Starting a business is a commitment and requires dedication, resources and sacrifice. We asked some of the rising stars in our community how they thought through the idea of starting their own businesses.

Cherryl Brazier | Global Sales Professional

I had worked in Global sales for the hotel industry for over 20 years and was laid off by my previous employer when the company downsized their sales team after being purchased by a new owner. I took some time off to decide what I wanted for my future and came down to the following criteria Read more>>

Len Wealth | Conceptualist

When I initially started my business, it was all about vengeance. I wanted to prove the people whom cast me aside that I was worthy. However, as I continued on my journey and healed from my brokenness, it became about helping people marginalized, disregarded, and broken. I recognized that my lack of preparation from being kicked out the nest at a early age was a generational curse. It plagued, me, my mother, her mother, and more than likely my great grandmother. What’s more, I didn’t want any other child or young adult to go through the struggle of figuring out how to make a life for themselves while also discovering who they are. Wealth Fashion is the sum of my experience. Read more>>

Chris Lowe | Custom Van & RV Designer

I’m a serial entrepreneur. I’ve worked for myself for the last 30 years. A few times, I tried to work for others, but it never resonated with me. I like the freedom to create what I’m inspired to create, and if it fails. I know that at least I tried, and it was leading me to the next (ad)venture. Most of my businesses have been divinely inspired. My last company was making/selling weighted hula hoops. Read more>>

Abraham Perez | Sports Rehabilitation Therapist

I was working at a hospital as a technician. One of the branches of the hospital was an orthopedic center and the patients that would come in were not just elderly types in their 80’s and 90’s, Some of them were in their 30′ to 50’s. They would be getting surgeries for plantar fasciitis, sciatica, hip surgeries, and arthritis. Now don’t get me wrong, when bone is tracking on bone, yea, get surgery. But if we are talking about accumulated dense fascia and scar tissue, then these things can be managed. Read more>>

Natasha Pearl Hansen | Comedian, Producer + Entrepreneur

I knew I wanted a career in entertainment early on, but being 50/50 creative-analytical brained, I always told myself I’d have to balance my artistic endeavors with being business savvy. I started learning everything I could regarding the business side of entertainment, and that led me to eventually launch my first company, Wonderland Motion Pictures, a production company based in LA, with my director/writer partner. I learned a lot during the time we owned Wonderland, most importantly that the only person who wants to give you money for your projects is you, so be prepared to launch and pitch, bootstrap, and launch and pitch again until you see a project through. Read more>>

Louise Buckley | Artist and Model

I am an artist from Brooklyn, New York currently in my fourth year at UCLA as an art student where I have been primarily making paintings, drawings, and photos. I run From Me To You, a jewelry business based out of my apartment. Collecting, sharing, combining, making, and learning are all very conducive to making art and they’re all things I love to do. I added wearing to that list and started making jewelry. From Me To You is the jewelry project I began in 2020 but started plotting out about a year prior. Read more>>

Olivia Wolff | Co-Founder of UpDog Kombucha, Non-Alcoholic and Alternative Beverage Category Manager for Community Brewing Ventures

Starting UpDog was really a hobby turned career situation. I was graduating from college and didn’t really know what path I was going to take. I was uninterested in going to graduate school, and not excited about any of the careers that utilized my field of study. I was making kombucha as a hobby when friends expressed interest in buying it from me. After my UpDog co-founder, Lauren Miller, and I really started to put time, effort and money into growing the brand during my last semester of school, I decided that we had enough proof of concept for me to commit myself to the business. Read more>>

Siba Dalati | Event Decorator and Stylist

I can’t say there was one specific “aha!” moment where it became clear to me that I needed to start an event decorating business. It was more of a persistent thought in the back of my mind – almost a “what if I…?” that was caused by multiple factors. I first began event decorating as a hobby; I used to help out my children’s elementary schools with decorating banquet halls for graduation ceremonies, outdoor casual teacher appreciation days, and even classrooms for Multicultural Week. Essentially, a lot of it, and my life really, revolved around my kids. Read more>>

