Starting a business can be terrifying. Weighing the pros and cons, the risks, and other considerations can be so overwhelming that often promising entrepreneurs stop before they even start. We asked some phenomenal entrepreneurs about their thought process behind starting their own businesses. Our hope is that by making the thought-process less intimidating we can help more folks think through whether they should take an entrepreneurial leap.

Kate Peris | Owner, Creative Director & Business Mentorship

From my years as a successful Editorial Wardrobe Stylist and Personal Stylist, I saw a gap in the market for an online shopping destination, curated by an established stylist with affordable and edgy jewelry. I had also met and worked with so many incredible jewelry designers that I couldn’t believe the world did not know about. My thought process was to create a site that unapologetically embraced female confidence, sexiness and jewelry that was relevant while being affordable. KHAOS has been more than just a curated jewelry brand, I have aimed to create a community that is supportive, uplifting and authentic. A business that supports other brands and designers, diminishing any competitive nature that can easily exist within the fashion industry. My thought process is being a positive voice and and inspiration for those in and those wanting to go into this industry. Read more>>

DJ Rap | DJ Rap Artiste & Entrepreneur

I have always viewed my business from the point of view of an entrepreneur. There is a simple reason for this, I enjoy the business end, I enjoy building things, and I enjoy the creative process. Basically, I enjoy all elements of the joys and challenges, I especially love overcoming challenges and adversity, it turns me on. Now, does that mean I’m in love with everything I do every second of the day? NO! many times I question my sanity, the hours and effort Vs reward, but when you have a calling, you have no choice but to answer.I do not view myself as a DJ, that is far too linear,  I am an artist, but I am a brand. The two go hand in hand. Everything I do in it’s messaging points to that, from marketing, play on words artwork, and sound, it’s all multidimensional. When I moved back to England after spending the last 20 years in LA I made. Read more>>

Evie Yapelli | Tattooer and Lowbrow Artist & Owner

When I first pursued tattooing I didn’t imagine that I’d ever want my own business — I was too focused on learning what the heck I was doing! And I knew that working among other artists was a huge part of that learning. Eventually, though, I started to crave autonomy. I was developing my own unique style but because I worked for someone I felt like I had to take whatever projects came in the door. I’d also seen a lot of how other people ran their studios and I had my own ideas of how I’d like to run things. So I started saving money with the idea that eventually I’d want to do my own thing. Fast forward a year or two, when working for other people was wearing on me and the freedom of being my own boss was more and more attractive. I had just started researching how to open my own studio, thinking I might be ready in 6 to 8 months, when I found out that the shop where I was working was going to close. Read more>>

Ariana Chedraui | Business Owner & Wine Enthusiast

It began back in February of 2018, when I witnessed my boyfriend successfully make passive income. I wanted to learn more about that and how I can do it. We brainstormed new product ideas based on things we’ve seen we needed in our own lives. We, at the time, had been to a lot of wine tastings while traveling and game nights with friends always involved wine. We tend to forget what we learned at wineries (wine is such a broad topic) and when we ask friends what wine we should bring, they’d mention that they don’t know a lot about it, they just knew whether they liked red wine or white wine. We thought about what would make wine tasting easy to remember and voila, flashcards came up and Vino Cards research started. Read more>>

Anthony Mastracci | Content Creator

Initially, when I started The Next Gentleman, I wanted to create a men’s lifestyle magazine to help 20-something’s reconnect with the meaning of modern masculinity. That whole identity was beginning to reform from some of the old, arguably misogynistic stereotypes. Now, despite having reporting experience, I didn’t know how to START a magazine, so I began with a simple WordPress website and social media channels. The Next Gentleman has been running since November 2015 and I love that I never stop learning something new about what it means to create meaningful content online. Read more>>

Quincy Newell | Entrepreneur & Attorney

Ownership and legacy were key drivers for me. I wanted to ensure that I was investing my time into something that brought real value to my family and my family legacy. Read more>>

Alessander lee | Fashion Designer & Dancer

The process behind of all this creation was quite interesting because I was going to do something out of my comfort zone which was to paint shirt by hand. I start looking for information that will help me creating my brand and wanted a name that would describe itself and for what purpose I want to bring my product to people. I thought many times that this was very old fashioned but that did not let me influence my goal which to have my own business and what better to start with handmade and original art. other things i thought was how much budget will I work with, how will I promote it, that people like and what makes my business unique. Read more>>

