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.

Willy Felton | Scholar & Rapper

Although I work like crazy, I’ve always believed that the concept of freedom and peace came with owing your own business. Being able to set your own hours, control your day, and ultimately, control your destiny made more sense to me than working for someone. I also started Already Entertainment to control how I create and release music. I don’t have any constraints, nor do any of my artists. Read more>>

Sharifa Glass | Pediatrician and Breastfeeding Medicine Physician

Both of my children were breastfed thanks to the support of my family and the children’s pediatrician. As a result of my breastfeeding journey, I was inspired to start this clinical practice to support all mothers in reaching their breastfeeding goals. I also desired to open a pediatric office that would provide evidence-based medical care for children in the comfort, privacy, and safety of their own homes. This also gives me the opportunity to answer parents’ questions during longer and more relaxed appointments. Read more>>

Mariela Linares | PK/3rd Grade Tutor & Spanish Teacher

Being a school teacher for 20+ years and a lifetime education passionate has provided me with great understanding and perception of student needs. More specifically, it opened my thoughts and ideas of what is missing in their education process; moreover, I wanted to be able to offer many families the opportunity to have a more direct, personalized, one- to- one approach with their children in the comfort of a home environment, and with an experienced educator that has a solid knowledge and background. On the other hand, after the horrible pandemic that the world is going through, I also noticed that there was a need for a more direct and personalized education especially in kids from ages 3 to 9 which are the ages that I have worked with my entire career. Last but not least, being a Venezuelan native and having Spanish as a first language gives me the opportunity to also offer my tutoring services in Spanish given that Houston has an enormous Spanish community. Read more>>

Iyabo Fagbemi | The CEO of Eyabo’s

I started Eyabo’s Boutique because every time I would go out dressed up and unique people would always ask and inquire about pieces I have on. They would inquire about my purse, shoes , jewelry or even attire! So I decided to open a boutique with pieces I would wear. Read more>>

Kaitlyn French | Children’s Book Author

I have always been restless with following status quo. I come from a family of entrepreneurs and leaders and felt the need to contribute as it relates to being on a team as well as the need to lead something of my own. I am motivated to see how this process of taking an idea and putting into action and worked for me. It is thrilling to see my thoughts come to paper and now to print. Read more>>

Vanessa Gallien | Family Medicine Physician & Small Business Owner

Since I was a child, I have been hyper-focused on medicine. I made the choice to pursue medicine as a young child and I didn’t really think of anything else. During the pandemic, I realized that I had a lot more free time on my hands than ever before, which led me to explore many of my interests. A few months after I joined my current medical practice, I devoted time to formulating and making skincare products. I loved how it felt to come home and take my mind off of medicine. I was extremely terrified of taking on something else, but forced myself out of my comfort zone and made the decision to start not only one, but three businesses. Read more>>

Laura Tracy | Co-Owner

My husband Adrian spent the past decade with catering firm A Fare Extraordinaire, managing their beverage program. He was tasked with creating two-step craft cocktails for events serving up to 1,000 drinks in a night. The bartenders needed all the crafting to be done ahead of time, the idea was add spirits to the mixer, shake and serve. When that position went away due to the dumpster fire that was 2020, we decided to take that knowledge and bottle it. We started with our Spiced Old Fashioned syrup, sold on our website, and promoted to our neighbors via the area social media pages. At a low price point of $12 (for 23 cocktails worth of syrup), it was a holiday runway hit. We knew we were onto something and jumped in head first. It’s insane to this all of this happened in the past 12 months. Read more>>

Diana-Waleska Mauricio-Eskander | Co-Founder and Chief Operations Officer

As Indigenous womxn, Marina and I and witnessed/experienced the lack of resources and support there was available to new business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs, more specifically for womxn-owned and people of color. Prior to creating Rooted Resolutions with my wife, we independently worked as business development and DEI strategic consultants. It was our own journeys and professional experiences that propelled us to start a business development and resource hub. We wanted to share our inside knowledge to building sustainable business systems and scalable designs with an affordable price tag. Our prolific network of colleagues and partnerships makes us a hub where people can seek specific help and if we can’t offer it, we know someone who does. – Diana COO Read more>>

