We reached out to some of our favorite entrepreneurs and asked them to think back and tell us about how they decided to start a business. Check out their responses below.

Keambre Jobbers | Pro Makeup Artist

Honestly since High school I knew I would be in the beauty industry, I just never knew it would be makeup, (only because I could never do brows to save my life) makeup is definitely what I enjoy doing, it started off as a hobby and I turned it into a passion. I also added a 90s theme cosmetic line Read more>>

Nakia Brantley | Accredited Event Designer

I love how you can take a blank space, an empty room or venue and transform it into something completely different by using your imagination. I have always been the go to person in our family when it came to decorating. A few years ago I decorated my own anniversary party and all of my guests kept urging me to widen out and start decorating for people outside of our family. I started researching opportunities for education in the event decor industry and became an Accredited Event Designer. Read more>>

Regeanie Corona | Social Entrepreneur & Business Strategist/Coach

I have been starting businesses for as long as I can remember. Entrepreneurship has always been in my blood. I’ve owned multiple businesses, some successful and some not. Even when I worked a 9-5, I considered myself an “intrapreneur.” When I decided to leave the tech field to pursue full-time entrepreneurship, I decided that I wanted to be a social entrepreneur, using business to innovatively solve social challenges in the world. Read more>>

Christianne Brooks | Creative Director, Optimist

After 20 years of being a creative director who builds brands for others, I have been wanting to be of service in a bigger way than just selling a product to people. I have had it on my heart to shift into being of service and giving back in a meaningful way one that has helped me so much! Enter LOVESNAP! “A stylish reminder to talk nice to yourself” I created this bracelet and brand as a new tool to help people identify and weed out negative thoughts or habits that are holding them back from a happy more fulfilled life. Starting my own brand allows me to put more focus on the work of helping others while creating a livelihood out of sharing my personal journey and wisdom in hopes that I can help others on this same path to more joy and better self-talk! Read more>>

Tuuins Hoodies | Clothing brand

We just wanted to create hoodies that make a statement and become a part of our customer’s identity. We put a lot of thought into our designs and we work to create things that are different and stand-out. We were in love with the creative spirit of Los Angeles and we wanted to place that spirit in our hoodies and so we decided to bring that bold and creative spirit to our designs! Read more>>

Arend Richard | Co-Founder and Creative Director of WeedTube.com

There wasn’t much of a thought process because my business was started out of necessity to fight cannabis censorship online. We did what needed to be done. When YouTube purged hundreds of cannabis channels without warning in February 2018 (including my own channel with nearly 200k subscribers), I was lucky enough to be friends with many of those content creators, and it was through those friendships we were able to come together and start Weedtube.com. We raised over $15k in 48 hours from our followers to start our own video platform. It feels like now, over three years in, we’re finally able to start building a vision for the future of the platform, instead of catching up on what needed to be done to fight the online censorship of cannabis. Read more>>

Julie & Jeff | Cofounders

After working corporate jobs for years, we increasingly felt the urge to be creative and to have something of our own. We would dabble in design here and there for years, constantly chatting about it on our free time, and eventually that itch turned into a “real” business. We started as a design studio, creating graphics for all sorts of things, taking on projects when they came up. Chunky Paper was a result of our design work after a few years, and originated as a red envelope project. From there, thanks to social media & our friends and family, it’s become what it is today. And we’re just getting started! Read more>>

Tonikka Dumas | Owner of Dreamclassy -Online boutique

Fear and faith don’t live in the same place . I launch my online boutique back in 2017 . I was so excited to launch just to find out the people you thought will support you the most wont . Complete stranger are your best customers . I was working two jobs in going to school at that time , so I had a lot on my plate. To the point where I stop promoting my online boutique . I felt like a failure because no one was really buying off my boutique . In 2019 I completed stop talking about it I stop marketing I stopped everything . Read more>>

Ro Souza 

Me and my family were going trough some personal changes (regarding sustainability and living simple) and somehow what I was doing back then did not resonate with all that so I started thinking a way to make my business in an intentional, consciously eco friendly one. Read more>>

James Bauman | Touring Agent & Artist Manager

I always knew what I wanted to do, I consider myself lucky for that. However, after making the decision not to go to college, I knew that I had to take initiative and make my own success. I come from a background of DIY touring and New Brunswick house shows. I’ve worked in many different areas of music like recording studios, music schools, etc. Since I was a freshman in high school, all I’ve wanted to do is work in the music industry. I’ve followed labels, touring agencies and managers very closely over the years, absorbing as much as I can. Being able to wake up every day and do EXACTLY what I want to do means everything. I couldn’t be happier in my role. Read more>>

