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.

Busayo Agbesanwa | Independent Hair Stylist

I had been inspired by watching my mom doing hair for my sister and I for years. It even got to the point that she would do hair for close family friends and neighbors. Then one day after a long days work my mom was unable to do my hair and I’ve been doing hair since. In my hair business I really try to focus on making my prices affordable and budget friendly because if you could do it yourself you wouldn’t seek to get it done. Read more>>

Kayla Bolden | Makeup Artist & Model

My process all started as a young girl really into fashion design and everything related to beauty. I knew at 11 that I wanted to be my own boss and change the world in the fashion\beauty industry. As well as seeing my mother as a model and doing her makeup and doing her hair made the desire stronger. It was a difficult process seeing that I got diagnosed with Systemic lupus erythematosus at the age of 18. My process was really believing in myself even when I’m having a flare-up that I still believe! Pushing forward with the plan I had which was to do makeup even if I wasn’t able to do it on someone else due to joint pain practicing on myself was just as joyous. Read more>>

Tammer Malaty | Licensed Professional Counselor Supervisor

I worked in the non-profit world for almost ten years and I thoroughly enjoyed my time. I knew however that moving forward in my career I eventually wanted to be able to have a flexibility and growth that my job unfortunately was unable to provide. I knew it would be stressful and there was a possibility that it would not work, but I had to find out for myself. I had always dreamed of being my own boss and I knew going into graduate school that going into private practice was the ultimate goal for me, I just didn’t know when. At some point I had to actually not think, because the fear would get pretty strong and deter me from making progress. Eventually I just had to put my head down, do the work, and basically just jump into it. Read more>>

Carmela Gonzalez | College Student & Handmade Jewelry and Accessories Maker

The thought about starting my own business was a very tough choice to make. A lot of people say that it’s so easy to start a business, but in reality, it is a risk that you are willing to take. Now, not everyone wants to take that risk when it comes to starting your own business, but it takes to be uncomfortable to be comfortable in this position and all in due time your hard work will show wether it’d be in months or years. At the end of the day is dedication and the love you put into your business that you are building from the ground up. Read more>>

Devon Daniels | Monogram Dealer

When one business opportunity fell through, I went out on my own and have never looked back. I have so much more creative freedom and still get to do what I love. Owning my own embroidery business had never crossed my mind. I was content managing the shop, but when the opportunity arose to own it. The possibilities of where I could take the business were swirling. Now I am happily forging my own path. Read more>>

Love-Leigh Trimiew | Co-Founder & CEO, HellaBlack.com

My co-Founders and I come from a family of entrepreneurs. Our mothers are the owners of the famous Twins Jazz Club in Washington, DC — a jazz club owned and operated by African women for 30 years. We grew up in a space where hard work and persistence defined our way of life. I knew that starting a business would require commitment and sacrifice — both financially and spiritually. I also knew that to really form a successful business would require creating a team of experts in marketing, customer service, ecommerce, UX, etc. To form the company and grow the company — it’s an absolute must that you have the right team and network to help guide you along the way. Read more>>

Ian L. Haddock | Founder and Executive Director

For me, The Normal Anomaly Initiative, Inc. came from needs that I was seeing in my community. I had worked in community advocacy and public health for over a decade and realized there was a gap in reaching and engaging the community with the tremendous work that was being done in the field. At that point, I began to research ways in which these gaps could be closed and, originally, began to create content for nonprofit organizations. From being a Center for Disease Control Let’s Stop HIV Together Ambassador to being a Social Media Fellow for the United States Conference on HIV and AIDS, I delved into making an impact through telling the stories of the most marginalized which had a two-fold response: Read more>>

Gia Govan | Owner of The Care Club

The Care Club is a self care novelty brand that originated in 2021, during this time majority of us experienced a major decline in our mental health with the catastrophic events that occurred. As for myself I experienced a lot of shifts and changes in my life and some of the things that I’ve went through caused me to lose myself and become distant to those around me. During that time I was able to grasp onto what God wanted me to show me, and that was to start focusing more my mental health and start showing myself more love and care. My healing journey is the reason I started The Care Club, and that is to help spread the importance of self care and self love to a society of all ages. Our merchandise gives a daily dose of what self love should feel like and reminder that it is okay to stand within and stand up for your feelings. Read more>>

Richard Guerra | Candlemaker & Compliance Consultant

Firstly, you could always find a candle burning in my apartment and in 2017, I signed-up for Manready Mercantile’s candlemaking class and was inspired to hear how Travis Weaver began making candles in his apartment and mastered the craft by watching YouTube Videos. After class, I went home with my handmade candles feeling like I actually created something rather than just consuming. Read more>>

