We reached out to some of our favorite entrepreneurs and asked them to think back and tell us about how they decided to start a business. Check out their responses below.

Jackie Larkin | Portrait Photography

I wanted to do the thing I absolutely love while also being the mother for my kids. I didn’t want to keep working and missing milestones because my children needed a stable home. I talked about it for years but never pushed myself to peruse my life long dream of being a photographer until I was medically discharged from the Army. Then I knew starting my own business was a priority since my health needed to be taken into consideration. I knew starting my own photography business would allow me to have a income while also focusing on my health and personal life. Read more>>

Brian Gendron | Comedy Promoter, Producer, and Proforme

When I started my comedy promotion and production business, I had been doing standup comedy for just about a year and fell in love with performing, the business, and everything that comes with it. I had been affirmed that I was getting better at comedy by winning a few contests but most importantly began to recognize that I had a unique skillset of business acumen, marketing, and leadership that would be foundational to my success in the industry. Read more>>

Kimberly Watson | Photographer & Mediator

I recall sitting in my garage restoring my energy. It was raining and I looked up and begin watching the rain drops hit the tree in front on my home. It was beautiful the way the rain was hitting the tree, and I thought Wow that is amazing. I grabbed my camera and begin just taking photos. ( it is one of my favorites today). I realized in that moment that I have a treasure on the inside of me to do the things that bring joy to myself and others and KFB Photography was manifested. I have always had love for beauty and photos are the one thing that last over time and generations. Read more>>

Jon Kidwell | Leadership & Business Coach

In 2020, after 6 years in a job where I found great joy and was very successful, I was laid off. After 4 months of wrestling with applying for jobs, random and varied business ideas, what my purpose in life is, and where I felt God calling me to serve my wife, Meghan, and I were sitting talking about what to do next. She said, “Well, what do you want to do.” I blurted out, “I want to help leaders be better leaders.” She said, “That’ something.” And, this is where it began. Read more>>

Archie Craft | Educator & Entrepreneur

My thought process when starting my business stemmed from a few ideologies. 1) I had been in education for over 10 years so I knew the ins and outs of how it worked and processes I had been privy to, which were important to the business I was looking to develope. 2) Being at a charter school district I experienced higher than normal turnover so that kind of caused me to question the longevity of what I was doing both mentally and physically. Read more>>

Mercedes Montgomery | Caterer

Spring of 2021 I cooked a meal for my boyfriend, after he ate he called me, and said “this is good you know you should sell this.” My love and passion for cooking made it easy to make the decision to start U Kno It’s Good Catering. Started cooking for family and friends, then one event booking lead to the next event. Read more>>

Michael Allen | Business Management Consulting

When I started my business, I knew that I wanted to conduct business differently. My pastoral background led me to consider models that gave back to the community or donated a percentage of proceeds to charitable organizations, but that didn’t quite resonate with my vision. So, after several iterations, I landed on a model that mimics more of who I am as a person. Read more>>

Darian Lewis | DJ & Hookah Resources

I really just wanted to be the decision maker in my life from the top to the bottom. The only way I could manifest that vision was to be my own boss. Read more>>

Rena Walls | CEO, YouTuber & Makeup Artist

For me, starting my own business was the only option. I had to live in my truth an start doing what I knew I had always wanted to do. I thought that if I kept living doing the things that other people wanted me to do, I would never truly be successful in life or find true happiness. Read more>>

Bolaji Omofojoye | Waxer, Yoni Steam, Vajacial, & Organic Scrub Maker

My thought process behind B’s Beauty Bar is how will I make a difference in the women community that hasn’t been addressed. Being a young woman that had a very bad experience with painful ingrown hair, shaving bumps, chemical burns, inflammation on the vaginal skin, and hyperpigmentation. I wanted to share my ways and share knowledge on the causes and how to prevent these painful experiences. Growing up as a child, women are taught to shave with shaving sticks which as long term affects on the skin such as shaving bumps, boils, cuts, hyperpigmentation, and quick hair growth. Read more>>

Ashley Toman | Recording Artist & Songwriter

To be honest, I started my songwriting business after experiencing a lot of let downs and disappointment in this field. I took a negative feeling and turned it into something positive. I’ve been a singer my entire life, songwriting came later on. I believe songwriting was a gift from God that I found later on in life. I was always a singer, from as early as a I can remember I was singing all the time. Songwriting was something I fell into, something that came to me. I took my pain and turned it into something beautiful through my lyrics. Read more>>

