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.

Micah Pegues | Fashion Influencer, Style Expert, Boutique Owner

Fashion has always been apart of my life since I was a little girl. I watched my mother operate her boutique, select various trends per season, and educate young entrepreneurs in the field of fashion. I fell in love watching her design and create statement pieces, so ⁣I became her muse and assisted with photoshoots and attended various fashion weeks. This inspired me to utilize my business degree and start my own fashion boutique. Fashion makes me feel confident and comfortable because there isn’t a right or wrong answer when it comes to it. It is my way of expressing myself and stepping out of my shell. ⁣Let’s just say I picked up her torch and I’m running with it! ⁣Read more>>

Amanda R. Woomer | Paranormal Researcher & Author

I’ve always been interested in the paranormal ever since I had a ghostly encounter when I was seven years old. I began reading books, watching shows, and in 2004, I went on my very first “ghost hunt.” Over the next eleven years, I dabbled in paranormal investigation going on various hunts and tours at places like the East Martello Museum (home of Robert the Doll), the Farnsworth House in Gettysburg, and the Hawthorne Hotel in Salem. But it was after my brother Jed passed away in 2015 after a battle with pediatric cancer that my innocent curiosity transformed into a passion. I needed to know what happens to us once we die, and so I began to really research and investigate the paranormal. Read more>>

Latonya Benford | Custom Apparel

I wanted to create a business where I could express my creativity and create generation wealth for my family. Generational wealth, in my opinion, is very important nowadays. It’s huge to be able to pass something down to your family when your gone or even retired. I wanted to have something to leave behind for my sister’s children to own one day. I dedicated my business name in honor of my late sister. As I continue to grow my business my passion and love for entrepreneurship becomes much stronger every day. Read more>>

Patrana Saulter | Entrepreneur & Educator

The idea to start Simply Clutched surfaced since becoming a mom and realizing I no longer purchase shoulder bags, and mainly carry clutch handbags. I thought to myself I can’t be the only woman who prefers something small to carry that’s also functional. So I created a survey that I sent out to family and friends to determine if there was a market for clutches exclusively. Turns out, there was. Most of the responders said they prefer a clutch or crossbody, with functionality being their #1 priority. At that moment, Simply Clutched was born. As a woman who loves fashion, I thought why not pursue a boutique geared towards fashion that is easily accessible from the comfort of your home; plus it’s something I can personally relate to. It’s been known that when a woman looks good, she feels good, and I love the thought of making others feel good and confident. Clutches are a must-have accessory every woman carries, whether day or night, because they are practical and convenient. Read more>>

Sylvia | Owner of Makeup Sole | Professional Makeup Artist & Licensed Esthetician

My first thoughts were a whole lot of questions and some doubts… Can I do this? How can I do it? I don’t know anyone that’s ever done it. Where do I start? How do I start? This paid hobby isn’t even a “real” career-business. I didn’t want to start something and not go all the way through with it. I don’t even know if my business will be taken seriously, since its “just makeup”. Plus, I had no experience on running a business, all I knew is that I was good at makeup it came to me naturally and people were paying me to do something I truly enjoyed. Read more>>

Brittany Sanders | The Streets A&R | RihYonceWest

My initial thought process behind starting my business was to assist those who aren’t “known” to leave a legacy. It was founded sometime in the summer of 2017, to help spotlight those unheard. Featuring artists + creatives from Detroit and more. Our main goal will always be to put on for those who need it. You don’t have to be famous to leave a legacy, We serve as a start up company for all local brands and businesses. But I wanted to specialize in artist development Read more>>

Isaac Garcia | Artist

My thought process was simple “I’m good doing this, I’m going to make it happen, rather struggle doing what I love to do than struggle doing what I don’t like to do” Wanting to have my own business , my own rules. It took a lot of courage , sacrifice , research , mistakes , but at the end of the day its all part of the learning process. Read more>>

