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.

Lisa DiVito | Owner, Designer & Paper Lover

I started Tiramisu Paperie after the loss of my mother. My mom was a woman who did not mince words and spoke from her heart whether you wanted to hear it or not. When I lost her the cards that came in were kind, sweet and made the loss harder. I just wanted a card that said that this sucked, that the situation was exactly that…it sucked. I wanted someone to say “I see you and I got you no matter what that may look like”. With a Masters degree in Graphic Design and many years in the ad agency game, I knew that I needed to make something that spoke to the heart in the more direct way to life someone up. I never went into this business as the main source of income, it was something I truly enjoyed doing, lifting people up to feel a little better about what is going on in their day. Read more>>

Hannah Durning | Pediatric Occupational Therapist

I’ve been a pediatric occupational therapist now for over eight years and I’ve worked in a variety of settings ranging from outpatient clinics, to home health companies, to critical care and ICU hospital settings and with babies on their true day of birth, birthday through teenagers aging out of the public school system. In every place, I have felt there were pieces of my treatment that was missing. Maybe it is rooted in my background of social work and child development but I’ve never found a place to work where I felt I have been easily able to truly and fully use my clinical strengths to get the whole picture of why a child comes to see me. For example, in an outpatient setting, I may have a child come in with concerns of negative behavior outbursts but I”m not able to replicate the scenarios the family sees at home or the teachers are experiencing at school. Thus my support is often limited to “If this happens, try this”. Or when I worked for a home health company, I was limited to select treatment locations or specific types of interventions depending on school regulations, insurance companies, or equipment available. Read more>>

Alana Higginbotham | THE Mental Strategist

I’ve been an entrepreneur in some way since I was a teen. Working for myself and creating my own business always made since to me. For this platform my initial thought process was “How can I make money from home, even when I’m asleep and enjoy it?”. That the moment I realized that packaging up the advice I’d be helping so many others with needed to be an ebook. From there the eBook quickly turned into a hard copy and that what I built my entire platform on. Read more>>

Zuca Palladino | Founder and CEO

I began playing footvolley back in 2012 in Brazil when I was recovering from an ACL injury. Footvolley is such a better sport in terms of impacts in your body and a lot more intense as a soccer, that I just fell in love with it as something I could keep on doing for a long time in a high level. When I moved to Houston in 2015, there weren’t any groups in Texas yet, so I bought a couple of balls and a net online and I decided to start it! Now we have 4 branches across Texas and more than 100 players. Read more>>

Brian del Castillo | NASM CPT, Krav Maga Instructor, Private Gym Owner

I wanted to have flexibility for my self and my clients when I created Baby Bull Fitness and opened the private gym. I didn’t want to have to deal with finding locations to workout, privacy, weather. Read more>>

Steven Traylor | Freelance Photographer

I’ve always had an appreciation for great images from a young age. I loved to read books because I loved the stories that would be told and I loved the pictures that went with them. I acted on my love for words by writing three books of my own a few years after graduating college. I then wanted to create and photograph images of my own. When my wife began her business in fitness/wellness and began blogging, she needed someone who could take pictures for her, and so by default I was the best option to get her photos captured quickly! I also had friends who would need pictures occasionally and they would ask to me photograph them as well. After a while, it just made sense to make it official and begin my business. I also had a chance to get in front of the camera occasionally, and as model you understand what the photographer needs to draw out emotions. So I’m able to draw from this now and it helps me behind the camera as a photographer. Read more>>

Javan Hamilton | Media Producer

It was a natural progression of sorts. I got my first camcorder when I was 12 in 2001, and hosted a YouTube series twice between 2009 and 2012. So digital media had long been a thing for me. I was always a fan of local programming and public access, but it was a terrible day in class back in college where something possessed me to show my professor some of my hobbyist work. That, paired with my assignments, caused her to reach out to the marketing director at the campus. That led to me being a student spotlight on the public access show, which led to me being the producer, which led to me networking with other media creatives in the Baton Rouge market. As I posted my videos and designs online, I had people asking me to do work for them. By the grace of God, I’ve managed to bring that energy all the way to Houston. So there was never an actual plan, but more of happenstance–lucky, a calling, both, whatever you want to call it. Read more>>

