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.

Amy Schutte | Brand Strategist and Messaging Coach

I’ve always loved the “follow your bliss” concept from Joseph Campbell. I truly believe that when people are aligned with their soul’s work, the whole world can change. My business started because of a desire to serve small businesses by giving them the right words to tell their story in a way that resonates. As a former journalist and brand marketer, I know how powerful stories can be for companies that want to have an impact. Read more>>

Portia Shaw | Fashion & Beauty PR, Events, Marketing + Social Media Know It All

So, our business is a fashion and beauty agency called The POP Group, we have been trading for 11 years in the UK and 4 in California. The pandemic started after 18 months of successful trading in LA, and we were hit hard, loosing over 80% if our business over night. Consumers were only buying loungewear or active wear, and a lot of the brands we worked with specializes in occasion wear, so the need for our services dropped. We started our business as we wanted to provide exposure for independent brands, and we have incredible contacts who have dressed Lady Gaga, Carrie Underwood, Kim Kardashian as well as media placements in Vogue, Dazed & Confused, Hollywood Reporter and more – it was time for us to turn the game upside down. Read more>>

Francis London | Creative Director

I’m going to be honest I started my brand on a emotional feeling I got when I first attended Agenda trade-show 2006. Something told me I have to start a clothing line so I did but the process just happened organically. I knew I wanted a name that actually represented people world wide I just had to be able to convey my message through storytelling. Read more>>

Mike Pham | Proper Owner

Opening your own business is all about timing I believe, stars have to align and you have to be willing to bet on yourself that you can get it done. Owning Proper was never really in the plans, I had worked there as an employee I would say around 2007 or so. I had got to learn a lot there from the owners who later on became mentors but I knew it was their business and I wasn’t able to become part of the ownership. I was then given the opportunity to go back to college by my uncle. Read more>>

Jacey Lambros & Danielle DeAngelo | Co-Founders, Jane DO

As former Radio City Rockettes with a combined 17 years experience as world famous Radio City Rockettes, we know first hand the power of women coming together to achieve something great. Hard work, sacrifice and resilience earned us a place in line with the Rockettes, and the same dedication that has allowed us to stay fully self funded as we have expanded our business beyond brick and mortar studios and into an omnichannel experience. Read more>>

Donecia Wilson | Blogger and Content Creator

The thought process behind starting my business came from a lack of spaces for women of color to freely express themselves. The spaces for women of color, especially black women, to voice their experiences are limited. I wanted women to know that another woman relates to them with a similar background or life story. I also wanted them to see women with different creative talents embarking on a journey of self-discovery. My brand was established at a critical point in my life as I was transitioning into becoming my most authentic self. Read more>>

Joshua Abernathy | Craftsman & founder of Anew Bespoke

Growing up I never really thought about owning a business. It just wasn’t something I saw many people around me do but God blessed me with an imagination that was larger than my families financial resources and because of this I would always try to build what I wanted. Building revealed what else God blessed me with; skilled hands. That talent to physically create what I lacked caught other peoples attention and led to me starting businesses. Read more>>

Calie Calabrese | Gut & Hormone Health Coach

I’ve always been a creative and had a pull to start my own business from early in my career. In the beginning, before I really knew myself, I chose how to respond to that pull based on the input of others and trends. Not always a bad thing, but for me, those business ultimately weren’t in alignment with who I was or how I wanted to live and they failed, fizzled out or never got off the ground. Read more>>

Carole Addison-Goyne | Founder and CEO, Nomad Botanicals

I have been fortunate to follow a career path aligned with my interests and passions over the past three decades. The experiences that enriched me through the years not only propelled me forward on my path, they also inspired me to create new experiences to positively impact other people, and starting my own business offered me a unique opportunity to do this. Nomad Botanicals has been a dream-in-the-making for many years. Bringing it to life happened through a culmination of serendipitous timing and connections, along with the experience and skills I had built throughout the years. Read more>>

Rene Johnson | entrepreneur & hood hero

Wanted to help the youth achieve their goals. It didn’t matter if that was through sports or anything else. I knew we lacked positive role models in our neighborhood and surrounding communities. Figured I would play my part. Read more>>

Elesha Jacobs | IT Strategist

My thought process behind starting my own business stemmed from reaching the top of my career of managing an Information Communication and Technology department for an international organization and realizing that there was more to my gifts, skills, and talent as a Technologist. Feeling frustrated going into the corporate office each day and hating my passion and love for technology drove me to make a bold and unconventional change to start my own business helping small businesses leverage the power of technology. Read more>>

Carmen Miranda | Holistic Fitness & Wellness Coach- Founder of Intuitively Fit 360 Coaching

Flexibility! Flexibility to go against the grain and have the opportunity to create the life that I want, to share a message that feels most authentic to me, and to have the freedom to create, serve and offer value in a way that comes from my heart and soul…not the status quo. To go a little deeper, when it comes to me personally- for my own mental health, happiness, and creative clarity- it’s important to honor my individual day to day needs. I am personally not wired to work a 9-5, to sit at a desk for hours, to navigate my life under someone else’s expectations and strict rules, or to have an assigned pay where someone else essentially dictates my worth. Read more>>

Yasmeen Alexia | Entrepreneur & Business Owner

I needed to be the solution to my own problem. I refused to settle for less-than-satisfactory options and created my own. I am talking about infant formula for my child. I have been quite health conscious since I was pregnant with my son in 2017. When I was breastfeeding, I decided to return to work and find a baby formula to supplement my breastmilk. I was surprised that there were only 2 plant-based options on the market and both contained soy, as well as, high fructose corn syrup. I refuted tradition (conventional formula) and created my own. Read more>>

