Many books on startups and business talk about how there are right and wrong reasons for starting a business. So, we asked a handful of successful founders about their reasons and the thought-process behind starting their business.

Katrina Harris | Teacher, Designer, Photographer & Business Owner

As I sat and watched the George Floyd protests in tears, I thought to myself how can we better prepare ourselves. What can we do to start having conversations with our families on the best possible ways to address racism when it lands in our laps? By the time we want to protest for policy change, racism has already reached its final stage, VIOLENCE. At that point we grieve, we regroup, and we forget until something else happens. So what can we do to pull out the growing weed of racism at the root before it sprouts into violence? After asking myself those questions I realized that racism escalates. It starts with the micro aggressions that you brush off or with the person who followed you around in the store and scares you away with threats of calling the police. This game puts you in role playing scenarios that basically prompt you to practice what you would do In Case of Racism. Read more>>

John Guerrero | Contractor/ Interior Designer

The thought process was basically “do something that you really enjoy doing.” I wanted to show my family that “it’s POSSIBLE to live out your dreams and goals only if you work harder then the next person chasing the same thing.” Being raised in an environment where you aren’t made to win is tough. So, a lot of my mindset was how could I make an impact and prove to myself that I can do my own thing. That I can be my own boss and run a company off of pure happiness and joy. I knew the feeling of working under someone so, I wanted to make sure that this company was a pure reflection of me as a person. Read more>>

Dana Chehab | Dana’s Touch | Events & Interiors

Thank you for this question. I’ve always had this itch to do something creative, but didn’t exactly know what. I started Dana’s Touch, an events and interiors business, based out of Houston, TX, to simply add my ‘touch’ to either parties, events, or homes. I love decorating and styling and designing. These are all things that make me excited, so I decided to pursue them as a business. And, if it doesn’t workout, at least I tried. Read more>>

Hannah Wentworth | Brand Photographer & Personal Photographer

I have always loved the idea of working for myself, setting my own schedule and holding to my goals as an individual/business owner. I know this might be a grass is always greener on the other side way of thinking, but working under my own values and creating my own customer service experience has always been a dream. It took me many years to focus on what I really desired to offer my clients. In this, I realized that there was only one way I was going to achieve it, jumping in and starting now. So that is exactly what I did. I think many people forget that anyone can have a good idea, it’s the good ideas that you act on that really can come to fruition and get you to where you desire to be. That for me has always been being my own boss. Read more>>

Vicky Adegbola | Owner and Fashion Designer of J.O.A.N. Atelier

I had spent most of my early adulthood working towards a career where I would have to work for someone else. However, since an early age, I always envisioned working for myself and actually enjoying what I was doing, even if I had to work for someone else first in order to save money to build my own business. But as I got older, I found myself in a cycle of ‘gain experience and get a top notch position,’ ‘take on more responsibility and move up the ladder.’ I was expending a lot of energy working towards these goals that when I got home I noticed I didn’t have the energy to put towards my own goal of one day owning my own business. I would write down my goals, make to-do lists, but it never got done. Before I knew it, I was in my 30s and I still hadn’t intentionally pursued my business. I realized that there was never the perfect time to start and I just had to do it. I started my clothing brand, J.O.A.N. Atelier, because I found it hard to find clothes that were unique at an affordable price. Read more>>

Kelli Adams | Lifestyle Blogger & Influencer

Kelz N Curlz started as a fitness blog back in 2017, but since has transitioned into a lifestyle blog that encourages women through my experiences around living a crazy life, laughing at motherhood, and loving their natural hair. I have been natural for almost 9 years, and it took me quite some time to truly embrace my God Given Curlz! When thinking about starting a business, I knew I wanted to help other women embrace their curlz as well. I started Kelz N Curlz LLC in July 2021 during the pandemic. The pandemic gave me some time to slow down and focus on goals that I had in my mind for years, and now they are coming to life. My thought process behind this was simply to market to a niche that has similar values and priorities as myself. I have Type 4a/4b hair, and I cannot count how many times people ask me what I use on my hair or my son’s hair. This made me want to share my natural hair journey so that others can see techniques and products that work for them. Read more>>

A.MaRee Beauty | YouTuber & Business Owner

I’ve always wanted to own my own business, but I didn’t know how and I was always thinking “Who would buy anything from you?” I guess it wasn’t my time, so I kept putting it off. When the pandemic hit and I lost my job, I went from scared to bored. With my stimilus check, I was like ” what better time to do it, than now!?” I did a little research and bought a lot of lash styles, spoke with my family for their input and decided to name my company after my brand name, A.MaRee Beauty, which I came up with AMBLavish! I watched a lot of YouTube on how to start up a website site and did just that. Promoted very softly and launched June 1, 2020. Read more>>