Danial J. Smith & Kendra T. Ruczak | Co-Owners, Ravensview Films

We both absolutely love filmmaking and creative storytelling, and we have always known we wanted to build careers in the film industry. When Danial survived a life-threatening injury in 2015, it was a wake-up call to pursue our goals with more passion than ever before. We had the realization that we could combine our skills to form a company that handles all aspects of film production from first concept to final delivery. Starting our own business has given us the opportunity to build a passionate team of collaborators who bring their unique strengths and interests to each project. We love pushing ourselves creatively and we learn so much from each new challenge we take on. Read more>>

Jessica Middleton & Dariel Taylor | Branding & Marketing Professionals

As a creative couple we have worked together on projects in the past. So, we have proven to ourselves that we work together well as a team and it made sense to turn this into something much bigger. With the push of a friend we decided to apply for our LLC and we haven’t looked back since. Our mission is to uplift, educate and inspire our community to follow their dreams! Read more>>

Josh Greenbaum | Financial Consultant & Advisory CFO

After 5 years in corporate roles, I felt very unfulfilled in the future outlook for my career. Despite the stability of an accounting career, I didn’t feel connected to or inspired by my clients. What really lit me up was entrepreneurs and small business owners who aspired to create an impact within their community and beyond. Startup companies and small businesses in general often lack financial resources and literacy. They deserve the expertise larger businesses have access to because, quite frankly, they need it more. That’s why I started my company. I knew that the time and effort to serve one large company could be reallocated to serve many companies simultaneously. My passion is to align an owners’ goals with their business model in order to build the life and career they’ve have always wanted. Read more>>

Erin Frisby | President of the Board-This Could Go Boom! Musician, Teaching Artist

One of the musical projects I play with, The OSYX, developed the non-profit organization, This Could Go Boom! in a whirlwind of brainstorming, excitement, and activity. The band was gaining some attention in our hometown of Washington D.C., and we all wanted to create something that would optimize all of that energy and continue to grow in a community driven way. This Could Go Boom! is a grassroots, community supported organization that inspires, supports, and champions voices that have been excluded from much of the world of music creation based on gender identity. Read more>>

Cindy Maram | Producer and Entertainment Film & Media Executive

I’m a creative person at heart and I’ve channeled that creative energy into my business pursuits. Because I enjoyed writing, movies, photography, as well as design, I pursued these in my educational and academic career, then applied these skills professionally as an entrepreneur starting two creative businesses. Everything that I’ve done and accomplished in my own business and creative profession has been planned and strategized from the very beginning–and sometimes it comes to fruition many years later, but it was always a part of a bigger long-term plan. Read more>>

Kennie Leggett | Founder of Juggalot Company LLC

If you caught up with those who knew me from high school they might describe me as ‘talkative, life of the party, class clown, and always getting into trouble’. You may even learn about some of my experiences with Inglewood Family Gang. If you hollered at some of the ladies around the way from my old neighborhood, they’d probably respond with something along the lines of, “I always saw something special in that boy, but I just knew he would be in jail or dead by now…” Read more>>

Elodie Attias | Certified life coach & published author & agent of change & energy and sound healer

Our company is called The HeartWorkers. We (Elodie Attias & Aurélie Brisac), based in Paris and Los Angeles, co-founded The HeartWorkers when we felt a calling to share our healing tools with the world. Today we design online courses to awaken people’s heart, mind, spirit and joy and inspire them to become who they want to be. Our two personalities are very different and totally complementary. Quickly after meeting each other in Los Angeles in 2015, we became therapists for one another and we started documenting and codifying the tools we were using to solve our daily challenges with humour, joy & creativity. We then launched our brand The Heartworkers. At first, it was a mix of workshops, meditations and sound therapy before it became online courses & workshops & retreats. Read more>>

Jeff Hodge | Comedian/Producer/Author/Host/Actor/Owner

My thought process behind starting my own business was that I got tired of making money for other people so why not start doing it for myself. When I look back at all the years, I have been in this comedy game, I have seen how the have’s do it and what the have nots have been doing to keep them going. I figured that I knew how to do that too so why not. Yes, it’ s big gamble but if I am not willing to gamble and spend money on myself, I can’t expect someone else to spend their money on me. Another reason for starting my own comedy spot was I wanted more stability. When you perform for others, you never know when you are going to get booked so you’re always at the booker’s mercy to get stage time. By me starting my own business, I now know that on a certain day of every month, I am guaranteed stage time. That’s a win for me. Read more>>

