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.

Gazi Asadullah | Photographer/Videographer

It seems like I always had the eye for photography. But officially I started when my Son was born, I invested in somewhat basic DSLR and started taking photos. I am type of a person who is always looking for improvement no matter how good or bad I am. So I started reading books, watching you tube videos how ti improve my photo quality, and before even I realized, I ended up spending $15-20k on camera, lenses and other accessories. Read more>>

Andy Correa | Restaurant owner and Chef

Wanted to be able to express my love in the kitchen and serve great food to a community in which I have roots in. I grew up in Cypress and worked in the area must of my life. Read more>>

Houston Ensemble | Podcast and Band

The Houston Ensemble strives to be a renaissance platform that combines art, freedom of thought, and community outreach. We want to use our platform as a means of connecting people through music, podcasts, and live events. Our podcast features guests that are renowned professionals in their field. Some of these guests include world famous musicians such as Kurt Rosenwinkel, Peter Bernstein, Troy Roberts, Lynn Seaton, Oz Noy, Dan Wilson, and more. Other guests at the top of the academic arena include Dr. Baxter Montgomery, Dr. Pam Popper, Dr. Will Tuttle, Dr. Joseph Varon, and David Leebron (President of Rice University). Read more>>

Kelley Dailey | Owner

When developing Selfish Beauty Spa, my partners and I wanted to bring an experience to Baltimore that we hadn’t seen here before. We wanted a young fun & fly spa, where everyone is treated like family! We visited spa’s throughout our travels and took notes on everything we loved. We felt that the vibe we offer at Self.ish has been missing in Baltimore. Read more>>

Lin Cyrus | Artist, metalsmith, and yoga instructor

Originally making jewelry started as a hobby, something to do when my kids were babies to keep myself occupied and artistically challenged. A few years later I found myself divorced, unable to afford childcare for two toddlers. So I decided to take my hobby to the next level after my friend Lizbeth Ortiz asked me to vend a show she was curating at a gallery. Since then it’s been my main source of income. Read more>>

Shammrie Brown | Professional Life Coach and Consultant

After graduating from college, I worked in the non-profit sector for a decade. While working for other organizations, I always thought about how it was operating and how leadership treated staff. I had a deep desire to lead and worked hard to be promoted to make a greater difference within the organizations I was employed at. Read more>>

Caitlyn and Carlie Thailer | Beauty bloggers

Our thought process behind starting Thailer Twin Makeup was to live out a lifelong dream of becoming known for our love and creativity of makeup. We both knew that our hard work and our passion for our creative artistic looks with make up would give us the endless joy and opportunities. Read more>>

Elda Tolentino | Dog Treats baker & Sr. Administrative Coordinator

My thought process was to be able to provide a healthy homemade dog treat using organic ingredients from my regular green juice pulp I make and turn it into a small local business. Due to the pandemic I had to rethink the way I could make some extra money since the pandemic affect my family financially. I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia and that’s when I made the change in my life and started eating healthier by making healthier choices. Read more>>

Indigo | Know Meaning

My thought process behind starting Know Meaning, was to be able to create a safe haven for creators, and spiritualist to come together to create. Art is life, and life is spiritual whether we want to admit it or not. There are many people who accepts this concept, but they are not understood from others who may not understand this. I wanted to create a new social norm of booking artist and creators of all kinds, where their art brought a balance, of love and light. Read more>>

Jacky Key | Owner Of Da’Juice Entertainment

Well I wanted to Build a Bigger Platform for All type of Artistry . Give the World a Bigger View into the Art And Music that gives you Consciousness into the Reality of Now and To Uncover Hidden Gems Read more>>

Ilyse Kennedy, LPC, LMFT, PSEP, PMH-C | Psychotherapist

In witnessing how therapy practices were run, I wanted to create a practice that had social justice at its core and was trauma informed. I recognized I was lucky to have mentors who thought like me about therapy work, but when I filled up, there weren’t a lot of therapists I could refer clients to. In creating my own practice, I could create a place where I could nurture other therapists, offering my knowledge of creating a trauma informed space. I also wanted to create a practice that nourishes therapists. Many therapy practices exploit interns, asking them to work beyond their capacity and for less pay than they deserve. I wanted to assure the therapists at my practice feel appreciated, are gaining knowledge, and are building their own value. Read more>>

Anisia Boone | Baker, Cake Decorator & Certified Health Education Specialist

My thought behind starting my own business was not a thought at all. I genuinely loved baking since I was a little girl. As I got older I became more and more curious about the decorating aspect. After a while I just started practicing my skills outside of working with Walmart Bakery and Randall’s Bakery, people would ask if I would make their cakes. Next thing you know I had to start charging because it was no longer convenient for me to continue baking and decorating cakes for free. Eventually I seen where it was heading and decided to start Boss Bakery. Now I have my own business that involves my true passion and I wouldn’t change that decision for the world. Read more>>