Tuanni Price | Wine Lifestyle Curator & CEO

When I initially thought of starting my own business over 10 years ago I had two thought paths. The first was I wanted to earn extra money. I was a divorced mom of two small children and needed a supplement income to help with expenses. I had come up with this great admin support business calledl Atus (All things under the sun… so get at us!) LOL! While on the journey to figure out this additional income business model I found my passion for wine and wine culture. That is when the second thought path became clear. I wanted to have a business that I could feel proud and passionate about. In my business plan I wanted the line that reads what makes you different from the competition to be easily identifiable. I saw a need to make wine approachable for people and simple to enjoy. This was my driving thought behind creating every aspect, event and class for Zuri Wine Tasting. Read more>>

Julie Du Brow | Communications, Partnerships and Biz Dev Specialist

It was a bit of planning and a bit accidental. I was in the music business which was really shifting at the time (2002), and the talent management company I worked for was imploding, so I left (it went under 7 mo. later). My sister, now living in Paris, was starting to have children and I was dating someone who traveled a lot. I wanted to be more in charge of my schedule and travel to see her, or with him, when I wanted. I thought I’d be more of a product / project marketer and manager but then I started to be asked to write press releases, and I though, ‘sure, I can do that – my dad is a journalist, and I have a sense of what they look for.’ And I was always a connector and communicator. So…my new path began. Read more>>

Daniel Overberger | Yoga Instructor

It just happened. I wasn’t entire prepared. Both my parents worked for a company that was not there own so I did not have any experience witnessing someone “start a business”. In the beginning I would go to the library and grab random books from the business section. My goal was to serve the people and the community that I was a part of. But to make that work so that I could take care of myself as well took some learning and new skills. They took awhile to develop. I did see it as an opportunity and I took it mostly one step at a time. The transition from work for someone to working for myself took many years. I did both for a long time. Read more>>

John Lewis Rushing Jr | Fine Art Nude and Photographer, Executive Producer & Podcast Host

I have very ambitious goals creating a prestigious line of Fine Art Nude Photography under “Muse Evolution Photography LLC that would be considered a Modern Renaissance and being that this is the year 2020 and that there was only one Renaissance, I want to call this era of Nude Art The Zenaissance because it is Generation Z’s Legacy of Art that they will inherit. I started back to photographing and curating Fine Art Nudes content back in 2011 with the intent to Publish a Fine Art Nude Coffee Table Book… Now I have completed 3 Collector Books Made to Order. I discovered along the path to my dreams were pitfalls, barricades, and diversions. I have had to become resourceful, innovative, and adaptive. I discovered the current reigning galleries do not embrace nor support any photography of this genre or standard with the exception from artists works predating the early 1990’s. Read more>>

Jessica Hesse | Metal Bangles and Jewelry

Honestly it was that I wanted something and couldn’t justify spending that kind of money to buy a bunch of these shell bangles I wanted. So I told myself Id learn how to make them and make myself a bunch. And once I did that people started asking me to make some for them. Then they’d ask if I could make some without the shell or with a different metal or earrings… and it just grew from there. I think when you come from a place of truly wanting to make something that you would even buy it sets you up for success. Also from the start listening to what your customers want and creating things that people are asking for is something I’ve always done and will continue to do. Read more>>

Leslie Fox | Associate Creative Director & Senior Copywriter

I wanted the flexibility of choosing whom I worked with and types of projects. I didn’t want to be forced to take on projects I felt went against my integrity, or work with difficult co-workers. I also wanted to be able to manage my own schedule without being a slave to a job that gave me no choice as to whether or not I worked late or weekends at the last minute. I had a young son and outside interests that required a flexible schedule. Read more>>

Shahira Marei | Founder & CEO

The Dirty Cookie was born from the desire to turn something small, into something meaningful. It was born from my personal aspiration to change lives. When I was 10 years old, on vacation in Egypt, I witnessed the devastation of hunger and homelessness first hand. I was shocked that children my age were living on the streets, that they were deprived of basic food and shelter. I begged my father to give them money, and he conceded, but not before engraving the single most important statement I would hear, to date. “If you really want to help them, give them jobs, not money.” It was monumental enough for me to decide to build a company. One that I vowed would be centered around the people I employ. From an early age and thanks to the influence of my father, I knew that I was meant to have my own business. Read more>>

Melissa Pomeroy | Luxury Travel Advisor & Fiji Specialist

Fiji Vacations was born from my passion about traveling to Fiji. From the time I was a small child my family traveled extensively throughout the South Pacific. By the time I was 18 I had stayed and nearly every resort in the Fiji Islands, most of the islands in French Polynesia, the Cook Islands and Tonga. My father started to let me plan our family trips in high school and it was then that Fiji Vacations was born. When I was a senior in High School we bought the domain and I slowly built this company and brand to what it is today. We are one of the top wholesalers from North America and we are 100% woman owned and operated which is something I am proud of. We have risen to the top in a typically male dominated field. There were many challenges in the early years but we grew slowly and steadily focusing on one thing excellent service and knowledge of the destinations we sell. Read more>>