Tierra Weathersby | Esthetician

My experience and journey as an esthetician of 5 years made me realize changed needed to happen within the skin care industry. The culture of the skin care industry for many years main focus is elderly or upper class . I knew starting my own business Bare Naked Spa I would take pride in building the Skin car Culture to serve, respect and educate all age , race and class. Read more>>

Yadira Orosco | Florist, floral decor

I had to do lots of research. I have no experience in opening a business and no clue where to start. I had to do alot of research and ask friends and family for help or their opinion. Even now I am still learning and listening to opinions to make my small business work. It does take time and patience to try to get out there and show the people your business and what you offer. I’m still learning today what works, what do people want, and what they don’t like. Read more>>

Tatiana Trejo | CEO of J’efe Dreams

When I decided to become an entrepreneur it was because I wanted more out of life than what most would call “normal”. I wanted to build a life for myself and my family of complete freedom, and I felt the only way I would really be able to do that was to step outside of the corporate world and create that life myself doing something I absolutely loves no longer settling for what didn’t serve me fully. Read more>>

CaSandra Cantue | Contract Specialist| Make Up Artist | Entrepreneur

When I was in the brainstorming phase of my business, I looked at the product as a resolution. If it was one product I could change in my makeup kit what would it be? So of course I had a few items on my list. I wrote down notes on my less preferable items and what I would do differently. From their I began to look into a financial analysis on my items to see which would be the best product to start with financially and went from their. Read more>>

Jazmin Anderson | Media Proprietor- Author & Entrepreneur

Starting my own business is really a vision coming to reality. I realized that with my personality traits, what career path I wanted at the age of 17. I wanted to be in Media, Hosting a show, Interviewing people and learning about how they made it to their level of success and through their life’s challenges. I knew I could be my best self in the media field, by utilizing my vibrant and bubbly personality to meet and network with new and interesting people. I remember saying I want to be the host on 106 & Park or a similar show. Read more>>

Jessica Villarreal | Maternity, Newborn and Family Photographer

Since I moved to the United States, I thought of creating my own business. Photography was my first option, so before we moved my husband gave me a nice start camera as a gift. I tried to start my portafolio, but because I didn’t know anyone, it was difficult and I stopped trying even though I did some sporadic sessions for free. After that, I changed my mind and studied to become a teacher. I even volunteered for a few months to work as an assistant teacher but I realized that teaching wasn’t for me. Read more>>

Carmen Cooper | Creator & Founder of Vanity Kloset

My thought process behind Vanity Kloset was to create a personalized one of a kind shopping experience. I wanted to welcome women from all walks of life to find looks that spoke to them, and complemented their unique style & self esteem. I believe that a woman’s ensemble strongly impacts how she feels. Everyone deserves to feel beautiful, and that is what I sought to create when I started Vanity Kloset! Read more>>

Adam Morales | Entrepreneur | RE investor | Rancher

I was raised in the rich dad poor dad mentality, my father always tought me to go out and either find a job that will help gain a skill or find a need an fill it. Starting a business was very natural for me growing up with that mentality. Read more>>

Maggie Corpus | Baker & cake decorator

Back in 2018 I had just graduated from high school, I didn’t have money for college, so I decided that taking a gap year was one of my best options. I needed to save up money, but I wasn’t sure of what to do. Baking was something that I had always loved doing, at almost every holiday or family gathering I would be the one to bake cupcakes or cookies for the event. With that, my mother suggested I start selling cupcakes. I had always wanted to be a baker and to sale cakes or cupcakes, so this was the perfect thing for me. It was the perfect way to make some money while doing what I loved. After deciding I would start a little baking business and around $100 my mother gave me, we went to buy baking and packaging supplies, Read more>>

Nikki Hunter-Greenaway | Nurse Practitioner & Lactation Consultant

“Postpartum care sucks. Be the change you want to see”. I’m of the mindset that when I see a problem I have to fix it because once you know you can’t not know. Well when you work in a huge hospital system or even in a clinic implementing change takes too long for me. Postpartum families can’t wait for the politics to get sorted out. So I started my own practice. Read more>>

Dr. Elizabeth Cortez | Psychotherapist/Entrepreneur/

As the years went by, seeing patients in my private practice, I noticed two things: 1.) Most people wanted a natural way to eliminate anxiety, and 2.) most people didn’t take the time to relax/self-care. Year after year, I noticed people, especially women, not taking care of themselves, not doing the assigned homework. I prepared different supplements, herbs, and teas and blended teas for my consumption. Fast forward to the pandemic, and I found myself jumping on Instagram providing free resources to people. Read more>>

Natalia Organista Ramos | Artist

When I lived in Colombia my mom wanted to give me a birthday gift for my 22nd birthday. There are many companies that provide gift services in Colombia. She bought one of these and it was a breakfast gift with balloons. She sent this to the office I was working at. When I moved to United States I noticed that this service was not easily provided and I love arts and crafts and started up an Instagram to show off gifts I was selling. Read more>>

