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.

Gayla Touray | Notary Public and owner of Cache Notes Notary Services

I had dreamed of starting my business for about 5 years now. I had always been told about the importance of having multiple revenue streams and I wanted to be able to have greater financial security outside of what I do professionally. The pandemic started and in looking at how many families that had been affected by job loss I knew it was time to finally carry out the vision that had been with me for a long time! Read more>>

Dominique Crawford | DJ & Photographer

My original thought process behind starting my own business began in high school and at that time I was searching for what I could start as a brand that could allow me to one day be able to give back to my community. It was not until my freshman year of college during homecoming to where I began to become inspired when I DJ’ed for the first time. From that day I went and purchased my first pair of turntables and my mentor, and now considered brother, helped show me how to truly to DJ, and from there I fell in love with it. Read more>>

Arresha Moore | The Skin Enthusiast

My entire thought process behind starting my business was to not only work entirely for myself one day, but to also have flexibility in order to be available for my children whenever possible. Weather it’s for extracurricular activities, or sick days. Read more>>

Alexis Herod | Cancer Warrior, Mom, Wife, and Jesus Follower

Once I had learned of my cancer recurrence in October of 2020, I was connected with my now close friend, Linda. She is currently walking through her 6th cancer recurrence, and we were connected, because I really needed someone to help me on this walk. I was scared to death, and didn’t know what was about to be thrown at me, and Linda was such a calming voice to me throughout the entire time. We then realized that there really was not anything out there that helped other cancer warriors, or even caregivers, along this process. Read more>>

Reginald Naulls | Artist and Graphic Designer

In the beginning, I just wanted my own sneakers. I got burnt out on raffles, and paying after market prices for sneakers. It made more sense to customize my own sneakers, true 1 of 1’s. Once I started making my own designs, it was on from there. From sneakers my passion grew into custom football helmets and cleats, home decor, flyers, graphic design, illustration, painting, logos, t shirt designs. Korporate Kustomz has allowed me to channel my creativity and passion. Read more>>

Richard Young | Family Physician

I am perpetually disgusted at the exorbitant cost of healthcare in the U.S. I am a Board-Certified Family Physician with 30 years experience. I’ve created a new independent primary care service that is more affordable and more accessible than the clinics and urgent care centers controlled by the insurance companies and large hospital systems. Read more>>

Kaliyah | CEO of MBK Collection

As a freelance makeup artist, I’ve studied modeling makeup, everyday makeup, fashion show makeup, etc. There’s always something about the makeup that absolutely completes the look. For me, it was the lip color or gloss. So i decided to create a gloss line of my favorite glosses. I expanded the brand to a full cosmetic line by adding products as needed for certain looks I’ve created or recreated. Read more>>

Tenishia B. Lester | International Certified Life & Business Coach | Certified Christian Coach

I started my business as a Life & Business Coach as an answer to prayers that I prayed. I wanted to find a way to be the answer to other ladies that have self-sabotaging behaviors like myself; that have gone through hard seasons and trauma. Read more>>

Jess Tate | Creative

Starting my own business came from a place of expression. I was wanting to find a way to channel my energy and express the creative thoughts I was having. I’m a big DIY person so naturally making something myself appealed to me, and an associate of mine started making candles and I asked her to show me and I took off from there! I had so many ideas and it made me truly excited to bring these ideas to life or create a scent and get positive feedback. Read more>>

Carrie Burns | Stolen Minutes | Project Bags for Knitters and Crocheters

As a knitter, I struggled with how to take my projects on the go without them getting all tangled, and how to keep my smallest notions close at hand. I had used cosmetic pouches to hold my projects, but the size was never just right, I always needed to safety pin my stitch markers inside and the fabrics weren’t inspiring. Growing up I had learned how to sew and I just knew that I could solve the stitch marker problem. Lots of prototypes later, I had my Sock Knitting Project Bag with a ring inside for stitch markers! Add in a love of colorful fabrics and it was a match. Read more>>

Jill Davis | Co-Owner

When we started Joe Pine Coffee Co. in 2017, we had several goals. We wanted to create a space in the Marshall community for people to gather and nurture meaningful relationships. We also loved coffee and there was not a specialty coffee shop within 30 minutes of Marshall. We wanted to elevate the coffee experience while creating an incredible space for people to gather. Read more>>

Caitlinn Mahar-Daniels | Photographer + Educator + Creative Enthusiast

This may sound weird, but I am an Aries…and I have known my entire life that I did not want anyone to be the boss of me. I also knew when I discovered my passion for photography as a kid, that photography must be my path in life. Fast forward to my post college life, where I was an extremely underpaid assistant to a wedding photographer, I knew if I were going to survive, I needed to make that dream of being my own boss a reality…and so I did. Read more>>

Darius Bradford | CEO of GFam Productions LLC, Fitness Trainer, Music Producer, Recording Artist, Photographer & Videographer

I knew that I wanted to be my own boss since I was 12yrs old. I’ve always stood out from the rest and I was gifted with a very mature mindset for a young man. When I finally took the step, I had been rejected from taking vacation from my 9-5 to go and see my son for his birthday all the way in North Carolina. I had saved up leave days and worked hard to financially take care of my responsibilities only to get denied on taking my first vacation. I knew at that point that I didn’t want anyone every telling me I can’t do something, especially spend time with my loved ones. Read more>>

Penny Sadler | Writer, Wine Enthusiast, Makeup Artist

I’ve always been very independent. When I was a child people would comment on how mature and responsible I was. It was never a question for me to work for myself or someone else. I’m very self-directed. Read more>>

Ashleigh Cochran | Interior Designer + Artist

After years in the world of interior design, I realized the client wasn’t the priority. Oarhaus’s priority is having the client feel like a partner in every design decision, including how their money is spent. Everyone should have the opportunity to live in a place they love no matter their financial bandwidth. Read more>>