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.

Britney Lippke | Owner & Head Trainer

When I initially decided to start Koba’s Four Paws Institute it was because I had been through the ringer with other companies I had worked for when it came to training. I saw things that I couldn’t imagine! I realized these were people I wouldn’t trust with my own service dog, Koba! It quickly made me realize that as much as I love training I could no longer do it with the companies I was with! I wanted to be able to help people in my community get the training they needed from someone they could trust! Read more>>

Karen Wood | Residential Mortgage Loan Originator #1391130

I’ve been in the mortgage industry for about 20 years, but always in a support role. 2020 was an incredibly intense year in the mortgage business and I was completely engulfed in work- work all day, every day, ALL THE TIME. After things started to settle some in 2021, I decided that without making a big, scary change, I would never be able to live the life I wanted to live. I felt like it was finally time for me to take a huge leap out of my comfort zone and work for myself instead of someone else. Once I finally took the plunge, I vowed to never work that hard for anyone but myself, ever again! Read more>>

Ceci Cano | Independent Health Coach

I worked in the stressful corporate healthcare world for 9 years too long. I worked my way up the corporate ladder only to be left feeling unfulfilled with no chance of a real work-life balance. After I had my 1st child in January of 2020 I knew I needed a change. I wanted to start my own business to have more control over my life and to make time for my family. Most importantly I wanted a business that meant something to me and actually helped other people. Health and Wellness has always been a passion of mine so when the opportunity presented itself to start my own Health Coaching business I took it as a sign from God and ran with it full force! Read more>>

Mina Banerjee | Attorney by day & Baker at night

I was not even planning on starting a business. I’m an attorney “by trade”. I enjoy entertaining, party planning and cooking/baking. At one of the parties I hosted, I made small cookie cups. I found the recipe online and thought it was such a cute idea and easy for serving to a large group. The recipe was a chocolate chip cookie filled with peanut butter and topped with hazelnut spread. My guests loved them! I took some left overs to work and my co-workers love them. On the weekends, I began testing out different combinations of cookie cups. I would try different cookies and fill them with frosting or cake. Read more>>

Kellen Kacal | Entrepreneur

I LOVE sports, and I’m passionate about giving back and using any platform or influence I may have to share the life lessons sports provide kids. I believe that sports teach discipline, fortitude, consistency, teamwork, hard work, how to deal with failure and fight through adversity, as well as conversational skills that not many other things can match. My hope is that the next generation is impacted by these foundational life skills through participating in a league hosted by K5. Read more>>

Toluwani Gbalajobi | Actor & Creator

I knew I loved baking, trying new restaurants, and meeting new people that shared the same passions as me! Those 3 were the major starting points. When I first launched my website it was right before the pandemic hit in February 2020. Originally it was a place to share amazing recipes, snack brands, and cool spots to eat. We even had a small column on the site highlighting a book of the month! It wasn’t enough to keep me active. After a while (a few weeks) I drifted away, stopped posting, and eventually forgot about it all together. Read more>>

Alyssa Bette | Business Owner

On the personal side of it, I wanted to create a platform where I could openly speak about my Mental Health and inspire others to do the same. My intention was to curate a safe space where people could purchase jewelry & accessories that advocated for something they could relate to. As for the business side of things, I always knew I wanted to be self employed. I knew I loved fashion, marketing, photography. All the things I loved most I was able to bring to life when launching my business. Read more>>

Lara Attayi | Lara Attayi and Alonso Tapia

There are a few main reasons we wanted to open a small, art-focused shop here in Houston. Firstly, we wanted to share our appreciation and love for handmade work and independent brands with our local community. We also wanted to collaborate with and support local, U.S. based, and international artists by carrying their beautiful work at our brick-and-mortar store. We strongly believe in being able to experience an artist’s work in-person and also sharing their work online and on our social media platforms to reach a wider audience. Houston is a large city, and we felt that there was -and still is- room to grow the small shop community. There can never be enough creative spaces and outlets. We wanted to provide an additional space for people to feel at home and inspired. Read more>>

Yvonne Everette | LPC-S, LCDC-I

As a black woman being able to make yourself a priority is a daunting task. Not only are there seemingly many other things that need your attention such as your family, your work and sometimes various fires that have to be extinguished first but also having limited access to healthcare and the inability of others to recognize your worth or see you as human makes it much more difficult. My daughters and I started with a desire to prioritize minority women and to assist women in achieving overall balance and wellness. Read more>>

Max Peters | Owner

For a long time, I worked in an industry that was unstable. The next layoff was always around the corner, and I experienced a few. Entrepreneurship allowed me an opportunity to find stability for myself and my family. Read more>>

Chassidy Frelow | Attorney & Owner of The Law Office of Chassidy Frelow, PLLC

I’ve always wanted to start my own law practice, so I used my experience from working for other firms and began my own practice. I wanted to able to practice the different areas of law I wanted to practice on my own terms. When you work for a firm and you’re under another attorney, you have to take the cases they allow you to take only. Having my own law firm opens up opportunities to help people with various legal issues in different areas of law. Read more>>

Gabriel Ginn | Owner and Lead Plumber

I started plumbing in 2015. The day I started I knew I was going to own a plumbing business. I immediately fell in love with everything that comes with the job. The customers, the jobs, the feeling of accomplishment, the support from my friends and family. All of it. Read more>>

Coach Cliff | Chess Instructor & Program Director

I wanted to use my gifts and talents to secure a future for myself and my family but I wanted to do it on my own terms. I also wanted to create opportunities for family time. Read more>>

Bryan Tow Down” Theriot | Rapper and Entrepreneur”

So, I remember going school-clothes shopping out of my older brother’s closet. Because we were so poor, we couldn’t afford new clothes, when it came time for school. Whenever we wanted something, we had to figure out a way to generate the money ourselves or we went without it. We had a pecan tree in our backyard, and I remember raking up the pecans and selling bags of pecans out front of my house for $5. While most people were doing lemonade stands, I was trying to wholesale pecans. Read more>>

Dr. Rich | Dentist & Author

I am a dentist by career. But I have always loved reading books and writing since I was a kid. After many years of reading, I decided to put my passion for writing into my own Christian Romance Book Series. With this, I created my own publishing company and have self published my first book series that is set to be released in July 2022. Read more>>

YungM3tro | Artist & CO-CEO of WSCA

In the music industry, much like many other industries it’s hard to get your leg in the door. Even when you do you’re met with record labels, and other big business that try to exploit new artists because they know many artists don’t know how the business works. Not to mention you usually don’t have any creative freedom. I always knew from a young age I wanted to be more than an artist, and starting my own business was always apart of the plan. Not only is having my own business making me a better artist, but being an artist helps me to be a better businessman. Read more>>

Autumn Johnson | Visual Creative

When I first started making prints it was actually because I wanted to decorate my room with my favorite artists. I made a bunch of different designs inspired by albums I could never get enough of and printed some extras to give out to my friends as gifts. Then, those same friends would ask for prints for their friends and after a while, I had a whole notes page in my phone of designs to make for other people. I think that’s when I realized this could really be something. It was like a happy accident. Read more>>

Malinda Flores | Personal Trainer

Honestly starting my own business never crossed my mind. I never thought I was capable of doing so. My goal in life was to graduate school and start my career as a coach in basketball or something that involved sports. Helping others had always made me happy. I have always been athletic, growing up playing basketball but I had never really been into weightlifting until I met my boyfriend. Seeing the results and becoming stronger and stronger became super addicting. Also in the process I became a rock climber so that helped me grow both physically and mentally. Read more>>