Deciding to start a business is an unusual decision. It’s often considered irrational and yet for many it’s the best decision they’ve ever made. So we asked folks to think back to when they were starting their businesses and to tell us about their decision making process.

Harvey Lincoln | Sr Brand Strategist and Designer

I have been doing graphic design since I was a kid. When I got into my mid 20’s I was able to attract a variety of business clients that wanted designs done for their services and products. I would design flyers and brochures and see them post on social media. Over time I began to notice that my clients were not approaching their business and my work done for then strategically. This in turn was not giving them the results the wanted. More followers, more sales and overall growth. This took me into expanding my services and moving from being a simple graphic designer to a brand strategist. I wanted to help my clients get the real results they desired Results that a simple high quality design couldn’t accomplish alone. From there I started my now company Greater Brands – Strategy, Design and Marketing where I help entrepreneurs, visionaries and special events build a quality brand that they and their clients love. Read more>>

Roberto Espinosa Ochoa | Wig Stylist & Hairdresser

Since I was young, I would always style someone’s hair, so I decided to attend to a cosmetology school. after that, I got my cosmetology license and started to work at a salon. I fell in love being a hairdresser. One day, one of my friends, Marcus Pontello, brought the synthetic wig for me to style for halloween. Ever since, I stuck in styling wigs for the local queens. But I was still working at the salon so I had to pick which of the two of the jobs to go with, Working at a salon or styling wigs. I chose wig styling because I love having my own schedule, not being under anybody, so I chose styling wigs. I’ve always been intrigued by the art of drag, but never had the strength to perform or involved in the drag scene. I adore the girls. Read more>>

Michael Weintrob | Photographer, Artist, Publisher, Producer

I have always worked for myself. I always wanted to run my own business. If I put in the work I will benefit me and my family. I came up in the music business and would always see bands breaking up. At the end of the day you can’t break up with yourself 🙂. Read more>>

Carl Roaches, Jr. | Attorney & Entrepreneur

The thought process behind starting For The Culture was to meet a perceived lack of inclusion in the craft beer industry. Overwhelmingly, craft beer demographics present as White and male. Their is nothing inherently wrong with this on one hand; however, it also means their is a good chance their are people who end up not experiencing the deliciousness of craft beer because they are simply not aware that it is an option. For our organization, being comprised of men and women of color, we are acutely aware of how limited awareness is of craft beer in our communities. People of color, by and large, only associate beer with “Big beer” brands, and/or malt liquors. As an organization, we want to excite, educate, and entice persons of all races, ethnicities, genders, and sexual orientations to give craft beer a try. The hope is that once they give it a try, they might see craft beer as a beverage choice after all. Read more>>

Shaii Galang | Event Stylist and Owner

I can remember that moment vividly like it was yesterday! It all began when I was planning for my son’s first birthday party in 2019, which I started six months in advance. Within that 6 months, I acquired tons of things and our house were filled with boxes of random stuff! I just couldn’t stop buying so many decorations! Party day came and my friends all loved how everything was setup and one by one they started asking me if they can borrow some of my decorations or if they can copy what I did, and if I can help them with their child’s upcoming parties, and of course I was more than happy to do it for them. And then… LIGHTBULB!! The idea of renting decorations was born. I thought to myself “why spend so much on single-use decorations and then throw it away after?” I was so sure that I was not alone on this, and then slowly, creative concepts started coming in and then my rental business transformed into a full-blown event planning service. Read more>>

Taylor Elliott-Yearby | Personal Chef

I’ve always been an entrepreneur and owning my own business was always a dream of mine. I new that I wanted to cook thing that I love to make and also bring joy to people. Cooking is the way of life. I believe that cooking brings family and friends together and that’s what I love the most. At first I wasn’t so sure where I wanted to start and fear took over me so it took me a while to start. One day I got up and I said today is the day. I start creating a business plan and a name of my business and I have been striving to expand. Read more>>

Stacia Emeharole | Don’t Trip! It’s Just Us Podcast Creator W/ Co Host (Ibe U. & Leslie M.)

Basically, I noticed that there was a missing link or gap that needed to be filled, so I created our podcast to fill that void. More specifically, I noticed that many adolescents, young adults, and transitioning career professionals were not really being provided with relatable, knowledgeable resources that would help them with their job searches/career paths. For example, there weren’t many accessible tools on important real-world topics, like how to negotiate a bonus or understanding Harvard’s admissions process, or even how to deal with certain types of coworkers, all of which would prepare them for the professional world. Unfortunately, these are not skills that you learn until you are already in your field. In addition to preparing the masses, I thought carefully about how I could deliver information and have it still be entertaining. Read more>>

Ned Evans | Artist

I am primarily an abstract painter. I also do small wall reliefs, drawings, seascapes and photography. I supported my artwork by learning to build almost anything, galleries, homes, studios and artists projects. None of of it was easy. I always used what I did for money to hopefully inspire or compliment my artwork. Learning how to design and build a structure from drawing to completion helped with that. Those exposures are obvious in most of my work. Eventually I was able to support myself from art sales. Read more>>

Nichelle Young | Photographer & Entrepreneur

I knew that I was destined to have my own business. I realized some time ago, I have a strong dislike for being micro managed. I enjoy having things done my way. I wanted to call the shots, set the standards and create my own brand. Setting aside my insubordinate traits, I started my business because I have a fiery passion for helping others, succeed! I desire to help in times of need, encouragement, and motivation. I started my business because the world is full of so much negativity. I wanted to create a safe place for individuals from all walks to feel welcomed and have the ability to be open with their desires. Read more>>

Kency Robles | Handcrafted Candles

Fragrant Accents started itself, I just named it! I was in a very dark place. Feeling lost and without purpose. Just before candles smacked me in the face- I was considering going back to school. Attempt at being a nurse. Thinking hopefully, I would find my purpose there. I knew that I wanted to serve. Wanted to help anyone that was even slightly feeling like me. Just to be able to lighten someone’s day by even the slightest-well it would have been everything to me. I know exactly when the thought struck but not sure how it manifested itself. All I know is that once the seed planted itself of becoming a candle making entrepreneur, I could not think of anything else! I fell in love with the idea. And it flew. Within weeks I was testing. Within months, Fragrant Accents was official. Read more>>