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.

Delma Gomes | Biotech engineer and baker

My business started, out of boredom and wanting to do something during quarantine period. My first thought was to make some homemade ice cream , for summer ( and mostly targeting people from my country ). Later on , some close friends and family suggested me to add Sth to it ( charutos — donuts sticks ), to make it as a combo. Further down , some people wanted homemade cakes , and that’s how everything started . Read more>>

Ahmad AlJuhani | Real Estate Investor and Developer

It is difficult to identify that single moment of enlightenment. I believe the seeds were sown pretty early in my life. When my father built a multi-family house in Saudi Arabia, with 6 apartments, he would involve me in the process. My first paid task came from him and it was to break the concrete at the entrance of the building. For most people in the US, it might be hard to imagine how hot it can get in Saudi Arabia. In temperatures of over 45 Celsius, and humidity, I went to work with my hammer and chisel and did the job. I earned about 10 Rial for it, which is about 3 or 4 US dollars. It was exciting as I was able to buy my own candies and soft drinks. I soon got promoted to the task of inspecting the plastering, which is done over a brick structure to join the bricks together as well as make the surface smooth. Read more>>

Nancy Martinez | Crafting, treats and more Business

Honestly I never thought I would be where I am if it wasn’t for my kids. I started making hair bows when my daughter started going to school. I had so much material left over I decided to sell it and my business took off from there. Read more>>

Rachel Limas | Professional Housekeeper

I have had several job titles since I started working at 17. All of them have been managing positions & I worked each one for long periods of time. I honestly began this business out of desperation. I had left my last job wanting more than what I was getting. Pay was not the issue, but it was just in my heart and mind that I was meant for something else. It took me looking for 3 months trying to find a new job with no luck! I was being told I was over qualified for most of the places, or just no call backs at all. I was desperate as I have always had income being a Mother of 4, I had to make something happen. Read more>>

LaKayla Walker | Houston Realtor & Entrepreneur

My thought process was to find a business that would allow me to be flexible with my time and to be financially free. I got into real estate because there is no cap on my salary and I would be able to spend more time with my daughters. The pandemic changed my mindset about the amount of time I needed to be with my children and how I needed to start to following my dreams. Life is so short and I witnessed that with two deaths of two grandparents in the same weekend. Once that happened, I decided that I would live as if tomorrow wasn’t promised. So I decided to follow my dreams and push for the life I wanted to live every single day. Read more>>

Sammy McManus | Founder, Firecracker Productions

I grew up loving the arts, so after college I worked with a few different well known arts organizations in Houston. The one thing that I noticed about each of them was how much of the talent was brought in from out-of-town. As a young creative, I saw first hand how much local talent was in our city and decided I wanted to create more opportunities for them. Firecracker Productions was born from an idea with a group of friends to do plays the big theatres weren’t doing, and to always showcase local talent in our shows. Read more>>

Erin Gray Morton | Founder of erin gray, a collection of pima cotton tees & nature-inspired jewelry

After my Mom was diagnosed for the second time with cancer in 2015, after a 15 year remission, I felt inspired to get back into fashion design, which had been my dream since I was very young. My Mom was a faithful warrior, an artist, and my biggest fan. Her words “do what you love and never give up” inspired me to finally not be afraid, take a risk, and build a dream and start a company I had always wanted but never pursued. It was also important to me that my company give back to cancer research and others in need. I knew I wanted to build a lifestyle brand that eventually included clothing, but I started small with a line of jewelry to help me learn the business, the processes, and make some mistakes, without putting myself in financial stress. My motto at the beginning was ‘work hard, learn, grow slowly, and get better with every step’. The hardest part was launching and putting myself and my designs out there. Fast forward seven years and I now have a luxury pima cotton t-shirt line and have grown my jewelry business nationwide. Read more>>

Jazmyn Hayes | Eyelash & Eyebrow tinting Technician

I knew I wanted to be able to have more freedom than the average person with an earning potential that I was able to control, not someone else. When I got into Eyelash Extensions & Eyebrow tinting my path I wanted to follow become clear to me . I am a certified eyelash technician & eyebrow tinting technician. My passion is enhancing woman’s beauty. One day I plan on opening my own store front Eyelash Extensions & Eyebrow tinting. I want to change the way people think of eyelashes & eyebrows because it is not just a simple accessory , it’s actually luxury. Read more>>

Brianda Carrasco | Business Owner

Having competed in pageantry and fitness competitions, I often had people ask me if I had my own supplement brand. It was something that was planted in the back of my head but at that time I had a full-time job, was the reigning Miss Houston Latina, and I was also competing in bikini competitions so I didn’t have the time to research what I needed to start a business. After being in the fitness industry for a few years I realized a lot of unhealthy supplements were being pushed on athletes by their trainers or even by social media influencers, so I wanted to come out with a line that not only helps you reach your goals, but is also good for your health. Many people don’t realize that being fit and being healthy is not always the same thing and I wanted to bring awareness to that. Read more>>

