Many books on startups and business talk about how there are right and wrong reasons for starting a business. So, we asked a handful of successful founders about their reasons and the thought-process behind starting their business.

Taly Matiteyahu | Cofounder & CEO of Blink Date

The idea was born from a blackout dining experience years ago. I dined in complete darkness with total strangers and had an amazing conversation with them without having any idea what they looked like. After the dinner ended, I saw my dinner mates for the first time and realized that, had I seen them before the dinner, I would have assumed we wouldn’t have much in common. And I would have been wrong. The experience sparked the thought: would people be more open to meeting and getting to know one another if they didn’t know what the other people looked like first? Read more>>

Ahida Correale | Fashion Designer, Obsessed Mother, Caring Daughter, and Lov

I actually never intended on starting a business. I began designing clothing with my mother and sister as something fun and interesting for us to do. We would trade ideas, search for new fabric, make dresses, bags, and other items, and gossip about design. This love and interest evolved organically and really took off as a business when my mask design took hold in social media. Read more>>

Joan Hyman | Yoga Teacher Trainer

For years I wanted to create a school of yoga that was rooted in tradition and authenticity. It was one of those things I talked about and visualized for many years but didn’t feel it was the right time to pull together. Then the pandemic hit and we were all stuck at home. All of us pivoted to an online platform, and then it seamlessly came together! I had just finished a three hundred hour teacher training in Manila, Philippines with the help of Cristina Holopainen, who ran a school called Urban Ashram. She helped me put together this training which we called SOY – The School of Yoga. Read more>>

Jacqueline Potter | Cofounder of Collectively

When I graduated college, I quickly entered the world of advertising and loved it. I loved the pace, the challenges and the social nature of it all. Cut to my early 30’s when I was married and struggling with infertility. I quickly learned the challenges of balancing a successful career with other elements of life. I suddenly couldn’t throw my entire self at my job and I was finding I wasn’t as “successful” as I had once been. I tried to find different rolls with more flexible hours and workload, but I was flying blind and what I was trying to build wasn’t working. Read more>>

Stacy Arellano | Luxury Picnic Coordinator & Event Planner

I started this business during the pandemic. I was working from home and I had a lot of time on my hands. Not being stuck in an office 8 hours of day really made me realize that I was not optimizing my potential. I was so use to not having the energy or will power to do anything after my workdays. Now with my new found freedom and flexibility, I became passionate about figuring out what I really enjoy doing. I’ve always had a passion for hosting, decor and adventure, I put those concepts together and came up with Wndrlnd Picnics. A business that provides luxury pop up experiences. It allows me to share some of the things I love with my clients and it brings me joy. It’s something I can call my own, gives me full creative control and I’m not confined to an office. Read more>>

Anthony Okray Jr. | Creative

Well I actually studied Business Management in college. I graduated with my Bachelors of Science in Business Management so I only find it suiting that I become an entrepreneur. Create my own brand, product or service that can potentially make the world a better place. I don’t believe that I was born to work for someone else. Read more>>

Marcella Palazzo | Dance Instructor

Since I was little I was sure of two things: I wanted to be a dancer, and I wanted to own my own business. When I got the opportunity to open my own dance studio, there was no question about it. My favorite genres of dance are Jazz, Burlesque, and Musical Theatre. I always loved how glamorous and sassy those styles are. During my dance training I also trained in Ballet, Modern, Hip Hop, and Heels. I quickly realized how having training is all styles helps you so much to become a better dancer. Read more>>

Jordan Jarnagin | Community Organizer

It is a great challenge, but I think it is always worth it to do the work to find out who you are, and the more you do that, the more you come to see that who you are is something that is always growing and changing. In terms of The Philosophy an Critical Thinking project PaCT, it is a way for me to live out my values and beliefs in real life as a way of showing me whether or not they are true. I think if you value kindness, it is important to go outside and be kind on a regular basis, and if you are not sure if kindness is important, go out and do it anyway – the kind actions over time will show you if you value kindness or not. Read more>>

Kendra T. Allison | Speech-language pathologist and Trivia Book Creator

I wanted to own my work and my time. I enjoy what I do and wanted to work on my behalf. Read more>>

