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.

Jen McDonald, Jill Oliver, Nicole Shah | Co-Owners of Garden Girls, LLC

We worked for the same company prior to starting our own. However, we would work on projects independently and it meant for some lonely days! Gardening is best shared with friends and when we discussed the idea of going out on our own, we wanted to do so together. Each one of us brings different strengths to the table. Creatively, we found that collaborating on projects meant that we could incorporate new, fresh design ideas. Our clients know that instead of one Garden Girl, they have access to all three of us equally! Read more>>

Shana Thompson | Business Consultant and Life Coach

Growing up I was someone that was confused on what I wanted to do because anything I tried I was exceptionally good at it. But I found that the undeniable passion didn’t surface yet. My father, one of my biggest motivators in life is an entrepreneur and growing up I’d spend all my time learning about entrepreneurship through his journey. That coupled with my burning passion to help others pushed me to start my own business. I started noticing I had so much advice to give to friends and family and that they received it well. Read more>>

Andrea Cabrera | Licensed Esthetician

The thought process behind starting my own business was to be able to help and make an impact in people’s lives by giving them their confidence back, as a younger girl I was constantly seeking help for my very acneic skin and I often felt disappointed, I probably visited six different dermatologists in my city and I remember always feeling hopeful that one of them could help my skin problems but that was never the case, I started using makeup as a way to cover up my insecurities which made my skin look even worse, Read more>>

Zulmie Lorminey | Poet, Author, Creative, Entrepreneur

Funny story, I never thought I was starting a business. I just wanted to share my Poetry and help others heal through the power of Poetry. I wanted to share my tools, tips, and knowledge to help others on their self-love journey. I wanted to do it through Poetry, workshops, Motivational Speaking, and events to name a few. I knew getting my Poetry out in the form of a book was the first step. Again, I did not know that being an Author was being an Entrepreneur. Read more>>

Mary Emerson | Co-owner of Agricultural Entertainment Business

I am going to speak for both my husband Larry and myself. Larry knew that the chemical research business was beginning to change with the merges of the chemical companies. Less research bids were becoming available. When a friend suggested the corn maze business was becoming popular, Larry decided that his land which had been used for research studies could be the ideal place to begin. I have always supported him in the businesses that he has started and knew that this was a business that I could be more hands on. While we started with Larry’s friend as a partner, I ended up buying his share of the business and became even more involved in the business. Read more>>

Shelby Johnson | Owner of I Stay You Play LLC

I had just quit my 9-5 job, which had put me through quite a depressive episode. I was working long hours, as well as taking 3 college classes. I finally couldn’t do both any longer so I decided to focus primarily on my schooling. I have always had a passion for animals, but veterinary schooling is a very long and expensive process. So I found a way to pursue my passion with animals still and be able to have a balanced work life and still be able to do my online classes. Read more>>

Sehrish Ali | Certified Eating Disorder Therapist

Being a therapist, my goal is to work in a setting that fits our specialties and our work styles. For me, the goal was to gain experience working in different settings and then work towards opening my own private practice.When gaining experience and training to specialize in eating disorders, I began recognizing the gap in the multicultural and BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Color) community. In addition, I took notice of the lack of resources in certain communities. Read more>>

Danielle Jones | Self and Spiritual Awareness Strategist

I just wanted to help my community. I had experienced my own health issues and felt unheard and unhelped by my medical professionals and decided to take my own health in my own hands. Plus, I no longer wanted to work for anyone other than myself. Read more>>

Yesenia Bernard | Designer & Stylist

My thought process for starting my business, first and foremost, was to fulfill my god given purpose in life. Second, to create a business that would allow me the freedom to use my talent and to express my creativity and passion as a stylist and designer. Lastly, to eventually transition from my HR professional career to a full-time entrepreneur. Read more>>

JayT Russell | Singer, Songwriter, Actor, Director, Producer

As an independent artist the goal was and is always to inspire and to create music, content and legacy that is unrestricted. I decided to take my career into my own hands during the pandemic and it’s been rewarding. I have multiple TV appearances coming up, A new single dropping in the coming months and something very special coming to television that I’ve had the pleasure to executive produce and co direct. VERY EXCITING TIMES FOR 2023! Read more>>

