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.

Samantha Hodge | Owner & Buyer of Le Petit Reve

There is a since of creative freedom that comes from owing your own business, something that most people never will get to tap into. The freedom to not only incorporate your personality but the ability to leave your mark on culture and your beloved clients. Between that and being able to create a life that you want not revolving around a corporate setting is beautiful. I have three children and owning my own business has allotted me time to dedicate to each of them as well as myself. These thoughts were and are the driving force for owning my own business. Read more>>

Mon Alejo | Craftsman

I have always been drawn to being creative; more specifically home design and renovation. Currently, I work a 9-5 job that sometimes pulls me away from doing the things I love, but quarantine gave me an opportunity to dive back in and make the most of it. I have a background in Architecture and Design. When we were forced to stay home due to the pandemic, my wife, Nicole, and I began visualizing different ways to improve our home. We had the tools and the know-how so we painted and designed accent walls, built furniture, and renovated rooms. We found a passion behind what we were doing, and others caught on as well. Through our personal Instagram stories, requests for custom furniture and other woodworking pieces started coming in. Soon, this simple hobby started to bring in more and more customers. Read more>>

Kala Maxym | Founder & Chief Event Composer

To be honest, I didn’t really “think” about starting it. I was working a full-time tech job, which I unexpectedly loved, and I was also still pursuing a career as a professional opera singer. Concurrently, I became interested in and began learning about wine. I was super intrigued by the concept of a “flight” of wine. I fell in love with the idea of traveling with a grape or a vineyard or a vintage through different stages of a story, and I wondered: could I get people to “taste” the music the way they tasted wines? Turns out with some clever storytelling and some creative and delicious pairings to things people were used to tasting – cheese and chocolate mainly – that was totally possible, and it opened up people’s minds to things they didn’t know they loved. That’s one of my favorite things in the world: being able to open someone’s eyes to the hidden gems they didn’t even know they loved! Read more>>

Viktoriya Neverov-Krstic & Anna Frumkin | Doctor of Acupuncture & Nutritionist

When we met at a networking event, we realized we were both referring our clients to similar herbs and supplements. We mutually saw there was a hole in the supplement market for a calming blend that takes into consideration both western and eastern traditions. Read more>>

Courtney Howerton | Private Chef

After culinary school, I accepted a chef position with Miele in New York City. My role was to work in the kitchen of their showroom to conduct recipe testing and client cooking classes and events. I enjoyed the client interaction and began establishing relationships. I had a few clients ask whether I would consider cooking in their homes, which planted the seed that I could turn this into a business. When my husband and I relocated to Los Angeles later that year, I started connecting with local private chefs to learn more about their businesses and the market itself. My first clients came about by word of mouth, and that is how I continue to gain business to this day. Because I am the sole chef in my company, I do not advertise and instead rely on the reviews of my existing clients to attract new ones. Read more>>

Pierre de Reeder | Owner

Having started a number of small businesses along my way, I would say that none of them had terribly complicated considerations going into them, and mostly relied on passion and opportunity. I wanted to chase what I was interested in, which was mostly in the arts, and convinced myself there was something pragmatic in the way I was going about it… that there is fruit to be reaped by just doing it, as it were. With that analogy, I suppose there is always fruit. Whether it’s big and juicy, just a modest berry, or dried and rotten, are all possible outcomes. I suppose I “thought” I would at least be a diligent waterer and not let the latter happen. Read more>>

Julie Ferman | Personal Matchmaker & Dating Coach

I was inspired to provide innovative, service oriented systems that would enhance and streamline the selection and introduction process for relationship oriented single people. When I started my company, in 2002, the dating industry was oriented around revenue, profits, and manipulative tricks to sucker people into investing in “smoke and mirrors” dating agencies which were typically a waste of time, energy and resources. It was time for a better, more dignified way to provide personal introductions in a professional, honest, upfront fashion. My biggest challenge in life had been dating, trying to find my way into a loving, lasting relationship. Once I’d hired my own coach and executed our masterful and successful plan for my love life, I have spent every day since coaching and providing personal introductions to other love-seekers. It’s a natural payback. Read more>>

