Readers often email us asking us for advice about new businesses they are thinking about starting and we often find that many of them don’t have a framework for thinking about a more fundamental question: why should or shouldn’t you start a business?

Below, you’ll find how successful entrepreneurs from across the city thought about this very question when they were considering whether to start their businesses.

Travis Walker | Founder

I’ve always knew I would start a business someday, the hard part was just finding the right business to get into. Your business should be something you’re interested in, passionate about, & and can execute at a high level or at least better than others. Which is the reason I started Flashbar Photobooth, This was my first business and I had no idea what I was doing and was just leading with my passion for photography and wanting to turn everything into a learning experience. 4 years later I feel like we’re finally growing the business into the way we envisioned to be in our minds when we started. Read more>>

Shannon Johnson | Owner

My thought process for starting my business was first that I wanted to be my own boss. I pride myself on being a beauty professional with skills in hair and makeup so my desire was to start my own business that would stand out because of my professionalism, skills, and warm welcoming personality. Also, I wanted to create a safe space for women to come get pampered, wash away the cares of the day for a moment, and feel empowered and beautiful after they left. Read more>>

Amanda Walker | CPA & Business Owner

As a working mom of 3 kiddos, I had always been frustrated by the lack of flexibility in a corporate environment. After my third child was born, I decided to take matters into my own hands. I left my Corporate Accounting Manager position and started my own business with just one client. Since that time I have grown my business to serve dozens of small business owners in the Missouri City area and beyond. I have also truly grown a passion for providing high quality service to these clients. Additionally, I have grown my team to include four other working moms that now have the ability to support their families, utilize their skills and do so all while working around the needs of their families. Read more>>

Steven Champagne | Photographer & Videographer

After selling my health and wellness company that focused on life coaching I decided to return to photography and videography to continue my pursuit making the world a better place by helping change people. I understand people very well and can relate to their hardships which allows me the ability to use my creativity to build art that is powerful for my clients and very personal. My hope is to create unique art with the camera and lens that helps us grow as a unified people and world. Read more>>

Matthew Oakes | Entrepreneur & Designer

We wanted to create a space that connects with guests, refreshes them and hopefully inspires them to bring a little life into their home. Being immersed in nature has so many benefits for us as human beings. Plants have been proven to reduce stress, lower blood pressure and improve our overall mental and physical wellbeing. There has never been a time where these benefits have been more valuable as now. These benefits do come with a small cost, To educate ourselves and understand how to cultivate plants in our homes. Sometimes this might even requires a bit of experimentation. We take this seriously and love helping others be successful in keeping their plants happy and thriving. That is always our first step. Aside from this we believe that plants have so much more potential than to fill the empty spaces in our living rooms. Read more>>

Hugo Pérez | Artist & Business Owner

During the start of the quarantine, I was scrolling through TikTok and I came across a business owner who shared how she had developed her apparel store and I realized there were a ton of digital tools available to develop an online store. In the past, I had sold prints of my art, but I realized I could expound on that idea and add other products to create a retail experience that could bridge the gap between my art practice and my interest in fashion. The mission of Lovehue is to carry goods that are both beautiful and accessible to anyone’s budget. Art beyond a canvas. Art beyond an art gallery. I have a background in brand design as a former art director so developing a brand from the ground up was something I had done for clients in the past. This time, however, I developed it for myself. This proved to be the most challenging part of the process because as your own client, you are your biggest cheerleader and worst critic. Read more>

Ashley Grubbs | Professional Organizer

I knew I wanted to do something that I love and where I could directly impact people’s lives. Read more>>

Amie Nemec | Sommelier, Wine Enthusiast & Founder

I think I’ve been a serial entrepreneur since childhood! In elementary school, I made bracelets and sold them to classmates. In junior high, I did detailed car washes on my parents’ friends’ cars. In high school, I built custom luxury dog houses. Is it bad to say, in college, I did research for cash. I supported my husband’s business in Austin for 17 years. When my he retired, it was time for me to pursue a passion and start another Perspective Cellars. Frankly, I wasn’t sure I could work for someone else! I love to solve problems and create with new ideas. And since I have been studying wine as a hobby for about 20 years now, it made sense to focus on the wine industry. Read more>>

Phillip Fontenot | Program Designer & Fitness Trainer

My first thought was helping people be healthier. My first client was type two diabetic and after 6 weeks they were no longer taking medication or diabetic. This made me understand that the physical aspect alone was not enough. So now I focus on lifestyle change. Read more>>

Yolande Shields | Baker

I started my own business, because I wanted to be in charge of my own time. I wanted to be more actively involved in my boys academics and attend their school activities without having to ask for permission to take time off. Read more>>

Daniel Gottschalk | President & Co-Owner

I’ve always wanted to build something that I was proud of and that would make a positive impact for others. In building Family Tree with my business partner, I find that the challenges of building a sustainable business is beyond our abilities, but sharing our endeavor with our team has been an unexpected joy for us both. I’d love to proudly say that we left our community and the home care industry in a far better place than we found it. I’m confident we’re positioned well to do exactly that, though the road will not be easy. But we didn’t go into business for ourselves because we thought it’d be easy…. Read more>>

Sandra and Paul Van Fleet | Owners

My husband and I are both Science teachers, and every year we would struggle with getting prepared for a new year. Buying supplies and preparing your room for the students was always exciting, but very expensive. We would travel to multiple shops to get everything we needed; so between time and money, we figured that there had to be a better way. A way for us to get inexpensive supplies, pets for the classroom and teacher supplies without breaking the bank. So our shop was born from this very simple idea. Read more>>

Ijeoma Anadu Okoli | Co-Creator

I am Nigerian American, of Igbo ethnicity. I was raised to speak my language at home and as I became an adult, saw the need in our community to help retain our language. I partnered with my cousin also named Ijeoma and we created our business Ije the World Traveler, LLC. Read more>>

TJ Johnson | Photographer & Owner

We wanted to make Professional Photography affordable. Read more>>

Anthony Eggert | Bladesmith

When COVID-19 broke out, my work slowed down a lot. So I needed to do something to supplement my income. But I wanted to do something fun and unique. I have been in construction for 20 years, so starting something like this was out of my wheelhouse. My wife and I started brainstorming on how we could make it work. And she came up with a brilliant idea. Since I have always liked knife collecting and playing with fire, forging knives seemed like a natural choice. Read more>>

Andrew Crowe | Master Rope Mat Weaver

I am a recovering alcoholic and at that time I had only been sober one year. I needed something to fill the void left by my not drinking anymore. I needed to keep busy and wanted something to do where I would use my brain and my body. I talked to my dad and he suggested that I make rope doormats and sell them to make a little extra money. I was working at Walmart as a cashier and wasn’t making a lot of money so I thought that would be great. He had an old knitting machine in his garage and he told me he would give it to me and I would be able to make rope on it to make rope mats. With his help I was able to get it running and making rope. I had an old video of how to weave rope mats from my 25 years in the rope business. That is how the business was started. Read more>>