Leah Baptiste | Entrepreneur

I knew that starting my own business would take dedication, consistency and good planning. Success doesn’t come easy so you must work hard for what you want, even when you feel like giving up. Read more>>

Yoseli Cruz | Creator of Queen Yoshii’s Designs

I worked at a craft store at the time and when I was introduced to the idea of making shirts, I was shocked because i didn’t know people could make they’re own shirts. I then went ahead and bought myself a small machine and just tried it out and I loved it! I started making shirts for my boyfriend and his family and by word of mouth people found out I made shirts and they asked if I could make them birthday shirts, gender reveal shirts and etc. I received a lot of great feedback and just making people happy is what made me want to turn it into a business. Read more>>

Morgan Williams | Personal Trainer, Nutrition Coach, FNS, NLP, Life Coach

I knew that with our hectic lifestyle of traveling and also becoming a wife and mom that I was going to need to find something to fulfill my purpose while on the move. Starting my virtual training business allowed me to do that. Read more>>

Danielle Dydell | Crystal Jewelry Maker

I really felt as though a space was lacking in the metaphysical goods arena and wanted to fill that void. It was and is my hope to demystify crystal healing, provide an easy way to utilize crystals (jewelry) and make it fashionable at the same time. Read more>>

MYCHERYL RUSS | Owner, Creator & Chak Therapist &

When thinking about the early days of my creations, I didn’t initially set out to become an entrepreneur or business woman. I was simply looking for different practical ways to cultivate healing within myself. I wasn’t until i started sharing my creations with my friends and family but specially my mother, who encouraged me to share these unique creations and message of energy healing with the word. My thoughts behind choosing the answer the call of creator and business owner came for a pure place of authenticity and passion. To teach people how to read and understand their personal energy will using everyday technics called for the birth of Chak Therapy. Read more>>

Olga Bachilo, MD | Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon

I wanted to create a place where every cosmetic concern could be addressed under one roof. I am not only a board-certified plastic surgeon, but also a med spa owner. I care about my patients’ satisfaction and well-being, even after their surgery was performed and they are happy with the outcome. I want to continue caring for my patients, providing them with the most innovative and effective solutions in medical aesthetics. In addition, if a person is a candidate for noninvasive or minimally invasive treatment, I will let them know, but if surgery is their best option to achieve their desired look, I can make that recommendation, which will save patients time and money. This has been the thought process behind opening the med spa. Each of my surgical patients get a complimentary 1 year membership, because I cannot stress enough the importance of continued aftercare and maintenance. I want my patients to understand that plastic surgery is not a “forever” solution. Time, lifestyle choices, and stress, diminish your results little by little. Therefore, maintenance is a must. It’s a not-so-secret sauce in the success of your procedure and a long lasting outcome. Read more>>

Angie Stubbs | Travel Blogger, Family Travel Expert, Children’s Book Author

I was thinking about how there was dearth of information about traveling with kids. I wanted to give parents practical tips and advice on how to continue to explore the world with kids in tow. Many people think that once they have children they can’t travel the way they used to, and that’s not true. If people are armed with the information they need to get started, from getting a passport for a child to the nearest pizza places in certain destinations, they would be less anxious about traveling with children. If you start the children out early, they adapt quickly to travel to different places. So, that way, you’re Raising Nomads. Read more>>

Carli Sparks | Small Business Owner

I have always had a passion for fashion! Dressing uniquely always made me feel fabulous and when starting my business that was one of my goals. I work hard everyday encouraging girls to stand out and to embrace their uniqueness. Read more>>

Vivi Von Welt | Plus Size Model

I started modeling because I wanted to be on the other side of the lease after being behind the camera. I was inspired by pinup culture and just kind of started from there. Read more>>

Ayana Nickerson | Lash & Gloss Young Business Owner

My company was founded in 2020 thanks to quarantine and my 15 year old creative mind. I was literally sitting at home with my mom and was like Humm I want to start a business to make money while doing something I love. Read more>>

Tricia Gernand | Licensed Massage Therapist

I really wanted the freedom to set my own schedule. I also wanted to attract a particular client and there wasn’t really a good fit available with established businesses. Read more>>