Tyler Cusick | Yoga Instructor

Hom Yoga Collective started as a creative outlet for my yoga teaching. I was teaching under a corporate model and wanted to expand my reach as a teacher and wanted to challenge myself to try something new. The corporate yoga model doesn’t allow for individuals to create or try new things, so Hom Yoga Collective was initially created for one-off event type classes. There was a need for something beyond the grind of a fitness studio, something with more thought and care. When the Covid-19 pandemic hit yoga studios were shut down with no opening date in sight – we decided we couldn’t let our community go through the pandemic alone so we were the first local group to begin streaming classes online. This was the true start of Hom Yoga Collective and when we became a viable option for students looking for some familiarity in unfamiliar times. Read more>>

Etel Leit, MS | Human Communication Advocate & Author

I started my business to inspire better communication between children and parents and other caregivers. As research finds that many social learning theorists found that parent-child relationship and child’s development are interconnected. The parent-child relationship affects the children throughout their lives, especially in a child’s infancy (Bowlby 1969). If the world will be better in communication, how better the world will be. It is all start with early childhood and education. Read more>>

Leslie Rubiner | Creperie Owner

When I moved to the US two years ago, I had no plans for my professional life. I was leaving my speech therapy career for the unknown. This deep change pushed me to have another perspective on what I wanted for my life. I worked at a lot of different places and for many different people and at this point I was feeling limited in my creativity. I was ready to create and build something according to my values, my vision, my personality. It was time for me to empower my life. I love cooking and have always liked to make crepes. I had this idea of a creperie for months before I found this place for rent. Perfect location, perfect size for a first restaurant! When I became more serious about starting my own little creperie, everything lined up and suddenly I was shot out in the incredible adventure. Read more>>

Gil Correa | Personal Trainer

I wanted to be independent and still do what I love and have been doing since 13 years ago. I have a mixed background of activities when it comes to fitness, from weights to yoga and tai chi and I wanted it to be part of what I offer as a business. The idea is to teach people how to properly execute the exercises according to their strengths and limitations. I seek to find what needs to be improved so we can have a harmonic body development and achieve results without injuries. I wanted to fully apply what I believe it’s good for the people I work with based on my studies and experience and working for myself allowed me to reach that potential. Read more>>

Daniel Lue | Personal Trainer

The reason I started my own business was for several reasons. The main reason was that working for someone else I would have to share the majority of my income to the corporation I was working for. I wanted to the freedom to control my own schedule and set my own hours and to be able to choose when I can take vacations for however long I chose. In the beginning I was hesitant to make the move, because I was afraid that finding clients would be difficult. Working for a corporate gym meant there was always new client prospect potentials. But I realized that fear was not a good reason not to make a move. I’m very glad now that felt the fear and did not let it hold me back. Read more>>

Joe Uribe | CEO & Founder

It all started by accident back in college 11 years ago. When I was doing a commercial for a school project when we needed a velvet backdrop for one of the parts in the commercial. That’s when I decided to check online to see if I can find something close to what we needed already made. After a couple of hours spent online looking, I was only able to find velvet curtains for windows or large theaters. So, I decided to ask my amazing mother to make me a large velvet backdrop with fabric I had purchased from Downtown LA. Once we finished using the large velvet backdrop, she had made for us. I decided to list it for sale online and that’s when I realized my small investment in the fabric paid off. This is when starting the business hit me and decided to work with my mom and make a few more backdrops. Read more>>

Gina Lamanna | Fashion Stylist & Entrepreneur

I discovered my niche 16 years ago after being burned out in my field. I wanted a family however did not want to give up my burgeoning career so I created my business concept to give me the flexibility to have kids. After 20 plus years as a clothing buyer and fashion stylist, I discovered a void in the retail market. I recognized that women wanted a more personalized and elevated shopping experience. Traditional retail was failing to address the individuality of each client and their evolving needs. Busy professionals and mamas needed help with their styling to transition from carpool to the office to special events. They wanted flexibility and one on one attention. With that goal in mind, and with an impressive roster of stylists, designers, showrooms and loyal clientele, I opened Spool’s doors in May 2005. Read more>>

Ian Shive | Founder & President

My initial reason for starting my own business was to fill a need I believe existed in the marketplace. At time there weren’t many, and still aren’t, a lot of small, independent photo agencies that represent private libraries of photographers, especially with an emphasis on the environment, like we do. Being both photographer/creative -centric as well as cutting-edge in our approach to technology immediately set us apart. I believe the best businesses are those that find and own a niche. It doesn’t need to be a massive marketplace, either. You could specialize in even the most narrow, niche and even obscure specialty, but if you become known as the person who is the best at that, then you are on the right track to success. This was something I had not really seen done in photography, so I did it myself. Read more>>