Rochell Flood | Fashion Enthusiast

My thought process was simple! I love fashion and I love to shop! At a young age, I realized that I loved fashion and magazines became my “Fashion University” so to speak. I would spend hours looking at the models in the magazines and dreaming of being on the cover or in one of the spreads. After graduating college, I moved to LA to work as a Stylist Assistant in a designer showroom and later at a men’s fashion magazine and pursue my true dream of being a model. Having a not so perfect, but perfect smile (I have a large gap) caused me to be super self-concious and I later lost sight of becoming a model With Wear She Got It, I get to be my own model and showcase my love of fashion on my own terms. and Long story short, IG has been an amazing tool for me to share my love of fashion and let others know that they can do whatever they want to do in life, don’t let anything stop you, just go for it! I want to inspire women to go after what they want in life despite their flaws. Read more>>

Desiree Swauger | Co-owner

We were making charcuterie boards all the time for gatherings (pre charcuterie pandemic boom) and one of us said, “people would buy these if we made them!”. A month passed by and we basically started with our name, logo, crafted a stage board and off we went! Read more>>

Maria Velasco | Teacher Assistant

Here are two important things, I am a hardworking person and I like to exercise. Thinking about the discomfort that sweat causes on my forehead, I said to myself: “How about I design a band that stops that sweat so that it does not fall in my eyes?” In this way OVAWEAR HEADBANDS was born. Read more>>

Bobbie Douglas III | Entrepreneur | Co-Owner Of Douglas Concessions Worldwide LLC

My mother has always taught me how to be resourceful. We’ve all always had full-time jobs, but it was ingrained in me that having your own wealth is essential. I started buying, selling, & trading on eBay when I was a teenager and that’s when the entrepreneurship spirit was born. Starting my own business has always been a dream of mine, but I’ve never had any direction on how I wanted to achieve this goal. I started off in the workforce and worked my way up to senior-level management in the corporate work-space for the last 10 years. Read more>>

JAMAINE MORRIS | Record Executive

As an artist we’re unfairly compensated for our talents. My experience as an entrepreneur showed me as the owner not only are we fairly compensated but we also have the freedom to operate at our own pace without any middle men making bad decisions that’ll effect my career. Read more>>

Jessica Carr | Entrepreneur/ Houston Realtor

Every since I was younger I always had a vision for women’s fashion. Due to the pandemic I wanted to provide women with a convenient way to shop online and have access to the latest fashions. I created my business to also provide another stream of income for more financial stability. In honor of my late mother I decided to name my boutique after her and create a foundation for generational wealth for my family. I’m also a Houston realtor and being an agent requires you to have a professional appearance. Therefore my boutique has a variety of inventory no matter what career field you’re in or for any occasion. Read more>>

Diana Melgarejo | Dessert Artist & Owner

Since I was a little girl I grew up watching my aunt bake and that was something that was seeded in me and had a very special place in my memories. Although I took a different route professionally, baking became my ‘mental getaway’, my weekend activity and something I looked forward to during my days off. I took a leap of faith, and decided to create a blog where I shared all of my recipes, but never got to publish it. On 2018, a couple of years after becoming a mom, I decided to leave my job as an interior designer and began to stay at home to focus on my son. Little did I know that it would be the beginning of what Bakes and Bits is now. I was starting to lose myself in motherhood and that is something all moms I’m sure can relate to. My creative mind was struggling. Read more>>

Renee Tatum | Mother, Wife, Hairstylist

When I started my own business my thought process was that this is never going to work. When I first graduated from cosmetology school I was a single 20 year old mother just trying to make some money to keep my child in daycare and food on the table. I lost interest in doing hair for a couple of years and jumped into different careers that I was not happy with. It wasn’t until I met my husband that he put a flame back under my feet to get back to doing what I knew I truly loved and what he knew I was genuinely good at. That’s when he took the steps to surprise me one year with my DBA, opening my business accounts and actually starting me on my way to not just saying I have a business but showing I do. Read more>>

