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.

Elise Gipson | Founder & Experience Curator | The Experience by EG Event Planning

The thought process behind starting my business, The Experience by EG | Event Planning, stemmed in a season of self discovery. I was approaching my college graduation and had that feeling of “what do I do next?”. Read more>>

Samantha Lombardo | Family Photographer

I actually started in photography about 5 years ago. I started with family and friends, it naturally progressed to where I am now as a professional photographer. I made the leap about 6 months ago to focus on photography in order to spend more time with my little girls and do what I love. It was a scary leap but totally worth it. Read more>>

Tara Torres | Clinical Nutritionist

It honestly kind of fell into my lap after leaving my previous position. I was previously working in a fast paced medical clinic with a high patient load, demanding hours, and a long commute. I was juggling family life as a single mom of two and a full-time grad school load. I reached a point where the demands between work, school, and life were starting to wear me down and I had to make some hard decisions. Taking care of my health (mental and physical), family, and completing grad school was the priority. Read more>>

Maira and Marlene Delgadillo | Small Business Owners

friends. We’re gift givers! It brings us a lot of happiness to gift our friends/family personal handmade gifts. We wanted these gifts to not only identify with their cultura but with their current self. We grew up in a mexican american household, spanish is our first language. Read more>>

Ci’era Spencer-Mattox | Attorney & Baker

I actually started my business by accident as I never planned on opening my own bakery. In December of 2019 I made cookie tins for a couple of my friends and coworkers and they enjoyed them so much they paid me to bake some for their friends and family as Christmas presents. Read more>>

VONETTA BERRY | Body Artist and Creative writer

When I was twelve my brother was turning 6, and begged my mother. for a clown for his party. She said that it wasn’t in the budget, so I taught myself to do magic, dressed as a clown, and face painted to entertain for his birthday party. Read more>>

Jordan Spruill | Dance Artist and Creative director

My thought process behind starting my own business was to make sure the next generation that comes along in the dance and fashion industry has more resources and opportunities than we did. It’s very hard to pursue a career in this field because we aren’t supported as much when it comes to being a full time and/or part time job. Read more>>

Miguel Salazar | Photographer/Videogra

Maryann and I began our professional photography career as assistants to a local photographer. While we valued our time there and learned a lot of lessons along the way, we began seeing things that we would do differently. One important thing to us has always been developing a human connection to the people we photograph and the events we go to. Read more>>

Destiny Pierre | A foodie & content creator

Cocoandeats is more of a hobby than I would say business (although it has the potential to become one). Cocoandeats is a brand, it’s me. What made me start the page was my love for going out to eat and people always asking me “where is this place?”, or receiving dms like “that looks good, where that’s at?”, and even being told “you always eating good”. Since young my parents got me accustomed to going out and trying new foods, so it stuck with me into my adult life. I take pride in eating GREAT. Read more>>

Eman Ismail | Email Strategist & Copywriter

Before I started my business, I was working for a local charity running their communications department. I learnt so much at that job, but ultimately it just didn’t work out. To get there, I had to commute to a different city most days – and with a then a 2-year-old, it was all too much. Read more>>

Sandi Sagerian | President Partners-4-Paws & Retired RN

I was meeting with friends when the issue of heartworm disease in shelter dogs the lack of testing, prevention, and treating infections came up. We researched and developed a business proposal to present to the administrative staff of the shelter we were all volunteering for at the time. They declined to implement the program so we decided to form a 501(c)3 and help the animals ourselves. Read more>>

Gwendolyn Riley | Executive Chef

I can remember around age 13, when I cooked my first meal that I’ve always wanted to explore the Culinary Arts World. With Losing My Job in Education of 8yrs, I decided that this wouldn’t be a better time to Explore Culinary Arts. Read more>>

Nick Preston | CEO, CNP Luxury Transportation

I always saw myself growing up to be an entrepreneur. A lot of successful and powerful figures within my community on the Southwest side of Houston, TX. owned businesses and became by role models. I liked the idea of being able to build something from scratch and creating a culture where people would want to work for me. Read more>>

Stephanie Larsen | Artist

I kind of fell into self employment life in 2018. I was actually a hairdresser and tired of having salon after salon that I worked at close, and constantly having to pack up and find a new place to work. The salon world has always been a bit chaotic, salons tend to be independently owned and subject to the same high failure rate as any other small business. Read more>>

