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.

Mariam Elghani | Founder

My thought process was a bit sporadic, I’ll admit. Initially I just wanted to make the garlic dip/sauce available to people who love it as much as I do. I didn’t realise just how much was going to go into it, how hard it was going to be, or how much investment it would need to really get it into the hands of consumers. My whole vision was that this Mediterranean Lebanese garlic dip/sauce will eventually be so widely used and common in households in the same way that hummus is today. Read more>>

Haley Patterson | Soap Dealer and Holistic Therapist

I saw that my sisters son was struggling with eczema and after trying all the things, I knew there had to be better. After researching and looking up products, I realized that an all natural product would be better for not only him but for lots of people…..so honestly my one goal was to help others with there mental, emotional and physical help at a cost that everyone could afford. Read more>>

Kimberly Moore | Interior Designer & Decorator

As a veteran hairstylist for 20 plus years, I became board and searched for a new passion I was gifted in. I realized that Interior Design was always in my heart. While the pandemic was nation wide upsetting, it was my blessing in disguise. For the first time in my life I was able to slow down and refocus my energy into myself and my family. That’s where Ivory Moore Design Group was birthed. I’ve never felt more energy and alive than right now transforming spaces and getting ideas out of my head into existence. It’s my canvas. Read more>>

Shannon Abney | Founder of Oh’Dor Eater Luxury Room Fragrances

I tried candle making as a way to help with my anxiety. While doing so, I realized that I only enjoyed the mixing of fragrances process. After researching recipes, dreams, and going with my intuition I realized I wanted to make my own unique combinations of sprays that actually help eliminate odors instead of smothering them. I still really didn’t process this as my business idea in the making because I had no idea if I was actually good at it because it was just an idea. I thought about my own first instinct when I walk in anywhere is the smell. I knew that had to be the same for most people. Oh’Dor Eater was formed from there. I started sending out product to testers and received great feedback. From that moment I knew I would rather try and fail then to not try at all. Read more>>

Ayanna James | Licensed Esthetician & Certified Makeup Artist

Since a very young age I’ve always wanted to start my own business, and luckily I had a lot of role models to look up to. My dad owns his own contracting and construction company called New Community Construction, and my mom owned her own restaurant called The Vegan Cafe. I watched how hard they worked and sacrificed to make this work, and it still gave me the motivation to want to try it myself. I ultimately have a goal to inspire my own daughter to start her business as well. Read more>>

Ginger Barber | Interior Designer

It was really a natural progression. After gaining years of experience in the industry by working for other companies, I decided I really wanted to be on my own and make decisions that were best for my clients. I took a leap of faith and opened Ginger Barber Interior Design almost 40 years ago. The rest is history! Read more>>

Amanda Robinson | Licensed Professional Counselor

When I was newly licensed as a counselor, fresh out of graduate school, I got a job at an agency that serviced victims of violence. I truly loved my work there. I learned a ton and developed a true passion for trauma work and advocacy. However, after a couple of years in a position where the hours were long, the client cases were always incredibly intense, and the pay was low, I found myself burned out. I stressed about my cases all the time and felt like no matter what I did, no matter how hard I worked, I wasn’t doing enough. I felt undervalued, too. It’s not a healthy mindset to go through life with, and I was strongly questioning whether I could continue on like that – not just in that specific job, but in the mental health field in general. Read more>>

Tiahna Greer | Lash Artist & Cosmetics Connoisseur

When I started my business I thought about longevity, what I really seen enjoyment in doing and what I actually have serious interest in! My biggest thing is, If I am investing in something, I want it to be something I am head over hills IN LOVE with doing. Therefore, I will always enjoy it, and it will never feel like my past jobs that I hated. While it being something that I love, I also wanted a business that would represent me for a life time! When I turned 23, I always told myself my first passive business venture needed to be named after me! Not only because I love my name, but I always said that I wanted my name to make me rich! I could’ve easily came up with a cute business name, but I wanted my name to represent me when my time finally comes. Read more>>

Jummai Ghaji | PMP, CSM, CEO js cosmetics and suya on the spot

I used to work a 9 to 5 thy could barely pay all my bills and i find myself running to a friend or two for a loan pending my next paycheck. So unfortunately, my friend and i had a little misunderstanding and she said “you are always running to me for money like you didn’t have a husband”. That hit me hard and i promised myself to step up my game. When covid came and most people lost their jobs, i said to myself this is another reason why i should be self employed/ have a side hustle Read more>>

Adewale Alabi | Digital Content Creator

I started Choral Hub with the mindset of creating a space for Africans and people of African descent who were passionate about choral/classical music. I remember going online in the year 2014 to search for platforms that created or curated content geared towards Africans and people of African descent and didn’t see any tangible one. It was quite disappointing so i decided to do something about it. Read more>>

Jeremy Gabriel | Podcaster & Festival Owner

The thought process behind starting my business with my brother Ridge Hardy, was to give a scene to the underground artist here in Houston, that don’t really get shine spotlight to preform, have their voice be heard, gain more fans, and also for the vendors we have had to have a spotlight on their businesses as well. At the end of the day it’s not about us it’s about the artist and vendors getting a bigger spotlight on them. Read more>>

