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.

Anna Svetlik De La Rosa | Mindful Business Coach & Social Media Guru

My thought process behind starting my own business was I wanted to make a name for myself because I had so many things to offer. My family members all had started their own businesses and had made a name for themselves in the communities but I had bigger dreams and goals and wanted to showcase my talents and gifts on a global platform. My own experiences assisted me in being able to empower other women and in turn I wanted to create a platform for their voices. Using these women’s stories and their art, all of us as women share our stories as art. We are able to utilize our stories as our own platforms to inspire others and teach others. It’s being able to have a voice in sharing those experiences along the way to assist others in their growth and journey. I always say it’s never too late to follow your dreams and start your own business. Once you start, don’t beat yourself up about it because you will learn as you grow. It’s a journey of self discovery. Read more>>

Jodi Skorupski | Personal Wardrobe Stylist

When we left New York City and moved to Houston I decided to start my own styling business because it’s something I had dreamt of for a long time. I also wanted flexibility in my schedule to start a family. Read more>>

Laurel K. Rutledge | Career and Leadership Transformation Expert, Radio & Podcast Host, Empowerment Enthusiast

I woke up in December of 2016 and realized I was miserable. I was tired of fighting the establishment about stuff that, for me, was just standard operating procedure when you are leading in integrity. I was unable to be present with friends and family. I was tired. I’d gained way too much weight and my mental and emotional health was at risk. I was just done! So I took a little bit of time to decide. I prayed about it. I evaluated everything that had happened in my nearly 30 years of corporate life. I realized that there was a common thread through all of it. Through all of the moves; all of the bosses; all of the roles. First was, if I wasn’t learning, I was bored. Second was, if I wasn’t serving and truly making an impact, I was uninterested. Third, while I am far from conflict avoidant, living in constant conflict – especially over stupid, common sense stuff – was an absolute soul-crushing existence for me. Forth, and probably the most important, I was more important to me than any company, shareholder, boss or team. Read more>>

Selena Nimchan | Nutritionist/Business Owner

Initially, it was to make money. I would love to give an answer that make me sound a little more “saintly,” but money was my main motivation at the time. I was a recently divorced mom of 2, and knew I needed a way to supplement my income. My daughter had been suffering for years, and between doctors appointments, ointments, steroids, allergy shots, dietary changes, etc. I was literally at my wits end. In 2017, I had just recently developed Jada’s Magical Blend. At that time, I knew I had a product that offered my daughter relief from some of her eczema symptoms and thought, “not only can I help other parents, I can also help myself. Read more>>

Adri Garza | Clay Creative

Morning Luna was born because of two ideas that merged together during the beginning of the pandemic. The first being a long time thought of always wanting a boutique/store of sorts and the second through a desire of wanting to make a pair of earrings for myself. Since I knew very little then about clay, I yielded a few pairs in a single batch. That combined with a discussion with one of my best friends prompted me to lean into the idea of having my own business. I began drafting idea names the very next day until one landed. Read more>>

Ebony R. | Party Planner/Decor Specialist

Growing up my mom decorated for EVERY holiday… And I do mean every holiday… Valentines Day, St. Patricks Day, Mardi Gras, Easter: just to name a few. My mom was always the contact person for party planning and family weddings! So naturally being her mini me, I started to help and admire the work that she did. Some time after college, when my siblings started expanding their families, I was called upon to help with my nieces and nephews parties. Those parties gave me the courage to design parties on a large scale and I have been planning celebrations ever since. Read more>>

Kendrick Knighten | Entrepreneur, Healthcare Professional, Craft Beer Fanatic

Throughout my years of living, I have often wondered what would be considered my passion? I knew that I loved introducing people to new things that I came across. I also knew that I loved traveling as well. When I started traveling 6+ hours going back and forth to breweries for new releases, I knew it was no longer just “something to do”. So now, I am able to share that passion using various platforms to connect with our followers. At the same time, I am able to introduce myself and others to the countless brands and breweries that serve our craft beer communities. Read more>>