Joshua Knight | Entrepreneur, Baker, Chef, Barista, Pit Master, Artist, Creative

Ive always worked for my self. My love for entrupunership started when I was 14. I signed up for Entrepunershiop class at Wilson High School in Long Beach CA. After taking the class I knew I was meant to start my own business. I got a job with Burger King in Seal beach, Worked the drive through for 6 months, saved, quit and started glassing surfboards because surfing was my real passion. From there I saved money & opened the Glass Factory inside LEGEND SURFBOARDS (sold in 2002). From that day on I knew I couldn’t work for anyone else. Read more>>

Nicole Young Cramer | Owner of Nicole’s Artisanal Bakery, also known as Cookie Cakes By Nicole

I started my own business, Nicole’s Artisanal Bakery, during the pandemic, to establish some personal independence and to generate income to support my family after going through a divorce and becoming a single mom of 3 children. Prior to starting a family, I was a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, with a Masters in Social Welfare from UCLA, providing therapy to children and families. After having my first child 13 years ago, I became a stay-at-home-mom. In July of 2020, with three school-aged children at home during the pandemic, I decided that starting my own baking business would allow me the flexibility to simultaneously be home with my children and to pursue my passion for baking. Baking had become my therapeutic and creative outlet. Read more>>

Tara Stiles | Founder of Strala Yoga

I was introduced to yoga when I was studying dance at conservatory. I had this big feeling that this practice is something I can use as a tool to help navigate my life in a good direction. That was nice and all for me but I was really taken over by my next thought. Why don’t all my friends do this! Why isn’t yoga easy and everywhere? I went along dancing and in my spare time exploring yoga wherever I could find a class or teacher and quickly learned there are so many different ideas and opinions about how yoga should be practiced that seemed to be keeping a lot of people from enjoying the practice in a way that felt natural. Read more>>

Camila Montoya | Founder & Creative Director

Fashion is a form of expression, people use it not only to speak for their personalities and beliefs, but also, to represent a specific place and period of time. For us, when we started with the idea to create a jewelry brand, we knew for a fact and based on the circumstances and year we are living in, that being sustainable was a priority from day one. d’Francisco’s designs build on this immensely diverse ecosystem, where each of their jewelry pieces are based on different living beings and their role on planet Earth. Camila, one of the founders, says “we knew for a fact that the pieces couldn’t just be pretty, but would also have to be good for the world”. Read more>>

Armani Bailey | Chef

My journey started as a hobby. It was a way to release stress and to also fellowship with others! I ran a college Bible Study and fed the homeless weekly. As a poor college student, it quickly became expensive, and I had to think of other ways to draw people and money in. So, I started fundraising to keep the ministry going, and one day the light clicked in my head. That’s when I knew that owning my own food company was possible! Read more>>

CARA aka Cara Quici | Singer/Songwriter & Cannabis Entrepreneur

I’ve been on my own since a very young age. Every time I’d get a job growing up as a kid or young adult I’d always end up improving the business I was working in. I ended up being the worker the customers, co-workers, owners and management depended on, as well as the problem solver. Beginning my own businesses from my production company & music label, to cannabis companies is in my nature. These are my passions and talents so naturally these are my businesses! I was made to own and build companies. Read more>>

LaToya Dennis | Owner of Callidora Makeup

I grew up not liking my own face and body. I was taller, brown and pretty awkward looking in my mind. I was teased and made to think I was weird and corny. As I matured in my life and started to recognize my love for art and my own beauty. I vowed that I would start my own makeup business so that everyone would have a moment to appreciate their beauty. That’s what I do I make people smile through makeup. Read more>>

Eric Olson | Owner, Distiller , Award winning Chef, Father

start bussness with all cash , no investors no banks to report to ROI in three years. become number 1 in our locial competion market. take two years to become higly educated in the distilling business, attend every distilling class availble and every audible book available. Read more>>