Kheri Roy-Favela | Benefits Counselor and Insurance Extraordinaire

Starting your own business is risky but, I decided to bet on myself… I took a huge risk leaving an 11 year career with a local growing Texas company loved by Texans and said “I can do this, I can change my life and my family’s future.” I wanted to give back time to myself, and time to my family… I realized I had never spent an entire Thanksgiving day or Christmas Eve home with my 2 sons and that wasn’t fair to them. I wanted to prioritize my needs as a human, over the business needs of my career, which I hadn’t done, ever. Read more>>

Lindsay Halpin | Owner and Designer at Violet Peacock Millinery

I was attending Fashion Design school at HCC and was entering garments into contests and doing very well winning some LBD contests etc, but i found it wasn’t as much of a challenge as i wanted it to be. So, one summer, i taught myself how to make hats from a 50 yr old textbook, and posted my work on Facebook. Someone saw it and asked me to make pieces for her runway show and the rest is history. Violet Peacock was born. Read more>>

Hayley Von Frank | Owner of Space City Snacks

Every business starts with a great idea, and mine was inspired by my son. When he was starting to learn to feed himself, he would eat those little freeze dried yogurt dots by the BAGFUL. They didn’t come cheap, so I started researching how to make them at home. Surely I could make them at home! I could not make them at home. Well, not without a residential freeze dryer. I was fascinated by the freeze drying process and became more and more curious the more I researched about the benefits of freeze drying and how it transformed food. I read all that I could about the actual process, joined online groups to see what everyone out there was deciding to freeze dry, and started becoming very serious about starting something with a freeze dryer. I just didn’t know where the journey would take me. Read more>>

Jasmine Nickerson | Student esthetician and skincare specialist

I have sensitive skin, very careful about what I place on my skin, the I had my son in 2018 and realized his skin was just as sensitive as mine and we had to be careful of what we used. I went to the doctor one time got the topical cream it didn’t work, that’s when me and my spouse I decided I could make something better and that was natural and actually worked. We started then on making our first butter. I simply wanted to offer a skincare line designed for those with sensitive skin Read more>>

Patrice White | Boutique Owner

I have always been passionate about fashion and self expression. Fashion is a way to physically express your personality, a statement on who you are choosing to be in that moment! I love seeing women walk around boldly letting the world know who they are without even saying a word. Over the years, I have noticed that the really cute clothing selection for my curvy ladies was slim. I believe everyone deserves to look amazing, regardless of current “beauty standards.” A year ago I seriously began thinking about starting an online boutique that caters to most women, but I didn’t know where to start. Read more>>

Melis Kilinc | Owner and Founder of Lucius’ Dog Bakery

When I realized that most dog treats have sugar, unsafe chemicals, preservatives, and even car wax (carnauba) in them, I wanted none of that for my fur babies, Lucius and Nugget. So, I began baking for them! First I made peanut butter cookies. Then inventory extended to Dognuts, Mini Bundt Cakes, Pupcakes, Birthday Cakes, Waffles, Iced Cookies, Ice-creams, Barkuterie Boards, Dog Macarons and many more. Read more>>

Shamarah Victorian | Entrepreneur | Nail Technician | Future Lawyer

My thought process behind starting my business comes from me being obsessed with phone cases, glasses, and accessories. I was at a point in my life where I wanted to have influence and make girls feel like they were different not because of who they were. Just so happen I had a friend who had a clothing business so talking about what I had wanted to do was exciting to them, so I was motivated right there to start my business. Nothing came easy, doing research and trying to find products that I thought were worth it was tough, but I got everything together and went from there. My family and friends supported me tremendously. I was scared but I went ahead and started the business journey. Read more>>

Gina Galeoto | Social Media Mentor

I simply wanted freedom over my own time! I had sat down to do the math one day and discovered that I’d spend 10 years at a desk if I worked a 9-5 until I retired and, after that realization, it almost didn’t seem like a choice but to start my own thing, be my own boss and take my time and life back. Read more>>

Chanell Hill LCSW | Teen Therapist and School Social Worker

My thought process behind starting Teen and Co Wellness and Consulting PLLC was to create a safe space for teens to thrive. As well as bridging the gap in the minority community pertaining to mental wellness. I thought back to my struggles with trauma and social emotional issues as a teen and the lack of support I had due to stigma, miseducation and silence. My journey towards mental wellness began as a young adult. Read more>>