Deciding to start a business is an unusual decision. It’s often considered irrational and yet for many it’s the best decision they’ve ever made. So we asked folks to think back to when they were starting their businesses and to tell us about their decision making process.

Cindy Chung | Pure Milk & Honey (Soft Serve Ice cream), Owner

Ever since I was a child, I loved desserts. When I was tall enough to reach the oven, I started baking cookies and cakes. It was always my dream to pursue a career with sweets. However, as I was born and raised in an Asian family, that dream was considered nothing more than a ‘dream’. It was not something acceptable to pursue. A proper career was one that followed, at minimum, a four year undergraduate degree in a mainstream field that would pay a certain income per year. Hence, I did exactly that and had a career in the Oil and Gas industry. Read more>>

Berenice Garcia | Photographer & Teacher

I started my business because I really enjoyed taking pictures of people and my models would say I made them feel comfortable doing so and that became my goal. To always try my best to make people feel comfortable in front of the camera. Read more>>

Jose Cruz Jr. | Dallas/ForthWorth Photographer

I was always interested in photography, it seemed like the pandemic was the perfect moment to pick up a camera and start learning and practicing skills. I remember going over the empty streets and buildings, capturing how different the world was at the moment. As things returned to normal, I started working with new people, shooting families, babies, models and I truly enjoyed the feeling of being part of those moments. Over time, photography became my passion and I decided to turn it into something real, my business. Read more>>

Amber Farris | Clothing Brand Owne

To take care of my son first and foremost. Being a single parent, I wanted to grow a successful business that would take care of my family. Throughout being a parent I have realized my value, my worth and what’s important. I will never let anyone tell me again I am only worth a dollar amount per hour. I was unhappy, underappreciated and underpaid working for someone else. One of the many things that did make me happy and made me feel beautiful is when I dressed up and put myself together. Clothes made me feel sexy, empowered and confident. So I decided to take my passion for fashion and start my own clothing brand. Its one of the hardest yet most rewarding decisions I have made in my life. Read more>>

Rachel Dymond | Bakery Owne

It has been a dream since I was little to own my own bakery. I went to College for hospitality management degree. After graduation I started working for a large quick casual restaurant where I moved up rapidly to a General manager of a store. But yet did not feel fulfilled so I moved on to be a General manager for a full service breakfast restaurant. Still filling like something was missing in my life I wanted to start perusing a bakery. Read more>>

A’Shunti Lash | Chef Shunti (CheffingWithShunti)

My thought process behind starting my own business was basically, thinking about something I love to do. I believe everyone should make a living out of something they love to do, if there’s a way. Even if it isn’t your main source of income, it could be your “side hustle”. Be able to go to work and enjoy it is everything to me. It was times where I’ve had jobs, and I dreaded every time it was time to go to work. I found myself going to work just to get the money, and not genuinely getting the job done. Read more>>

Jason Clark | Gem/Mineral Dealer

Well, I had always had the ambition to open my own business. After I graduated with my MBA, I really got serious about looking for ideas about something feasible that we could do to make that a reality. Well, my wife and I both have full time careers and we always found an excuse to put it off because we were so busy with our jobs and with our young children. Well, then Covid happened. We found ourselves with extra time and money with which to start down the road to our own business. I had been an avid mineral collector and noticed that most of the gems/minerals that were being sold were either very cheap and not very good or they were excellent quality and were very, very expensive. Read more>>

Alexia Ashleigh | Ahava Smiles Founder

I have given almost 10 years to corporate America. I felt like I wasn’t able to be truly build like I would like and I wanted to give my kids generational wealth. Read more>>

Jennifer Ellison | Event Producer

Honestly, I was looking for a new challenge. For 12 years, I served as the Director of Events for Abilene Christian University. It was an exceptional experience filled with great opportunities and incredible events. But at some point, I knew I had reached the height of my career at ACU and I was growing restless. I knew it was time to take on something greater, and few challenges are greater than breaking out on your own. So, I moved to Fort Worth and started my event firm, Ellison Event Productions. Read more>>

Marlon Frazier | Entrepreneur

This is actually something that I’m asked quite often. My business started from a feeling of stagnation and hopelessness. These is something that a lot of people close to me don’t even know not even my mom, dad, or brothers. I was actually around 19 or 20 years old and living in San Antonio TX. My older brother invited me to come and stay with his family because he knew that I was not in school. I learned a lot about myself and people during this time, and the things I experienced while I was there have really molded and shaped me into the man I am today. Read more>>

Sue yaghi | Interior Designer & KonMari Organizer

There are a couple of factors, but the most important one was the choice it allowed me to create beautiful interiors on my own, and the other was the liberty of owning my own time. I really don’t think of my job as a business. I consider it more of a hobby that I love and enjoy. Read more>>

Marissa Culbreath | Artist & Educator

My thought process on starting my own business was just thinking about what my community needs. In my community of Northwest Arkansas, we have a small percentage of minorities. As the population of minorities constantly grows, I wanted to have more art and education opportunities for minority students. As someone who grew up in this area as an artist, there has never been a place where a young Black and brown artist could truly just be themselves and truly express their artistry in their own way. I want Be You Arts and Community Center to be that for NWA. Read more>>

Brandon Oropallo | Founder, DFW Scavenger Hunt

Starting my own business was not a decision I made lightly, though in retrospect I probably should’ve lightened up a little bit. When my family moved from Los Angeles to Dallas, I was faced with a decision point — continue pursuing a career in marketing, or switch things up and do something for myself. Although I’d grown weary of marketing and corporate gigs, it was my role at home — father of two — that convinced me that self-employment was too risky an option. I needed benefits, a paycheck, no matter how bored and unhappy I’d be. So I found a job at an agency in town… and immediately realized what a bad fit it was. Worst of all, I carried the unhappiness home with me, so my efforts to be a better family man weren’t exactly paying off. I was stressed, worried, and a real bummer to be around. I credit my wife with the kick in the pants I really needed. And, let’s be honest, it was her stable paycheck and family benefits plan that truly made it possible. Read more>>

Omie D | Podcast creator, Host, DJ, & Podcast Producer aka The Podcast King

In 2007 the only Jazz station in the Dallas/Fort Worth area ended its radio broadcasting time. Loving Jazz music, I began a quest to bring Jazz music back to Dallas. I researched and came to the conclusion of “Pirate Radio”. Basically I created my own streaming server and loaded up my jazz collection, embedded the link to hit my streaming server, and created my website. was born and the 1st time I clicked the link and heard my music my mind was hooked. At this time I had No knowledge of IT, but I had a mission. I wanted to now create the entire station experience for my 2 listeners. I spent many days at Guitar Center asking questions that no one could answer… Read more>>