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.

Jason Hackenwerth | Artist

When I began as an artist, it didn’t feel as much like a choice as it did a compulsion. Read more>>

William Jackson | Former Buddhist Monk, Clinical Health Psychologist and CEO of SkillfulMeans-

At age 22 I left being an actor as an ADHD and substance abusing kid and became a fully ordained Buddhist monk in Frankfurt, Germany. That means celebate, head shaved, robe, gave away all my possessions the whole deal. I quickly developed my meditation practice and headed to Myanamar, which is a place, if you are serious about meditation you will find yourself at one point or another. 6 months into a Meditation Retreat where I was meditating 10 to 14 hours a day and just a couple of days before hurricane Nargis hit Mayanmar killing 138000 people, and almost killing me, I had two realizations. Read more>>

Christina Covert | Owner & Creative Director of Wtfaux Interiors

I had contemplated starting my business in 2019 when I came up with the name and concept but didn’t feel ready to make it official. The COVID pandemic shed a new light on how quickly life as we know it can take a huge turn, and I think for a lot of us who typically thrive on busy schedules and going from one thing to the next, it was a forced time-out. I’ve never been ignorant to how fleeting life is, but it’s become more apparent how easily we can get wrapped up in mundane things that we forget to prioritize what truly matters. Read more>>

Jamie Nicole | Certified Holistic Health + Autoimmune Strategist, Life Coach and Fitness Instructor

PLEASE TELL US MORE ABOUT YOUR BUSINESS. Hello! My name is Jamie Nicole and I am the Founder and CEO of The Natural Healing Coach, LLC and the voice behind Village Fitness with Jamie Nicole. Over the years, I have established myself as an expert in the health & wellness industry as a certified holistic health & certified autoimmune strategist, fitness instructor and health & wellness motivational speaker. Read more>>

Autumn Bockart | Artist& Interior Stylist

After 27 years of teaching sixth graders, I figured working with 11 and 12 year olds who were predisposed to having hormonal surges, I could handle any challenge. Then, Covid hit. I was eligible to leave the profession and start anew, so I did. My retirement and Covid just so happened to coincide with my husband and I becoming empty nesters. I have always loved and collected art, but teaching full time, raising two kids, and doing life with my husband, never really allowed me the time to devote to creating my own pieces. Read more>>

Robert Sleight” Timmons | Poet

It’s funny, I never imagined myself being a business owner, I just sort of stepped into. I first inked my thoughts on paper as a release during my senior year of high school. I remember being so stressed and anxious during that year. I was trying to balance schoolwork with college applications, scholarship applications, running on the varsity track team trying to advance to the Regional and State meets, and trying to figure out what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. I was carrying a lot and I needed to express myself! Unsure of the outcome, I attempted to write a poem to share my feelings. Read more>>

Mohamed Elwan | Maker

There really wasn’t any thought process. At first it started as just a side hustle when I was in school and needed to make some extra money. Being the son of immigrants, the American dream was always enforced so I ended up getting a bachelor’s in computer engineering and I worked that for a few years but I absolutely hated it and after my fourth layoff I realized that I wasn’t cut out for that lifestyle and I had a side hustle that I kind of kept throughout the entire time and it made money and I was happy doing it. So I thought to myself why not just make this my business, my full-time job and work for myself Read more>>

Chrystal Douglas | Professional Makeup Artist

I learned at the early stages of my business that I made a difference in lives women’s of women that I provided services to. Providing them with amazing customer service and quality services was one thing, but to be able to empower and uplift them was so fulfilling and rewarding. I knew from the first time I serviced someone that this was meant for me and I never gave up on bettering myself and my craft! As a woman I understand the emotions we go through and the things we sometimes face regarding confidence/self esteem, so it’s always super heart warming to enhance a woman’s natural beauty and help them to see the beauty that has always been within them from the very start. Read more>>

Mya Dixon | Owner of MAAD Hair Boutique

When originally creating MAAD Hair Boutique, I was in college. I went to school in Fayetteville, Arkansas where there was little to nothing catering to African American women’s hair. I struggled finding beauty supply stores that sold beauty products catered to African American women, I would have to drive 3 and a half hours back home every so often to even get my hair done because there were no hair stylist that did hair of my hair type, and my freshman year of college when I did not have a vehicle I would be forced to wait until the next holiday to take my hair down or get my hair done. Read more>>

Shanita Pettway | Owner and Creator of NubbersbyNIta

Being a female cigar smoker for over 15 years, there were not any cigar accessories available with females in mind. The inspiration to create came from the necessity of me wanting accessories that were not available, so I made them. Initially it began with me making cigar nubbers (also known as cigar pens and cigar picks) for myself. After a short period of time, I began receiving inquiries and requests for these items from others who saw them. Honestly, the only thought I had when I starting this business was, ‘my products may not be for everybody, but I want to carry accessories for everybody.’ Read more>>

