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.

Rebecka Rubio | Artist

I had started making watercolor bookmarks at home with my Husband. As a break from having to work remotely due to covid and to just access the other side of my brain. We both needed a creative outlet. My Best Friend, who is a sixth grade teacher. was also learning how to cope with the new norm of having to teach remotely. She was making Welcome packets for her students to pick up and she asked if I would be able to make her forty custom bookmarks for her kids. So naturally, I had an internal freak out because let’s be honest, that is a lot of work! Read more>>

Dale Voelker | Art Director

I started working for myself after I was laid off from an art director job for a music retailer. Funny enough, they called me the next day to hire me for some design projects. To be honest I didn’t really think about too much, it just sort of happened. Read more>>

Maggie Jorgenson | Producer, Creator

Violent Pink Productions came about, as many creative ideas do, sharing ideas over a glass of wine with a great group of friends. As queer, female artists, we all wanted a space to tell our own stories; a place where we saw ourselves as the leads, not just the side characters. And from that giggly, drunken eve — VPP was born! Violent Pink is a daring new production house that develops independent media which focuses on bold, female-centric narratives. Read more>>

Nathalia Segoviano | Money Coach

It actually didn’t start out as a business idea. It started as a private instagram account where I invited friends and family to follow my budgeting story. I realized I was sharing a lot about my budgeting journey on my personal account and so I decided to start a separate account. At first it was just friends and family. Friends started asking me to host workshops and that is when the business started. I first hosted a budgeting and wine event in February of 2020 with some friends in my home. Read more>>

Yates Holley | Executive Producer and Partner at Rideview

I’ve always wanted to start my own business, but I never really had a specific idea or plan. I’ve always been creative and have worked in computer graphics for most of my life. My career has always been primarily freelance. Moving from project to project. It wasnt until recently I started Rideview with my business partner, John Kim that things really started to get momentum.. Read more>>

Lola Divine | Spiritual & Boughetto Black Girl reminding other Black Girls who TF they are through the written, spoken, and intentional word!

SpirituaLuxe was truly born through a period of transition. One of those “ancestors knocking me head between the washer & dryer” type of moves… In the midst of a family trauma, I found myself contemplating creating an entire business template to sustain someone else’s dreams while they were in the hospital, and it was almost as if I heard my grandmothers voice yell “are you crazy?!? Stop building everyone else’s dream and build your own!!” Read more>>

Shanie & Tammie (Shanie) Fonseca (Tammie) Los | Co-Founders, Tammie’s Muffins

Tammie’s Muffins grew from our family’s restaurant Tammie’s Corner House Cafe in Hermosa Beach. Due to some health concerns, our family was forced to close up shop after about 9 years in business. About 6 months after the restaurant closed we received so many emails and calls from former customers asking where they could buy our famous muffins. It was then that we decided we had to start our own endeavor with our muffins as our front runner. Read more>>

Emma Dollyhigh | Owner of Moody Candles

I’ve always had the dream of starting my own business, channeling my creativity, and becoming my own boss. I wanted to create something tangible that people with would enjoy and use on a daily bases. I never imagined myself starting a candle business, and enjoying it. But here I am learning more and more everyday about the science behind candle making, that I once thought I wasn’t capable of accomplishing. After making my first candles for friends as gifts, I thought “Hmm I can do this, I can learn the art of candle making, and create a business from the ground up”. It’s still up and coming, but I’m doing the damn thing. Read more>>

Barry Ancheta | Sneaker Cleaner & Restorer

I fell in love with sneakers as a kid growing up in the 80s & 90s. The “Golden” era of music, fashion, and sports. I didn’t start collecting until after securing a good paying job and eventually sold my 300+ pair collection to help fund my wedding. After being married and having children, I realized I could no longer spend hundreds of dollars on pairs of sneakers – but I also did not want to stop collecting. I started hunting down cheap, used sneakers on eBay, craigslist, and offer up. Some of the pairs needed just a quick wipe down, some needed major cleaning, painting, and even repairs. Read more>>

Kat Gosik | Celebrity Wardrobe Stylist

As a wardrobe stylist, starting your own business is necessary to have full creative control. Although, it is quite a challenge since most people in this field are creative types and running your own business you have to learn the backends of business. For me, the business side has been the most challenging; invoicing, accounting, taxes, paying out assistants, etc. I think it is important to hire people in roles that you lack knowledge and expertise. As an entrepreneur, you are constantly learning. Having that awareness, that it is okay to not know it all right now, is important. Read more>>

