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.

Chanel Marie | Cosmetologist & CEO of Beauty by Chanel Marie

Prior to starting my business, it was my passion. It still is, but I started doing it because I was good at it and loved using my creativity and skills to transform people. During this time, I worked numerous retail jobs- which I hated. So as I continued doing hair and makeup on the side I got more inquiries and started charging.. and then realized I was making more money doing what I loved and it was up from there. Read more>>

Solimar Williams | CEO and Founder of UNBTHRD FASHION HOUSE

Since I was little I always wanted to be in fashion. I used to make mood boards, taking pages out of magazines and I used to put outfits together. Once I got older I started to draw my own designs and though the years discovered that the fashion industry can be not welcoming to many people. Read more>>

Suzanne Ling | Co-Founder, PichaEats

In Malaysia, we have close to 180,000 refugees registered under UNCHR. However, as Malaysia is not a signatory of the Refugee Convention, refugees are not allowed to work legally and attend public school. This causes many of them to struggle financially as they wait for resettlement, and many children are also unable to get quality education due to the lack of learning centres & teachers for the community. Read more>>

Esmeraldad Gutierrez | Designer / Creator

If there’s something that sparks joy in your life, nourish it, share with the world. From a young age, I had the freedom to explore my creativity. I was (and still am) a DIY type of girl. There’s something about having an idea and seeing it come to life that makes me smile. Read more>>

Sandra Baeza | Comprehensively Trained Pilates Instructor

I initially started practicing Pilates in my physical therapist’s office, due to a knee injury. I found out that the reformer is zero impact on the joints, which was great form my recovery! My PT suggested that I look into practicing Pilates on a regular basis, so I found a studio. I feel in love with the work! I was able to see the results of feeling better in my back, lean and long muscle tone formation, and having a stronger core than I have ever had! After about a year of practicing Pilates, I decided to take the leap and become a certified Pilates instructor. Read more>>

Kylie DeWilde | Mother, maker, entrepreneur, and business owner.

My business began after I unexpectedly became a mother in 2016 and I wanted to figure out a way to make a living entirely from home. I started thrifting and then reselling my thrifted finds on Poshmark and Depop. This evolved into a full-fledged resale business that allowed me to work from home and support myself and my son. From there, my goal was to work towards having my own fashion label one day; however, the more I learned about the fashion industry, the more discouraged I was about how unsustainable and unethical the “behind the scenes” really are. Read more>>

Alison Best | Tattoo Artist, Illustrator, Block Printer & Dog Lover

Ah, my business. It’s still so weird to say those words “MY business”. It’s been a wild ride but, simply put, it stemmed from two things: my love for animals ( especially dogs, hence the business name ) and my desire to no longer work in the corporate world. I found myself in this mentally draining cycle I didn’t know how to get out of ; work my butt off at my corporate job, make money, buy things that i thought would make me happy to balance out the fact that i hated my job. Read more>>

Yvonne Simms | The Black Family Photo Album

I have been photographing and filming families for over 10 years, but the images I love the most are the ones with several generations together. A grandmother with her grandchild. Three generations of men. This past year, I launched The Black Family Photo Album to help black families across the African Diaspora document their legacy. The experience is customized for each family, with the goal of bringing together multiple generations to document our stories beautifully in photographs and videos, so that we can preserve our story for future generations. Read more>>

Averien Turner | Owner/Manager

Ever since I was a young kid, about 10 years old I always had a great amount of love for fashion. Then when the brand FUBU came out, I loved it so much that I always dreamed of starting my own brand. When I got out of high school at the age of 18, I went to barber school, I got out of barber school at the age of 19 then I stared working as a barber. I saved my money, then at the age of 20 I started my brand Humble Clothing Co. Then at the age of 28, I open my own barber shop Cuttie’s Barber Shop with my partner Jason Holloway. Read more>>

Ashley Goodin | Small Business Owner & Mental Health Advocate

When I initially started my business it was just meant to be a hobby, but as word spread through family, friends and the power of social media it became much bigger. My focus was mainly on “Mommy & Me” apparel and accessories, but the passion just wasn’t there. Read more>>

Natalie Brown | Lash Artist and Body Sculpter

My thought process was you wake up every morning to make someone else’s business maintain the success they have built for themselves. Why not put that same energy. 8 hours in a day for yourself. Read more>>