Roshaunda RO” Ingram-Harvey | Certified Interior Decorator & Redesigner | Certified Project Manager | Certified Feng Shui Specialist | Certified Ultimate Stager | Certified Professional Organizer”

It was always my passion to own my own business, but the demands of life got in the way. Instead of pursuing my passion I went for what I then thought to be the sure thing. I figured securing a corporate job would give me security, financial stability, and time to pursue my passion even if it was as a hobby. Boy was I wrong! I slowly watched myself turn into someone I couldn’t recognize. I allowed my career to define me and right around the beginning of Covid I was in a very bad place, and I started peeling back the layers to understand where”I/ME” had gone. Read more>>

Dr. Cardez Ford, Pharm. D | Part-Owner of Pelican Logistics, Clinical Pharmacist, & CEO of Ford Fam

The idea of Pelican Logistics, LLC. was birthed in 2018 by four owners/managing members. All of us were working our respective careers, but we knew we wanted something more. All four of us have known each other since childhood, so we have always had a relationship where we would bounce ideas off of one another. Business/ownership was on our minds. We heard that trucking was a good industry to get into. None of us had any experience in the trucking industry, but one thing led to another and we found ourselves at the bank with a business plan a few months later (getting denied for loans over and over). Read more>>

Angela Mapp | Wooda Ice HTX & Vintage Ragz Clothing Co

My thought process behind starting my own business was to create an avenue for financial freedom and generational wealth. It’s about leaving a legacy for my children. Read more>>

Tiffany Hollimon | Chef & Entrepreneur

Starting my own business has always been something I’ve dreamed of doing as cliché as it may sound. To do something I’m passionate about and having the freedom to work my own schedule while still being able to be an active mom was very important to me. I’ve always worked a 9-5 but it was never something that fulfilled me and always left me feeling half empty, unappreciated no matter how hard I worked. I mean, it definitely paid the bills but I often felt like I wasn’t living in my purpose. These were definitely some of the thoughts that helped me transition into entrepreneurship. Read more>>

Rabia Saraki | Owner, Creative Director | Luxe Booth Houston

Honestly, I never imagined I would have a photo booth business or ever even considered having any kind of business. I think my love for photography and all things event planning sort of just sparked a natural process once the lightbulb went off. I was part of a friend’s wedding in Nigeria where I experienced my first photo booth interaction that really stood out. I remember going back for photo after photo all night and the excitement I felt at seeing each print just sparked so much joy for me in a way that I hadn’t imagined it could. Read more>>

Brandon Sanders | Musician, Poet, Actor, Photographer

Since a child, I have always been a storyteller. As I began to plan for my future in high school, I explored different interests and hobbies. One of those interest, was photography. After experimenting with my sisters, using them as models I realized that I was really great at creating innovative stories behind the lens. That’s when I decided to actually take it serious and invest in equipment. I think the business just came out of a need to create memories. Personally, I’ve always found it easier working on the things I love to do. Read more>>

Yumeki Harmon | CEO & Survivor

Being able to let another lady know you are not alone , I’m here to help you and allow our voice to be heard . Read more>>

Khiva Mackey | Executive Director

My thought process behind starting a nonprofit organization, is to assist and advocate for families of children and young adults with intellectual disabilities, to bridge the gap of inclusion for individuals who oftentimes overlooked. Read more>>

Maham Qureshi | Bread Baker / Business Owner

Starting my own business was definitely one of the biggest and hardest decisions I have ever made. It is also the most rewarding decision I have ever made. Since the beginning, I had always known that I wanted to start my own thing but the time just didn’t feel right. In 2021 when I started Shakkar I had already been working in the food industry for a couple of years. It was a very sweet yet frustrating experience. I enjoyed the people that I worked with but missed the creative freedom that I longed for. Going to work just meant finishing a production list which started sucking the joy out of baking for me. Read more>>

Rickeon Garrett | Tattoo Artist

I want to make an impact on our now, and future black artist. I want to inspire and encourage our black youth that they don’t always have to use anger and violence to express themselves. Having a way to express your thoughts and emotions is so important, but sadly it hasn’t always been encouraged in the black community. I hope that I can help change that by showing other black artist of all ages that we can be heard without anger and violence. Read more>>

Tajah McCullough | Houston MUA

my makeup journey began 10 years ago when i was 15 years young, it all started when i would watch my oldest cousin get ready to go out places or just even do her makeup for fun. She would try all type of different looks but she was hesitant to do looks with colorful colors like pink, green, purple, yellow you know. So that pushed me to try the things she was afraid of at the time to see if i could actually grasp the concept. So i just literally took it and ran with it ever since then i grew more love for makeup and especially since it was an escape from reality a little bit for me. Read more>>

