Starting a business can be terrifying. Weighing the pros and cons, the risks, and other considerations can be so overwhelming that often promising entrepreneurs stop before they even start. We asked some phenomenal entrepreneurs about their thought process behind starting their own businesses. Our hope is that by making the thought-process less intimidating we can help more folks think through whether they should take an entrepreneurial leap.

Archibald Elliott | Fitness Professional

At first it started as a way that I could help others experience the benefits of living a healthy lifestyle. As time progressed it has transformed into so much more. I have personally witness how being small business owner has given others the motivation to become business owners themselves. The reward of inspiring future generations has been well worth the risk. Read more>>

Chef Tj | Chef

My brother past away in December of 2018. I used my passion for cooking as therapy. It helped me get through a lot of tuff day’s. I was cooking so often that I told myself I wanted to do it full time and dedicate my business to Donald. So I did. Read more>>

Alric Davis | Theatre Practitioner

I was 17 years old and a junior in high school when I founded The Sankofa Collective, then titled The Bayou Theatre Company. My friends and I were all multi-versed in theatre, choir, dance and even film but at the time there was only one other African-American arts entity in the city. For the Black artists that were hungry to create, there were not many opportunities for work and most would stop performing once they graduated high school. We created the company to make thought-provoking work that challenged societal stereotypes put onto Black artists and offer opportunities to them on and offstage. Read more>>

Tanvir Aman | Founder & CEO

I have been an entrepreneur and lead many startups for a very long time. But my most current venture Dunyha was different. It founded me rather the other way around. Before it was Dunyha, it was just suppose to be a lifestyle business.that made good money.. But than the customer feedback was so compelling along with many of them wanting to own real estate and a similar business that it had to be scaled, at turned Into a much bigger mission and movement. Read more>>

Dr. Chris Araj | Founder, Owner & Audiologist

My father was an entrepreneur, so I guess it’s in my blood. He taught me you can’t ever have a better boss than yourself. Read more>>

Lexi Snyder | Owner & Event Planner

As with any business, I feel like the start of it should be one discovering a problem in the market that isn’t being tailored to or resolved. With Blackberry Park, that problem we saw in Houston’s event industry was the lack of options for Clients who wanted to host an event and do it in a way that was completely off the beaten path from the trends that we’ve seen in the past 15 years. Our solution to that was to offer them a unique, comfortable, and fun alternative to the way one can celebrate their special occasion, and a way for them to truly impress the Guests! Now given, Houston has many great event venues, don’t get me wrong….but we felt Blackberry Park and our Giant Event Tipis was in its own gorgeous and authentic realm of beauty that was no where to be seen yet in our local market, so we just to make sure we brought it to market, and we’re so grateful for both the support we’ve seen from our Clients but also the community support in general. Read more>>

Edward Peterson Jr | Web Design & Marketing, Print, Media

Finding an industry that I truly enjoyed and working with businesses across the country. So I decided to get into web design and marketing. I working for other companies doing business to business (B2B) and enjoyed working with decision makers reach their objectives in business. So I consulted them in designing an interactive website to grow their business as well as retain their customer base. Read more>>

Jody Flood (Stevens) | Bakery Owner & Cake Designer

When I began my business in Houston in 2008, I felt that there was a very large void in the market for people who had dietary restrictions. I had spent 3 years in Los Angeles, where vegan and gluten free had already been a very prominent way of eating, whether it be by lifestyle choice or because of allergies. I used to joke that “Gwyneth Paltrow is vegan, so therefore everyone is vegan….” as in it was trendy. But as I started out here, I found that a lot of my first customers were very underserved in their needs. That it wasn’t just a “trend” but a necessity. I have so many regulars, with children that suffer from life threatening allergies and I’m so glad that I can accommodate them safely and with choices. Also, it’s just a great feeling to be your own boss and have complete autonomy to let my destiny unfold itself within my creativity and ability to help fill that void. Read more>>

Tina Han | Veterinarian & Pioneer in the Veterinary House-call Movement

I saw a need within the veterinary industry after working in a traditional brick and mortar practice for 7 1/2 years. I noticed that my clients were getting increasingly busy with their schedule, their pets were getting more anxious going to the clinic, clients were more invested in minimizing their pets’ stress level, and they were more committed and interested in learning about their pets’ health. I also noticed that in a busy multi-doctor practice, I needed more one-on-one time spent with the client in order to address their needs and concerns. So out of a busy appointment with a mom with 3 kids and 2 dogs crammed into 1 exam room, with the baby crying, and me trying to talk about the dog’s dental disease – sprang the idea of doing this appointment at home, in a calmer environment, where my client could actually carve out some time to focus on her pet’s needs. Read more>>

Josiah Outerbridge | Photographer & Fashion Designer

I wanted to bring a surrealistic yet artistic approach to fashion. Many times we see up coming brands who represent an idea or message , but I wanted to empower a concept. I wanted my brand to make you question everything that you thought you knew. I’ve been drawing since the age of 5 and that gradually grew into a love for creating. When I started my clothing brand ( The Onyx Image) , I wanted to let anyone of any demographic know that reinventing yourself is a choice and positivity is an action. Every single piece that I create has a crafted quote that I’ve made to spread the concept I just produced for you all. I want people to self reflect and understand that who we are starts as a question but doesn’t have to end that way. Read more>>

Amber Brown | Owner

It was February 2018, I was currently working in a retail store in the Katy Mills Mall. Each day waking up daily was like I’m too creative and fashion forward to be working in the retail field for so long. So I put my brain to the test and a friend of mind was already into custom prints, so I asked to be taught how to use the different machines. At first I doubted my self and was like I’m wasting my time, but I still had my full time job also. Once shown how to use the silhouette machine and I designed my own logo that’s was it. I was excited. So on February 26, 2018 I remember talking to my mom on the phone while walking to my car and I was like I need a brand name? My mom stated “Dreams&Visions” I was like yes that’s it.. I designed my first shirt and once I got my first sale I could be stopped. So my brand launched March 8, 2018. Read more>>

Nikol Johnson | TV Host, Writer, Filmmaker & Domestic Violence Advocate

I started Real Talk Chronicles TV Talk Show because I wanted to provide a platform for ordinary people to voice their opinions, give upcoming entertainers an opportunity to showcase their talent but more importantly to have open discussIons about social issues that affect our communities and the lives of others! Read more>>

Leslie Sinclair | Owner & Founder

Growing up in an entrepreneurial family I was taught at a young age to follow my dreams. Being able to help support my family, of course, was important but having meaningful, inspiring work which motivated me to learn and grow was what I wanted to pursue best in my life. Although I loved business, marketing and people, my passions and hobby’s leaned towards interior design, architecture, art and color. I knew firsthand the challenges of having your own business so I wanted to ensure it was an adventure I would enjoy! I sat down and made a list of what inspired me and from this culmination of thoughts Segreto was born. A decorative arts company committed to creating beauty in people’s lives and committed to allowing its team to have input, artistically challenge themselves, and provide quality products and the ultimate in customer service to its clients. Read more>>