Dalila Galindo | Party Stylist

Since I was little I have always had a creative side in me. When I started planning my daughters 2nd birthday party, I wanted it to be memorable and amazing. Every parent wants to go big for their kids, am I right! I didn’t have the funds to hire anyone, so I used my creativity and decorated everything myself. I made the paper flowers, center pieces, and decorated the cake table. So many people complemented me on my work. I felt proud. I loved decorating, so I decided to start my own business in party decor. In 2019, I graduated in business. In 2020, I started Dalila’s Decor. Read more>>

Lanisha Thornton | Founder & Owner of Runnin’ Buzz Bartending

Well I always have enjoyed working in the wedding and event industry. And I always had a passion for mixing drinks. I started out mixing drinks for random events of family and friends, then I realized I could actually make money doing one of the things I love. Therefore, I started researching ways on how I could explain my knowledge in the beverage industry. I went to bartending school that had an online program allowing me to learn more about the liquors, wines, proper way to serve and mix, etc. This was the written portion. Read more>>

Tyler Humphrey | Doctor of Physical Therapy

The traditional physical therapy model is broken. PT’s have 3-4 clients at a time, and are forced to delegate the majority of their tasks to tech’s and aides. This results in only being able to spend 5-10 minutes with each client. I felt burnt out and frustrated. I believe each client should be seen one on one. This allows me to watch every repetition the complete, and make adjustments as needed. Read more>>

Calvelyn “Ck” Jones | Owner of Simplie Ck: Mobile Braiding Service

Starting your own business isn’t the challenge. The challenge is having enough discipline to continuously grow mentally while you’re producing your product or providing a service. The key is understanding that your operations of thinking must change. The majority of us have been taught to get a good job and move up the ladder with hard work (which there’s nothing wrong with that) to establish great wealth and a good living. What isn’t said as often is that there are other ways for you to achieve those same goals without being an liability to someone else. We already work hard as a people so why not work hard for yourself. Read more>>

Ashley Newton | Author, Life Coach, an Esthetician

When starting my business, I wanted to create a long-lasting, timeless brand. My goal was to create healthy generational habits for my family, freedom of time, and more resources to help others. I knew I could not achieve that goal while working my corporate job, so I took a leap of faith and left. Read more>>

Claire Thom | Family and Newborn Photographer

The thought process behind starting my own business was pretty simple – I have always been interested in entrepreneurship and once I had my two kids and they started school it wasn’t if I was going to start – it was what I was going to start. At that point we were living in Scotland (my home town), and we had just returned from living in Dubai for 5 years. I decided then that Scotland needed practical and cute clothes that represented some of Scotlands icons. So I started a children’s wear brand, that was stocked in some of the castle gift shops, and was sent to consumers all over the world. Read more>>

Ogadinma ‘Dr. Oga’ Obie | Endocannabinologist & Board Certified Emergency Physician

I have a background in emergency medicine. I am also a clinical herbalist. I love herbal and allopathic medicine equally and began merging both health practices. After receiving my board certification I was asked to work with a budding medical marijuana company in Oakland, CA. I moved there and began exploring cannabis to give business advice. In the process, I discovered the medicine and then the endocannabinoid system. My mind was blown to bits. From there I built an endocannabinology practice and eventually opened The Hemp Works(.)™ with my business partner in 2021. Read more>>

Chefs Hainsworth, Hall, Lindo | Palate Fusion Kitchen

Thinking of the time and energy put into working a 9-5 for someone else’s vision and helping them become successful showed us that if we shift that same energy into our own passion, we could be just as successful or more. We’re starting from the bottom, so what’s most important is leaving something behind for the next generation to continue to build on to in order to build wealth in our own families. Read more>>