Naomi Prevot | Entrepreneur & Educator

I’ve always wanted to start a tshirt line. I would save notes in my phone for different ideas. So when the pandemic hit last year I was like this is the perfect time to do it ! Read more>>

Dedrick Donnell | Private Chef

Honestly, I just didn’t want to report into or work for anyone else. I was tired of the rat race and feeling like my life was just wasting away. It amazes me how people go to work for 8 hours, some 9 because they pay you for an hour that you’d rather they just tack on at the end and let you leave early. In those wasted hours, you may do a total of 2-3 hours of work and the rest of the time you’re shopping, daydreaming and wishing you were where you are at that moment. So, basically the fact that time and freedom became the most important thing in my life than money is the reason I felt the entrepreneurial life was for me. Read more>>

Zakiya jackson | Business owner

I started SoapyLuv over 10 years ago because of the love I had for skin care. I had a job in the skincare field at the time and I felt like it was time for me to start my own. Also the thought of having my bath and body products handmade and knowing what it was being out of was even more exciting. Read more>>

Tony Natalizio | Owner of Ink Sounds Custom Merchandising/Professional Musician

A few years ago I decided to get into some kind of business. I didn’t know what it was yet but I began brainstorming. The goal was to start something that complimented my current career as a professional musician. My family relocated in 2019 to Detroit, MI from Houston, TX. That is when a lot of my ideas started to take shape. I began writing and releasing music while I reestablished myself as a working musician in the area. I wanted to sell merchandise along with my music. The idea of screen printing started at that point for me. I knew I could at least make my own merchandise to sell and generate some business from other musicians that I already knew and worked with. Read more>>

Prechaus Harris | CEO of Good 3ats Mobile Catering Svc. & Founder of Perfectly Imperfect L.W.E.Organization

Since i was in 6th grade, i knew that i wanted to be a entrepreneur. I started selling candy and chips at school & i loved it. Then i began to sell world finest chocolate and i realized aha I’m working for someone else. I remember the joy i received from making my own profits. That’s a feeling I’ll never forget. As i got older, i knew that i wanted to make additional income aside from the job i was working but i remember feeling afraid, doubtful & ill equipped. That was a lie! Those lies were used to keep me inside of a box. I knew that it would take great courage with the help of God to step outside of that box. So, that’s what i did! Read more>>

Joanna Suazo | TABC Certified/Mixology | Head Bartender

After working a few years behind the bar during college, I developed a passion and enthusiasm with crafting cocktails. I also developed an interest on learning about the specific steps to make a spirit, wine, or beer which made me appreciate the product even more. And have the chance to share that info with customers. Learning the extra information about the product entailed for me to better pick certain ingredients to create one of a kind cocktails – similar to cooking a meal which is another hobby of mine! I’d spend time behind the bar experimenting and creating a handful of cocktails; my only limitation was how to share my recipes. For awhile I kept wondering how could I share my enthusiasm and offer custom cocktails for customers to enjoy – this resulted on the idea to open a mobile bartending business. Read more>>

Tamara Dopwell | Social Entrepeneur

As a Social worker facing clients that need concrete services agencies do not always have the resources available. Instead of making countless referrals, I decided to create the solution for the problem. Clients need toiletries and other essentials. If I could create a way that they can get these items this will help everyone. Read more>>

Yolanda Reed-James | Real Estate Runner and Field Specialist

There was such a need for field services that just weren’t available for the different aspects of real estate. Also, you had to hire several different vendors just for one single transaction as opposed to when you hire us we are kind of like a one stop shop and we can help you with everything from the beginning to the end. Read more>>

Ryan Kennedy | Managing Attorney – Kennedy & Torres, PLLC

When my legal partner, Jose Luis Torres, and myself decided it was finally time for us to take the “leap of faith”, if you will, and start our own law firm, we were driven by the overall thought process/idea of wanting to change the legal industry for the better, by modernizing the entire legal process, making it a much less antiquated and outdated process, as well as a much more comfortable and personable process, than it has been in the past, from the initial client consult meeting, all the way to the jury verdict or settlement agreement. Read more>>

Lucy Wo | Founder of WOAHLASH LLC.

My thought process behind starting my business is not wanting to start a business. I wanted to create a platform and an environment for everyone including myself where we not only love what we do, but we love coming to work and get excited about growing with one company and everyone’s voice is heard. Another thought process that have made me really reflect on starting my own business is how horrible or outstanding of an employee was I? What did I appreciate most about being with a company, and what would I change about a company if I had my own? Outsider believes that building a business is about making money(which it is), but you also need to provide a strong platform/bigger purpose for your team to stand on. Read more>>

Bonnie Warren | Baker & Cake Artist

My initial thought process behind starting my own business was wanting to connect with people through my baking and creativity. To me, a cake is a symbol of love in the heart of any celebration and it’s such an honor for me to be a part of that. It started out as just a hobby, but I eventually wanted to share it with people. It has been beyond rewarding. Read more>>