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.

Stevevonna Evans | Founder and CEO of Haven’s Future

After my families fight with CFS it was only right that I did what I could to help other families going through the same system. So after years of talking about it, close friends and family pushed me to actually bring Haven’s Future to life. Read more>>

Jade Simmons | Professional Speaker and Musician

I knew that being a freelancer and being at the whims of the industry and in the hands of other managers was not going to cut it. I wanted to run more like an enterprise that had the freedom to recreate as it saw fit. I wanted to bring all of myself to every stage every time and needed to be able to reinvent as the moment or season called for it. I also knew that serious profit was supposed to be the result of impacting so powerfully so I set out to create a business model that allowed for all of that. Read more>>

Paulette Ivory | Artist and Performing Arts Coach.

So I started ‘The Ivory Performing Arts Program’ right before the Pandemic hit in 2020. And who would have know that it came at a time that my services would be desired the most. I have always wanted to pass on my skills, my training, my knowledge, tips and all the little inside things I do to maintain my ability at it’s highest level. Read more>>

Sheila Fein | Fine artist and an illustrator who loves to write children’s book.

When I was in High School in the 1970’s, I wanted to find work beyond the fast-food job, and the clothing salesgirl job I procured because all I wanted to do was art. I gathered my nerve and brought to a small, Long Island Gallery my clay, Zodiac series. Read More>>

Deva Vidya | Shamanic Priestess & Intuitive Healer

My business is inspired by my deep calling to lead people to awaken their innate connection with Spirit, offering them guidance to heal themselves and step fully into their power and purpose. Read more>>

Suz Born & Mindy Painter | Hosts & Creators

With a decade-long friendship as our foundation, we decided to combine our passions and gifts to create a nurturing space for respite and soul care… and Retreat Day was born! Retreat Day hosts seasonal day retreats and shorter self and soul care events in Los Angeles. We wanted to curate shorter, luxurious and nourishing experiences for those that may not have the time to do extended retreats. Read more>>

Nicolette Ficchi | Reiki Master, Yoga Instructor + Meditation Teacher

Starting my own business came quite organically out of my own desires to heal and prioritize my well-being. For most of my life, I struggled with digestive issues, hormonal imbalances, anxiety and stress. After college, I moved to New York City to work at a fashion PR agency and live with friends…seemingly stepping into what was the “ideal life.” Read more>>

Nichola Weiss | Floral Designer & Founder/CEO of Letter Four

It was less of a thought process and more of a final straw. My whole life I’ve been pretty alternative, and when I started working after college, I kind of felt like a poser in every role I took on. It was a confusing chapter for me because I really wanted to work hard and dedicate myself to something, but there was just no passion. Read more>>

Jeffrey Hirsch | Founder & President of The Right Brain Studio and Adjunct Professor at the University of Southern California

There was no thought process. It just happened as a consequence of pursuing a very different idea. Read more>>

Petra Persaud | Wedding & Lifestyle Photographer

My thought process was never actually about coming up with a new business, but following what I like and admire. I was into photography ever since I got my first disposable camera as a child, and my parents couldn’t keep up with the amount of film I went through. From there I kept developing my interest in this hobby, but I never had any thoughts about starting a business as a photographer back in the Czech Republic where I was born and raised. Read more>>

Eva Eljasz | Ceramic artist

Few years ago, I started taking ceramic classes in New York and pottery became my passion. I discovered that working with my hands is my meditative state. Then the passion became a profession, by working at the ceramic studio Franca in Brooklyn. In 2021 I moved to California and decided to create my own collection of ceramic tableware. The next step was natural, opening a studio and starting my own business. Read more>>

Kelly Lam | Founder and Ambassador of All Things Good

When starting The Whole Purpose my main goal was to help people who worked similar jobs to what I had in the past. Jobs with long hours, travel, client entertainment and little time for personal life. As I began the business plan for TWP I used my ‘old self’ as the primary example of the person I wanted to help. Read more>>

Megan Yates | Documentary Family Photographer

Photography is something that I’ve been interested in and enjoyed for a long time, but mostly as an enthusiast; I would daydream about being a photographer, but for quite a while I simply left it at that. After leaving my career in the wine industry to care for my children full time, I found that the lack of a rigid structure allowed me to think more creatively and I began to feel a strong tug toward being an artist. For the first time, the idea of pursuing photography as more than a hobby felt realistic. Read more>>

