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.

Camille Varlet: Founder and CEO of Mouth Off

I come from CPG, have always loved consumer products, as well as health and wellness and problem solving. I saw an opportunity to make a difference in the oral care category and I jumped on it. I’d learned that bad breath affects over 100M people in the US alone, and that there are no products on the market today able to solve this problem. I knew that if I figured out how to bring to market a product that actually worked, I’d not only be impacting the lives of millions of people, I’d also have the foundation of a successful business. Read more>>

Julia Xu: Independent Startup Business Consultant

In 2020, I decided to drop out of corporate life and start my own business in start-up consulting. In this process, I realized that it was incredibly hard to set up my home office. I couldn’t find any office or tech products that were stylish, functional and affordable. So, I decided to create a one-stop shop for other go-getters like myself to design their workstation. Read more>>

Natascia Tornetta Mallin: Trader

We were in the middle of a pandemic and I was climbing up the walls like everyone else, watching whatever prospects I had of living a life that wasn’t government funded go out the window. I went to visit my brother who was living in Mexico at the time and ended up staying for nearly half a year. Growing up first generation Italian in Los Angeles I was always at a loss for markers of my culture unless I was surrounded by Latino/as. Read more>>

Tim & Pat Curran: Co-Founder of Our City Coffee

We had the thought of how could we take an everyday consumer product and impact someones life or do good with it every day. Coffee was a natural fit as we love coffee and people consume this multiple times a day. Read more>>

El Faheem Vercher: Chef de Cuisine

The process behind starting my own business began by working in a mundane atmosphere for a very well known catering company and feeling that I was overlooked in my day to day successes. At my previous position, I was often over looked for promotions and my ideas were used without any acknowledgement. Read more>>

Edward Espinosa: PR, Sales, and Branding expert

My thought process behind starting my own PR and Sales agency was to reach out to many brands that are not known or do not have strong foundation in the US market, and help them create that foundation with growth. Whether they are a domestic or international client, breaking into a new market is very difficult, and it is important to do it with longevity. Read more>>

Shannon Tellez: Esthetician & Creator of natural healing products

Starting my business never really looked like actually starting a business. It began and grew Organically from a necessity for my girls. Looking for home & natural remedies to help with allergies, colds and everything else kids can throw at their mama’s. The concern I had for typical products on the market shelves grew as my girls allergies to even the most sensitive products became worse.  Read more>>

Alex Roncal: Mama & Baker

Starting a small bakery business was never something I really thought about. I loved watching cooking shows, when I was younger, trying to figure out what to do with the rest of my life I considered culinary school and instead chose fashion design school. I started baking for my day job’s internal company events. It started out simple and straight from the box. Read more>>

Lauren Lum: Creatress of spiritual delights

I wanted to create things for people like me (and people not like me). Jewelry, and trinkets to keep your mind calm, provide strength and confidence and to inspire . I have always been mystified by creation. I just wanted to share it. To be able to live off of my imagination, and to help the world while doing so. I’ve always wanted to build a really strong, and large platform, to be able to share other artists work, and spread the word of love, equality, acceptance and social justice. Read more>>

Dean Sherry: Owner – Duke Property Management

I was in business with a partner and the company was successful for several years… until we came to a crossroads in which direction to take the company. My partner believed in volume of clients across the property management industry and I wanted a more targeted approach based on the quality of clients. I decided to take the knowledge I had gained and start my own property management company and have never looked back… Read more>>

Jordann Aguon: makeup artist

I never liked working for anyone else. I tried it time and time again and it always lead me to quitting prematurely. Organized structures of education and work related programs never resonated with me and my lifestyle. I learned best by doing and having real life experiences, failing and making mistakes. Going to the same place everyday to clock in and work a shift drained me. I needed to be out in the world. So I created my freelance business Read more>>

Nancy Villarreal: Artist | Owner of VideoStadik

I’ve always been a freelance artist; I like the freedom and the flexibility. After being in television for 13 years, I wanted a change. At first, I thought I wanted a career change, but later I realized that the work I do has the potential to make a significant impact in society in a more meaningful way. Read more>>

Aline Boulgourjian: Stager and Storyteller

With a degree in Marketing and having worked in Advertising I always felt that staging was the combination of my formal training and experience with my passion for interior design, placing me in a unique position to offer a skill set ideal for this service. Read more>>

Shimikia Hagins: Caterer

I have always enjoyed cooking for other people. I’d have family and friends request for me to make certain dishes for their parties, which then gathered the attention of outside people wanting me to cater their events. Read more>>

Ian Evenstar: CEO, Founder, & Business Coach

There was a point in my career where I could comfortably provide for myself and my family. Yet, I was unsettled. I wanted more. I truly desired to help as many people as possible doing what I love, design, and branding. I believed that starting an agency would allow me to accomplish this vision. Since then, I am so proud to see a strong company, which was once only a dream, providing for a team and supporting the mission of higher education. Read more>>

