We reached out to some of our favorite entrepreneurs and asked them to think back and tell us about how they decided to start a business. Check out their responses below.

Isaac Hess | Founder, CageList.com

I have always wanted to be an entrepreneur after and/or even during my professional baseball career. I knew I loved baseball and also that I wanted to be my own boss and make my own way. Baseball is an amazing game that teaches so much to those that have the opportunity to play it and experience it for some time in their lives. Having a place to provide my lessons as a coach has always been a challenge to have to work around. Creating CageList has been the solution to my challenge both as a coach and as an entrepreneur. Read more>>

Eric Washington | Custom Menswear Consultant

Since I was young, I was drawn to the world of men’s style. I naturally gravitated to becoming a tailor and owning my own bespoke tailoring house. Read more>>

Michaela Jones | Co-Owner of Jones Inck

Initially, I only wanted to create custom apparel for me and my family. I wanted to be able to quickly make a t-shirt with random sayings I may have thought of at any moment… and know that I was the only one walking around with that design. Read more>>

Jeannette Cieszykowski | Feng Shui Consultant

There wasn’t much thought behind it; Time was of the essence and thank goodness for that because I probably would’ve talked myself out of it (again)! I was let go from my lighting design sales position in April 2020, just 30 days after moving into a new apartment. I was living in new Feng Shui… so was this a coincidence? Read more>>

Christina Scalera | Digital Products (D-Commerce®) Coach

Soon after I landed my “dream job” out of school, I had a crushing realization as I woke up, showered, and went through the motions of getting ready for the day: this was it. This was my entire life from now on. Get ready, go to work, come home and look forward to a few fun weekends every year. That was completely unacceptable to me and I was not willing to live the rest of my life that way. I started looking for alternative careers, and fell into blogging. Read more>>

Lauren Simone | Boutique Owner & Public Relations Guru

In 2016, I graduated from Virginia State University with a B. A. in Communications and relocated to the D. C. Metro Area to start my career. I received my first job out of undergrad as a Marketing Assistant for a global nonprofit organization; However on the 90th day of employment, my employer cut my position from the organization. That’s where my entrepreneurial journey began. Read more>>

Barbara Chancey | Owner, Barbara Chancey Design Group. International Experts in Fitness Design and Studio Startups

What was your thought process behind starting your own business? Launching a much-needed service in an industry that did not exist was challenging, and in 2008, few imagined that boutique fitness would become a global phenomenon and disrupt mainstream health clubs. My unique business was born out of necessity. Frustrated by the condition of the “big-box-gym” where I taught Spinning, I offered the owner a win/win deal: Let me remodel the cycling studio on my own dime, and if club membership did not increase by 30 percent in one year, I would not be reimbursed for my out-of-pocket expenses. Read more>>

Maria Dennis | Owner/Lead Designer

Back in 2018, I was working as an Assistant Vice President at a large international financial institution. The world as we know it in regards to international finance has made many changes in the way customer service call centers and workforces are managed. The establishment that I was employed with, chose to move a great portion of its workforce and customer service call center overseas. This would mean that I would have to uproot myself and leave my family behind in the United States. Read more>>

Gin Blanton | Film Maker, Actress, Host

The entertainment industry does not offer many opportunities for women of color and when an opportunity does arise, the talent thats competing for that one spot is fierce. I was tired of waiting for others to give me an opportunity, so I created my own. Read more>>

JoVan Haney | Nail Technician, Educator and Skin Care Manufacturer

Being able to share my talents with those who were looking to enter into the industry. I hoped that if they saw how happy and joyous being a Nail Tech made me, they would want the same for themselves. Which is where Beyond Basic Nail Academy started. Read more>>

Kadi Sessums | Hairstylist

When deciding on if I wanted to start my own business, I knew that succeeding was my only option. I invested in myself to produce strong marketing skills so that I could grow my clientele on social media. I also knew that I needed to invest myself into my clients by giving them all & providing each one with a positive memorable service. Read more>>

Monique G. | Home Baker

I’ve always wanted to be my own boss and own a business. My love for baking started at a young age and during the pandemic I decided to get intentional with getting my baking business started. I wanted to create something that I’m passionate about and that will put smiles on others faces. Read more>>

Raeesa Jadael | Owner of High Society Cane Corso

In all honestly starting my own business was not something in the past that I ever thought would be on my radar. I simply stumbled upon what turned into a passion that I wanted to share that passion with others. At its core my central thought was just to share the love, passion , security, bonding , joy and fulfillment that I received from having my Italian Mastiffs (Cane Corsos) in my life. Read more>>

Jimie Sanchez | Founder & Creator

The skincare market is saturated but me being a skincare enthusiast, I was struggling to find a line that could help me with the issues I have had since turning 30. After doing hundreds of hours in research on skin types, ingredients for different skin types and how to start a skincare company, I was invested! I realized that all the products I was using had ingredients that were not meant for my skin type. It was a quick decision for me that I knew would be hard but I knew I wanted it. Read more>>