Starting and growing a business is hard, but often deciding to start the business in the first place is even harder. We asked some successful entrepreneurs from around the community to open up to us about how they thought about starting a business.

Shloka Mehta | Student, activist & avid reader

Books Beyond Bias, a 501(c)3 non-profit, was formed to counter the regressive trend towards censorship in public schools. The idea for Books Beyond Bias came when I heard a story on public radio in 2021, where Texas Rep. Matt Krause announced the launch of a probe of public school libraries’ books on race and sexuality. Read more>>

Bette Channell | Co-Owner (with Cindy Shinn) of Heights Margaritas

We love Margaritas!!! Read more>>

Makenzie Stokel | Co-Founder/COO

My cofounder and I started our company, EVA, in college. As students at a music school, we found ourselves surrounded by a vibrant community of talented artists and songwriters. We wanted to help them in secure paid performance opportunities. With this in mind, we started arranging gigs for them at various bars and restaurants in town. Read more>>

Priya Ramkissoon | Founder/ Director of Imiloa Collective

Representation was the key factor for starting my own business. Through my travels, I truly got the opportunity to explore and venture different cultures,lifestyles and working /living conditions in faraway villages. I was able to discover the intricate work of artisans and see the struggle and lack of support for women and various marginalized communities. Read more>>

Amanda Schonberg | ACF Certified Chef and Bakery Business Coach

When starting my company Baking For Business ,I wanted to create a community for men and women to excel in their knowledge of business within our industry. I had recently left from a four year partnership and so I wanted this business to be different. I wanted to not only teach my students but to provide a community where they could learn from other industry experts in order to cumulatively gain a sense of confidence in building their baking/treat making business. Read more>>

Ashley Reina | Bookkeeping Goddess

I always knew I wanted to run my own business! I ran a babysitting business when I was a teen. When I got older, I ended up working for other people, and I was never truly happy doing that. Once I started my family, I knew that finding a way to work for myself needed to happen. Read more>>

Bukola Shoaga | Fashion Business Owner & Physician

My business idea stemmed from my own personal struggles with finding stylish, modest clothing. During college, I started making a transition to wear more modest clothing due to my religious beliefs. I found that back then and even still today, the fashion business was lacking stylish, modest clothing options. Sidenote, I learned how to sew in college which would prove to be a useful skill. Read more>>

Maria Morgan | Bakery, Administrator, Flag Ambassador, and Helper

I think it started when I learned to make cookies from my grandma. I first was marketing her cookies and selling them, then I started to learn how to make cookies. I develop my own style to make any type of cookies, any flavor. I’m always a student learning. Read more>>