Ashley Sherrell | Personal Trainer

I’ve always wanted to run my own business one day. My dreams were too big to work for coorperate america. Starting your own business can be scary. There are lots of risks, but I also knew i loved helping others achieve their fitness goals. I spent time studying fitness day in, and day out. My goal was to learn as much as i could, so i could provide the best service to my clients. I wanted to be extremely knowledgeable, so that they would trust me. Everyone has a different goal, different body types so i obtained certifications in every area. I spent personal time developing my body, creating plans for others. Now here we are. 😉 Read more>>

Edward Jones II | Founder, Author, Podcaster

What sets Beyond The Field apart is my company is here to help athletic departments set up Player Development programs and programming. It hasn’t been easy, the most tedious part has been messaging and branding. I’ve learned to focus on less, promote the less and then the less will grow. I want the world to know I am passionate about helping people set up programming for athletes. I am experienced and have had much success in the role and I want to bring that to the masses. Read more>>

Samantha Mansur | Architectural and Interior Design

I felt inspired by the demand for a new vision that brings more sophistication and European references without losing regional characteristics. But the main reason is to show my daughter that it is possible to be a mom and pursue her dream career, investing your time and energy into something you love. Read more>>

Rina Seidel | Real Estate Agent and Investor

Being the only girl in my family, I always dreamed of being independent. I watched my father run his own business and always admired that. It was important for me to be able to dictate when and where I would work. What I didn’t realize is how many hours would be involved! Read more>>

Savanna Stephens | Licensed Esthetician & Sugarista – Owner of The Glam Bar LLC

Honestly, it was something that I’ve always had on my heart and I was in the planning process to make it happen but I was actually forced to start. I was terminated two days before Christmas and right before I was getting ready to leave for vacation. I was devastated because I had given my all to that job but instead of being worried, I went on the vacation, enjoyed myself with my daughters, and took some time to clear my head and plan for what was next. Read more>>

Elena Ciccotelli | Sales Coach & VP of Business Development, Automotive at Teleperformance

I love helping solopreneurs unlock more sales in their service-based business without feeling complete dread or angst or like they should hire or delegate this task to someone else. The best part about working with clients is I’m able to “teach you how to fish” so you have this skill forever, no matter what life throws at you. The reason why I’m so passionate about this is because the entire trajectory of my life (and career) changed as soon as I learned how to sell. I was a professional dancer in NYC in the early 2000s and after a catastrophic achilles injury sidelined me for months, unable to audition or perform, Read more>>

Helena Paschal | Entrepreneur

I am an author, speaker, and coach and when the pandemic hit, I was not able to travel and it wiped out my business.  I had to start over. In 2021, I started my life over with $43, my daughter, and my laptop and I moved to Houston.  When I applied for places to live, I kept getting denied and I pleaded with the realtor broker and property owner to give me a chance because I had a solid history of making consistent money as an entrepreneur.  Read more>>

Aalliyah Owens | Cosmetics Brand Owner

TRULIY A. Beauty was originated in my college dorm room. In undergrad, I experienced a significant hardship that led me to wanting to do something that I was proud of outside of school. Summer of 2020 I was admitted into the hospital for abdominal pain. I had a history of Ulcerative Colitis, so I thought that it was just a really bad flare up. My symptoms began to get worse so I had to have an emergency colonoscopy. I later found out that my Ulcerative Colitis progressed in Crohn’s disease. Read more>>

Jalesa Dismuke | Business Owner & Soon Degreed

Ideally, when I thought about owning my own business . It always seemed like it was dream more than anything . I figured I was going to attend college, work in my career field and eventually retire owning my own restaurant. I catered for a family members anniversary and the feedback was better than I expected . I loved the feeling that came over me and I wanted to experience it more. That motivated me to take the next step towards building clientele and my business . Read more>>

Kandice Hunter | Serial Entrepreneur

I was already a business owner, I’m the owner of Posh Aesthetics by Kandy a med spa here in Houston, but I wanted to do something that was my passion and that was cooking. I wanted to bring the taste of New Orleans to Texas, serving authentic New Orleans food. Read more>>

Caitlyn Labbe Hobbs | Baker & Cookie Artist

Honestly there was no thought process. I never dreamed, or wanted or thought I could have my own business. It all happened very suddenly, took me by surprise, and still baffles me today with what it has become. I started baking one year just to make some extra cash before Christmas, in addition to my 40 hour work week at my real job. It provided a good side income that definitely helped, Read more>>