Lauren Reveley | Founder of Rose Street Creative

I have always been drawn to the power of branding: the way it can captivate, build community, and solve problems if done correctly; or confuse, isolate, and or go stale if done incorrectly. Fashion and beauty have always been important to me – I am drawn to the story, creativity, and artistic values behind the brands in each industry. I’m always learning about and/or trying new fashion and beauty brands from around the world. Read more>>

Doris Nguyen | Designer / Founder

My uncles who played a father role growing up is a big influencer in my life. They are big dreamers and talked a lot about being an entrepreneur so it’s what’s engraved in my mind growing up. When I started my first fashion women label, Hanhny, I had no business plan but I had a clear vision of the women Hanhny represented, a wanderer who is free-spirited and not afraid to take the beaten path. Read more>>

Jazmayne Chatman | Creative Director & Stylist

When I initially started designing sets at home. My thought process was that i could work with my child being present. Yes, I’m the mom who doesn’t wasn’t everyone watching their kid. Then the pandemic hit and I needed to pivot with what was happening in the world. I found out about Peerspace through a colleague. Afterthe first few months of booking and earning income, my wheels started to turn. Then I created the Peacock Lounge. Read more>>

Annie Tevelin | SkinOwl Founder/Host of ‘Off The Record’ Podcast

I love this question because I never truly set out to start a business. I had cystic acne for years and after spending copious amounts of money on dermatologists and products that yielded minimal positive results, I decided to take matters into my own hands and go back to school to study cosmetic chemistry. I learned all about what ACTUALLY helps acne vs. what was marketed to me as a consumer. My brain exploded. I wound up going into my kitchen to create what is now the ‘Geranium Drops’ and it healed my skin in less than 40 days. Read more>>

Ktown Corner Store | Furniture Makers

A few years ago, we gave ourselves a DIY project and made our first tile table. We have never built furniture before, and learned woodworking and grouting by watching YouTube tutorials. Ktown Corner Store is a quarantine baby. Like so many other people, we really got into house plants at the beginning of quarantine. When we saw Etsy’s plant community selling one cutting for $30, we decided to make an online shop selling plants, vintage home goods, and the tile table. The purpose of this online store was for anyone to sell their art. Read more>>

Tallulah Daly | Product Owner & Founder of Bluewater Road Tech & Design

Your digital identity matters and everyone exists online, from the private chef to the all-natural and environmentally conscious skin care brand. Malibu is a small town with a big name, and even bigger expenses. I wanted Bluewater Road Tech & Design to be a realistic option for small businesses in my community. If you Google, “I need a website”, you’ll find costs of $10,000-15,000 minimum. I hated that, I didn’t want BRTD to have a minimum, and that’s why there’s no company too small for us. Read more>>

Kayla Jenkins | Fashion Designer

Making clothes always intrigued me. I used to sketch my own designs as a kid and way before learning to use a sewing machine, my grandma taught me to hand sew. I used to bother her all the time to mend a seam or patch a rip and she would always laugh and say “I taught you how to do this, you do it!” But, everything just feels better when your grandma does it for you. It wasn’t until the middle of my third year of college that I started hand sewing myself. Read more>>

Necoya Tyson | Event planner extraordinaire & mimosa queen

When I started my business back 2009, I was working for an association that was going through budget cuts and layoffs. It was a bad time across the nation. I saw friends and family losing their jobs left & right. At that time, I was a new employee of the organization, so I thought that at any given moment, I’d be next to get laid off. So I started doing research and studying the events industry and that’s how All About You Event Management was born! Read more>>

Matias Marroquin | Fashion Designer

When I was in college, I always felt like I was being trained to be an employee. I studied architecture and constantly heard my professors say the phrase, “this skill will help you be a great applicant for a major firm.” It didn’t take long for me to realize that the corporate ladder was not where I wanted to spend the rest of my life. I was raised with the idea that one of the keys to success is monetizing your passion. I wanted to take a shot at pursuing what I genuinely loved, so I started Con / Fe. A fashion label inspired by my own leap of faith. It’s been about a year since, and I haven’t looked back. Read more>>

Elijah St.Hilaire | Business Director-Bridge The Gap Productions

Bridge The Gap Productions started as a group of close friends and family who wanted to start an an innovative production company that seeks to create new and unique partnerships between artists, filmmakers, and small businesses by bringing branded content, which is a commercialized video marketing technique, to the small business brands in our local community. Their personal brands and presence in the community will be magnified by the content produced by our company. Through these partnerships we look to craft and facilitate better content while also meeting our double bottom line, and ultimately looking to grow and fund bigger projects. Read more>>