Darius Miller | Taxidermist

As a young boy, I grew up hunting and fishing with my father. My breakthrough for my taxidermy business came when I was 9yrs old sitting in the Sportsman Lodge one morning getting ready to go hunt. On the walls were deer heads, turkeys, fish, etc. If it’s in the woods, it was on the wall. I always questioned how people were able to get their trophy kills mounted on the walls. As I got older, I told myself I would figure it out and give it a try. I did a lot of research and attended several seminars. From there, my passion was to make an awesome hunt a lifetime memory. Read more>>

Candace Parker | Branding & Design Lover

Right out of college, my career goals revolved around financial success and freedom. In addition to my corporate marketing roles, I was ambitious with a side hustle in graphic design to fulfill my creative energy. Somebody had to pay for all those Sunday Fundays! With my dad as an entrepreneur and business owner, I often dreamed about turning this contract work into a full-time business of my own. Once I became a mother, my desire to take on the role of business owner shifted focus. After several years on the grind, I felt like I was breaking – from mom guilt to pressure from bosses and coworkers, my own happiness was non-existent. I had to make a change. You know what they say, “If mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy”. My goals took on a bigger purpose that still drives me today – mental health. I quit my steady income job with great benefits to take a chance on Big Bunny Creative, a branding and promotional agency. Read more>>

Renée A. Moses | Black Romance Author & E-Commerce Store Owner

Honestly, I didn’t even realize I was starting a business when I published my first book. I found out the hard way that being an author meant having a business. It wasn’t a bad thing. I just hadn’t properly prepared myself for all that came with it. Being a Black Romance author was always a dream of mine because I loved storytelling. I’m still learning as I go but it definitely required a mindset shift. Understanding that what I put in was what I’d get out of it seems simple but it was a lesson I learned. Every aspect of building a brand should be well thought out. I wished I’d planned that part first but it taught me a lot when it comes to other business ventures. I now know to do research, understand what it takes, then create and execute my plan. Write down the vision! Keep it somewhere visible and be descriptive. Vision is what will keep you going when you don’t feel like it. Seeing yourself with everything you’re working for pushes you to persevere. Read more>>

Shannon Waiter | Owner and Cookie Monster of The Everyday Bakeshop

I’ve always had a passion for cooking and baking and I thought why not make my hobby a business. Read more>>

Katie Jozwiak | Business Owner, Wife, and Mom

The thought process behind starting both our businesses began by trying to find a solution to several problems- being limited by an income cap, being required to work a set number of hours, being away from family so frequently, and having to seek approval for money spent on donations or other charity work such as volunteering during working hours. More than anything I wanted to be my own boss, set my own hours, make my own decisions, and have more control of my future. Time is money and having more time with my family while having two successful businesses and an awesome business partner, my husband, is an incredible blessing. Read more>>

Stacie Richard | Photographer

I’ve always been into creating content, whether it was videography, photography, or hand made crafts. I received my bachelors degree in Journalism and I am currently a news producer in Louisiana. My dad was a freelance photographer as well, and when he suddenly passed in 2018, I couldn’t let his legacy end. So I started Hal’s Legacy Photography in his honor, using all of his equipment. Read more>>

Cecilia Charlton | Attorney At Law

I started my business after being frustrated with myself. I felt over worked and underpaid, and at times not valued. I’ve always dreamed about becoming a lawyer. A successful lawyer. I wanted to be a lawyer to help people. I wanted to be a lawyer to affect change in my community. Although, I’ve spent the last few years helping people, I did not feel as if I was helping to affect change. I prayed about it. I’ve watched others build their successful firms and I just decided to go for it. I decided to start my own firm. Read more>>

Liliana Olmos | Founder & Artisan, Olmox Jewelry

I remember since I was little I have always wanted to have my own business, it was my dream. I studied and graduated from finance but it wasn’t really me, I consider my self a creative person. So with the support of my parents and experience of my uncle, I started studying Jewelry and felt in love with it specially with this unique filigree technique. It’s been 15 years since I started and I’m glad at one point in my life I took that turn and choose what I really was passionate about. It’s been almost 10 years since I moved to the States and started my business here, I was full of dreams and goals that I can say I’ve been slowly accomplished it. Read more>>

Rachel Dickerson | Owner & Lead Organizer

I wanted to combine my passions of being organized & aesthetics. I love fashion & color so with my knowledge of merchandising it made the perfect business. Read more>>

Julie Rehme | Lifestyle Blogger and Influencer

I started Calo’s Closet as more of a hobby and it eventually turned into a business after years of dedication and hard work. I’ve always had a passion for fashion and after years of having my friends and others ask me where I bought something or how I pull together my outfits, I thought why not compile it into a blog. Read more>>

