Starting a business is a commitment and requires dedication, resources and sacrifice. We asked some of the rising stars in our community how they thought through the idea of starting their own businesses.

Kayla Vaughn | Photographer

For as long as I can remember, I have loved taking photos! For my 16th birthday, I received my first dSLR camera, and my love for capturing life around me through the lens was amplified! My photography journey began mostly as capturing nature and landscapes, but through the years, I began taking photos of friends and family too. What started as a hobby, slowly transformed to become more of a business. I took a couple years off from photography after moving to the Houston area (I will always be a Kansas girl at heart!), Read more>>

Kaitlyn Chapman | Founder & Lead Floral Designer

Kalos Eidos Wild Blooms began in April of 2020. It started as a creative outlet from my full time job during the height of COVID-19. At the time, I was the store manager for a local shop called Favor the Kind. We unfortunately had to furlough our entire staff aside from myself, and it was a difficult time as I know it was for many others. I was able to turn a long time passion of mine into a business while bringing other people moments of joy through dried and preserved flowers. Read more>>

Candice Alexander | Owner of Ear-Resistible Buttons & Healthcare Administrator

When I thought of the idea to start my own business, my thought process was that I wanted to create something that belonged to me. Initially, Ear-Resistible Buttons served as a creative outlet for me because I’m a very crafty person who enjoys making things with my hands. Now, not only is it a creative outlet but it’s like my baby that I have nurtured and grown to where it is now. Read more>>

Tierria Joseph | Curly Hair Specialist/Educator

I remember being frustrated because I couldn’t find someone to help me with my natural hair in its curly state, and decided to become what I was looking for in a stylist. I knew if I felt this way, there was definitely more people in my area that felt the same way. I remember everything that I didn’t like about the salon experience when I was a consumer. So keeping a consumer mindset, being consistent, and knowledgeable has helped me so much. Read more>>

Shannon Savoy | CEO | Certified Narcissist Abuse Recovery Coach | Speaker | Advocate

Why did I start this business? To help others understand that if I can make it out, so can they. If I can not only live but thrive after abuse, they can too. Even as I went through domestic abuse, I knew then that I would do whatever I could to help others that are in abuse. I also help those who are out of abuse, because the abuse & the implications do not stop once the victim leaves. So we formulate effective strategies through one-on-one coaching, group coaching, support groups. Read more>>

Denise Henderson | Melanating Missions : African American Missions Organization

I was not looking forward to starting this organization, Even though I knew what God was telling me to do, I knew that this was going to be a large task and I didn’t feel adequate to be able to accomplish it. It was very nerve wrecking especially at a point in my life when I was craving stability and a since of consistency. I knew it needed to be done and God was calling-me to do it. The best way to describe it would be that I felt like God had his foot on my neck. It was the fist thing on my mind when I woke up and the last thing on m mind before going to bed, I knew God was calling me to move forward. Read more>>

Kiara Rivera | Professional Cosmetologist

When I opened my business I was 2 months postpartum from my second daughter. During that pregnancy I told myself I wanted to discipline myself with saving in order to have the proper funds available for when I gave birth. Not to mention this was in the middle of a pandemic. After months of saving I had reached my goal and more. I then told my self what could I do with the remainder of the funds I have? I had a voice in me that said expand your brand. Ofcourse I became discouraged and said how could I do this but I knew I needed to do something that would build Financial wealth and freedom for my children but most importantly something that would allow me to be an active mom. Read more>>

Germesie Faucette | Ceo & Entrepreneur

My Thought Process On Starting A Buisness Is Simple I’ve Always Wanted My Own Buisness In Fashion Because it’s always been a dream and a passion for me and also the Financial freedom to be able to take care of my family Iv worked every since I was 15 teen years old helping and building other companies who never gave me the respect or motivation I needed to grow so I said to myself one day I will start my own Buisness and build it brick by brick and have the respect given to me by me so in 2019 Read more>>

