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.

Rachel Klaassen-Bosworth | Social Haus Social Media

After participating in the 2017 Women’s March, I was incredibly moved to do what I could to forge an alternative path for the women of the world wanting to create something of our own. I didn’t know what or how I was going to do that, but I did have three things going for me: 1. My dad is a restaurant owner and artist and I’ve always wanted to have a business of my own 2. After several years of working in various roles in the nonprofit arts fundraising world, I had developed a unique and well-rounded set of skills 3. I’m quite tenacious – you can thank my parents for that – and once I’ve made my mind up about something, I’m going to find a way to make it happen After many ideas, iterations, and trial-runs, Social Haus was born! Read more>>

DeMarco Howard | Owner & Founder

At an early age, I knew that I wanted to have a business of my own. After working for other dance studios in Abilene, Texas and Missouri City, Texas, I knew that there was a way to combine the great things that I experienced at one studio while remembering the not so great things I witnessed at the other. I wanted to create a fun and educational space for the entire family to come an express their creativity. Each student that walks through the door is greeted with a kind face to make sure they know that there is someone there that truly cares about them. Starting a business came from following a passion. Finding different programs that give our kids what they need while appealing to what they want is our goal. Generating revenue from a passion is what we consider a win-win as everyone takes something home from the experience. Read more>>

Juliette Haegglund | Cookbook Author, Chef & Food Photographer

I discovered my passion for food a few years ago and decided to start a parallel career as an author, chef and food photographer. Starting my business gave me the opportunity to tap into my parallel career and grow and develop new skills. It also gave me a sense of independence and control over my life and future Read more>>

Linda Stalters | Founder & CEO

I had a solo psychotherapy practice in the Washington, DC area before I moved to Houston, TX. I decided against starting another practice because I didn’t know how long I would be in Houston and transitioning patients with serious neuro-psychiatric brain illnesses to a new therapist is difficult for the patient. It was important to start an organization that focused on helping people who live with the most challenging, most misunderstood, most untreated illnesses such as schizophrenia, schizo-affective and bipolar brain illnesses with psychosis. Since there wasn’t such an organization, I started the process and gathered a steering committee comprised of diagnosed individuals, caregivers, professionals, an attorney and lay people to determine the composition of the organization. Read more>>

Letrice Mason | Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner

I wanted to create a space for holistic selfcare. Read more>>

Josh and Lezli Townsend and Alley | Owners

Like so many things, it started with an idea. Something we were looking for that didn’t exist in the area. We always complained about not having anyone to drive us around to the wineries whenever we would visit Fredericksburg. There are lots of great services and tour companies, but nothing that focused on smaller groups and customized itineraries. We wanted to go where we wanted, when we wanted, with just us and our friends. That service didn’t really exist. After a life change and a long road trip that included a stop to visit wineries on the way home, Vintage Car Service was born. Read more>>

Shibani Patil | Business Owner

I have always been enamored by the idea of entrepreneurship, building something yourself and not being impacted by the usual corporate glass ceiling. While it was something I have always wanted to do, I did not think one should not dive into business blindly without making sure it made financial sense. For example, having a chain of laundromats or dry-cleaning stores, as unsexy as they are, may make more financial sense than having a jewelry store. However, after exploring and dipping my toes in a few entrepreneurial ventures, I realized that one must enjoy what they are doing to be able to endure the entrepreneurial journey which can often be long, lonely and difficult. Read more>>

Dr. Ilene Harper | Founder & Executive Director

I wanted to make a difference in the lives of students and families who may not have access to opportunities to achieve their dreams and desired goals in life. Read more>>

Christyn Breckenridge | Entrepreneur

Eats, sleeps, & breathes the world of eyewear. When it comes to designing a frame or fitting a face , Christyn is strategic in blending her social philosophy & style influence . The Memphis raised , Houston paid enthusiast pays homage to her great grandmother & her sorority (Delta Sigma Theta) for instilling the values of community service, academic excellence & infinite fashion within her. She studied Occupational Therapy at Tennessee State University (same school as Oprah) before working in luxury real estate for 8 years. After being laid off & watching her father battle glaucoma she realized her hobby needed something more meaningful. She organized a mission around her glasses to eliminate vision problems and it’s consequences during her yearly overseas missionary travels. Read more>>