Morgan B. | Fashionpreneur

The thought process behind starting my own business was to help moms, like me, feel beautiful while wearing their outfits multiple ways to fit their growing lifestyle. As a mom you do so much and have to be multiple places at different times. I started off as a blog showcasing different ways to style 1 item multiple ways, and letting people know where they could shop that item. Read more>>

Candace Almy | Artist – Specialized in Photography

Very young I knew my creativity was above the rest; I knew what I had would take me far, so it began. In 2009, I started THEHYPEISDEAD, LLC and it has blossomed into the strong brand it is today. The mission for my brand is to spread self-awareness, knowing what YOU like and enjoy, and go for it. Just because something/someone is trending, doesn’t mean its for you. Follow where your heart leads, not the internet. Read more>>

Meagan Kuharski | Salon Owner, Stylist, LGBTQ+ Activist

My story differs from most that start their own businesses. I started working at SalonTrose is 2019 and was asked to take over the business the year after the peak of Covid. The founder of the business’s husband received a job offer in Germany and she approached me in June of 2020 to ask me to carry the SalonTrose torch after she left. For almost a year I had to keep the sale of the salon secret, which is difficult, and anyone who works in a salon with less than 20 employees can tell you that word travels SUPER FAST. Read more>>

Kendra Janel Harrison | Loctition & Hairstylist

Growing up i wanted to be a police officer or a teacher, but then my Mom moved me to the boonies where i felt like civilization had taken a turn for the worst, but i definitely learned to love it. When we first moved to Richards, Texas we would have to drive 30 minutes to a hour just to get our hair done and i never like it. Read more>

Tierra McManus | Beauty Supply Owner

House of J. Lorraine is a Black-Owned beauty supply store. We decided to open our store to be able to provide a level of customer service that is unmatched. We also have first-hand knowledge about many of the products in our store, so we are able to provide direct testimonials to our customers. Read more>>

Alec Ramirez | CEO of The Lash Head

When it came to starting The Lash Head, I honestly had no idea what it was I wanted my business to be or how I was going to go about starting it. At the time I was a year into my business classes and going through the material constantly left me inspired and ready to get my feet wet as an entrepreneur. Read more>> 

Manikka Trim | Stylist, Salon Suite Owner, Mentor & Cosmetology Instructor

Well, let’s just say I didn’t want anyone delegating my time and how much fun I should be having at work. I mean, don’t get me wrong I’ve had a job or two or way more and I just didn’t like punching a clock. The more they told me to stop being goofy the more I didn’t want to come to work. Read more>>

Terrance Palmer & Natural Sekhmet P. | CEO, Designer & Owner

My thought process was to start a family business that can be passed down to our children and accumulate generational wealth. Arts and crafts has been a hobby of mine since childhood, so it was great to make money doing what I loved to do. It was also a way to spend time with the children and teach them that skill took patience and time. Read more>>

Markesha Wattree | Educational Products Creator

I didn’t initially set out to start a business. My focus was to find unique ways to reinforce critical foundational academic skills. I created lessons, games, and activities for children and families to supplement the curriculum. Read more>>

Sharelle Reed | Event Supply Rental and More!

As a mother of four, I find myself always planning events! I can attest to how costly event supply rentals can be. Events have been my passion for as long as I can recall, and now I have the opportunity to offer cost efficient event supplies to others! The only opposition that was standing in my way was me. A good friend of mines told me that I just need to “start”! My ultimate goal is to expose my children to several career options, one being a successful entrepreneur. Read more>>

James Lindsey, P.E. | Podcast Host & Structural Engineer

I’m a very extroverted person and enjoy bringing people together. In 2018 I started hosting various events including brunches, day parties and listening parties under my company J Linz Entertainment. The following year I was inspired to form a podcast under this same brand called Full STEAM Ahead. I want to bring the STEM/STEAM world into the limelight and do it in a creative manner. Read more>>

Aylissa Hall | Artist, Illustrator, & Maker

I’ve always loved art but never considered myself an artist. I never thought it was possible to make a living doing art and that it could only ever be a hobby for me; One, because being an artist wasn’t ever presented to me as a “serious job”, and two, because I didn’t think anyone would like my work enough to buy it. Read more>>

Mahlet Yohannes | Founder of silks of Sheba

Silks of Sheba is influenced by my many years of traveling across the world. I immersed myself in the different cultures, languages, and experiences that I encountered throughout my career. In the past 10+ years, I have been lucky enough to visit more than 70 countries. This has been a wonderful way to see the world and become immersed in the design community. Read more>>