Aveda Adara | Artist

Personally speaking, corporate life killed every aspect of my creativity. I will spare the details because we all have been drug through the experience of being a statistic. It was now or never, and I did not want to look back and have regrets. Read more>>

Renata Farah & Matteo Bruschi | Founders of The MindBug | The Small Biz Accelerator Online Course

Our thought process behind starting your own business was: _ How can we use all our knowledge in business and mindset to solve a problem of a niche? _ What are their biggest roadblocks and how can we help them to leave this painful place of being stuck in the fastest and most effective way possible? That was how The Mindbug and The Small Biz Accelerator were created. As a business entrepreneur, there’s nothing more painful than being stuck in a place you don’t belong. So our business was born out of a need to help other people that are starting off in business to make them become their own boss, have satisfaction with their business, achieve financial freedom and live in their own terms….. in the fastest way possible. With laser focused tools, resources, mindset and “no fluff” frameworks in a step-by-step proven process that give results. Read more>>

Jemina MacHarry | Independent Wine Consultant & Sports Professional

I was introduced to Scout & Cellar Clean Crafted Wine through one of my good friends and clients. I love wine, and when she told me about her new venture as an Independent Wine Consultant, I was surprised. She was a Regional Manager for a big software company, why would she pick this up as a “side gig”? She introduced me to the company and the business model and how I could become a consultant and run my own e-commerce business. It was perfect timing because one of my resolutions for 2020 was to be open to new streams of income, and the universe in turn presented me with an opportunity delivered by someone I trust, so I had to take advantage of it. I had no idea what I was doing or what to expect, but I just took a chance and did it. I figured if I failed, I would “fail forward” because I am sure I would learn something about growing a business and working for myself, which would only help me in the future. So for once in my life, I did not over think it (which I usually do with everything), and I had fun with it. And it was exciting. Read more>>

Melissa Ieans | Business Owner – Financial Services – Entrepreneur

I knew I wanted to do more. I wanted to be able to encourage others and inspire them to also work towards breaking the generation gaps and generational curses. When growing up, we were not taught much on saving, investing, and other important financial literacy and concepts in life. I wanted to be able to build a business that would build dreams for people that work with ultimately building my own….if that makes sense. I want my business to fully encompass every value of life from life-health, to beauty and lifestyle on a budget and digging deep to attack our financial goals and to increase our wealth and continue to break generational curses. Being financially free is possible for everyone and my mission is to provide resources and motivation to others to do the same……I wanted to stop the trend of “Go Fund Me” in our community with providing education and life insurance and other financial planning solutions; and to discover every solution and any affordable resources, avenues, and a variety of product and services that cater to most values of life. (Life/Health, Beauty/Lifestyle, Financial/Freedom/Security, Motivation, and more!). Read more>>

Jessica Fontenot | Artist & Illustrator

Deep down I always wanted to be an artist, but college and practicality took me to graphic design. I was working in agencies and doing corporate web design for a few years. Once I started posting my artwork to Instagram, I began to get illustration jobs and commission requests. There was a period where I was doing both, my full-time web job and freelance art. It was hard work, but I was driven by the desire to work for myself, and be able to make art for people and businesses. I wanted autonomy over my time, which for me really meant autonomy over my brain if that makes sense haha. I wanted art to take up all the space in my brain, so that I could be really invested in my work and hand skills. Read more>>

Mylah Renae | Wedding Photographer

The thought process behind starting my own business isn’t a traditional one. At the time, I was at a job where the boss was uncaring of his employees and rude to any customers who disagreed with him. Being in that environment was taking a toll on my emotional wellbeing. It also had a schedule that was completely opposite of my husband. As a newlywed, I hated that my new husband was more of a roommate than a spouse because we never saw each other with such conflicting schedules. I knew that job wasn’t the place for me long term and that I needed more flexibility in my work schedule so I could spend time with my husband. So, I took the leap into photography way before I was ready (I would not recommend this route). I did take a couple of part time jobs before photography was able to give me a paycheck. It has paid off, but the process wasn’t an easy one. Read more>>

