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.

Kay Nine Tha Boss: Rap Artist

I had a rough childhood and home life and chose violence as a way to express myself. I was good at it, but I knew there was a better way to get out my frustrations. When I was younger I was constantly in and out of jail, but as I got older, I knew I wanted more out of life and I saw my music as my way out. Read more>>

Chelsea Reeves & Casey Connor: Founders of Adventure Out Loud

Being partners, Casey and Chelsea had dreamed of co-creating together… Casey has a non-profit called Live Out Loud Foundation that is dedicated to helping kids with grief and has served on numerous boards bringing different services to children of all ages, while Chelsea holds a master’s degree in marriage and family therapy specializing in adolescents and bringing an experiential component into the growth process. Read more>>

Troy Hencely: Comedian and Producer

I’ve had quite a few different jobs since I was 12. I started out as a dishwasher at the diner that my mother worked at. As a kid I cut grass, raked yards and washed dishes to make money to watch movies and read the horror books. I needed money to get my fix, and my fix was reading these fantastic stories like Stephen King’s IT or buying whatever Leslie Neilsen parody was out. Read more>>

Kamilah: Owner of Hey Batter Batter

Hey Batter Batter wasn’t the first business I’ve had or started. But the decision came after hosting a brunch. But before that, I had embarked on a transformational journey. I had gone through and graduated from Compass Trainings, a Leadership/ Legacy program. Read more>>

Mariya Palanjian: CEO of Roma Leaf

Initially, I solved my problem to find a consistent and premium CBD oil that could help with my hemiplegic migraines. Once I solved my problem, I was on a mission to help others with similar issues. Read more>>

Tara LaValley: Pole & Burlesque Instructor, Performer, Wellness Coach and Online Retailer

I already had my own business: Body by Tara for personal training, diet coaching and private pole/dance instruction, but I wanted to offer clients and new customers websites where they could trust the products, supplements and CBD I carry on Bodybytara.com Read more>>

Aaron Jacobs: Executive Producer, Owner, Singer, Performer, Pianist, Educator

In my early 20s I began producing events for Outfest Film Festival while also singing at a piano bar called The Other Side in Silverlake and I thought, “well I could produce my own cabaret show.” I had peers who had produced their own shows and figured it was a walk in the park. Read more>>

Frankie Rodriguez: Actor

I knew I always wanted to be a performer. I remember watching TV as a kid and memorizing the funny things characters did so I could recreate the scenes at school. When I got to my senior year of high school, I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life; Read more>>

Hubbard and Marcee Jones: Co-owners of Housework

We’ve always played with different business concepts and hadn’t pursued any because we couldn’t afford to or didn’t feel strongly enough about their feasibility to pursue investors. Housework was ultimately born of the realization that we could probably put together a pretty unique online store with minimal investment if we just did absolutely everything ourselves and kept our overhead extremely low. Between the two of us we have experience in writing, research, photography, merchandising, sales, and marketing, and we’re passionate about learning so we figured we’d figure the rest out on the job. Read more>>

Pietro Milanesi: Composer and Music Producer

Risk-taking: how do you think about risk, what role has taken risks played in your life/career? I think risk-taking has played and still has a big role in my career. Writing music for a living is definitely not a safe choice. Freelancing means that I have no guarantees of having work. Read more>>

Jin Chohan: Director & Filmmaker

I wanted to create a company that makes people think, to change the cogs and gears in people’s minds to make them feel and think differently after watching what I discovered and uncovered, to tell a story that gives people the truth. I think the search for truth is the most important aspect to myself – whether it be journalistic to religion and science, every aspect of my life is to discover the truth. My company is called Takeflight Film Ltd, it’s a British documentary film company based in Birmingham, England. And this is the reason I started my business. Read more>>

Lisa Angelique: Doux Candles LA- handmade soy wax candles

Doux Candles began as a project when the pandemic lockdown occured last year. Much like many others, to fill time during the stay at home order, I found myself cooking and doing home DIY projects. It was then that I realized that I had always wanted to make candles mainly for the reason that they consistently burn throughout my house. Read more>>

JoJo Bros: Artisans & Renaissance Ambassadors

Well from a young adolescence, my brother and I were introduced to the arts through Van Gogh, Monet, and others like them. Soon after our parents saw that we had a deep interest by the many sketches and paintings we started making, so they put us in a local painter’s Art class that she did out of her home for a limited amount of students. Read more>>

CVS Radio 1: Radio Station

My initial thought was to provide a safe place for musicians, artists, and DJs to showcase their talents to the world. The plan is to broadcast Reggae and dancehall music through different lenses which includes interviews, guest hosts, radio spins and ads. Read more>>

Alexandra Saidac: Horse trainer, polo player, wild horse activist & Coach.