Albert Prosper | Enterpriser

Ever since I was 15, I knew I wanted to be in business for myself. I remember even before then at age 12 I was doing work, not many children would do. Waking up at 6 am in the freezing cold to shovel driveways, in the spring, work in gardens of the elderly in my neighborhood, in the fall rake the leaves in their yards and other things similar to that which began to awaken the entrepreneurial spirit within me. To be completely honest, starting my own business travelcheery.com was not my doing. Read more>>

Dontrice Warren-Mcfee | Custom Wig Maker

I’ve always thought about making women beautiful, feel pretty or just hoping to give them confidence. No matter how others may view us women WE as an individual feel some sort of way about our personal look. We all have a deep down insecurity about something on our bodies from head to toe. So I knew for sure creating custom wigs would be a big transformation for us from women of color or no color battling with cancer, alopecia, thinness or just not having that POP of beauty on a daily basis Read more>>


Olu Toba | Entrepreneur / CEO, African Food Embassy

The idea of starting my business began as a burden. I remember being faced with a very uncomfortable situation while trying to get some uncommon African food items. I began to think about how many other people would have to go through this same challenge because there were not many options around. I saw a need and I knew I had to get involved to make a difference. Read more>>

Cassia Rodriguez | Licensed Cosmetologist & Professional Wax Specialist

I would never in a million years think I would ever be owning my own business. This was something I just jumped into not knowing where to start, I was working at a waxing franchise for about 9 months until I couldn’t take management any longer, I felt like I was walking on eggshells, my manager was very micromanaging, and she made everything seem like it was a huge issue, she would never admit she was wrong and as an employee they expected us to show fake positivity. I was thinking i have to get out of this place ASAP, so I started looking into suite rentals and all the supplies I needed. Read more>>

Claudia Trevino | Body Sculptor and Designer

Throughout my life, I have felt a passion to support, encourage, and help women and girls with self-confidence and self-image. I have participated in community outreach and prayer groups, along with mentor counseling of young Latina women. This awareness and importance of addressing self-image concerns among women is ultimately the foundation for how my business was launched. It all started one day when I wanted to schedule a body massage for myself. Read more>>

Ashley Hall | Body Contour Specialist

My reasoning behind my business came when I wanted to enhance my curves but didn’t want to go “under the knife”. I researched medical spas and found a few that offered Ultrasonic Cavitation and that’s when My lightbulb went off. I went and experienced the services, decided this was something I could be passionate about doing for others, and begin growing my business plan. Read more>>

Desiree Collins | Kreator

The thought process behind BlacKreations was to give people the outlet to “say what they wanted to say” or “use their own words” to express their sentiment. It’s personal. Its thoughtful and allows the receiver to see their importance in your life. In today’s chaotic world, I feel its important to have that highlight in relationships. Read more>>

Alan Conover | Hairstylist

I started my business nine years ago to great a great place to work. When I looked around at the available options out there I knew I would be happiest starting my own business. And at thirty years in the business, I was interested in tackling a different kind of challenge. while I still love my work behind the chair, the added challenges of running a business has been very rewarding. Read more>>

Kenneth Daugharty | Owner of KD Cleaning Services

The initial thought behind starting a business was to create freedom for my family and I. With having a wife in a wheelchair she’s still superwoman and children at home we homeschool, we wanted the freedom for us to embark on things together and fully be involved as a family more often than not. Read more>>

Nikhat Jharia | CEO & Stretch Therapy at The Stretch Barre

If I was asked, “What was that aha moment that led you to starting your own business?” I’d have nothing to offer. I didn’t experience that aha moment – one moment I was a newly graduate with an overwhelmingly strong opinion about the healthcare system, and then we were 6 months in, incorporating The Stretch Barre, LLC. Read more>>

Myriam Moreno | Licensed esthetician

I wanted to create a place where everyone and anyone could come to with out having to worry about the cost being extremely high. Skin care is definitely important but sometimes it takes a back seat to other things in life that are more important. I wanted to make sure everyone was able to afford to come in and not have to worry about breaking the bank. I also started my business to be and set and example for my children. Anything and everything is possible with hard work, passion and dedication. Read more>>