Agnes Suparman | Certified Wedding Planner & Coordinator

I was initially just looking to do something that I truly enjoyed and not really thinking of it as starting my own business. Ever since I was a teenager entering the work force, I always worked to the best of my ability but often found that I was unfulfilled at those jobs. When I learned that there were courses to become certified in Wedding Planning & Coordination, I thought “let’s try this and see what happens”. I haven’t looked back since! Read more>>

Liku Amadi | Online Business Attorney

My quality of life was suffering in corporate. I did what I said I would never do and decided to start my own law practice so I could have control over my time. Worst case scenario, I could always go back to firm life or find something else that I enjoyed doing. Read more>>

Jenni Lusk | Creator and Owner of Spicy Suite

My grandmother gifted me a sewing machine for Christmas in 2019 after I expressed interest in learning to repair and tailor my own clothes. My great-grandmother had been sewing for work to support her family since she was 11 years old in the 1920’s, so maybe it was always my destiny to learn! Read more>>

Rhonda Dennis | R & R Breakfast Spot Owner

I workedfor a large payroll company and my husband was at the time, five years from retirement. I have always cooked for large crowds so I decided to start a restaurant. Breakfast was my dads favorite meal of the day so it felt like a no brainer to do something that I loved. Read more>>

Issa Khoury | Owner

There was a niche in Las Vegas that I saw wasn’t being fulfilled. Big box stores were all you could find, with big names being represented, but the smaller boutique stores and brands weren’t getting the attention they deserved. Read more>>

Daniele Ciaravolo | Guitarist & Producer

I have been a musician for more than 15 years now and while mastering my abilities I was just working part-time with music. After graduating from the conservatory in 2017 I decided to move to London to pursue my career as a full-time musician and I then realized that an artist has to look at themselves as a business. Read more>>

Antonio Sustiel | CEO, Flooring King

The thought process behind starting my own business was that I come from a family of business owners. My grandfather, my father and my entire family always worked for themselves – they never worked for anyone else and I knew as a kid that when I grew up, I was also going to run my own business and be my own boss. I believe if you want to grow a business in a big way you have to work hard and work for yourself. I believe when you work for someone else you’re never going to get ahead. Read more>>

Dean Ben-Zour | Online Marketing Specialist

Since my dad is a small business owner, growing up I used to work at his shop in my free time. As a matter of fact, my first job as a marketing specialist was to help integrate my dad’s business structure with online marketing. No matter how hard I tried, it seemed like the game was too rigged, and a small business owner cannot compete with companies that have a big marketing budget. Read more>>

Harriet Fraser | A cappella vocalist and doctor

My career has gone through many changes, partly geographical, and partly as a response to world events. I was working as a general practitioner (family doctor) in the UK in 2007 when it became clear that our family was going to relocate to the USA for my husband’s work, and armed with two young children we made that move and I could no longer practice as a family doctor. Read more>>

Jasmine Burrescia | CEO of CSLbodycare /Cannabis Nurse Consultant

A few months before the Pandenmic, I was working at the hospital as a nurse in transplant & heptabilliary services. Unfortunately, the hospital I worked for was permanently closed so I decided to take advantage and continue forth with school. It was during this time that my business was officially born . I love to create so I began to make products for myself & parents to help with their ailments. Eventually I started to branch out and so it was. Read more>>

Jaime | Founder/Boss of Halo Pantry, Content Creator, & Proud SAHM

Back in October of 2021, I was on a mission to find all the ingredients & supplies to make homemade lollipops for the kids. While shopping around several different grocery & craft stores for flavors, I noticed that every extract/flavoring product on the shelves contained sweeteners, artificial ingredients, and were simply unappealing. Read more>>

Dawn Davis | Shopkeeper, Actor, Voiceover

After a 13 year career in the banking industry – and with all the business knowledge gained during that time – it just felt better to be in charge of my own destiny. I like a challenge and being in charge (I’m an Aries) so entrepreneurship was a natural path. Read more>>

Maddie McCreedy | Small Business Owner

Flask Friends has been a very challenging yet beautiful journey. I started this small business over a year ago in the middle of the pandemic, in hopes to share my idea and bring a fun artistic touch of creativity into the world during such a dark time. This business started with a random idea that popped into my head and I thought, “I think this could really sell.” Read more>>

Nike Aurea | Disrupter and Inclusivity Consultant

The work I do right now is a product of my own direct experiences. I help spiritual and conscious businesses create safer spaces for BIPOC and learn how to be more intersectional and use less oppressive systems. Read more>>