To help humans understand horses better and help them build a real relationship with horses instead of just dominating them. Read more>>

Marina Braff: Psychotherapist, Professor & Speaker

I knew that I wanted to be a therapist beginning in 7th grade. I had the unique opportunity of being trained as a conflict manager where we were taught how to diffuse conflict between our peers. Not long after my training did a friend come up and confide in me that she had been cutting in order to deal with family conflict. Read more>>

Stretch S.H.P.,DJ Cadillac G, Nicholas Schiappa: Cityscape A Comedy Show

We wanted to have our own comedy show! I mean it was probably Stretch more then anybody but but we all love comedy! I suppose in the beginning DJ Cadillac G wanted to play music and Nicky just wanted to hangout, hear comedy, and listen to good music but it grew to something we don’t think any fo us could’ve imagined. Read more>>

Nico Marley: Founder of Lion X Wellness

Many things inspired me to launch Lion X Wellness. Lion X Wellness represents some of my heritage and provides a balanced, holistic, and modern approach to wellness, especially for those pursuing their best life. We hope through Lion X Wellness, we can bring positive change into the world and use these actions to inspire others to do the same. Read more>>

Teri Baron: Lifestyle Designer & Animal Advocate

I’ve been fascinated by interior design since a very early age. My nonna collected the most exquisite pieces. I rebranded businesses and been a partner/buyer but knew that I wanted to share my own concept and lifestyle approach while incorporating my ideas of “recycling” what already existed on earth. Read more>>

Quentan McGuire: Film Producer/ Owner

The thought process behind MGTV Network is to empower , inspire , and foster growth. Creating a space for millennials that not only value their life’s, but makes room for them to be their unique self. Partnering with storytellers to bring compelling immersive interactive stories to the screen is our mission. Read more>>

Joe Goldberg: Visual Storyteller – Photographer/Videographer

I always wanted to be my own boss. I trust my judgement and execution so I knew I wanted to start my own business. I was buying and selling shoes all throughout middle school and early high school so I was familiar with doing business with people online which got me prepared for starting a business around my passion. Read more>>

Isabel Amigon: Human behind Sololi

When I started all I was thinking was in helping the artisan families as much as I could and on the way share beautiful handmade pieces of art with the world Read more>>

Ariel Diane King: Philanthropist & Actor

My thought process behind starting my own business has become clearer to me during the pandemic. Having copious amounts of time alone with my thoughts and intentions I can truly say that whereas my thought process used to begin with me being successful in business then giving back in a massive way, during this transition period I have come to understand that starting from a place of giving back and balancing that with my work, gives my work more purpose. It drives me because I know exactly why I’m making certain business choices. Read more>>

Apryl Sims: Chief Juicer, Apryl’s Life In A Bottle

I always knew I would be an independent business person, my question was what type of business would I have? My father Larry Sims had 333 Construction Company, my paternal grandfather was a serial business man (service station, cafe, tamale shop), my paternal great-grandfather was Nathaniel Newman, founder of Newman & Sons Funeral Home in Shreveport, LA. Read more>>

Sara Kirstos: Artisan Candlemaker

Starting my own business was somewhat of a happy accident. Travel had always been integral to who I was even before I ever got on a plane. I had pictures of places I planned on going when I was younger plastered all over my walls. I fantasized about traveling the world and romanticized it too. Read more>>

Megan Blanchard: Singer Songwriter, Filmmaker, Permanent Makeup Artist

I worked at some big studios, in supporting roles, over the years, the main one being Warner Bros. Film, Television & Music. I’m so blessed, those were once in a lifetime type experiences and I met some lifelong friends and mentors. But as I became more and more of myself over the years, I started to notice how different I was from my peers. Read more>>