Kasie Weinandt | Cosmetologist/Educator/Makeup Artist

My thought process behind starting my own business was the intention to share my talents with other people and to develop and learn through the growing process. I thought that have my own business gave me the creative freedom to do so and a good reason to get up and give it my all each day. Read more>>

A . Swain & Lipe ProducedbyNWP | Music Producers & Record Label partners

For us ProducedbyNWP came to life once we had let a couple of our artists out of their deals . We decided it was time to start our own thing as a co-production duo & show the world what we can do. We met at a Panera Bread Co in 2015 and made the decision. We began building our music catalog & later that year released our first single “A thousand Likes “ distributed by Sony Music the orchard . We knew we had something special from there . Read more>>

Tay Robinson | Pro Hairstylist

I started this business so that I could grow, and also so that I could help other beauty artists. I provide opportunities for other beauty artists to connect, share their knowledge, make an income, have flexible hours, and help each other grow. I offer customized training, advice, encouragement, and mentoring to help others succeed. Each artist I work with has the opportunity to succeed, and that is one of the reasons why I started my own business. Read more>>

Rae Dominick | Designer

My ultimate goal in life is to run my own business and my passion has always been in the fashion industry. The one thing that I am constantly thinking of is how will my brand help the community? What can I do for people who shop my brand other than just provide style. I want my business to have a purpose and a contribution, and that is something I always think about when I am planning. Read more>>

Peter Rodriguez | Co-owner & San Bernardino Native

Our main focus from the jump was and still is our community. San Bernardino has been through a lot in the last couple of decades from street violence to bankruptcy, and a terrorist attack. All casting a dark shadow of negativity on the city and painting an unfair image of our community. It became popular for neighboring cities to talk down on us and eventually, our community joined in. Over time that negativity has overshadowed many of the great things happing in San Bernardino, and we wanted to change that. Read more>>

Anna Hackathorn | Interior Designer & Consultant at PLAN + ELEVATE

I’ve had my own interior design business for almost 20 years. I started developing PLAN + ELEVATE as a sister company during the 2020 quarantine to help those who really want to have a beautifully designed home but can’t afford to hire a professional to do it for them. Read more>>

Marnesha Hall | Certified Personal Trainer

Growing up I was very active in sports. I played basketball throughout high school and continued throughout my collegiate years at a Division I school. After college, I no longer had basketball or anyone holding me accountable to remain physically active. Once I stopped being active, not only did my physical health suffer from a lack of movement and a poor diet, my mental health suffered as well from depression. Read more>>

Brandon Ault | Leatherworker

We wanted to work for ourselves, to really see how the work we put in directly affects the lives we live. To get to work with our hands and minds, and share what we love to do. Read more>>

Ashot Barseghyan | Entrepreneur & Digital Marketer

I have moved to Los Angeles about 10 years ago from Russia. I have moved into a new country with no English knowledge, and no money in my bank account, but what I had was passion in Marketing and a dream to have my own successful business in that field. I knew that I have come to the best place for that, and I wanted to pursue my American Dream and I knew that if I have worked hard enough it would have been possible. And now, 10 years later, here we are. We have just opened our 3rd location in Santa Clarita, first being in Glendale and second in Beverly HIlls. We have over 25 employees, and worked with 1000+ clients over these 10 years. Read more>>

Jane Gahng | Creative studio specializing in event branding & licensing, personalization, and murals

I started my business in 2007/2008 creating stationery, greeting cards, and handmade paper goods and selling them at farmers markets and holiday events around LA. I slowly transitioned into custom wedding stationery when a friend was getting married and asked me to help her with the creative stuff for the wedding, like her invitations. I gladly helped her and learned how to use design programs to get it produced. After I did that, slowly people started to ask me to help them with their own invitations. It took a little face to face networking and wedding industry events but I eventually started to get work from wedding planners and industry people. Read more>>

Danielle Harris | Founder & Creative Director/Designer

Starting my own business, in this case a small design studio, was never my plan so it’s hard to reply directly but I can share with you how I got here. My career started working for big brands where I worked with teams of creatives to imagine lucrative and beautiful campaigns for fashion and beauty and where I would meet some of my most important mentors who taught me the ins and outs of fostering creativity, defending creativity and applying it strategically to prove concept. Read more>>

Dana Reed | Founding Executive Director of Upturn Arts and Dance Performer, Teacher, and Choreographer

I was born and raised in Meridian MS. As a small child I was very interested in dance, performing, acting, and movement. I was a competitive dancer from a small studio. I attended the University of Southern MS and got a degree in Dance Education. While I was studying in college, I attended the Bates Dance Festival. This was a life-changing experience. At was at a cross roads in my career and dind’t know where my dance degree would lead me. I wasn’t interested in having a dance studio and choreographing for competitions. Read more>>

Brigitte Oliva Nia Johnson | Nail Artist

When we first got the idea to open up our own studio , it was just the right timing. We were both tired of working for different salons and not being able to manage our own schedules. We wanted to create a fun, intimate and safe space for anyone to come and get their nails done with us. Read more>>

Rocco’s Roccettes | Drag Queens & Entertainment

Inspired by iconic girl groups, Beau Byron (Producer) wanted to put together a super group of performers to create a high energy, high production, weekly Sunday Funday drag show that feels like a party. Beau was inspired by the drag shows at the Palace Bar in South Beach, Miami. Rocco’s WeHo huge patio, open space and beautiful view of the boulevard is the perfect venue to create that vibe for what is now, the “World Famous Rocco’s Roccettes!” Read more>>