Nate Spriggs | Contractor

Ive always had great work ethic but working for other companies you can’t always control being fairly compensated for the work and time you put in.I didn’t want my financial future to be dependent on so many other variables and that drove me to venture out where I could get the most out of the work I put in and put the pressure on me . Read more>>

Abena Tetteh | Cranial Hair Prosthesis Specialist

Being a college in freshman, I realized that I had a skill and I could become profitable. I had to discipline myself by teaching myself how to budget, how to generate income to start the business, and how to make the most out of the situation I was in. Eventually, when I started to get the hang of things, a certain energy was within me and I was able to keep that momentum going. In my business so far, experience has been the best teacher. Read more>>

Alexandra Krus | Earring Designer and DIYer

I had no intention of forming BRIGHT when I first started making jewelry. I only became interested in jewelry-making because I had a pair of earrings I wanted to redesign. Once I realized how satisfying the creative process is, I started making earrings for friends, who then encouraged me to start my own business. Read more>>

Myia Landers | Lash Artist

I have been into eyelashes since my freshman year of high school, it was something that kind of stuck with me. I know I have always wanted to operate my own establishment so it was no doubt that I should start my own lash extension business. Lash extensions make you feel beautiful with or without makeup. When I sat and thought about what could I do everyday and not get tired of–nothing else came to mind other than offering lash extensions. Read more>>

Larry Allen II | Media Conglomerate, A&R for SayCheeseTV, CEO of IndustreetsTV

The idea for Industreets TV was sparked in the Summer of 2019 after a conversation with my colleague and friend, Quindon Hall (Qthespeaker) where we brainstormed ways we could release concise information and properly brand minorities in the media. Our objective was to effectively build his brand of public speaking and trauma consultation while simultaneously working towards my goal of becoming a media conglomerate and successful filmmaker. Read more>>

Skyla Lampkin | Accountant

My thought process for starting my own business was I’d worked as an Accountant for 9years at a company and on a Monday morning we a meeting and we were all notified that the corporate office would be closing and relocating so I realized at that moment that I had to do something, I felt that I had devoted so many years to supporting someone else’s dream that it was time to put my skills and experience to work for myself and my family. I took that situation and used it as fuel to start my own Accounting/Bookkeeping Firm. Read more>>

Timesha Day | Realtor & Notary

Generational wealth! I wanted to be financially independent and be able to provide a great future for my daughter. Read more>>

Ana Mendoza | Owner of Sweet Dough creations by Ana

When it comes to baking, it is something that I have always enjoyed since I was a little girl. Through out my high school years, my “side hustle” was selling tres leches cakes to my moms friends. I did take culinary arts in high school for a couple of years and my favorite part of the course was definitely the baking. I got to compete in the county fair and won second place my first year and my second year my cake won first place and best in show. Read more>>

Oswaldo Colina | Engineer & Photographer

The truth is that I never saw this as a business, it started as a hobby, since I was very young I have had this skill in my fingers and I used to play that my fingers were just another person. It was very easy for me to walk and dance with my fingers and little by little I was perfecting the technique. Nowadays thanks to social networks I have made myself well-known and this has therefore generated an extra income with partnerships for advertising and paid collaborations. Read more>>

Sarah Hershberger | Maker of Handmade Jewelry

Yearning for a creative outlet outside of my 9-5 job I discovered the art of resin and clay jewelry making. I fell in love with the idea of being able to express myself freely without my ideas being overlooked. Bringing others confidence through affordable one of a kind jewelry was exactly what I set out to do through Yellow Nest Goods. Read more>>

Ruby and Priscilla Luna | Beauty Business owner

The Glam Junkiez brand started back in 2019 when two sister in laws shared a common interest in all things makeup. Together we were inspired to produce a product that was different in style and quality. which then lead us to our first line of lashes that are high quality with a flexible band to meet any eyes expectation. After a lot of effort, support, determination, and the power of social media we have been able to thrive and succeed thus far! Read more>>

Marcus Taylor | EntrepreNegro

9th Wonder Premium Products is a brand built on integrity. Our products are truly organic and natural. We guarantee results with all of our items! Building our brand has NOT been easy. Everyday is an absolute FIGHT, lol. From developing products to branding to building, it truly takes dedication to be successful. I’ve had to remind myself numerous times of my purpose. I want everyone to know that with focus, anything is possible. You have to really want to be successful. I came from a household of 4 people who had $100 a month to survive. Never give up. Lose, if you must, but never quit. Read more>>