Niecey Blanco: Artist/Entrepreneur/ Social Worker

I’ve always wanted to be an entrepreneur. I sold candy and chips as a child, and other things I cant say as an adult. In 2016 I did a semester with all online courses and I started the process of opening my store. I knew it would be a great way to express myself and build the financial support I desired, I’ve always been a hard worker at all of my jobs so I knew I could do the same for myself. Read more>>

David Law: Physician, Musician, and Filmmaker

I started 3rd Call Productions my last year of my medical residency. I was stressed out medical resident who had left filmmaking behind years ago… or so I thought. After producing a few funny medical satire videos for my program, I founded ‘3rd Call Productions’ as a way to formalize the filmmaking hobby that my friends and I had been doing for years. Read more>>

Baby Brat: Musician

I’m both an actress and musician. As an actress, I have to play roles that others write for me or cast me as. I love Read more>>

Kate Lugtu: 1st Assistant Director in the Film Industry

Growing up in Manila, Philippines, my family comes from a strong business background. I was always the odd one out and they thought I was crazy to pursue a career in the arts. When I had the opportunity to go to film school I jumped at the chance. It changed my life. Read more>>

Audrey Krugle: Owner & Designer of Black White Beige

To be honest, one of why life goals was to always have my own business, particularly a clothing line. From a very young age I was drawing fashion figures, cutting many a clothing items and designing my high school dance dresses. I didn’t even consider a university as I had already set my mind of fashion design school after high school. Read more>>

Catalina Guirado: Art & Design entrepreneur, Print Designer, Boutique Marketing & Events Consultant, Television host/Mode & Blogger.

I don’t think I had any choice other than to be an entrepreneur. I am what you call a jack of all trades in the arts. I was a successful model and then I was a TV host and then I was signed to Universal Music, so I have been re-inventing myself for years. I also became a networking queen as I travelled the world and met a lot of people through out my career. Read more>>

Douglas Emerson: Producer, Designer, Futurist

Whenever I approach new business venture on the micro level, especially if it’s a large / longterm project, I always weigh it’s use-case against my personal bandwidth of interest and resources. Building a business isn’t something that’s easy and it needs to be done diligently, which means it needs the proper time, energy and commitment to succeed.  Read more>>

The Black Creators Club: Podcast Show and Media Brand

The Black Creators Club is a weekly, high-energy show that expands the definition of what a creator is through amplifying successful black innovators from all fields and providing a modern experience for enthusiasts to discover, share, and connect. Read more>>

Jennifer Berry: Professional Dancer & Talent Manager

There is no greater feeling than building your own empire. You have full creative freedom, you have no-one else to blame for your mistakes but yourself (which in turn helps you learn from your mistakes), and all your long hours spent will be worth it because you are working towards YOUR dream. I believe if you truly want a sense of satisfaction in your career, although it’s definitely not the easiest road, starting your own business is the way to go. Read more>>

Richard Hernandez: Writer/Director/Producer

A big hurtle that most independent workers go through is having to face the difficulty of starting up. In this case, in the early stages, filmmakers and various artists have to manage everything on their own. Read more>>

Andrew Fox: Musician & YouTuber

I realized at a young age that I was not cut out for the traditional “go to school, get a job” track a lot of people take. Nothing against that or people that do take that traditional path, I just knew it wasn’t for me. Read more>>

Marcella Riley: Content Creation & Graphic Design

If I don’t do something now, I’m going to be homeless… Read more>>

Sophia Trunzo Lior Root: Co-Founders

We became a dynamic duo when we first started working together with a local brand in San Diego. We saw a lot of success running their paid media and affiliate program and were able to show them significant growth. As other CBD brands began to see our campaign, they began reaching out to us personally asking how we were running our ads on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Google, etc. Read more>>

Michelle Vargas: President

I started this small business in August of 2020, in the middle of a global pandemic. Like many others, I found myself wanting to do something fun with my time while utilizing my passions. I have always loved to cook and be creative but it wasn’t until 2019 when I learned what a Charcuterie board was. Read more>>