Colleen Sutton | Owner/Operator Richwood on the River, LLC

I have been in the events industry for over 30 years. After the birth of my daughter, Ava Rose, in 2007, I became a SAHM. This was such a strange concept because so often I would have multiple jobs to fill up my days. I am uneasy when I am at rest. So when Ava was 2, my husband and I decided that we would not have any more children. Read more>>

Damaris Grace | Makeup Artist/Smile Maker/Creative

My mom told me at a young age to pick something i love, something i never get tired of and make it my career. So to me when i discovered my love for makeup artistry it seemed only right to turn my passion to a business. When you love what you do even when its not easy thats when you know to turn it into something more, something that can support your spirit and your livelihood. Read more>>

R.I.O Sirah the Infinite | Rtist. Master of visualizing the unseen with a paintbrush.

Well the first thing is I got very tired of working for other people. Building their dreams up as mine withered away to endless overtime and back breaking physical work for low pay. I use to work for Kmart warehouse in GA where all I did was peel shipping labels until my finger tips were raw, put them on boxes and throw them on a conveyor belt for nearly 10hrs a day with only one day off. Read more>>

Chris Pitsicalis | Influencer & Creative

I was tired of the same old work until you burn out ideology! I was unhappy working for low rates, making other people successful while I wasn’t doing anything that benefited my soul. I always had an entrepreneurial spirit and when the pandemic happened I was pushed so hard by the universe to finally open an LLC. Read more>>

Samm Stangeland | Candle Company Founder

As a music LOVER, one day I was listening to Brown Sugar by The Rolling Stones and the thought occurred to me that there aren’t any candle companies that are inspired by songs – connecting those senses of sight, smell, and hearing. This triggered an idea for me and so, I began keeping a notes page in my phone with ideas for scents, the aesthetic, the creative, and all of it. Read more>>

Amie Russ | Owner of Larue’s Place

I wanted to start Larue’s Place for a few different reasons. I had a hard time finding natural products that helped with my hyperpigmentation and acne scarring from having to wear masks, and we were struggling to find products that helped my teenage daughter that has a mild case of acne and dry skin. Another motivation for starting my business is because I needed another source of income. Read more>>

Avedis Guerboian | Bespoke Jewelry Designer

The time came to go my own way after my Dad retired. He was in business 40 years, operating the largest family owned jewelry store in Santa Monica. I grew up in our family business and wanted to create a name for myself. My passion was design and animation and I wanted to merge the latest 3D technology with jewelry design. Read more>>

Arianna Ferraudo | Singing teacher & radio host

This is a huge question! My results came from a very long process of acceptance of myself. I had a tough life, even from the very beginning: my non-communicative family, my Italian culture that considers musicians as deadbeats, and so many others..! But at a certain moment of my life – it was in 2014 – I started asking myself: why I couldn’t start showing what I’m capable of? At that time, I had made the experience of thousands of seminaries and concerts done as a singer and performer. But suddenly I had to stop and find a job, cause I remained all alone. Read more>>

D’Mario Dudley | Founder of Defiant Digital

Control. The power of ownership is now you’re in control, it’s all you. If you believe in yourself, then why not bet on yourself. Read more>>

Kim Henderson | Bakery Owner, Writer & Author

I had been working in publishing for more than 15 years, and one more time, the publisher I was working for was struggling to stay afloat. At the same time, I was having trouble with my back from years of sitting at a computer. I had already realized many of the dreams I had for myself in the publishing world, including writing a book. Read more>>

Lynna Choi | Small Business Owner & Barkuterie Maker

I was unemployed during the pandemic and struggling to figure out what I wanted to do next with my life. I always dreamed of a career that included my dog, Puck. When I started to see barkuterie pop up on social media, I thought it was such a fun & creative way to celebrate our pups! Read more>>

Jamel Baines | Film Producer & Entrepreneur

I was spending way too much time making everybody else business thrive. I wanted a opportunity to create something that I could make thrive as well. Read more>>

Gloria Martinez | Lash & Brow Artist

When I initiated the thought process of starting my own business it was because I wanted to use my creativity to make others happy and also myself. I have worked in social services and sales most of my adulthood which was very difficult emotionally. I excelled in all of my positions but I always felt that I wanted more from myself and from life. Read more>>

Tony Del Pino | Mixologist

This business venture first began in 2018 as a way to make some extra cash on the side for the Holidays. I utilized my network of family and friends to provide Coquito. This also was a great way to begin honing in on what people liked and didn’t like about the product. Read more>>