Aaron Menke | Outdoor Market Creator

During the spring and summer of 2020 at the start of COVID I was looking for work and our family had no income. At that point, my wife, Elizabeth, and I had a 2 year old son and another due in November. We were looking for a way to provide for our family and at the same time we had a heart to serve others and help small local businesses thrive during COVID lockdowns. Back in 2018 we had started “Katy Farmers Market” in Katy, TX but we moved away from the Houston area at the end of the year and postponed the market. We already had a little experience on how to create outdoor markets so we thought maybe this could be something we start again. Read more>>

Isaac Mitchell | CEO and Founder of Mary Ellen’s Kitchen and Mitchell ManageIt

During the pandemic, I started doing research on the top businesses that are recession proof and the food industry caught my attention. After I started looking more into it, I discovered that food trucks are very popular and profitable in the Houston, TX area. I decided to open up a seafood food truck in honor of my mother because seafood was her favorite food. My mother, Mary, passed away last year from cancer so it was a fire that was lit in me to make sure that I started a business honoring her presence and named the truck, Mary Ellen’s Kitchen. Read more>>

Begoña Chapital | Artist and designer

It was definitely to empower women, I was going trough a divorce back in time and realize how vulnerable were the women even in a “confortable situation” so I was thinking if I am struggling I wouldn’t imagine the women from small comunities in Mexico where they have to work all day for not fair prices. So I started designing some accesories and handcrafted by women in tiny locations in Chiapas and Puebl, all of them struggling as me, even if this wasn’t a fortune this tiny commerce between us would make a difference in their life. Read more>>

Stephanie Wong Martinez | Creative Designer & Pediatric Occupational Therapist

My business started out as a creative outlet while studying for my Masters in Occupational Therapy in 2015. I focused more on wirework and gemstone jewelry back then but found that my classmates and professors really loved my work! I would sell a few pieces here and there but didn’t really go full-fledged into a business except registering my business name. In 2017, I was a year into my occupational therapy career at a Level 1 Trauma hospital and needed a cute badge holder because my standard hospital logo one fell apart. I did some online searching but couldn’t find one I liked, so I decided to make one. Read more>>

Emily Lentini | Content Creator & Social Media Manager

Ever since I was a young girl, I was always creating scenarios & planning out businesses, plans, & systems (probably as early as late elementary school) where I was an owner or a manager or a superstar, you name it. In high school, I learned about YouTubers, bloggers, & “influencers” even though that term was just starting while I was in high school. I didn’t know what I wanted to be when I grew up or anything like that, but I did know I wanted to share things & help people. I didn’t know what exactly I wanted to share, but I knew that my passion was to serve others through my own experiences & help others by using my gifts & knowledge. From high school to my sophomore year of college, I started a Youtube channel & posted a few videos, I started a few blogs, & I did several other things until my junior of college where I started to consistently post on Youtube. Read more>>

Constance Benham | Owner and Operator if a women’s boutique

I was not happy at my last job. I had worked in a boutique for 14 years and loved the atmosphere and people. Seeing me so discouraged most everyday my husband suggested I take over this boutique that was for sale. With many prayers we took the leap and bought it. It was furnished and had some inventory so we had to stock up. So glad I did it. Read more>>

Jessica Collins | Group Fitness and Personal Trainer

Fitness has always been a huge part of my life. Starting with sports when I was younger (elementary school), through college, and all the way into adult life. There became a time in my life where I was “content” in the job I had, but felt like something was missing. Fitness had left my life during that time, but came back in a big way, when I realized “life” happened and I had gained quite a bit of unwanted weight! So I dove back into fitness, fell in love in a whole new way, got certified and decided THIS, is what I want to do with my life! I took the necessary steps and a year later was training group fitness with Camp Gladiator full time! Read more>>

