Are you thinking about starting a business? If so, we think you’ll enjoy reading about how these seasoned entrepreneurs thought about the question when they were in your shoes.

Erika Biddix | Entrepreneur, Meeting Planner and Connector

After 12 years of working for a third party meeting planning company, my family had the opportunity to take a six month sabbatical in Canada. During this time, I was unable to work full-time, and had a much needed (but seemingly impossible) break from working 24/7. We were able to prioritize our family over work for the first time during this time period. Returning to the US, we knew that there was a different way to work + live – and it started with redefining my work boundaries. In order to do so though, I would have to become my own boss. Read more>>

Roemello Nelson | Actor. Photographer. Comedian.

My thought process was more about personal security and accountability, when it came to starting my business. I had a comfortable corporate job, was doing well financially, until they began laying people off. I think that the idea that someone else could suddenly decide that there would be no food on my plate, frustrated me. I told myself I’d never let that happen again. Read more>>

Michael Dozier | Founder & Principal Nonprofit Consultant

To be able to provide a resource for clients who were looking to set up a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit and to assist with providing coaching assistance in developing the infrastructure of that nonprofit which will allow clients to not only start it but have a strategy moving forward to successfully sustained it for the long term. Read more>>

Kaeden Kalaqtic | Fashion Designer/Youtube retiree

Originally I started on YouTube and built an audience that gave me the freedom to be who’ve I always wanted to be. In 2018 I moved to LA from Seattle, WA and hit the ceiling with alan the opportunities within the content creation world. Youtube gave me the confidence to then pursue whatever I put my mind to and eventually fashion fell into my lap. I started out making festival accessories and chose to shoot for the stars and make the accessories designer. I found a style that fit the way I wanted to express myself and went full-force. All my goals in the Youtube world were accomplished so what could stop me in the fashion world? Read more>>

Camille Nimmons | Personal trainer

Honestly, I didn’t have any idea of what I was doing, or really how I was going to go about it. I just knew that I wanted to help other people transform their lives and show them how to become their own cheerleader, everything just fell into play for me and I was able to build an inclusive community of individuals who want to better themselves in a supportive environment. Read more>>

Alex Doyle | Founder & Creative Director

My thought process when starting the brand was to present vintage clothes through a luxury lens. I have started multiple brands before this, and wasn’t able to produce garments at the same quality level as vintage clothes. As well as, in my own personal style, I always gravitated towards vintage clothes. Read more>>

Pixie Acia | Movement + Mindset Coach, Surf Sweat Serve Owner + Founder, Creator of #DOITFORTHEDOPAMINE, Yoga, Cycling and The Class teacher.

Honestly, I never started my own business to make money, I started it as a side passion project because I wanted to gift the same experiences I loved so much to the people I cared about, my clients, friends and family. I never thought “oh I’ll do this and one day leave my job and this will pay my bills” I just knew it fed my soul, fille dmy cup and created lasting bonds in the people who attended. Read more>>

Luisa Lyons | actor, writer, musician

In 2011 I was studying for a Masters of Music Theatre at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama and saw a cinema screening of the New York Philharmonic’s production of COMPANY. In a pre-taped interview before the screening, producer Ellen M. Krass said she’d had trouble getting funding to film the musical, because no one had heard of filming live theatre. Having grown-up obsessively watching the original Broadway production of INTO THE WOODS on VHS, and later SUNDAY IN THE PARK WITH GEORGE, and VICTOR/VICTORIA, I was baffled. The next day I changed my thesis to the history of filmed live musicals. Read more>>

Audrey Smoak | Creative Director – Graphic Designer, Journalist, Photographer, Videographer, Music + Brand Manager.

When it came down to starting my own business I was faced with emotion. There’s an audience that will tell you to make business decisions without emotion attached – and though this is incredibly valid, my situation was a bit different. The moments before the foundation of my business had blossomed, I was sitting on the beach with my mom – completely distracted and taken away by my thoughts. The setting felt cinematic in a way – grey skies, a vacant beach in Charleston, SC and the memories of my upbringing playing before me while I was brainstorming what would be the biggest thing I’d hold dear to me. Read more>>

Diwata Komiks | A Filipino-American Comics Company

We realized that there was a lack of diversity and representation on the decision-making level in the comics industry. Being a creative group comprised of storytellers (filmmakers and comic book artists) we were looking to tell stories with authentic voices from our Filipino and Filipino-American backgrounds but realized that if were really looking to be represented as authentically as we would write ourselves, we needed to self-publish. Read more>>

David Marshall | Creative Director

Fashion has always been in my family—my grandfather used to design his own suits and my mother studied as a seamstress in high school. Starting a brand became a focus for me when I realized that my ideas were on the same level of the product I saw in stores and to take it a step further, I saw things that I were doing not represented in the market. Read more>>

Justin Robinson | Writer and Film Producer

Ownership to control the Narrative of IP Ownership. To be able to create branches in a company that has opportunities like employment. After attending college I wanted to active my knowledge so I wanted my own Film company. All my life and legacy can be expressed and shared in one company. Read more>>

Yue Li | President, CEO & BCBA

The thought process behind starting CARE Inc. (Comprehensive Autism Related Education) is to provide comprehensive quality services for individuals with autism spectrum disorders and developmental disabilities through their lifespan with purpose of supporting them to reach their fullest potential. My first thoughts of creating CARE was in the beginning of 2005, to build a supportive socially responsible brand with CARE ambassadors such as our diverse clinical and administrative team to provide data driven Early intervention, Applied Behavior Analysis, Speech therapy, occupational therapy, and social skills services with the mindset of treating each of our clients as if that is his/her/their child/sibling/family member, that each person does “CARE” and are passionate to provide the best service they can. Read more>>