Ja-Nessia Prince | Artist & Community Policy Analyst

My thought process of birthing my brand Nessia Creates was really lead by the universe. One summer during my undergrad I had an abundance of time and creating became a pass time of mine. Whether that was painting, sketching, beading, or copper bending. Due to my love to create I just continued to make an abundance of items. When friends around me started to buy my pieces it gave me the inspiration to monetize my creations on a different level and Nessia Creates was born. Read more>>

Anthony Gallien | Founder, CEO

My process behind starting our company was two-fold, to fulfill my destiny and build something that would create the change I would like to see in the world. Oftentimes, we complain about the state of the world, the systems and powers that be, but I firmly believe we should turn the energy of that complaint into a question…. “What am I going to do about it…. What am I going to offer?”. Read more>>

Lily DuBose | Kid Founder of Lily’s Toy Box

During Hurricane Harvey I was sitting in the closest with my mom during a tornado warning. We were watching the news on her iPad and I saw kids leaving their homes without anything and I knew I had to do something. I started by giving away my own LEGO sets and then people began to donate new toys. It was fun and when I had the opportunity to turn it into a business, I told my mom and dad that I love helping kids. Now I have given over 12,000 new toys away. Read more>>

JT Morse | Writer/Editor/Photographer

I’ve always run my own businesses, even if they were entrepreneurial side-hustles while working for someone else. When serving as the aquatics director for a YMCA, in my twenties, I also taught in-home swim lessons and water aerobics classes on the side. In the early days of my acting career–like most theater performers–by day, I ran a successful pet sitting service called “The Irish Sitter” then, at night, attended rehearsals and performed in live shows as a whole host of characters. It’s only been in the past five years that I’ve been able to let go of an anchor job and apply my full focus to my freelance writing/editing business. For this, I am incredibly grateful to my supportive family, incredible editing clients, publishing outfits that actually pay for poetry and short stories, and magazines that continue to ask me to write articles for them. Read more>>

Louis Lopez | Hair Stylist

Well it was almost like I forced to do it in a way aka fate 🙏🏻 A little background story I was once working at a long established salon In Houston when the landlords of the building decided to turn it to a hotel, I came to a crossroads do I look for another salon Or choose one in the area? Mind you at that time I was always told when you make a move salon wise not to go past 5 miles and the selection was slim…. I mean slim! there was a salon semi close by that didn’t carry the color line I used and I decided to see if they would rent me a chair. Thank goodness they did and I decided to take a leap of faith and go for it! I am so glad I did, I learned so much about myself and running a business. It was great first step. I will never forget them for allowing my to do that plus I know nothing in life is easy if you want it you gotta step out of your comfort zone and did I. ( I am a introvert by nature ) 😬 so that was a huge step for me. Read more>>

Krystal Santiago | Lived In Balayage Specialist

My thought process to starting my own business was gradual. I always knew I wanted to work for myself and become a entrepreneur. After being in the beauty industry for 11 years, I wanted to create a safe yet comfortable space for my clientele to come and feel amazing while working on my brand and marketing. I love the idea of working from scratch and building my own name for myself. Read more>>

Audrey Mitchell | Creator of VG Hair Care

I decided to create VG Hair Care because my daughter lost the majority of her hair due to a bacterial infection. That’s when I decided to cut her hair to be able to reach the infectious part of her scalp. It broke my heart to see the tears run down her face. In that moment I saw my daughter’s confidence take a dynamic blow. I knew I was going to cut my hair to show her that no matter how your hair looks you can still walk in your own confident, crown power. My cousin and I formulated our Goddess Growth Oil which grew my daughter’s hair in a month. I wanted that to be the mission behind VG Hair Care not only do we heal your crown, we help to heal the person who wears that crown as well. We help our customers believe that their beauty starts on the inside and shines outward. Read more>>

NaTosha Barber | Owner and Executive Chef for 210 Fusion Cuisine

I have always enjoyed cooking, since I was a child. Coming from a single parent home, my brother and I would always cook for my mom before she would get home from work. After working 12 years in the insurance industry, I want to pursue my passion for cooking. I would initially do a few small events for friends and one day I was offered to do a black tie event in 2017 for Lesbians of Color (LOC) and word got out about 210 Fusion Cuisine and business took off. I quit my day job and pursued my dream. Read more>>

Bill Anderson | Small Business Owner

I was working in the equipment rental industry and grew tired and frustrated with the corporate politics. I knew I didn’t want to work for another company in that kind of environment. Having a degree in accounting and years of experience in management I knew I was capable of owning my own business. I started researching possible opportunities in franchises but they seemed to have a very common theme. Adhere to someone else’s rules. In the end I found this small manufacturing business through a broker. The owner was ready to retire. When we met we found out we have a lot in common. There was almost an instant friendship. He made me an offer to but the business from him which was hard to turn down. Read more>>