Nicolas Luna: Health Insurance Broker & podcaster

The thought process was very simple for me, control of my time. Time is the most valuable asset. Having your own business allows you to control most of your time. Read more>>

Fanny “Thera” Harisch: CEO & Photographer & Sound Recordist

To be honest, I got tired and exhausted of reading job posting that require entry-level positions to have years of experience in order to apply for them. In my long quest to find a job I’ve been very annoyed with certain applications, because it seems like there is a common trend, the trend being having a bachelor degree with at least 3-5 years of experience in the given field as a must have plus a bunch of other skills. Read more>>

Sara Wynne: Makeup Artist & Realtor

Controlling the productivity, scheduling, and success of my day-to-day was a huge factor in starting my own business. Before, I was locked down to a 9-5 providing unrelated beauty services in a job I didn’t see myself in long term. Just to have that paycheck in hand every 2 weeks but lack of creativity wasn’t worth it anymore. I needed my daily achievements to reflect where my attention and drive was so I started looking at the numbers. Read more>>

Brent Paxton: Owner and Founder of Kreativ Media Partners and Kreativ Artists


So, first let me say that before I became successful in entertainment, I tried and failed at many things. I remember vividly watching an interview with Alli Webb on television (the founder of Drybar) and she said the same thing. She emphasized that the journey to Drybar was a long one with many entrepreneurial efforts that went kaput. That moment, seeing how forthright and humble she was, inspired me. Generally speaking, I think people get down on themselves when they fail at something. The reality is that failure is part of success. Read more>>

Elliana Kim: Dancer & Advocate for People with Developmental Disabilities

In seventh grade, I was a part of the leadership team at my school. I was encouraged to find a place to volunteer. I found a local non-profit organization called Reimagine OC, where I volunteered with the Early Start Program. It provides help to children with developmental disabilities. I helped them learn how to eat, speak, walk, and behave. In the summer of 2020, I was unable to volunteer there because of COVID-19. Read more>>

Shayanne Brents: Chef & Small-Business Owner

The thought process behind starting my own business came from years of working in a male-dominated and unhealthy industry. Being a professional chef over the last 10+ years, I got my start in Los Angeles, CA, where I was born and raised, in a cutthroat and extremely competitive work environment. Woking in a kitchen is a grueling job with very little reward until your name is on that menu. Read more>>

Miriam Yoo: Owner, Flask & Field

Oh where to begin?! It’s just always been something I knew I wanted to do that came from an obsession to create something original, express myself through ambiance and curation, and be of service. I practiced law for 9 years in the entertainment industry before I jumped ship and just went for it. Practicing law is a great way to drive you toward your true passion! Read more>>

Chloe Paige Flowers: Actor, Home Cook & Interior Decorator

Both of my businesses were straight impulse. LOL. It was literally “see a need, fill a need”. For my meal prep biz, a lot of my entertainment industry friends and I worked out at a park daily. We’d see each other’s physical progress and then BAM! They’d book some great job and begin losing the progress they’d made from eating crap food on set. And they didn’t have time to meal prep for themselves. I made a comment like “if cooked for you, that wouldn’t be an issue”. “If you do it I’ll be your first customer”, one of my friends said— and Chloe came into existence the next week! Read more>>

Donavan Duelas: Artist & Hairstylist

Before I officially started my own business doing hair, I was employed as a graphic designer. As I became unhappy with my situation, I started thinking of it in the form of a metaphor. Even though I was making good money for my age, I looked at my situation as a step stool; I took a few steps up, but that’s as high as a step stool goes. There wasn’t really anymore room for me to grow. I decided that I’d rather step down off of the stool, build my own staircase, and build it as high as I want. Read more>>

Charmaine Dalton: Founder of The Charming Picnic

The Charming Picnic concept was born a few years ago when I realized that there were no luxury picnic companies in Orange County. It was my dream to provide fun picnic experiences in the beautiful spots of OC and to encourage locals to immerse themselves in nature with their loved ones. I have always had a passion for nature and enjoying delicious food outdoors, so I wanted to share that experience with as many people as possible. Read more>>

Daja Ferguson & Daija Rivera: CEOs of Bloom Loungewear

Though we were recent college graduates, we always had aspirations of owning our own business. We weren’t completely sold on what that business would be or like look until Quarantine 2020. Quarantine inspired us to pursue a loungewear business and honestly, it was perfect because it aligned with who we were and still are on a daily. Loungewear would be our niche but not just any loungewear business, one with a mission… a purpose. Our goal within Bloom Loungewear was to uplift women, encourage them to be confident, and to bloom wherever life may take them! Read more>>

Anthony Campusano: Photographer/Videographer

GRIME started back in high school with my friends. It stands for growth really inspires me. We just wanted a collective to put our creativity under. My main goal for the brand is for it to be a one stop shop. I wanted to have a bunch of creatives and people I trust that I can work with. Sort of like an agency but really just a family. Read more>>