Betsy Stergiou & Anastasia Papasideris | Founders of Ammos and Sea

Greece is a beautiful country filled with history, culture, and natural, rustic splendor. Although Greece has always been a major travel destination and best known for its scenery and history, there is so much more to the country. Walking through downtown Athens or Thessaloniki, hiking the trails of Arcadia, exploring the cobble stoned streets of the islands, you can always find something new and interesting that you’ve never seen before, a surprise around every corner of the country. This inspired us to promote and celebrate all the specialties born in Greece, with the hope to evoke the same enthusiasm and excitement we feel from this rich, ancient country. Although we were born and raised in the US, we have an innate love for the country of our ancestors. Read more>>

Brittiney Chambers | Professional Organizer/Home Stylist

Growing up as the middle child of a large family living in a modest size home, we had to be creative with the use of space to accommodate everyone’s unique needs. It was not uncommon to rearrange a room and in a month see the same space reused differently. Each time providing function and organization for our busy family while remaining warm and inviting to all who visited.
Since then having an organized home and life has always been a sense of calm and stability for me especially now as a mom of 2. I believe that you shouldn’t have to forgo organization for aesthetics. So when I started BChambers Designs I knew that I wanted to help everyday people to achieve a beautiful + functional sophisticated home we all deserve, by blending home decor and organization to create a custom home feel. From kitchen pantries, playrooms or mudrooms having the right systems in place is key to ensuring that your home will be a place you’ll love coming home to. Read more>>

Maurice Ross | Brand Owner

Honestly, like the name of the brand says it all started from my “Thoughts As The Smoke Flow” Every morning I would roll up, smoke and think about my goals for the day. and just like all great ideas it just came to me. As stoners we sit and think about a lot its non stop thoughts going through our heads while we are partaking in the higher life so I figured I could create something that ALL stoners would love. No matter your race, gender, background, etc. we all have our own Thoughts As The Smoke Flow!! Read more>>

Dante Thomas | Athena Handbag CEO

Creating Athena was actually a long thought process I wanted this to be perfect but I had to realize nothing is actually perfect but I had to put my best effort into it so it took months to put this business together I kept thinking ok I have a great name now I need a great product but I need to do something I always wanted to do and not just any business because this this isn’t my first business but it’s my first real successful business Read more>>

Johnnie Gonzales/ Founder Pedro Toledo/ Founder | Owners of Gimme Gomas HTX

When the pandemic Johnnie was effected by it employment wise. Hospitals were forced to close certain parts down and with Johnnie working in the back office of the medical field hours were cut. As a house hold we lost 40 hours a month. It might not seem like much but when you not only have your regular monthly expenses but, you also have the expense of caring for someone who is going through medical issues it takes its toll. Doctors appointments, surgeries, prescriptions items that were were not to be questioned whether or not if this expense can wait- It couldn’t. We had to go on a tight budget and make some sacrifices in order just to survive. Read more>>

JD Karpicke | Producer & Founder of Row 7 Films

My background is in music, learning the violin in a family of musicians from the age of 4. I didn’t have many other options, so film was a hobby and creative outlet for my true passion. I got through college studying music performance, and traveled the world continuing my studies, but something was always missing. I decided in 2011 that I needed to pursue film more directly, and that is when I took up acting. My musical background definitely aided me in this journey towards filmmaking. The medium serves as an outlet to highlight a multitude of arts, and I think that might be my favorite part. It was more of a calling than a career. Read more>>

Coach Roux | Professional Boxing & Fitness Coach

The thought process for EaDo Boxing Club was to have a boxing gym that was interactive and fun; giving you the best of both worlds i.e. learning the true craft of boxing (combinations, footwork, and defense) while combining that with the most high-intense cardio in the industry. EaDo Boxing Club’s mantra is: “The best boxing gym for anybody serious about training like a Boxer without getting hit!” Read more>>

Ryan Dillon | Brand & Marketing Consultant & Psychotherapist

For Open Book Branding, it was a lot of things. I had been in private practice as a therapist for about seven years, and I had been training other therapists on how to develop and grow their own brands for about six of those years. The long-term goal was always to go into the consulting side for therapists and helping/healing professionals, and it was actually the pandemic that sped up the process. One day I decided I wanted to do it now because I knew a lot of people would be struggling with the forced rebrand the pandemic would make their businesses go through. Read more>>