Nikki Frustere | Found & CEO of Nixx Events LA

It’s always been a dream of mine to have my own company since I first started planning events in college. I’ve produced hundreds of events over the course of my 15+ year career and I’m so grateful for all the experiences I’ve had while working for some amazing companies but I knew that if I didn’t just go for it and push myself out of my comfort zone, I might regret it. The pandemic has made everyone I know take a long, hard look at their lives, careers, relationships etc and I just knew it was time for me to bet on myself and go for it like my late great Pops always taught me. Read more>>

Perfitt Richards Design | Interior Decorators

We had taken a break to raise our kids (Terrell has 3 kids, Joyce has 2). Terrell had worked for a small commercial design firm for years and Joyce had been in real estate for years. We were doing our own projects and friends kept asking us for help. We also spent a lot of time tooling around LA taking in the various neighborhoods and the design and shelter shops in each area. So our creative juices were flowing. Since our kids were more self-sufficient, we decided to step out and turn our creativity into a legit business. We can’t say there was formal plan or thought process. It felt right and we decided to go for it! Read more>>

Sandy Dierdorf | Travel Agency Owner & Professional Travel Advisor

I started Madison Travel Company (MTC) after working with a travel agency that had been in business for almost 50 years. With the skill set that I had developed over a lifetime of customer service and the experience, I gained from this company I knew that starting my own business was the next logical step. Along with starting my business, we decided to sell our home and relocate to Madison, Indiana which became a major factor in choosing my company’s name Read more>>

Vincy Z | Co- Founder

Starting a business takes tremendous courage especially in a time of the unknown. Growing up in a traditional Asian household, I’ve never thought of entrepreneurship. As I got older and stepped out into society, I would come across business owners who would tell me about their experiences. I’ve come to realize that the one common word that I hear is ‘passion’–passion for what you do. Read more>>

James Coleman | Sports Skills Trainer & Talent Manager

My father started me in sports at the earlier age of three and coached me until I was 12 years old. This impacted me heavily and help create my passion for sports. After my college playing career was over I decided that I didn’t want to leave sports alone. I started working for a youth sports company and fell in love which coaching which helped me realized I couldn’t walk away. After spending a handle full of years working for multiple companies in the sports industry it was time for me to start my own journey. Instead of working with a core group of people, I thought, “How could I work with everyone around the world.” JC Sports Training LLC was created. Read more>>

Sarah Rockwood | Early Childhood Education Specialist & Mother

I’ve worked in Early Childhood Education since 2012 and been both a preschool teacher and director. Once I had kids of my own, I was faced with quite a conundrum- do I put my kids in preschool so I can go teach other people’s kids at another preschool? I started researching and touring different preschools for my kids, and I just wasn’t happy with what I was seeing. My kids are biracial, and I wasn’t finding a preschool that had anti racism measures in place. Read more>>

Lola Benjamin | DJ & Entrepreneur

Since I first entered into corporate America in 2011, I knew it wasn’t for me. I knew one day, I would work for myself, but I just didn’t know what I would do. Fast forward to 2020 where we were smack dab in the middle of the pandemic. At the time, I was working at a company where I got my first bit of experience in the e-commerce and subscription box world. I was learning a lot but HATED the job, but I knew there was a deeper reason why I was still there. Read more>>

Janine Jarman | Founder of Curl Cult and Owner of Hairroin Salon

Self-proclaimed perm queen, I specialize in perms and texture. I’ve owned Hairroin Salon in Los Angeles for 16 years as well as a salon in NY for six years. Unfortunately, due to the pandemic, both salons were forced to close then reopen and ultimately I decided to permanently close my NY location as I’m based here in Los Angeles. It was heartbreaking but with all the newfound “time off” I dumped all my guts into CURL CULT – my perm project that I had secretly been working on for years. I pulled in an amazing team, including my business partner, Melissa. We secured funding and went on to launch a brand new perm during a pandemic. It’s been an incredibly exciting ride. Read more>>

Monica Salazar | Freelance Makeup Artist

I was born into a entrepreneurial family. My mom started her own party supply business when I was 3 years old, and my older brothers also have their own small businesses. This is the type of environment I grew up in. To me starting your own business seemed almost normal. I remember helping my mom out at her store and just interacting with customers at a young age and I loved it! I was ALWAYS trying to think of my next project. What can I do as a child to make money? Read more>>