Thinking through whether to start a business – whether to take the risk, whether to go out on your own – isn’t easy. So we asked some entrepreneurs we admire to tell us about how they thought through the process of starting a business.

Vanessa Harrigan | Entrepreneur

I knew if I wanted to be wealthy I couldn’t make it happen working for someone else. I wanted the luxury of creating something that was mine and I can actually be proud of it. Read more>>

Jeremye Vallot | DJ & Event Curator

I started to DJ due to my love for music. i always listened to music on the radio and listen to how the DJs would mix the music. When i was younger my dad was a bartender at a Club in Houston called Taylor’s. Some nights i would have to go to work with him on the weekends. On those nights i would stay in the DJ booth all night. i would watch the house DJ Dj Jamming Joe control and rock the crowd night after night. Read more>>

Ryann Flint | Owner & Speech Language Pathologist

I have always wanted to open a small private practice in the Heights since I moved to Houston after graduate school. I liked the idea of being my own boss, setting up a space the way I envisioned it, and being able to manage children’s therapy experience by having my own clinic. I knew I wanted to create a pleasant, calm, and natural space for children to grow in their communication skills. I gained the confidence to open a private practice when I had my own baby. Read more>>

Tony Di Novo | Chief Relationship Officer

We started The Yard Foundation about three years ago as a Facebook group for firefighter training. When our friend’s son was diagnosed with cancer, we used the group to raise money to help with his bills. We raised a significant amount of money, and John’s accountant suggested we organize as a non-profit. Our core value is to be transparent with where the money is going, and we have a thorough vetting process to ensure that our grants have a meaningful impact. Read more>>

Destiny Lanay | Serial Entrepreneur

My mom has always told me that I have my dads hustle and ambitious spirit. I have always been a leader and working for someone else forever was never my end goal. I want to be able to move at my own pace and control my own narrative. Read more>>

Sandra Morgan | Publishing and Media House Director – Morgan Pierce Media & Publishing

I’ve owned and operated several businesses throughout my life/career, including a current business, a digital marketing company called The Network Chefs. Each of those businesses stemmed from a need that arose within my own work life, i.e., the digital marketing company was created because I needed a way to market my other businesses. So, rather than hiring some other company to do it for me, I started my own company, which has also enabled me to help other companies market their businesses online. Read more>>

Quiera Young | Head of George + Loyse

George + Loyse began with a vision of encouraging people to take time for themselves. I was able to develop several natural products that were multi-purpose so that there was no excuse as to why people wouldn’t indulge in selfcare. Read more>>

Lucy Duong | Nails Artist

Starting your own business is not an easy task. It required researching, learning, growing and dedicating to each steps to make it happened. I have been working as a nail technician for 15 years. When i was a little girl, my mom took me to a shop in Vietnam. After watching and observing the tech who did my mom’s nails, i told my mom i want to be a nail technician when i grew up. Read more>>

Alexander Esquivel | Entrepreneur & Street Chef

I learned how to be an entrepreneur from watching my parents own their own transmission shop. By the age of six, I already had a hands on experience in the family business. It didn’t really feel like work all the time, since my family was there. I remember being done with a really big job and my dad would say let’s go on vacation. It was normal, no check in with the boss, no seeing if your wife could take the same days. Read more>>

Hender Bastidas | Proud Roofing & Solar Owner

The idea of “Proud Roofing & Solar” came to me one day when I was in a beautiful lake very close to Houston, one of those places that make you think too much and wish they were always there for you and we don’t damage them with time, as we damage everything and that thought led me to think about what I was doing to contribute to the planet and the damage that we humans cause. Read more>>

Kim Petitt | Small Business Owner

M-POWERED’s Beyond My Limitations Collection is Christian Apparel for men and women that was designed to empower, inspire, and serve as a testament that one can overcome and succeed despite their limitations through God. If we were honest, many of us would admit that we struggle with having negative thoughts about ourselves or feeling constrained by our limitations. Ideals such as “I am not capable of doing that.” “I could never become that.” “I don’t have the resources to do that.” To be transparent, I know what it’s like to have these battles. M-POWERED is more than simply a business name; it represents my journey. Read more>>

Matthew Marcotte | Aggie, Son, Brother, and Pool Expert

I ultimately wanted more control over the work I produce. I spent 5 years in oil and gas as an analyst, and I felt after Covid that I wanted to join the family business and drive my own destiny. Read more>>

Ashley Zelaya | Owner of Ocean Curls

Starting a business takes a lot of self-motivation and sacrifice. I always had the idea but just never had the time to invest in making the product or even to market it. Until one day, I said I had to make time to create this hair product that will not only help me but so many other curly hair girls. Unfortunately, COVID hit, and I lost my job in the process, which made it difficult for me to continue investing in creating this cream. Read more>>

Patrick Moss | Actor & Author

The thought process behind me starting my own business was being creative in my own right and protecting what was mine. Working under someone else limited my ideas and restrained me from being visually expressive. The concept of bringing my visions to life would only happen if I could develop them myself. At that point I saw fit to build a brand and create Black Santa EFX, LLC. Read more>>

Cheyenne Hutchinson | Momprenuer & Retired Athlete

I always knew I wanted to start my own business Be my own boss and have my own brand that stayed within what I loved and was passionate about but can also help others as well. I wanted to create a brand that was able to make women feel confident and beautiful all while being comfortable in good quality and affordable athlesiure. Read more>>

Jason D’Errico | Financial Consultant

I wanted to create an additional stream of income for my family where we experience financial freedom while leveraging my expertise in finance and Microsoft Excel to solve a problem for small business owners. This is when I found a need for financial modeling and providing financial insight for businesses on various freelance websites. I decided to pursue a financial consulting business that creates custom financial models, modeling templates and financial analysis for small businesses. Read more>>

Shandelynn Hillard | Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist & Life Coach

As a child I always dreamed of being a teacher, however, being a business owner had never crossed my mind. It was sometime while in graduate school the thought came to me, I wanted to see if I would be able to create a company that could be successful and help others in the process. Read more>>