years ago, I made a discovery. Certain items have an “in-season” and “out-season”. That discovery coupled with my absolute passion and love for the water made Jet-skis an obvious choice. I decided to take advantage of seasonal market inefficiencies in the watercraft market to build the business I have today.”

Alexander Cox, Owner, Watercraft Warehouse

Cox has bought and sold more than 100 skis in 2021 and has sold into the seven figures.

4. Dajia Martin—DajiaVu Clothing

young entrepreneurs
DajiaVu Clothing CEO Dajia Martin. Photo via DajiaVu Clothing

Next, Meet Ms. Dajia Martin, a 24-year-old Birmingham native. Martin is the head designer and owner of DajiaVu Clothing. Martin’s passion for fashion began at a very young age.

She began uniquely matching clothing pieces and accessories in primary school and advanced to designing her own clothing in high school. After overcoming adversity, Martin made a living for herself as a young business owner in 2019—the year she started DajiaVu Clothing.

She spent the year learning and expanding her knowledge of fashion design and invested every dollar into her business. In 2020, she launched her first collection and sold several pieces to well-known social media influencers. Martin generated a lot of profit in 3 months—before her business became an LLC in 2021.

5. Jimmy Truong—June Coffee Co.

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June Coffee Co. Owner Jimmy Truong. Photo via June Roasters

Jimmy Truong is the 26 year-old owner of June Roasters and June Coffee Co. For years, Truong has work several jobs to save money—usually working 2-3 jobs, sometimes all in the same day. He spent his entire life in the food & beverage/hospitality industry and says he really can’t think of doing anything else.

Thus, the start of his coffee roasting business. Truong wanted to recreate the coffee scene he experienced in Portland, Oregon to Birmingham. He first started with his roasting company, distributing some of his products around town. Woodlawn Cycle Cafe, his full-time at the time, supported him 100% along the way and were the first to carry his product.

“I wanted to start a coffee shop that roasted and served an incredible product but also created a warm and inviting space for people like nothing Birmingham has seen before and I’m confident the new space will convey all of that.”

Jimmy Truong, Owner, June Coffee Co.

6. Pete Halupka + 7. Lindsay Whiteaker—Harvest Roots Ferments

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Pete and Lindsay behind the bar in the taproom. Cheers, y’all. (Matthew Niblett / Bham Now)

Harvest Roots Ferments is a Birmingham favorite, and the owners Lindsay Whiteaker and Pete Halupka are the masterminds behind it. When we first announced that Harvest Roots was opening Birmingham’s first kombucha taproom, we wrote “Founded back in 2012 by Pete Halupka and Lindsay Whiteaker, Harvest Roots got its start as a small farm.” Whiteaker was fermenting kraut and kombucha for their farmers market table at the time and later the pair fully committed to fermentation.

Halupka said that they built their core audience at Pepper Place since 2014 and Birmingham is the majority of their sales. At the time, they sourced over 75,000 pounds of local produce since 2015. Now, they have a kombucha taproom in Avondale and they continue to produce products that include:

  • Kombucha
  • Kraut
  • Kimchi

Halupka and Whiteaker plan to expand their work to surrounding states.

8. Joanna Mann + 9. Trevor Mann—Walden FARMacy

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Owners of Walden FARMacy, Joanna and Trevor Mann are healing Greater Birmingham. (Sharron Swain / Bham Now)

Joanna and Trevor Mann’s business, Walden FARMacy has taken over the herbal medicine business in Greater Birmingham. Walden FARMacy is a family-ran herbal medicine that grows herbs and create herbal tinctures as a cure.

In another story we’ve published about Walden FARMacy, Joanna told us that she started working with herbs in 2007 after she was diagnosed with a chronic illness. After lost of research, she began making herbal medicines as a career. When she met Trevor, he was into permaculture and gardening.

Their business began after Joanna posted medicine that she created and tinctured herbs on Facebook. Walden FARMacy products can be found at several local grocery and health stores as well as at their farm. The couple continue to provide herbs and medicine for their beloved city and community.

Are you an entrepreneur in Birmingham and would like to be featured in an article like this? Let us know on socials @BhamNow. Don’t forget to sign up for our FREE newsletter.

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Tira Davis
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