Sha’Ron Taft | Owner and Creator of Precision Hair Company

When I sought out to start Precision Hair Company I had no idea how complicated the process would be. All I knew was that alot of my hair clients were having bad reactions to the toxins that are in Kanekalon braiding hair and I wanted to do something about it. I wanted African American women to be able to get braids installed without the burden of having scalp irritation, sores or even the slightest itching that many of us have become so accustomed to. Read more>>

Craig Hammill | Founder.Programmer Secret Movie Club

It’s funny. I heard Steven Spielberg once talk about “the quiet voice” which is different from “the loud voice” in your head. He said to listen to that quiet voice when it says things. I didn’t know what he meant exactly at the time but did when I started Secret Movie Club. I’m a filmmaker and many of my friends who had made features advised me to learn exhibition, marketing, building an audience since that’s at least 51% of the game. Read more>>

J. Dange | Artist & Owner/CEO

I was offered a few record deals but they wanted my publishing, masters, and creative control. I was offered a lot of money, a house, and vehicle but the deal would have me at a complete disadvantage. I realized that if they wanted to offer me all that, I am worth entirely more. I’ve been in the corporate world for a lil bit now so I decided to start my own business and take a leap of faith on myself. I wanted to start something that was truly beneficial for the artist and the community. Read more>>

Desiree Kinney | CEO, Motivational Speaker/Career Coach, Columnist, TV Host/Media Personality, Brand Ambassador, Award-Winning Music Artist

In 2020 we entered the pandemic, the unexpected, the unknown. I made a decision when I realize they were two doors to choose from, obstacle or opportunity, and that is when I decided to look at a problem that needed to be solved and to be the person to solve it. I could see that businesses did not reach the next level for a variety of reasons and one of those reasons is not finding the right people or the right solutions. This is why I created The Business Matchmaker LLC and in turn, from 2021-2022, I created the seven rules for success which will be detailed in my upcoming TV show and future book. Read more>>

Caspian Ashwood

Ever since I was young I always had a big interest in fashion. In my teen years I discovered Harajuku street fashion and became fully immersed in it – since then it’s become a part of my every day life. I also came out as transmasculine and queer in my mid 20s, and starting expressing myself in a more masculine way. I noticed there was a distinct lack of fashion options out there for those of us who were more masculine leaning, but still wanted to be colourful, cute and wear Harajuku fashion. Accessing clothes from Japan was quite hard and expensive, and I’ve always been low income my whole life, living paycheck to paycheck. So it just made sense that I finally did what I always wanted to do – create a brand that was gender-inclusive and priced in a way that kept it accessible to lower income folks. Read more>>

Bianca W | Content Creator

I have some interests outside of my actual day job and with everything going on in the world I figured, why not?! My friends have always joked with me that they get their entertainment news and updates from me and YouTube just seemed like a fun way to get my voice out there. Read more>>

Renee Youngblood | Life Coach

My sister and I started our business “Leecy’s Daughters “off the love and journey of our mother. We recognize things from our mothers life that was passed down to us and we wanted to create a space where women and girls could have a place to retreat to when life can become tough. Even when things are going good “Leecy’s Daughters ” supports every moment. I wanted to have women that I could turn to and support me and push me to the best version of myself and help motivate me to release what was bad and or negative and welcome everything that is good and positive. So starting this business was something that I knew I always wanted growing up and even being an adult hope to have. Women encouraging and supporting other women. Read more>>

Egypt Brown & Tyler Sugars Egypt Brown & Tyler Sugars

I (Egypt) and Tyler both work essential jobs but we were still effected by the pandemic when it first began. I work in a hospital setting in the Surgery department and work became very slow when they started to cancel surgeries due to surge in Covid-19 cases.Tyler’s work is in a lab setting and she began working remotely for the same reasons, which gave her a more flexible schedule. I’ve always been creative and Tyler is always looking for new business ventures. Together we decided to start a business that mostly operated outdoors so people could still get together in a safer way and enjoy their loved ones. This provided another source of income for us during these troubling times, while also creating memorable moments for people. Read more>>

Natasha Makin | Actress, Artist Manager, & Event Coordinator

If they can do it, so can I! I always get in my head about things and allow that to slow me down. My mind is so incredibly creative, everything is larger than life. That makes it hard to execute, because it feels like it’s too hard to find a starting point and then excuses begin to build. Once I stripped things down and started writing things out it made it easier to execute. You can truly do anything you put your mind to. Execution is key! Just do it! Read more>>