Thinking through whether to start a business – whether to take the risk, whether to go out on your own – isn’t easy. So we asked some entrepreneurs we admire to tell us about how they thought through the process of starting a business.

Chrissy Mixon | Emerging Fashion Designer

After my struggle and victory with thyroid cancer, I realized that so many women have the same battle I went through of dealing with weight challenges and low self esteem. Being a lover of all things fashion, it was time for me to offer a brand that tailor made women’s classy desired fashion forward looks, through custom clothing, that made them feel beautiful, no matter what shape or size they were, boosting their confidence. Read more>>

Mia Moss | Coffee Shop Owner

The first thing I did was gain as much knowledge as I could about owning a coffee shop. I had already worked at a coffee shop, so I knew how to work in a coffee shop. I found a school in Portland, OR where I could learn and build relationships with people in the coffee industry. I knew that gaining more knowledge about the field was a must. Read more>>

Melisa Allen | Wedding Bakery Owner

Starting my own business was a natural progression from a hobby, but I like to blame it all on my daughter. I was one of those moms that just had to make her kid’s first birthday cake because no grocery store was going to bring my pre-Pinterest vision to life. So I started taking cake decorating classes a few months before she turned one. I still had a corporate job and took all my homework cakes into the office where my husband and I didn’t have to eat them by ourselves. I started getting requests for birthday and baby shower cakes, and Sweet By Design was born. I put together a business plan, started taking classes at a culinary school at night, and began to receive wedding cake orders shortly thereafter which is where I decided to focus my business. Read more>>

Natalie Price | Austin Artist & Songwriter

First, I avoided it and did everything else possible besides music, because I was afraid and because I did not consider music a viable business (it can be, but takes a long time or the perfect circumstances to get there). I realized that part of getting there is treating it like a business (not a hobby, not a lottery). And just like any business, no one else is going to do the work for you, because no one else believes in it as much as you. You have to prove yourself and your product worth investing in, which means you have to invest in it first (learning the skills needed, acquiring the technology and equipment necessary, gaining performance experience, etc.). Once I realized all this, I had to form a vision and a plan. Then I had to commit to that plan 100%. Read more>>

Titus Glenn | Songwriter, Producer & Artist

I want to be able to control my time and create my own salary. I am also a believer that you will never make what you want to make working for someone else. It also apart of instilling in my kids to have their own and to dream big. Read more>>

Todd Fiedler | Exercise Specialist & Nutrition Coach

I’ve always had a strong vision for the process of teaching people how to take control of their health and fitness. Over the years, I’ve had variations of this business with each variation more fine tuned. Read more>>

Tatum Gonzales | Personal Trainer & Fitness Instructor

We (my husband and I) have always loved Personal Training. We had been working in standard gyms and studio settings for years and while we loved our work, we felt limited in terms of the service we could provide, as well as the income we could earn. Before we started our own business, the studio where we trained had a stipulation in place that prevented Personal Trainers from having contact with clients outside of their training sessions. This never sat well with us. We believed that Personal Training should be PERSONAL- that we should be able to cultivate positive relationships with clients. When you’re training someone, you are being trusted with that individual’s health and well-being. The client should be able to forge a level of trust and comfort with their Personal Trainer, so that they can feel safe when their expressing their goals and limitations. Read more>>

Ajay Sharma | Juice Specialist

I left the Marine Corps and I was studying at SMU. I needed to do something after I graduate. I wanted to be an Investment Banker, but, one thing lead to another and I decided that opening up Salubrious Juice & More was the right thing to do for me. The idea of being able to connect with my community and give them healthier option was too good to not pursue. Read more>>

Jeff Hoferer | Video Content Creator

I didn’t want to have to ask approval before taking a risk. I like to choose my own battles, and I’m completely willing to shoulder the blame if it doesn’t work out. But I wanted the opportunity to do things my way, and not have to seek approval for that. Read more>>

Paula Lambert | Cheesemaker & Founder

Back in 1982 very few people had heard of fresh mozzarella. I had lived in Italy and love it, and I knew it was not available in Dallas. When Trattoria Lombardi was about to open, I asked the owner if he would have fresh mozzarella and he said “yes”. I asked where he was going to get it … and he told me it would be flown from Italy to San Francisco and then distributed to Dallas. I knew that in Italy fresh mozzarella was purchased and consumed on the day it was made … so I thought if I can make the cheese in Dallas then I could sell it to my customers when it was very fresh. This would be my advantage. Read more>>

Tiara Webb | Custom Earring Designer

I love making women feel beautiful about themselves. Starting my earring business did just that. I get a chance to make something that makes women glow. I love being creative. It drives me and making them by hand is the best. Read more>>

Tina Cook | Poet(Poetic Healer) & Author

Tea with Tina was brought to life in March of 2019 after I performed my first poetry piece on stage in February 2019. I knew most of my poetry was written to illustrate life experiences and served as healing. As a result, I discovered I wanted to have tea parties for women in order to build a safe place for women to explore who they are through the art of poetry. The concept was built around tea, cupcakes and poetry. I chose a local black owned tea shop to host the tea parties. Tea with Tina serves as a women’s empowerment platform focused on self care, self love, mindfulness and healing. In addition, we now have our own tea (Sereni-Tea) and I recently wrote a book (I Poured into Myself). Read more>>

Anita Heiskell | Certified Social Graces, Etiquette & Image Consultant

I have always been very cautious of doing the right thing even as a child. In a world where families and friends spend less face to face time and more time looking at their phones or computers, I felt that everyone needs to focus on exhibiting proper manners and charm. I was raised knowing that presentation was always very important. I was taught the proper way to sit, speak and dress and of course I was taught proper dining skills. My passion for etiquette, protocol and dressing for success started as a young child, has no bounds. I’ve always loved teaching the basic rules of etiquette, and one day my company name came to me. Prim, Poised and Proper. That was the day my business was born and I haven’t looked back. Starting my business didn’t really take much thought because, this is what I was born to do. Read more>>

Deepika Pilai | Founder

I have lived across 3 continents in multiple cities and I have always found joy in exploring unique places. I have been eager to learn how distinct each of us are. My closest friends & colleagues have been from strikingly diverse backgrounds. What has always amazed me is how we all are different, but all still the same. Wherever I went, the sociology of the place and the contrasting environments fascinated me. I have had a global career in sales & marketing and now as a mom of two young kids, the responsibility of parenting in a foreign land with a vivid sociological mix poses a constant challenge. It is a perpetual thought to ensure that the kids not only seamlessly integrate into the place they reside in, but also remain aware and proud of where their heritage. Read more>>