Jason Kane | Rock N Roll Singer/Guitarist

When I first started playing i was always told you gotta play metal or cover music if you want to make it or have people notice you and something about that just didn’t sit right. I wanted to play some loud original Rock n roll! And I’m not shitting on metal, I love metal but just not what I want to play all the time & as for covers, I totally get it. If your looking for steady paying gig that’s cool, learn some tunes and hit up the local spots and get the cash! But that was definitely a big push to make us want to get serious and get out there and do our own thing. Read more>>

Chantel Channell | Hair Artist/ Salon Owner & Salon Suite Business Consultant

In my ten years of experience as a hairstylist, I’ve come to the realization that there is a lack of knowledge in identifying the right products for moisture retention. For The Love of Moisture was created out of that passion to develop a natural hair care product line that contained natural and active ingredients that would overall promote an inward and outward smoothness in texture, hydration, and aid in hair growth for ALL hair types. Read more>>

Mariah Henry | Dancer, Choreographer, Artistic Director

I believe most dancers and choreographers are in the business of working for themselves. We all want to show our own identity within such a competitive industry. But for me, I wanted to really start my own dance company because I often found it difficult to find other dance companies with a similar agenda to mine. I really wanted to create dance works that center on the love of God. I did not want it to be “praise dance” or ballet which, from my experience, many people assume is the most fitting when dancing for God. I wanted to use trendy dances, dances that stem from hip-hop culture and do my best to bring this part of the dance world toward God’s heavenly domain. I figured that rather than just to keep looking for dancers and companies that fit this agenda, I would bring it to life myself and so I started my company Deeper Than Dance. Read more>>

Natalie Smith | Owner & Accessories Designer

Initially.. run! But I definitely went through a roller coaster of emotions ultimately landing on excitement. Mainly at the thought of owning something that’s an expression of me. The entrepreneurial itch is in my blood so even when working full time or on a merry go round of rejected emails there was always a pull to create my own. TailorMarie started from wanting bold statement accessories you can’t find anywhere else. I think the challenge of ownership scares you a bit because it’s a huge leap of faith but it takes courage to create the life you want. Read more>>

Brittni Mosbey | Upcoming Actress/ Positive Influencer

Well As for me My thought process behind starting my own business was to make sure that I Pray and ask for guidance on making legit decisions also how to start my foundation with my Acting Career as well as trying to figure out what’s best for the kind of business and brand I’m trying to launch. Read more>>

Kirsten Gilliam | Photographer

I started my own business after being laid off from a PR/in-house photographer position in 2016. Going through that sudden shift made me take a step back and re-evaluate what I enjoyed from that job experience. In the end, it was 100% the photography and the people I got to meet and work with because of it. I wanted more of that for myself and decided branching out on my own was the way to make that happen. Read more>>

Kathy Adibe, Esq. | Attorney

I knew it was inevitable I would eventually work for myself, it was a matter of taking the leap of faith and starting my practice as a green attorney. I had a vision of success that I planned to achieve after each year as a solo practitioner and I made sure I set realistic goals for myself to achieve. I was nervous at first, but once I emerged myself in the learning field, I built confidence and gained experience. Read more>>

Giangtien Nguyen | Co-Founder and CEO of INVI LLC

I graduated in 2012 with a Bachelor of Architecture degree. I started working in the architectural field in 2010 while I was still in school. For the past 10 years, I have had the opportunity to work on both renovation and new construction projects for residential, K-12, higher education, and multifamily. For many years, the idea of starting my own business has been lingering in the back of my mind. I knew I wanted to start a business that is related to my field, but not necessarily an architectural firm. I’ve been playing with that idea for many years until 2019 when I formally set up the first phase of the company called Creative Collaborations. The company provided BIM and CADD services for the Architecture and Engineer community. Once I started the company, I learned very quickly where my passion lies. The realization came to me unexpectedly but I was not surprised. For 30 years of my life, I always thought my calling in life was in creating and designing. Hence, I pursued an architecture degree. As my experiences in my career expand and starting my own business helped me understand more about myself. I soon came to realize that my passion is not only limited to creating and designing. Read more>>