Gabriel Gonzalez | Musician

It was simply something I had to do as music lives within me. I need to express it and the outcome of wanting to play and gigging was an actual small business. Read more>>

Olivia Robinson | Founder and CEO of BlackDollar

I had been bit by the entrepreneurship bug in late 2019 and had a variety of business pathways I was preparing myself for. I had a vision for an app that would support Black-owned businesses, but I truly had no plan to pursue bringing BlackDollar to life at the time that I did. After watching an app development webinar the following April I felt a push within me to set to work on that vision, not knowing exactly how I was going to execute it but trusting that I would figure it out and make it excellent. Read more>>

Nia Davis | Entrepreneur, Skin Care Composer

It was a few family members and friends nudging me to begin selling my products. I’d been handmaking skincare for 5+ years before I even thought of opening a business… I definitely needed that encouragement and confidence from those closest to me that what I was making would be beneficial to others. Read more>>

Lashanda Barnett | Hair braiding stylist

Hello , I am shonda the face behind stitchedbyshonda . I feel so blessed that you chose me and my story to share. I been braiding hair on and off for about fifththeen years. Finally decided to put some time in this . I knew my hands would be a blessing to others . First i started with kids and worked my way up the ladder to doing adult heads. I was always amazed with different styles of braids and i would say i can do that another way lol. The reason i named my business stitchedbyshonda thats my imprint i’m leaving . You see i was chosen for this job it was my destiny. I honestly believe what god has for you is for you and this is my time. Read more>>

Christopher Clarke | Co-Founder & Co-CEO of Clarke Bioscience

Clarke Bioscience began as an adventure to Cartagena, Colombia. We were working with a group of doctors; one of whom was Dr. Lewis Clarke, establishing a small clinic and helping the local population with neurological issues. Dr. Clarke began treating the locals with nutraceuticals, vitamins, and hormones, in order to rectify whatever problem the patient was having. Unfortunately, it became prohibitively expensive to travel to Colombia every month, but we still felt that we were on to something special. Read more>>

Earl Jones | Food Truck Owner

I wanted to create a sustainable business model for my children…. I wanted to create a trade base business that anyone could operate without having extensive knowledge about the industry Read more>>

Alexandra Charles | Yoga & Meditation teacher, Visionary of Soul Tribes yoga + meditation.

I fell in love with yoga and meditation many years ago and I would go to different studios to do them. I wanted to create a space that you could get both. I also wanted to create something for myself with a little bit more security than just being a freelance performer and yoga teacher. After a lot of thought, weighing up options, and talking to business owner friends of mine, I decided that I would take the leap and create the business that I wished existed. Read more>>

Tamika R. Newman. MBA | Author, Speaker, Athletic, Mental Skills, and Wellness Coach

As a high school coach and teacher, I was very frustrated with the commitment to the overall wellbeing of coaches, teachers, athletes, and students. When I decided to leave secondary education, I wanted to go back and provide tools and strategies to help all parties become the best version of themselves while pursuing their individual goals. Read more>>

Gason Nelson | Personal Chef & Business Owner

I wanted to gain independence from working a 9-5. I wanted to be in control of my own career and not have a limited income potential. Read more>>

Carmalyn McCracken | Joyologist, Adjunct Professor, Life Coach

I have always been someone who has enJOYed coloring outside of the lines. I appreciate that there are lines, but I always wonder who put them there and are those lines for sure for me? Which side of the lines am I even supposed to color on? I am a question asker. I want to know people and their stories and their motivations and their intentions. I want to better understand myself and others which is why I think I am always asking questions. I love to listen to others’ stories. I love to listen between the words they are saying and then respond with clarifying questions. I say all of this to help you understand what my thought process was behind starting my own business. Read more>>

JR Holaday-Herrington AKA: “Fizzin Phyllis” | Owner of Fizzin Phyllis & Mental Health Advocate

I’ve always been a bit of an entrepreneur, starting projects that sell well, working them until they dry up, and then finding the next best thing. I started my current business on a whim one day when my sister said she was watching these incredibly addicting videos by some guy named Aaron… the Midwest Bomb Party King? I clicked on his video and BHAM! I was addicted. The rings were gorgeous. Aaron was so sweet! I knew I wanted to do what he did… but with a twist. Bomb Party King, huh? Well, it was time to introduce a Queen to the game. 🙂 Thus, Fizzin Phyllis… the wild-haired, goat-lovin’, bomb fizzin’ queen of the bling with her best friend Gloria the Goat was born! I created the concepts for the character, media package, Facebook page and groups all over the course of a couple hours late that night. Read more>>

Alexis Alba | Creative

So, it is honestly crazy how everything happened. I was a few weeks away from having my youngest son, and i really wanted to make him a ” New to the Alba crew onesie”. I had all the supplies and tools I needed to make the onesie, so one night I stayed up late just to get it done. There was a lot of trail and errors; I started getting frustrated and didn’t want to do it anymore. But when I finally had the finish I was so happy. Read more>>