Shannon McKinney | Professional Home Organizer

After working for my family’s business for all of my adult life, I found myself at a crossroads when my father retired in 2018. I had organized closets for fun before I got married (I even got my DBA) but eventually let it go. Fast forward to January 2020, I was thumbing through a magazine in a waiting room and saw an article about home organizing. It was like a brick had fallen on my head! I immediately knew that was what I was made to do and I was going to make it happen. Read more>>

Rebecca Cheng | Founder,

I was always interested in creating something and running my own business. As a kid we were encouraged to be entrepreneurial by my parents and so I had a lemonade stand and lawn mowing business with my siblings. While I was working in San Francisco I started a small business selling homemade treats at a local night market and then the idea for tiny sponge was born when I had my first son. As all first-time parents, I wanted to make sure that I nurtured my son to be a well-rounded and happy baby. Read more>>

Preston Walker | Producer & CEO

I had to start my own business out of survival. I graduated college during a recession. As a person of color, I didn’t feel confident to be hired to work in fashion unless it was by an urban brand or company of that nature so I decided to create my own opportunity in the industry. Read more>>

Maritza Gonzalez | Finance Professional & Self Taught Baker

I’ve always felt driven to start my own business and that’s the reason I pursued a business degree. After graduating, I started working in corporate America, and still do but I felt like I wanted to use my business knowledge for a bigger purpose. I combined my drive for building towards my future dream and something I enjoy doing, baking! Read more>>

Iesha Chavis | Food & Beverage

My thought process behind my business started when I was 15 years old and I had my first job ever working at Burger King. I saw so many new things for my very first time that really sparked my interest which was really my love for food. Read more>>

Quiera Young | Owner of George + Loyse

I noticed that in this day and age we sometimes unknowingly run ourselves down. And I wanted to provide a selfcare line that intentionally uses natural ingredients for both men and women to not only enjoy, but to heal themselves in the process. I believe that taking care of yourself should be something that one enjoys doing, as it is necessary for a healthy life. Read more>>

Jamicka Jethani | Lifestyle Blogger

My initial thought was – “Do I want to continue to work someone else’s dream while neglecting my own or step out on faith to do what I love?” It took me some time, but I chose the latter! I have always wanted to start my own business and be an entrepreneur. The thought of building a brand from the ground up and watching it flourish before my eyes brings excitement to me. Since I was a child, my brother and I would imagine ourselves as business owners running our own restaurant using stuffed animals as the people. Lol! I laugh about it now, but it is known that what you enjoyed doing as a child is most likely what you’re meant to do as an adult. With that being said, it is enate in me to make a living for myself while leaving a legacy for the next generation. Read more>>

Courtney Outland | Founder of Colour Coded by Coco & The Fairy Godmuva of lippies

I already had an interest in beauty but there was a hint of fascination with lipsticks that grew into a big vision of creating the Colour Coded by Coco lip brand. I took my simple ideas which were an expression of creativity and transferred those ideas into a viable product that brought dull lips to life one shade at a time. I knew I wanted to supply lip products that didn’t contain irritating ingredients. I found it necessary to have products that provided daily moisture and retained hydration without compromising the quality or vibrant pigmentation of the lip products. This was only the fun part of starting my business and seeing my vision come to life. Read more>>

William Jeffery | Author, Award winning Podcast Host and K12 Administrator

The pandemic has brought about new income streams. I started the Flipboard Edu Podcast to help educators navigate remote learning and teaching with technology. Read more>>

Thalía Jaguande | Floral Designer & Entrepreneur

I decided to open a flower shop in Houston, TX because it has become such a special place in my heart. I moved from my native country Peru to receive cancer treatment at MD Anderson. Those six months taught me that I could get through anything as long as I was surrounded by warm and loving people. Houston has since become my home where I’ve learned the importance of living with gratitude and an open heart. I wanted to give back to the city that literally gave me back my life in the most beautiful way I knew how – flowers. Read more>>