Kay Wilson | Canadian Immigration Consultant & Business Coach

My business started out of mere passion and heart. I had no intention to do this full-time or make a business out of immigration consulting. Prior to starting my business, I was always helping friends, family and people I don’t even know with their immigration applications, finding and preparing for jobs, getting settled in Canada and jump-starting passion projects. All of this at no cost, just the desire to help others achieve their goals and progress in life. Read more>>

Ashleigh Dawson | President of R2R and sustainable and Consultant

My thought process behind starting my own business was no one is doing this so I should! It was more like see a need fill a need! Read more>>

Eugene Kim | Photographer

It wasn’t so much a thought, it was more so an instinct and a continuation of doing what I want to do. Read more>>

Siobhan DeVaughn | Founder of bySio

Motivated by women in entrepreneurship, I created bySio with the intention of inspiring others to find the courage to build something of their own. Women who’ve paved the way for many, like myself, continue to set the bar high in the industry, which drives me to hopefully do the same for others. I decided to create scents based on the essence of women who continue to inspire me day after day. Read more>>

Nadia Dennison | Private Chef/ Caterer

I’ve been cooking since the tender age of 10. I started my own business because I’ve always loved to cook and I got tired of punching somebody else’s clock. I left Cedars Sinai Medical Center in.2016 to pursue my own business. I got tired of calling off work to do catering jobs. Read more>>

Tanisha Pitts | Founder & CEO

I have been afforded many great job opportunities throughout my entire career trajectory. However, what I was not able to accomplish – which, I so desired, the longevity and stability within a job title. My predominant career position was an Executive Assistant. In that role, I worked under many brilliant minds in very esteemed companies who built success for that particular company. I had always aspired to do the same, but since that did not manifest, I decided to create my own opportunity to fulfill this purpose of success – career success within entrepreneurship. Read more>>

Kira Moye | Music Business VA

I’ve flirted with the idea of starting my own business several times…and started a cycle of starting and stopping. My first crack at it was with my sister-cousin at creating a talent management company. We had a decent roster but started to feel like we lacked the business acumen to generate lucrative opportunities for our clients – well that’s what we told ourselves. Having specific experience and connections is important, but truthfully, I think having full time jobs and learning how to be managers (good managers) while not generating any income from our clients took a toll. Read more>>

Maryjo Mattea | Social Scientist, Musician, & Zumba Instructor

Zumba with MJ was a product of the pandemic. I had been teaching weekly Zumba classes at a local YMCA and also subbing classes at a nearby university for several years before everything shut down in March of 2020. It became obvious very quickly that life as we knew it was going to change dramatically for an undetermined amount of time. It also became obvious that there would be a great many needs that would have to be satisfied virtually, entertainment, socialization, and fitness being among them and Zumba happens to address all three. Read more>>

Lisa Ray Hobro | Graphic Design | Specializing in Wine Packaging & Brand Identity

I had been working as a graphic designer for design studios for about 10 years, when I became pregnant with my second son. I knew once he was born I wanted to start freelancing so that I could have the flexibility needed in raising a young family. So the thought process was really that I wanted to be home more with my three year-old and new baby, but I still needed an income. I didn’t really have much of a plan, but I always had a very good work ethic and felt I could make it work. I was fortunate to have been working in the ever-growing wine industry for some years, designing wine labels and creating brand identities. Read more>>

Audrey Roy | Audrey Roy I Cannabis Creative Agency Founder

I spent years working for unappreciative people that had very unrealistic expectations of their employees. I was tired of living under constant stress to fulfill someone else’s dream. At my final corporate position, the team was unfair and unwilling to listen to me or my colleagues ideas. One day we went to lunch, took a shot of tequila, went back to the office and quit. It was terrifying yet exhilarating and a day I will never forget. At the time of quitting, I wasn’t even convinced I wanted to start by own business. Once I began connecting with my clients and hearing the feedback was when my company was naturally born. Looking back, owning my business was what I have always wanted. I wanted the freedom to explore my creative ideas and provide brands with deliverables that truly benefits them. Two years into my company and I can never look back. Read more>>

Farah Walahi | Florist, Set Designer, Artist and Activist

The Flowers and Resistance grew from my desire to service others while making a social impact. My business grew from the simple idea to emphasize the importance of giving. I found beauty in the selflessness and hospitality woven into Afghan culture. More so, I wanted to find a way to ground people through nature as I had learned to do. I was always surrounded by greenery and my parents had a mindset similar to many displaced people – to urge us to see how much we were given in comparison to others. Read more>>