Cindy Ngo | Founder at INK + PORCELAIN

I relocated to a new home in 2020, and for the first time, I had a full blank canvas to design. I wanted my home to reflect my minimal aesthetic, however, it turned out much more complicated than I thought it should be: I found very few affordable home brands that can also be considered luxurious (both materials and design). Read more>>

Koi Kadara | Actress | Jewelry Business Owner

As I travel through my spiritual journey, especially when the pandemic began, what helped me stay grounded and at peace was practicing the art of living consciously in the present moment and having gratitude. I have learned that being present allows me to only think about now, not the past or the future, only now. What helps me remember to be present is when I write affirmations on my flashcards and put them around my house. Read more>>

Katie Watford | Fashion Stylist & Style Educator

I saw a gap in the market. We live in the 21st century with knowledge right at our fingertips. We can get access to any information we want in seconds. But one area that is truly missing is real education that teaches women how to develop their own personal style. Read more>>

Samir Akhter | Music producer / sound engineer

I had spent most of my life listening to what I was told to do, often against my own intuition. Starting my own business allowed me the freedom to make my own decisions. Read more>>

Sikandar Sidhu | Writer and Director

I was born with Asperger which made me perceive an impulse differently than how a neurotypical human being would. So it was very important for me to get information before I could start making content. With this criteria I applied to the film schools that I believed would help me with my development. Read more>>

Sylvia Roldan | Social Media Storyteller & Consultant

I’ve always wanted to be a space of support for the Latino community, especially first generation Latinas, such as myself. In thinking about how I could best put my skills and talents to use, while also enjoying myself, I began playing with the idea of storytelling. The way that Social Media has changed over time, I have been drawn to the storytelling aspect of content creation. Read more>>

Destinee Aaliyah | CEO, Manager, Recording Artist, Actor, Consultant, Event Producer, Screenwriter -OR- CEO, Artist, Jack of All Trades

I had the honor of working under quite a few industry vets who were indescribably good at what they do and shared some of that wisdom with me. I was always the intern that ended up in meetings that she had no business being in because I spoke up, I asked the right questions, I did my own research, and most importantly I built strong genuine working relationships. Read more>>

Tyonie Patterson | Children’s Book Author and Speech Language Pathologist

My name is Tyonie Patterson and I am a speech language pathologist and author of the Tamia T. Scott Series. My thought process behind starting my own children’s book series was recognizing the lack of diversity within children’s books and thinking of a solution to change that reality. Read more>>

James Emley | Film Score Musician, VR Designer, and Data Scientist

I have always been a creative person with a drive to follow my passions through life, while trying to make a living with these passions. The greatest phrase that I learned early in my career was “What do I have to lose?” This mantra allowed me to travel the world as a musician, move to Los Angeles to follow my dreams, and to consistently learn new skills in developing my own way of making money. Read more>> 

Michelle Cochran | Skin care Specialist

My thought process behind starting my business was if you know you can help people. Why not try? I had cystic acne. I cured it naturally. So my thing was just getting the word out that there is other options! Read more>>

Debi Carlin Boyle | Health & Nutrition Coach, Personal Trainer and Fitness Instructor

I already had a side hustle of teaching spin and fitness classes, I was also a personal trainer while I was working my main career as a Commercial Television Producer. I found myself answering lots of questions from crew members and clients about diet and exercise. My passion yelled much stronger toward helping people become healthier as opposed to selling them sugary soft drinks and junk food. Read more>>

Annette Bedrossian | Animator/Director/Producer

As a young kid I always loved hearing, reading, and telling stories. After finishing my undergraduate degree in animation arts, me and two of my closest friends decided that the only way we were going to be able to tell our own stories was if we started our own studio. Read more>>

Andrea Galbreath | CEO & Succulent Addict

I was in Corporate Wellness when the great Coronapocalypse began and all of my work contracts were cancelled. I was about 3 months into my obsession with succulents after updating my front yard for my upcoming wedding, so I decided to see if I could turn my obsession into a business. Almost 2 years later, I’m still single (my wedding didn’t happen) but I have a thriving business! Read more>>

Curtis Vallier | Curtis & Trish Vallier & Our children Anneliesa, Miley, & Jaycee Vallier Founders

Our business was started out of necessity for change and a passion to give back. When our daughter Jaycee was diagnosed with Choroid Plexus Carcinoma (rare form of Brain Cancer) on January 30th, 2020, our family was devastated. We were alone in a world we knew little about and certainly never expected to be a part of, the world of Childhood Cancer. Read more>>