Alex Garcia | Aroma Executive Chef

I always saw myself growing up to be an entrepreneur. I liked the idea of being able to build something from scratch and create a culture where people want to work for you. When a business, or in my case my restaurant, opens and closes everyday I know that I set that up to operate. I am proud of all the obstacles and successes that we have endured as a restaurant and I know that the feeling I get from that only comes from being an entrepreneur. Read more>>

SHELIA HAIL | Interior Designer

The world of design and decorating has always threaded through my life in some capacity. It just took moving to Texas and my mother in law with the great suggestion of putting the ask out on Social Media to provide my services for Holiday decorating that I really jump started my business. I’ve always loved hosting, and providing tactile hands on items to create a welcoming and interactive atmosphere for friends when they come to my home for a party, bible study, or just coffee. Read more>>

Eddie Cabrera | Founder & Chief Creative Officer

From an early age, I have many fond memories of the relationships and strong bonds made with family and friends. From family, whose bonds are deeply rooted in faith, to lifelong friendships forged… I have always been able to see life through the unique perspective of the loving women, sisters, nieces, and amazing friends surrounding me. As a young man, those strong bonds that had become second nature to me, allowed me to thrive in the retail fashion industry where I got to make personal connections with my customers every day. Making people laugh and smile, feel special, and helping them to look and feel their absolute best created a sense of satisfaction within me. Read more>>

Heather Swearingen | Metalsmith

Honestly, starting my jewelry business was a necessity if I wanted to continue to learn and grow my skillset as a metalsmith. Investing in quality materials such as genuine gemstones, sterling silver and tools can get out of hand quickly. To my surprise, once I started selling my pieces I realized that seeing others cherish something I poured my heart and soul into brought just as much joy as actually making it in the first place. Read more>>

Karina Suarez | Small Business Owner

After many year working , i think to work again and i was passionate but something i was clear was , that i did not want to be employee, the sense of independency to created a business and support my community , connect with the customer needs and go beyond. I created this business where i can express my vision and conception where customer feel welcome , safe and foremost feel great. And also i was able to merged this with my passion for cutting edge technology and incorporated this to my practice was a great dream that was achieved. Read more>>

Courtney Bridges | Content Creator | Author | Survivor

I have always wanted to start my own business to the point I end up getting a Masters in Entrepreneurship. I started FromPainToPeace during the start of the pandemic, in a way to keep up with writing, so I could increase my comfortability level with it as well as prepare to write a few books. I always wanted to help those similar to me, those who have experienced sexual trauma in their life. FromPainToPeace is meant to help people release from their trauma and start a life journey towards peace, a peace they define regardless what decade of life they are in. It provides tips each month, food recipes to help you start a guilt free way to a healthier lifestyle and drink recipes, to remind you to still have fun and enjoy yourself. We also provide clothing, affirmations, books and conferences related to helping create your own sense of peace. Read more>>

KAE & Kay of | Philanthropists , Boutique Owners

The thought process behind starting was to create a feel good business that promotes being resilient. Being from New Orleans, La. we are taught to withstand the strong storms that will come your way in life. is a Boutique that has been nurtured by two Philanthropist that love to see people feel their best as well as look it. We went through a dark time where we lost someone very important to us. Our grief inspired our Hustle. It motivated us to build a brand that can help others as well as put us in a position to create wealth for our families. Read more>>

Adeyinka Adegoke | CEO MelaninPeople

Well to be honest, what propelled me was that I am more of a creative than an end-user. I was also being motivated by BLACK ECONOMICS. As we are well aware that black people’s economics needs some help. who can better help us than ourselves? I quickly figured out that God has a reason to put this on my mind. I decided to do something about it and this is how MELANINPEOPLE got started. Read more>>