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.

Nicole Richardson | Marketing Consultant & Digital Strategist

It was 2016 and I had just given birth to my second son. My job allowed a generous 12-week maternity leave, but for me, it didn’t feel like I had enough time to really bond and create the relationship that I wanted to experience this second time around. Read more>>

Natasha Spitzer | Freelancing + Design Educator | Online School Owner

The first time I went full time freelance (designing) I realized I had much more potential growing as a freelance designer rather than keep working at the studio where I was. Read more>>

Brandy Watson | Multicultural Private Esthetician

The thought process of Bare & Lush Co. Is to give other women of color the top tier service of a salon from someone that looks like them and knows how to treat their skin. Our skin (African American) has so many nuances and care that needs to be taken to become healthy again. I also want to show other Estheticians that they can become Elite and service multicultural clientele and make a living doing it. Read more>>

Maddie Morgan | Creative Director

It really started just by chance, I never really went into it thinking like “okay this is it I’m going to start a business”, it mainly happened organically – which I find kind of cool. Read more>>

Lanni Maszerowski (they/them) | Maker & 5th Grade Teacher

I wouldn’t describe it as a thought process, it was more of a life process. As a thirteen-year-old, I began my entrepreneurial journey by designing and hardcoding blogs and websites for clients that found me through Blogger. Read more>>

Chapters | Pop Production and Songwriting Duo (Simon Jay – Luke Shrestha)

In starting Chapters and our production business, we’ve always thought very practically about it. There are a few parts to a successful business: bringing a product to market, having a positive cashflow, and having a sustainable model that can run long-term. All of these concepts apply to an artist too, like having a unique brand, crystal clear storytelling, and finding authenticity so that they may have longevity in a music career. This is something we aim to instill into our artists. Read more>>

Jason Merrin | Film Director

I didn’t really mean to start my own business. I had internships in college that I really loved, that were in the entertainment industry but not in the field I wanted to be in. I worked for a music company one summer, and at a major video game company the next. Read more>>

Lusine Vartanian | Wedding & Event Planner

Creativity has always been a big part of my life. For as long as I can remember I’ve been involved in all kinds of art, from playing the piano, to singing, to acting and dancing. I always knew I would have a career in the creative field, but I was never sure what it would be. Read more>>

Ayanda Whiting | Wedding Planner & Designer

Growing up in a house full of creative minds in Durban, South Africa, I’ve always had a strong desire to start and run a successful business. Back then, I didn’t know what my business would eventually look like, but I had an idea that it would involve being creatively inspired somehow. Read more>>

Kyle Otto | Film & Television Producer

I’ve always been an entrepreneurial-minded person. When I decided to pursue a film and television producing career, I knew that my ultimate goal would be to run my own production company. Read more>>

Kim Keenan | Jewelry Maker & Business Owner

I’ve had a creative mind for a long time and making jewelry has been a creative outlet for me since I started working in the retail business and with gemstones at a younger age. Starting this business has been an extension of that. Read more>>

Ed Chang | Photographer

It’s a very attractive idea to manage your own business: setting your own goals and schedule, having creative control, and taking full responsibility for every effort, success, and failure. There’s valuable knowledge and growth that can only be found through putting yourself in this position. Read more>>

Bethany Suchsland | Lifestyle & Wedding Photographer

Before doing photography, I was actually a teacher! I got my BA, teaching credential, and MA in Education by age 25 thinking I’d have a lifelong career in education. But I sometimes would still daydream about what it would be like to be a photographer, to get to pour all of my time and energy into creating. Read more>>

Lorraine Marcus | Artist

My process of beginning my artistic journey was based on my motivation and passion. This was derived from my life story embedded with various experiences. Each experience fed my need to create meaningful artwork. Read more>>

Andrew Arrospide | Co-Founder of Alfalfa – (There are 3 co-founders: Andrew Arrospide, Dan Sobsey, Daniel Londono)

We were childhood friends who came together to solve an immediate need for healthier and balanced dining in our community. While we all had varying Read more>>

Chetney Stone | Pastry Chef & Entrepreneur Enthusiast

Understanding my parents background coupled with the truths of their era, I decided to take a risk on myself by following my heart. It has been a dream of mine since the age of 8 to become a model, baker and a lawyer. Read more>>

Lesly Lynch | Film Producer & Director

I always have been an innovator. Being a child, I used to see everything through the lens of possibilities, building tree house even though I didn’t had the proper tools to do so, imagining new stories in my utopian world. I always use my creative power to solve problems, either they are day to day hustles, work related or more grounded challenges. Progress happen when you dream up new and improved way of doing things! Read more>>

Danielle Bruno | Private Chef/ Restauranteur

ive always been business minded from a young age, watching my parents go outside their comfort zone with several businesses and take risks, I just remember it always being exciting. The energy of starting something new and committing to a project and sort of “winging it” was something i found great interest in. I always strive to keep learning and growing mentally, so pushing myself beyond my area of expertise while not having to answer to anyone has been my greatest motivation. Freedom and creative control are what keeps me engaged and open minded. Read more>>