Lanneah Hughes | Handmade Bead & Crystal Jewelry

I sat at home one day saying I was tired of working for other people and I want to start my own business doing something that I am passionate about and that’s making bead jewelry. I been making jewelry since I was a little girl and seeing then how people loved my creations always put joy in my heart. I felt like the money never meant anything to me, it was the smile on people faces and that’s what I missed. So I went to the store the next day, bought all the material I needed and here I am now two years later with Beadnineteen standing strong and approving more everyday. Read more>>

Valentina Gomez Bravo | Award-Winning Brand Strategist, Executive Creative Director & Multipassionate Entrepreneur

I always had two career paths developing at the same time throughout my life. On one side, I was a passionate creative in the advertising industry. On the other hand, I was a professional dancer and choreographer. I always pursued both of my passions and loved every minute of it. I got to be 100% creative 24/7/365. I was so lucky! After being in the creative, advertising, and marketing industry for over a decade, I decided to go full-time into the dance world and dedicated everything to that. I left the global agency I was working at and started a business, and became a partner in a couple more companies, all within the performing arts world. Dance studios, a costume company, a sportswear line, dance photography, event productions, you name it; we did it. A few years into that, I suffered a tragic dance injury, and sadly, I had to retire from dancing professionally. Not dancing anymore opened the door to go back to my passion for creative work in advertising. Read more>>

Johnnie Sommer | Fashion Photographer

When I started I didn’t really have a thought process. Taking photos past a quick picture taken with an iPhone let alone being a photographer wasn’t even on my radar until 3 years ago. As I got better and I realized this was something I wanted to make a career out of I just did what I had been doing up until that point, getting better. My mentality going in was I was years behind everyone else in the industry. I used that as motivation and practiced every day watching Youtube tutorials, asking other photographers for critiques, and shooting anyone who would let me so that I could bridge that gap. Now that I’m somewhat established in Houston my mentality has shifted more into establishing my brand and being very deliberate with what I shoot so I’m able to start getting more of the clients I want. That includes shooting in a way that establishes a very specific niche, reaching out to desired brands, and as always, improving on what I already do. Read more>>

JaQuetta Webber | Event Consultant & Custom Designer

I started with a $100 and a dream. Dreamed of doing something fun with kids. I love kids but never had any of my own but still in my field of event planning. I just had surgery and had illness and had to quit my full time job because of my health couldn’t sit long periods of time and back and forth to the doctor. I had a $100 and idea of putting a Tutu on bassinet wanted to gift my sister in love and new niece with a bassinet and something cute for her decorating for my nieces baby shower as well. My Dad (God rest his soul) 2013 before he passed encouraged me to go full time everyday he called me said “You started that business yet? What you waiting on?” He called everyday until I finally told him Dad I did it! Lol he shortly passed days after that and It pushed me even harder to still keep going because it’s what he saw i loved and wanted to do! I researched went to school planning friends and family crafting different things. I then went into mode of names and I needed it to fit my personality DAZZLE I love glitter glitz glam and LYNN is family name my moms middle name and Niece/God daughter MauriLynn name as well. Read more>>

Erica Ponder | Owner of Empowered Expressions, Writer, Digital Content Producer, and Copy Editor

My thought process behind starting my own business was that I’m basically going to be doing what I already do for a living— writing, editing and blogging. I’m passionate about all three things and I’ve been doing them for years, so I wanted to expand on those activities more while building something of my own. I was a little nervous at first, but I know that it’s something I should’ve done a long time ago. Read more>>

Aliyah Cartwright | Licensed Hairstylist/ Beautician

I really never wanted to work for anyone my whole life . Growing up seeing how hard my parents worked. My mom was a hairdresser and she was managers at local places. Clocking in for other people just didn’t sit well with me . Growing up i was always determined, strong- minded and independent. I wanted something of my own. Read more>>

Chef Tay | Cook/Private Caterer

When I considered starting to work for myself, I was at a place in life where I was redefining the things I valued and the importance of TIME. Punching a clock comes with its pros (don’t get me wrong), but the biggest con has to be watching how many hours you put into something that you have no sense of ownership in. I felt If I could find the value and importance in my life for a 9-5, I could also do the same for my creative outlet with the ‘Dining With Tay’ platform. Read more>>

Gwen Everline | Tshirt Printing

Being in command of my own ship. Read more>>