Maya Angel: Board Certified Holistic Health Practitioner and Nutritionist

My thought process behind starting my own business, stemmed from an absolute need and mission to help others overcome chronic illnesses and metabolic disorders, the way that I had. I suffered from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome aka Myalgic Enchephalomyelitis for 25 years and because doctors couldn’t heal me, I learned to heal myself through Ancestral Nutrition. Read more>>

Jeanette DePatie: Writer, Producer, Speaker and Licensed Fitness Instructor

I always felt that exercise programs are oriented towards people who are already pretty fit. I felt there was a strong need for people to have access to fitness programs that are shame free and extremely welcoming to beginners. I also felt that many exercisers need access to teachers that look less like a fitness model and more like them. Read more>>

Nicole Spaulding: Owner & Color Wizard

I’ve been a creative maker my whole life. Since I can remember someone in my life usually suggests “you should make more of those and sell them” whenever I undertake a new creative endeavor. From the very first business I made when I was eight I agreed that it seemed like a good idea. From then on each time I decided to sell what I made, I always had a goal for the extra money I would make, plans and lists, and a vision. Read more>>

Yolanda Warren: Influencer & Events Concierge

I was encouraged by my friends and husband to start my own business. It sounded great, so I started putting the action behind the plan and on July 11, 2016, I launched In The Know with Yo, Your Go-To Girl for VIP events, and more!! Read more>>

Tiffany Sedano: Owner, Louder with Powder

I did not start my business thinking, “I want to be my own boss.” When I transitioned from working full time in film and commercial, I did not want to lose my ability to practice my trade. Ultimately, I knew I wanted to continue doing makeup and hairstyling but didn’t know how to continue further. I was very tunnel vision at this time in my life and the vision was film and commercial, until it wasn’t anymore for the various different reasons. Read more>>

Kelly Abanda: Solo World Traveler & Adventure Coach

I had already taken the leap out of the “safe” lane of corporate work to travel the world—an incredible journey that evolved from my three month plan into over three years of globetrotting–and I knew I had to take the next leap. I’ve wanted to start a business for most of my adult life, but was always too scared. How will I find clients? Will I be able to make enough money? Read more>>

Camilo Gomez: Music Producer, Audio Engineer, Film Sound Mixer & Composer

What was your thought process behind starting your own business? Since I was young, I always had the tendency generate income passively therefore starting my own business came as something natural. My motivation was financial independence and to work for myself. As a music producer and sound engineer, I am part of the creative and technical process of cinematographic and musical products. Read more>>

Eric Chen: Creator of The Boba Card Game: Sabobatage

After a devastating car accident, my perspective on life drastically changed from having a comfortable corporate job to wanting to challenge myself to do more. Running my own business was the answer and having the opportunity to create a lifestyle, having a vision, and making it come to a reality fascinated me a lot more than just sitting in corporate. Read more>>

Sergio Calderon: CEO & Fitness Coach

I always knew that I wanted to work with people to help them be the healthiest version of themselves. While I wasn’t sure how that would look, I had a passion for helping people. I began my schooling by majoring in kinesiology. At the time, I worked at a physical therapy clinic. Unfortunately, during my time in college, I had an accident and suffered a traumatic brain injury along with several broken bones throughout my body. Read more>>

Marina Valle: Intuitive Energy Healer and Life Coach

As an artist, my whole life I’ve found myself balancing at least two career paths at any given moment. When I first moved to New York City, I leaned on my degree in journalism with emphasis in public relations and marketing to find a job that would pay my bills. However, there was also the dance minor in me who moved to NYC to study acting, who was very focused on paving my way to an acting career. Read more>>

Raul Garcia: Animation Director and CEO of R&R Communications Inc.

Working in the animation industry for many years and putting my art and talent to the service to other people’s projects made me realize I had stories worth telling to an audience, and that being somehow and outsider looking in (I am originally from Spain) I had the need to develop my own ideas and make animation films in my own terms without depending so much on a giant technological and business structure from the big studios. Read more>>

Kevin Diaz: Shop Owner

I have always been a big supporter of other’s spiritual products. The way the energies felt when I touched the products was amazing. And ultimately, that’s what inspired me to start making my own sprays and oils. I knew that I could create these items and provide the same intentional energy in them. I knew that I wanted to associate my brand with a moon cycle, and the New Moon is perfect for setting new intentions and planting the seeds to create new adventures; New Moon Botanics was created. Read more>>

Melina Charis: Energetic Coach

When I decided to start my own business, I was in a career that felt unfulfilling and lacking in creativity. I also wanted the freedom to pick which projects to take on and to be able to shift my business as my interests shift. I’ve always been a self-starter and very self-motivated and I also knew I wanted to help others and have a more fulfilling career. Read more>>