Amos A Gregory Jr | Skateshop Owner and Cloud Applications Systems Analyst

I’ve always been inspired by my mother and father. They pushed me to be innovative and to pursue my dreams. The problem was I couldn’t decide on what kind of business to start. I’ve always enjoyed painting and art. One day my wife suggested that I start a skate shop since I really enjoy skating. I sat down one afternoon and drew out about 30 designs. All of my friends enjoyed watching me draw and so I put those designs on some decks and it’s been fun ever since. Read more>>

Tara Sasiadek | Artist & Entrepreneur

My twenties were a mixture of teaching and learning in other people’s systems to the point of burnout. I started an arts non-profit with friends and found that I could organize events and programming on my own terms. This was like a magical doorway into entrepreneurship- where you can set your own terms for being and working. No more waiting on committee approval, I am the committee. I still believe in collaboration, but being able to move decisively is something I really cherish. Read more>>

Shawanda Williams-Anderson | Neuropsychologist

Starting my own business came from necessity. My family experienced a pretty traumatic event and when looking for psychological resources in my community, I found there weren’t any. Secondary to the event, I needed the freedom to take time off from work, provide care for my children, and just to grieve and heal. So, when starting my psychological practice on the northwest side of Houston, I already knew there was a need, a niche, and that it would be beneficial to me and my family. My career goals at the time did not include independent practice or being a business owner. I wasn’t sure I could do it, but it made sense and was the cleared path at the time. And once I began the process, I recognized that it wasn’t as overwhelming as I’d thought and that I was actually good at it. I started off part-time, with a very slim budget and it grew rapidly. Read more>>

Katy Manganella, LPC | Owner & Therapist

Austin City Counseling is a virtual private practice, based in Austin, TX. I opened Austin City Counseling in July 2020, just a few months into the pandemic. We specialize in working with Millennial and Gen-Z anxiety. Prior to starting my own business, I worked for another truly wonderful group private practice here in Austin, and I was doing in-person therapy there. When the pandemic started, it became clear that in-person therapy was not possible, and yet so many people needed support especially during that time. That’s how the vision for what Austin City Counseling is today was born. Read more>>

Daniel Sandoval | Co-founder and CEO

Freight dispatching is an important part for commercial motor carriers (owner-operators). Many existing and new owner-operators don’t have time looking for the next working assignment, which creates a problem when their plan is to gross 20-25,000 a month. For many carriers, experience and diversity is of great interest. As a minority-owned business, we encourage many other minority-owned business not only ethnicity but women in trucking! That is our reason why we started our business 5-years ago and continue growing with our clients through their success and vision. Read more>>

Adeline Muff | Crafter & Elementary Education Student

At first, starting my own business was just for fun. I started out by making Christmas ornaments for my friends and family. Eventually, friends started telling their friends and I started making ornaments for people I didn’t even know. I got all of my orders through social media. Eventually, people started to refer to me as a “business” and I never really thought of it like that until other people started calling it that. After the Christmas season, people wanted more of my art and those small ornaments I made translated into bigger canvases. That’s when I truly decided that I can make my art into a business. Read more>>

Claude Kim | Hair Stylist & Lash Tech

I had never really given it much thought until a few of my clients asked if I would ever consider opening my own salon. I had worked for two salons over the last 6 years, and I began to really feel like my skills and creativity were stagnating. So, I decided to take the plunge, open my own business, and it has been one of the best decisions I have made in my career. In addition, I have also been able to expand my skillset, and now not only am I a hair stylist, I am a newly licensed lash tech. Now, I am able to offer a full-service salon to take care of all kinds of clientele and their needs. Read more>>

Toye B. | Owner/ Creative Director

Rawkicks the company was started to provide a pre order service to sneakerheads who work on release day or simply don’t have access to the latest kicks. Rawkicks the brand is apparel and accessories to match the latest kicks. Often we go get the latest kicks and everyone is buy the apparel available in store, Rawkicks provides more options to help you stand out from everyone else. Read more>>

Kadisha Rapp, M.D, | Emergency Medicine and Concierge Physician, founder of The Rapp Medical Group, and creator of The Mobile MD Kit and The Mini Mobile MD Kit.

My thought process was my passion for enhancing the quality and quantity of life for my patients, those who realize the importance of safety, and for those in entertainment, support staff as well as talent, who must travel and perform often while ill or injured. In Emergency Medicine, you have to go quickly from patient to patient. This means only spending a couple minutes with people who may be seriously ill for the first time in their lives, and thus have questions they really need answered. I realized that I feel better about what I do as a doctor by addressing those needs in my way. This required starting my own business to do so. Read more>>