Beeta Mohajeri | Private Chef & Owner

I started BeetzEats because as Chefs, what’s taken away from you first is freedom to create your own menu, and the direct appreciation from the consumer that comes along with it. It was almost selfish, to be honest. I wanted that instant gratification of feeding my client something delicious and knowing it satisfied them. I also wanted to create something that was stable, something i had control over. Something with multiple streams of income, that wouldn’t crash during lets say “a pandemic”. Everyone who’s always told me “you can’t have 3 businesses, you have to pick one” was shocked, i think, at the success we achieved when everything else fell to pieces. Covid has been a crazy time for everyone, including us at BeetzEats. But it proved how stable building a business by word of mouth really was. Read more>>

Ramiro and Elidet Alvarado | Owners

I was working in corporate America and was fired 7 days before the birth of our first child. On that day November 29, 2012 I vowed never to never work for anyone else ever again. 19 Months later we opened our Gym Abba Fitness. Read more>>

Amy Vance | Owner

When I first started Eco Modern Concierge, I was working in oil & gas and did it on the side to make extra money during college. I knew I needed to make extra money to pay for college, living expenses, etc. and tried to think of something that I could do on the side. Once I went to grad school I had built up my clientele and went full time. When I first started I offered house and pet sitting services as well and then narrowed it down to doing mostly just professional organizing and personal assistant tasks. 15 years later I still love what I do and we help residential and business clients with their professional organizing and personal assistant needs. Read more>>

Veronica Rademacher | Chef, Founder & Holistic Nutritionist

As a professionally trained Houston chef, my love for food, high-quality ingredients, flavor as well as providing others (and myself) with a positive food experience, have always been very important to me. I also have a huge passion for health and fitness and proceeded to further my education as a holistic nutritionist. The thought process and inspiration behind starting my own company came out of sheer frustration for not being able to conveniently find fresh, local, balanced, tasty meals that haven’t been sitting on a store shelf for multiple days. If I couldn’t find it, I decided to create it. Leaving my profession as a restaurant chef to start my own concept was scary but the potential growth opportunity of having my own company far surpassed what I would ever achieve working under someone else in the industry. Read more>>

Jacki James | Founder & President

Kindness Matters came about very organically. After my son died, I wanted to do something to help other kids like him who were bullied in school. We started as a simple Facebook page, which took off. I was then asked to tell Peyton’s story at a local high school and things took off from there. After about 6 months, I filed to become a 501c3 non profit and appointed a Board of Directors to help with the big picture things. I am still the only “employee” though I don’t take a paycheck. Read more>>

Eustacia Cobb | Entrepreneur & Private Chef

At the time I was working for a well known local business in St Peters Missouri and I thought to myself, I can do this. I had worked as soon as I was old enough to do so but I didn’t pursue either of my dream careers. I was making what I thought was good money but with that being said I knew that was only my cut. So I was definitely driven by bringing in more money. Read more>>

Dabrina Sandifer

I’ve always been a self-starter with an entrepreneurial spirit from an early age. I’ve thought and started various ventures during my time. Founding an arts based entity was a thought here and there. I was managing an art gallery/event space in the Montrose area and the owners abruptly decided to dissolve the gallery after getting a lucrative offer to lease the space. I was out of a job as well having to let go of incredible exhibitions, some of which I was set to curate, that I was looking forward to. Due to that and a series of experiences leading up to that moment, I decided I would not experience that again. I wanted to create something that provided quality product. Read more>>

Kate Khmel | Matchmaker & Relationships Expert

I’m very a creative and independent person with a set of different talents. I could really integrate all of my needs and skills by starting my own company. I can be unhappy just for so long, be it relationships or career. I’ll always be looking for ways to feel happy and balanced in life. Read more>>

Shantell Johnson | Business Owner

I have always had a crafty and entrepreneurial spirit. When my grandmother died and I was helping to clean out her home, I saw so many crafts and handmade items she made. I decided to get back into my own crafting. People saw it and wanted to purchase. I started a business and named my business in honor of her. Read more>>

Scott Gehman | Composer, Audio Engineer & Professor

I’ve been a musician and composer since my teen years, so making a living this way was always a goal of mine. During my high school (HSPVA) and university (NTSU and Rice’s Shepherd School) training, I quickly learned that if I were to succeed as a musician, I would need to make every employment opportunity move me closer and closer to a career as a composer. The first self employment opportunity I had in high school was teaching amateur musicians, arranging music for bands and orchestras and producing location recordings for local symphonies and ensembles. I continued this through university, along with retail music/sound related jobs at record and electronics stores. My first full time business was after I graduated: I taught saxophone and clarinet at Houston are middle and high schools, and continued to write and arrange and produce music and recordings for local ensembles and vocalists. Read more>>