Chloe Sherwood | Virtual Learners Aftercare Program Director

In the height of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, many children’s programs were forced to adapt to an online format to ensure the safety of the staff and kids. In March of last year, my aftercare program that I coordinated at a school in Southern California was cancelled as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. It was a rocky time where schools, businesses, and extracurricular activities were having to adapt and overcome the challenges that the world was and still is facing. Over the summer I was a part of a summer camp that was completely online. Being a part of making this drastic transition of platform was extremely eye opening to me. While many people struggle to use the online platform as a way to educate and aid children in their learning, I saw it as a brand new opportunity that has yet to be explored to its fullest. Read more>>

Natalie Joseph | Studio Owner & Artist

I grew up in a family in which every single adult owned and managed their own business. It was sort of expected of me to follow in the same footsteps. So, the question I always had in my mind was “what business am I going to start?” I fell in love with fitness at a young age and as a young adult I realized that the world of fitness is broken. The amount of misinformation and misdirection, and lack of care and human decency is astonishing. So, I set out to become, what I believe, is the light tower for everyone in the general vicinity. I wanted to truly become a hub for holistic fitness with fitness trainers who are genuine and have a natural thirst for learning. I wanted to treat people the way that people deserve to be treated. Integrity, honesty, transparency, respect and non-judgement are just a few of the aspects of character a person will experience in my business. Read more>>

Michelle Bassler | Founder

There were a few things that really pushed me to start my own business. The strongest force was a desire to own my own time. I wanted to travel around the world, explore unknown places and cultures and create something. The thought of working in an office fulfilling someone else’s vision was not going to work for me. From that mindset, I decided to combine all the things that I love most and that’s how Blonde Peacock was born. Read more>>

Alana Talbert | Instagram Marketing Strategist

ARTWerk Creative was born out of everything that I had to learn and piece together myself to figure out how to market my business on Instagram. The trial and error period of knowing what to post, why I’m posting it, having an actual strategy, creating content that actually got engagement vs. just crickets and building an audience that appreciates the information that I have took me about 4 years. My program, The Women’s Academy of Instagram Mastery, shows creative women in business how to skip that 4 year trial period and get down to the nitty gritty in just 8 Weeks. I knew there was a need for this because I needed it myself, so I figured…why not put everything that I learned into an actual course? I’ve been in so many courses, mastermind groups and coaching programs over my time as an entrepreneur so I built into all of my favorite & most effective aspects of each program that I’ve been in up until now. Read more>>

Aurea Luna | Photographer

I was very nervous when I decided to start my own business, I had no idea of how to even start. But I new that I had to do it and take a risk otherwise I would never made my dream come true. So I decided to risk it and opened my own photography studio and ever since I never looked back and I never been happier best decision I made! Read more>>

Stephanie Boinay | Fine Artist & Painter

Before starting my small business as a professional artist, I had just finished college and was trying to navigate the waters of “getting out there and getting a job”. However, I soon felt I needed to try a different path because after each job interview, I kept thinking, “Why not work for myself and give that a go first?” I always wanted to be my own boss anyway; setting my own schedule, doing things on my own terms. Its been a road full of triumphs and struggles, as any small business owner can probably attest to. But the timing was right and the reward has been greater than the sacrifice for me. Read more>>

Mj Nejad | Entrepreneur

Very scary at first but after thinking about the opportunities this business will give me to serve my community and give back to animal shelters the fear went away and every second working towards my goal became very joyful. Read more>>

Cori Green | Co Founder

Looking back on launching Package & Press our thought process was simply to just dream big and go for it! P&P started as a daydream between Rachel and I and quickly evolved into where we are today. Rachel and I have been life long friends and on a trip away we joked about how we should start a small business. Rachel being incredibly creative and myself with a background in merchandising and business management it was naturally a perfect match. We had spent the last few years growing our families and the thought of taking on this venture was so very exciting. We designed each of our gifts to be not only sentimental but to be a memory that would last the years to come and with each box created we knew that this was something we truly wanted to make our own. Read more>>