Latorsha Peake | Certified Health Coach | Podcast Host

Let me start with telling you I initially started my health coaching business with the idea of helping women get fit and feel fabulous. It was about helping women through coaching incorporate realistic exercise plans into their daily life. However, I started noticing a trend with the women, which was that they were getting distracted from their goals. The women were so busy and focused on doing ALL the things for everybody else that at the end of the day there was no time left for them. Read more>>

Daizy Malie Rodriguez | Baker & Cake Decorator

I believed i could work for myself and stay home with my babies at the time . I was barely starting out I didn’t have many customers but slowly I gained them . Everyday I practiced I wanted to get better And more Creative! My kids were my Motivation I missed them and It was hard being a working mother and leaving your kids barely seeing them a couple of hours a day . I wanted to raise them not someone else raise my kids for me . So many people have made this possible for me to be a stay at home mom but also work from home . Read more>>

Kaala Jacobs | Personal & Interior Stylist

Styling comes naturally to me. My mother, grandmother, sisters, aunts, and cousins all had a profound impact on the way I admire and create beauty. Whether we spent a day at the mall perusing department stores, or shopping for home decor, I was all in with eyes wide open. As I matured and got more in tune with my passions, I realized that what comes naturally to me does not come so naturally to others. Once I understood that I was a solution to a problem, I was all in. People pay for luxuries and conveniences, so who am I not to help? Read more>>

Quizanae Cooper | CEO Mink Mink Co Inc

When I first thought of creating my business, I sat at my work desk, pondering how unhappy I was after just graduating with my Masters’ in Higher Education and being in an entry-level position for longer than I should. The idea for starting a business sprang when I felt like I had nowhere else to turn, and that’s when I started asking myself what I enjoy doing. I realized I loved lashes and started brainstorming for a catchy name, and that’s when I wrote down Mink Mink Co Inc. After that, I hit the ground running and began the process of locating a solid vendor and ordering the products. Read more>>

Karitta Conyers | Writer, Tutor, & Public Notary

I never thought that I’d be a small business owner. Owning and operating my own tutoring business has motivated me to set more business and financial goals for my family. Kay & Co Tutoring Service LLC provides a wide range of English reading and comprehension support. I also manage my own notary service. My entire thought process behind starting my own business derived from my passion for writing poetry. In high school, my English teachers would pay me to write poetry, while my cosmetology classmates would pass around my teenage cliche short stories. Read more>>

Courtney Wysinger | Owner and Lead Mixologist

Bar Magic definitely wasn’t the business I thought I was going to open. I’m a musician with a bachelor and master degree in Entertainment Business. I believed the first business I would successfully run would be a record label. I have worked a number of different jobs in a variety of arenas in my life. I have always been the family bartender. So when I took my last clock in job as a bartender at Buffalo Wild Wings it felt like a natural fit and I learned so much about the industry. My cousin and a friend of mine encouraged me to start a bar catering service because I already had the skill and it was a low over head business. Read more>>

JACE Davis | CHEF & Caterer

My personal thought process was that I know I have a talent that will make me money so how can I use this to never have to clock in to a 9-5 and be able to start a legacy. Also I wanted to push my brain a little. Read more>>

Latricia Bostic | Human Resources Consultant

My thought process behind starting my own business, was that I put in hours, days and weeks working for corporate to ensure that those businesses were successful from a human resources standpoint, that it motivated me to say that if I can make companies run successfully on the people component side, then I can start my own business doing the same. Read more>>

Ally Cedeno | Founder & President

I have been working on ships since I was a cadet (student) at the US Merchant Marine Academy, often the only woman on board or one of just a few women. In 2015, I was assigned to work on an ultra-deepwater drillship in the Gulf of Mexico as a dynamic positioning operator (DPO). This was the first time where I worked alongside several women on a drillship. I became especially close with the female third officer and third engineer, and we opened up to each other about some of our experiences working offshore. Read more>>